Business booms as Nebraska small business loans break records | News from local businesses

Craig Johnson got a small business loan 21 years ago when he bought his business, Wayne’s Body Shop.

But when it came time to expand one of his sites last year, he didn’t consider applying for another loan from the Small Business Administration.

“I thought it was more for start-ups,” Johnson said.

His bank, Cornhusker Bank, however thought such a loan would be perfect for him, so they referred him to the Nebraska Economic Development Corp., a Small Business Association lender that specializes in so called 504 loans, which allow businesses to buy large equipment or build, buy or expand buildings.

Johnson secured a 20-year fixed interest rate loan that allowed him to expand his College View location at 4731 Cooper Ave.

He said getting the SBA loan was more complicated than getting a regular bank loan and required more paperwork, but getting the low fixed interest rate was worth it.

“It’s pretty big, so it’s worth the extra work to do it,” said Johnson, who now has a bigger and more modernized space to work on newer vehicles.

Johnson’s loan was one of dozens that the Nebraska Economic Development Corp. made in fiscal 2021, making it by far the most active small business lender in the state.

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