Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Karen Mills looks up as U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about government reform at the White House in Washington January 13, 2012. (KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s loan volume in the 2012 fiscal year was its second highest ever, second only to that of the 2011 fiscal year.

The SBA supported $30.25 billion in loans this year, and $30.5 billion last. Though the numbers indicate a slight decrease, last year’s loans were heavily boosted by loan incentives presented to lenders as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, where as this year they aren’t, the SBA noted in a release.

A little more than $15 billion of this year’s loans were approved under the General Business Loan program, which is the SBA’s largest program — this year 44,377 loans were given out.

The SBA also approved 9,471 loans as part of the 504 Certified Development Company program, which offers loans to businesses encouraging economic development in their communities. Typically the SBA provides 40 percent of a single project’s total cost, and third party lenders and borrowers account for the remaining cost. By adding in the non-SBA loans, the 504 program accounted $15.09 billion in loans this year.

“Reaching such strong numbers is a clear sign that both the business and lending communities are regaining their confidence in the economic climate of the country,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills in a statement.

“It means that the credit markets are increasingly willing to help small businesses establish themselves, grow and create new jobs for Americans.”

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