MENDENHALL — It took an independent community bank to earn the State of Mississippi’s first honor as a National Lender of the Year as named by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Mendenhall-based Peoples Bank has been selected by the SBA to receive the Small 7(a) Lender award.
This national award is presented to lenders that have used SBA loan programs to help the maximum number of small business owners obtain needed financing to grow their businesses.
In 2010, Peoples Bank employed the America’s Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) provisions of 90 percent guarantees, fee waivers and America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) loans to reach beyond its customer base. It was thus able to make loans to customers associated with other banks that had declined to make SBA-backed loans during the recession that began in late 2008.
“By doing so, Peoples Bank provided a tremendous community service,” said Janita R. Stewart, SBA’s district director in Mississippi. “There are many small businesses operating today that would not have survived without their help and with SBA’s backing.”
“In our role as a true community bank, we work diligently every day to create loan solutions which meet the needs of business owners and to identify the best loan resource to meet those needs,” said Dennis Ammann, president and CEO of Peoples Bank. “Often, processing an SBA loan works to our customers’ best advantage and we remain a major SBA lender in Mississippi and throughout the region.”
Peoples Bank, a family-owned institution with five locations, ranked fourth nationally in ARC loans for the number of America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) loans administered. The bank ranked slightly behind J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and Wells Fargo, which are significantly larger banks.
Locally, Peoples Bank became the top loan volume lender in Mississippi providing 326 SBA loans to small businesses for over $20.7 million. Its volume in lending enabled the Mississippi SBA District to rank second in the nation behind Minnesota in ARC loan lending.
Peoples Bank will be presented the award during the 2011 National Small Business Week, May 16-20, in Washington, DC. Peoples Bank will also be recognized locally during the Mississippi SBA’s 2011 Small Business Awards event scheduled June 14 at the Mississippi e-Center in Jackson.