With the arrival of the new year, small business owners nationwide are preparing for the commercial loan process with the recent memory of 2015 looming. More often than not, small business lending last year favored bigger companies. Owners wouldn't be to blame for thinking more of the same is in order for 2016. But fortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case.

According to Forbes, the percentage of approved loan applications hit 22.8 percent last year, the highest amount seen since the recession. In 2016, following the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates, that proportion will only increase. Why?

Approval rates could reach more than 25 percent this year because higher rates make SMB loans more attractive to lenders, especially major banks. 

That's not all. NerdWallet reported that, with SBA so inexpensive – APRs are often in the single digits – loan amounts have climbed in the last few years and will continue to do so. Partially due to the rise of online lending, the size of the average SBA loan jumped 82 percent from 2007 to 2015.

Last year, borrowers applied for approximately $1.7 billion in loans – a stunning leap from 2014's $440 million. 

Forbes, NerdWallet and countless others are confident that 2016 will be a monumental year for small businesses. Utilizing affordable loans, like the kind available from Ocean Capital, will help business owners make 2016 their best year yet.