The total value of Maine small business loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in its 2019 fiscal year ending Sept. 30 declined slightly from the previous year, according to a report issued Tuesday.

Excluding the portion of loans made by traditional lenders, the SBA guaranteed a total of $77.1 million in loans in fiscal year 2019, down 7 percent from the $83.1 million in loans the previous fiscal year in Maine, it said.

The total number of loans guaranteed in Maine by the SBA also declined to 379 loans from 440 loans the previous fiscal year, the SBA said.

It was the second consecutive fiscal year in which SBA lending activity declined in the state. The SBA has said 2017 fiscal year set a record in Maine for the federal agency.

Keith Lind, spokesman for the SBA’s Maine District Office, said SBA loan activity tends to decline in a stronger economy and increase in a weaker economy, because lending institutions are more comfortable making conventional loans to small businesses in a stronger economy, rather than requiring SBA-guaranteed loans.

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