M&T Bank continued to lead a federally backed small business lending program in both loans and dollars in the Buffalo-Rochester region, but the program's overall totals were still down from a year ago.
The Small Business Administration reported 806 of the SBA 7(a) loans were originated through August, the 11th month of the fiscal year. That was down 21 percent from the same period a year ago. Total dollars were down 7 percent from a year earlier, to $132 million.
M&T Bank led the 43 participating lenders through August, but its number of loans dropped 41 percent, to 211. Its total dollars declined 11 percent, to $25 million.
ESL Federal Credit Union, based in Rochester, was second in loans, at 117, up 67 percent, while Five Star Bank was No. 2 in dollars, at $13.6 million, a 15 percent increase.
Another factor influencing the overall totals: First Niagara Bank' absence. A year ago, First Niagara and Key had a combined 89 7(a) loans during the first 11 months; this year, Key, which acquired First Niagara in 2016, had 40 of the loans.