U.S. Bank recently earned recognition from different corners of the country for its efforts to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis honored U.S. Bank as a “PPP Hero” for processing Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which assisted the state’s small businesses with financial support during the pandemic. The award came the same week that the SBA Minnesota District announced that U.S. Bank will be recognized at the SBA Minnesota Lenders Conference for its commitment to helping small businesses succeed.
U.S. Bank helped to process nearly 11,600 PPP loans in Colorado as of July 1, 2021, according to data from the SBA. That placed it among the top of all Tier 1 Colorado Banks, defined as institutions with $5 billion or more in Colorado deposits. Combined, all the banks, credit unions and Community Development Financial Institutions in the state facilitated 196,258 loans, providing more than $15 billion in funds with an average loan size of about $77,000, 14 percent above the national average.
“Behind each of those 196,000 loans is the story of a business that was able to survive,” Gov. Polis said on a call congratulating the winning lenders. “We were one of the top states per capita (for average loan size), and we really punched above our weight.”
In Minnesota, U.S. Bank had the highest participation in traditional SBA-backed loan programs for national lenders in the district, based on the number of SBA-approved loans from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. The SBA each year recognizes lenders that help Minnesota’s more than 530,000 small businesses access the capital they need, SBA Minnesota District Director Brian McDonald noted, but the efforts they made during the pandemic “truly went above and beyond.”
Tom Zirbs, Consumer and Business Banking market leader for the Twin Cities, said the commendation from the SBA underscores the commitment by the U.S. Bank business banking team to help power the potential of entrepreneurs throughout the community.
“No matter the circumstances, our team continues to work hard to help business owners grow and live their passions,” he said.
In Colorado, Polis singled out three U.S. Bank bankers in Denver – Tina Haddad, a business banking specialist who helped lead the PPP processing team; Alexander Francis, a business banking specialist who worked long hours to ensure underserved businesses’ needs were met, and Monique Lucero, now a treasury management payments consultant, who focused on Hispanic business owners – for their extraordinary efforts to process loans.
“PPP was about families, children, legacy, and dreams being fulfilled in Colorado for small business owners,” said Patrina Pettry, who leads the Consumer and Business Banking team for U.S. Bank in Colorado. “These three amazing leaders represent all the hard work that we put forth. Banker, branch manager, business banker, district manager -- it didn’t matter the title, we came together and took care of our Colorado.”
Nationwide, during both the 2020 and 2021 rounds of funding, U.S. Bank processed and completed nearly 175,000 loans totaling $10.8 billion. Nearly 90 percent of loans facilitated by U.S. Bank were for less than $100,000, and 94 percent went to businesses with 20 or fewer employees.
“PPP, disaster loans, or just traditional SBA options, the needs of our small business customers spanned them the past year and we were there to help no matter the circumstance,” said Lynn Heitman, executive vice president, Business Banking Segment, U.S. Bank. “I am incredibly proud of every employee who played a role in helping customers and one another through it all, and to receive this recognition in both Colorado and Minnesota is something special.”
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