October 25, 2021 By Suzanne Robertson

Small business is the foundation of the Californian economy. According to a recent study conducted by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the number of privately held firms with under 500 employees in California is at 3.8 million. That’s 99.8% of all CA business. In 2015, just under 7 million people, or 49% of the California private workforce, were employed by small businesses.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a significant challenge to small businesses, employers and employees. An August Small Business Majority survey data found that 44% of small businesses are at risk of shutting down. Data released through the Census Current Population Survey found that minority-owned businesses are disproportionately impacted: the number of active businesses owned by African-Americans dropped by 41%, Latinx by 32%, Asians by 25%, and immigrants by 36%.

The availability of low-cost financing to support California’s small businesses is critical to ensure economic stability and individual financial success. Business owners must be able to rebuild and move forward as the coronavirus pandemic slows and operating restrictions are lifted. Here are stats about SBA loans and small businesses in California.

Most popular small business industries in California

According to the most recent Census data, some of the most popular industries across California’s small business is Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, and Accommodation and Food Services.

Top CA Cities for Funded SBA Loans

The number of SBA loans funded in the state alone makes up about 17% of the whole country’s totals. Some of the highest-ranking California cities in terms of the volume of funded SBA small business loans are Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. These three regions alone account for about 15% of the total number of funded SBA loans in California, and about 3% of all SBA loans funded across the United States.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans

When the pandemic roared across the country, the government put the PPP program in place to help small business owners – including sole proprietors – with partially or fully forgivable funding. The program was nationwide. California has a total of 1,302,241 businesses that received PPP loans from the Small Business Administration. Note that the PPP program has ended.


SBA Loans across California

If you’re eligible and interested in taking your California business to the next level by applying for an SBA 7(a) loan, check out these local resources and success stories from the entrepreneurs in California’s top funded cities who’ve achieved their dreams through SmartBiz Loans.

SBA Loans in Los Angeles

After founding Done & Done Home, a professional organizing business based in New York, Katharine Pawlowski and Ann Lightfoot recently expanded their company into the Los Angeles area as they saw impressive growth. The mother/daughter entrepreneur duo worked with SmartBiz to obtain a low-cost, working capital loan. With big plans for future endeavors, they’ll be using their funds to move into new markets and locations.

Learn more about Done & Done Home’s SBA loan story here.

SBA Loans in San Diego

When it comes to the SoCal sun, Roshambo Baby has all ages covered. Scott Morris and his wife founded the company after deciding that everyone should wear comfortable, high-quality sunglasses, from infants to adults. Several effective crowdfunding and social media campaigns later, Scott found SmartBiz and worked with us to obtain an SBA loan. The company will be putting their capital to good use, expanding inventory, staff, and the product range.

Read all about Roshambo Baby’s SmartBiz experience on our Small Business blog.

SBA Loans in San Francisco

Mike Curtis is the owner of TD Construction, General Contractors serving the East San Francisco Bay area. When Curtis needed funds to keep his business in operation during the coronavirus pandemic, he worked with SmartBiz Loans to successfully obtain a low-cost SBA 7(a) loan from a bank in the SmartBiz network. Curtis initially used a small portion of the proceeds to pay off expensive debt. The rest will be used for cash flow or put into savings.

Learn more here TD Construction Business Story.

Small Business Resources in California

The Small Business Administration provides support to small business owners across the nation on both a regional and district level. California, Arizona, Nevada, Guam, and Hawaii all fall under Region IX, whose office are based in Glendale. A fantastic resource to take advantage of are the region’s educational and business development programs. From seminars to workshops to socials ranging in topics and locations across the state, the Small Business Administration provides you with ample opportunity to learn and make local connections.

Within California, each of the three top funded cities represents its own SBA district, so if you’re from the area, check out your nearby SBA district office in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. There you’ll find resource guides, advising, educational workshops, and more.

More about SBA Loans

You might have heard SBA loans are the gold standard for small business owners who want to expand. It’s true. Funds from these loans can be used in a multitude of ways to help a small business.

An SBA loan is a government-guaranteed small business loan that has a long-term and a low-interest rate. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the government agency that partially guarantees SBA loans and was founded in 1953 to support small business owners across the United States.

The most common misunderstanding about these loans is that the agency lends money directly to small businesses. However, the agency typically does not make direct loans. The SBA provides a guarantee on the loan, promising to reimburse the bank for a certain percentage of your loan if you default on that loan. This guarantee lowers the risks to banks and other lenders, encouraging them to offer these loans to more American small businesses. Many banks and other financial institutions offer SBA loans, but their process, requirements, and fees can vary.

For a deep dive into SBA loans and how they can help you rebuild or grow your California business, visit the SmartBiz Loans Small Business Blog:

SBA Loan Guide for Small Business Owners 2021