Sept. 15, 2004--The United States Small Business Administration has some good news for you small business owners: They're making changes to get you your money faster.

Under a new program started 17 months ago, the SBA has been funneling almost half of all loans issued through its Certified Development Company, also known as the 504 program, through a single processing center in Sacramento, Calif.

So far the results have been very promising: 2004 has been a record-breaking year for both loans and loan amounts and loan approval times has been cut to about two days. "Consistency, am improved process and higher efficiency are at the core of the 504 Sacramento Processing Center," said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto in a statement.

Through the first three quarters of the administration's fiscal year, the SBA has approved 7,449 small business loans worth $3.57 billion -- 3,284 of which passed through the Sacramento facility alone.

The SBA has consolidated the processing work for 80 of its district and branch offices in Sacramento with plans to add in the last eight offices in September.

"Prior to opening the Sacramento center, we had more than 70 staffers processing 504 loans in field offices nationwide," said Barreto. "Now we do an even better job with only 15 employees. This improved efficiency has allowed us to free up district-office resources and personnel to increase assistance to a greater number of small businesses, and it has allowed more district office staffers to focus on marketing and research."