Small Business Loans Helping Some Nebraska Companies Blossom

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LINCOLN, Neb.-- It's a statistic the Small Business Administration is proud of: 1,200 jobs are being created in Nebraska since Oct. 1 of last year.

The SBA said it's because millions of dollars in loan money are pouring in the state, creating jobs and defying a national trend.

Dr. Jennafer Glaesemann, who owns the Blue Valley Veterinary Clinic in Beatrice, Neb., is one business owner that's benefited from these small business loans.

She worked with local lenders and the SBA in 2012, gaining approval to purchase the real estate and business.

"I was a graduating college student," Glaesemann said, "and, as I'm sure many people are aware, graduating college students have little to no funds of their own."

The SBA said the state has seen the total dollar volume of guaranteed loan approval dollars rise $13 million, from $94.8 million at this point in Fiscal Year 2013 to $107 million, a jump of almost 13 percent.

Since Glaesemann took the clinic, she's been able to add three new employees, take out a loan to buy a new x-ray machine, and she still hopes to keep growing.

"We want to improve the flooring in our large animal area, want to improve our large animal handling facilities, want to add another veterinarian," Glaesemann said, among other improvement possibilities.

By contrast, in the four-state region covering Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, SBA loan volume has fallen 7.8 percent.

Loan volume for the SBA's 504 loan program, used by lenders and small businesses for long-term financing of large equipment and real estate purchases, is down 22 percent nationwide, but up 34 percent in Nebraska.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, SBA waived up-front guaranty fees paid by small businesses on loans of $150,000 or less, a savings of thousands of dollars for entrepreneurs in the state and across the country, according to the SBA.

"Being able to get financing from different options," Glaesemann said, "especially with the SBA guaranty, opened up a lot of possibilities that I don't think people realize."

Glaesemann said that doctors getting into the veterinary business are seeing more debt than income.

So, finding them new sources of income may help other veterinarians soon succeed.

"Being able to find funding opportunities for people with no experience and no work," Glaesemann said, "[and] no ownership experience is really exciting, because that actually puts you on a fast track to pay off that student debt, which, a lot of people find is a big hurdle for the industry. "