The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is honoring Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) with the “2018 SBA Minnesota Rural Lender, Community Impact” award. The foundation is one of 12 lenders throughout Minnesota being recognized for their commitment to helping small businesses succeed during the sixth Annual Lenders Conference in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, on Sept. 6. SBA’s Great Lakes Regional Administrator, Robert Scott, will present the awards in honor of the lenders with the highest participation in SBA-guaranteed loan programs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.
Economic Development Officer Jackie Turner and Entrepreneurship Finance Specialist Selina Berning work with Microenterprise Loan Clients at SWIF. Both are pictured at right with SWIF President/CEO Diana Anderson at the lenders conference.
SWIF supports the retention, expansion, transition, creation and attraction of businesses through our Business Finance Program and Microenterprise Loan Program. In addition, our microloan program provides customized technical assistance for the length of the loan to help clients improve their skills in financial management, operations, marketing and more. In our last fiscal year, SWIF made 41 loans totaling more than $2.1 million. Since 1986, our loans total more than $46 million, helping start or expand more than 730 businesses, which have created or retained more than 8,800 jobs.
“The lending community is such an important part of the small business ecosystem,” Robert said. “Thanks to your hard work, small businesses are able to obtain capital to expand markets, launch new products and invest in new equipment, leading to economic development and job creation here, and throughout the nation.”
The SBA’s ability to help small businesses access capital is tied to the country’s lending institutions and its partners’ ability and willingness to loan money. The SBA doesn’t lend the money directly to entrepreneurs to start or grow a business, but sets the guidelines for loans made by its partners (lenders, community development organizations and micro-lending institutions). The SBA guarantees that these loans will be repaid, which eliminates some of the risk to the lending partners.
Data obtained for the sixth Annual Minnesota SBA Lender Awards was taken from the Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office loan volume dashboard. Loan information was collected from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018 with awards based on the number of SBA-guaranteed approved loans.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more about the SBA, visit sba.gov/mn.