As the NY Times noted last week, a big portion of the ARC loans made so far has been concentrated in a handful of Midwestern states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, to name a few. Below is a visualization of the latest data from the SBA through Aug. 18 that I put together with Many Eyes, a very cool data visualization tool from IBM.
I’m curious to hear from those of you in the trenches trying to get these loans: How much support have you had from different SBA district offices, or lenders in different states? What’s going on in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Utah that’s not going on in New Jersey, Nevada, or California? Does aggressive outreach account for the differences here?
A reader in Houston recently left this comment on an earlier post about ARC loans:
There has been ZERO arc loans closed in the Houston area. There is a huge disparity on the use of these federal funds. Banks are not advertising the Arc loans and will not give potential customers any information on the loans when there is an inquiry. Banks will not deny your loan and will keep it on their books. This is a loop hole for not having to report. Arc loans are a complete failure in the Houston area and I am working with several institutions that will back me up on this, such as Acion Texas and PTAC. There is absolutely no follow through with the Arc loan program. Bank of America is the main lender that is promising the most when getting the federal funds and delivering nothing. It was very embarrassing to be a small business owner who is excited about the stimulus plan efforts to only be turned away. Where is our voice in all this?
There are substantial regional disparities here, and the reason behind them isn’t clear. If you have any insight from your own experience trying to get an ARC loan, let us know in comments below.