The U.S. Small Business Administration’s loans to small exporters have increased for the fourth straight year.

The loan volume for the 2012 fiscal year exceeded $923 million, up from approximately $918 million last year. SBA-backed loans to small business exporters have been increasing steadily since the $583 million lent in 2009.

However, the revenue generated by those small businesses receiving the loans has decreased between this year and last. In the 2011 fiscal year, SBA-backed loans supported $1.81 billion in revenue — this year has only seen $1.7 billion.

The revenue generated by small business exporters receiving SBA-backed loans decreased this year. (Tim Rue/BLOOMBERG)

SBA lending to small businesses overall has also fallen slightly between the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years, from $30.5 billion to $30.25 billion.

The SBA has three loan programs for small business exporters — Export Express, offering financing for up to $500,000, Export Working Capital for loans in advance of finalizing an export contract, and International Trade Loans for businesses seeking to become more competitive by modernizing or expanding. The Export Working Capital and the International Trade Loan programs offer a 90 percent guarantee on loans up to $5 million.

The SBA has so far guaranteed more than 6,000 loans to small business exporters for a total of $3.1 billion, supporting $6 billion in exports.

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