AUGUSTA, Maine — The number of small-business loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration increased in the government’s most recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

During fiscal year 2013, small businesses in Maine received more than $110 million through 422 loans that were guaranteed by the SBA. That represents a 24 percent increase in the dollar amount from the $89.1 million guaranteed in fiscal year 2012, and a 18 percent increase in the number of loans, according to a news release from the SBA.

“This year’s increase in lending is positive news for Maine’s small businesses,” Seth Goodall, the administrator of the SBA’s New England region, said in a statement. “The increase indicates that small businesses are poised to recover from the Great Recession and boost both the Maine and New England economies.”

The SBA provides its guarantee on loans approved by banks throughout Maine. The loans are used to provide working capital, financing for new equipment purchases, business acquisitions and real estate purchases.

The Maine lender that approved the most SBA-backed loans was Bangor Savings Bank, which approved 74 loans of nearly $11 million to Maine businesses in fiscal year 2013. It was followed by Katahdin Trust Co., which approved 49 SBA-backed loans of nearly $9.8 million, and NorState Federal Credit Union, which approved the third highest number of loans with 35, but a relatively low dollar amount of $1.8 million.

Several banks lent larger dollar amounts, such as People’s United Bank with 15 loans of $7.6 million, Androscoggin Savings Bank with 12 loans of $6.9 million, TD Bank with 29 loans of $4.1 million and Bank of Maine with 21 loans of $3.2 million.

“We are looking forward to an even stronger 2014 and we will do all that we can to help our small businesses grow and prosper,” Marilyn Geroux, district director of the SBA Maine District Office, said in a statement.