September 22, 2021

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

C-Suite Wednesday – Florida’s “Old School” SBA Conference Ends Today

The FLAGGL Small Business Lender Conference is entering its third and final day. There are an estimated 300 people attending in person and many more attending virtually. Chris Hurn, the founder and CEO of Fountainhead Commercial Capital, speaks positively of the conference and says it feel like an “old-school SBA conference.”

On Tuesday afternoon there was a panel discussing hiring people from outside the industry into the SBA industry. Many industries have been struggling to find qualified workers, and the small business lending industry is facing similar issues.
There has been talk about an SBA direct lending program. It is said that there will be $4.5 billion for 7(a) direct lending, but the details so far have been “nebulous.” “Nobody really knows the extent of the partnerships that SBA is going to form with private-sector lenders to help them do direct [lending],” says Chris. The industry is waiting for more information to come out about the program.

Some members of Congress believe this will improve access to capital for small businesses. It has been a record-breaking year for SBA lending, and to keep up with the pace of lending, SBA would likely need to increase staff for a direct lending program.

We will continue covering this as more details come out, and it is recommended for lenders to keep in touch with their representatives. “There is just a lot of unknowns here, unfortunately,” says Chris.

Today, the SBA will be having a virtual session closing the conference.