The Small Business Administration has bounced back surprisingly well following a 35-day layoff.

That's the conclusion of several lenders and servicers who commended SBA for quickly working through a backlog of applications, though they are also keeping a wary eye on Feb. 15, when another potential government shutdown could once again grind the process to a halt.

“We were expecting to be bogged down and struggle, but they’ve far exceeded our expectations on service and delivery times,” Arne Monson, co-founder and president of Holtmeyer & Monson, a Memphis, Tenn., servicing firm, said in an interview.

The SBA is turning around small-dollar 7(a) loans, for $350,000 or less, almost as fast as they did before the shutdown, Monson said, adding servicing requests on existing loans are “nearly up to speed.”

The SBA is “fully operational” and has “processed guarantees for several millions of dollars of 7(a) and 504 loans” since the last shutdown ended on Jan. 25, spokeswoman Shannon Giles said in a statement to American Banker.

Read more in American Banker.