The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Houston District reported record-breaking lending in fiscal year 2019-20, with 19 times the typical lending levels from October 2019-September 2020, according to a press release.

“I am especially proud of the Houston SBA team for executing existing and new strategies to assist small business with the end result of $18.3 billion for nearly 240,000 businesses, including the smallest businesses with no other means of life-support,” District Director Tim Jeffcoat said in a release.

In a year of economic distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said 236,000 businesses in the Houston area were approved for assistance from SBA. This included more than 126,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling nearly $14 billion.

Additionally, the office distributed 110,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loans worth about $5 billion and achieved $1 billion in traditional lending. Officials said these loans helped alleviate financial stress on local businesses.

“Our business dropped by over 50% when Houston lockdown orders began,” NightLight Pediatrics owner Zawadi Bryant said in a statement. “The PPP loan allowed us to remain open and provide frontline healthcare and COVID-19 testing, even when our expenses far outweighed our revenue. We would not have survived this crisis without it.”

The SBA Houston office facilitated 714 webinars educating small businesses, lenders and partners about resources between March and September. Find upcoming events at