The small-business loan sector is poised for an active year, with deals from new issuers, leveled prepayments, and the possible return to market of No. 1 lender Heller Financial.

"Obviously Heller is a large rated entity, and they don't have to do deals," said an analyst who covers the small business loan sector. "They're not a gain-on-sale player, and can be opportunistic."

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