As lawmakers near a deal to avert another government shutdown, senior officials at the Small Business Administration say the agency has addressed the backlog created by the previous impasse.

The agency was unable to process and approve applications during the 35-day shutdown. As of Feb. 2, the amount of 7(a) and 504 loans approved by the SBA in the 2019 fiscal year was 15% lower than a year earlier, at $8.8 billion.

But nearly a third of those loans have been approved since Dec. 14, when the SBA issued its last report before the shutdown.

"We’re completely back to normal inventory levels in loan approvals,” said William Manger, associate administrator for the SBA's Office of Capital Access.

"The agency has responded amazingly well," Manger said. The SBA devoted more resources to process applications to "get inventory levels back to normal."

In the first week of resumed operations, the SBA processed more than 2,500 applications for 7(a) loans, totaling more than $500 million, as well as $112 million in 504 applications, a spokesperson said.

Read more in American Banker.