Glacier Bancorp tops number of SBA loans approved last year

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Glacier Bancorp, headquartered in Kalispell, made the largest number of U.S. Small Business Administration guaranteed loans during the fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017.

The entire Glacier Bancorp Montana division approved 50 SBA-guaranteed loans totaling $7,144,900.

First Interstate Bank lead in dollars loaned, with $16,735,519.

Three Rivers Bank of Montana approved 18 loans totaling just over $7.8 million. Rocky Mountain Bank approved five loans totaling $1.5 million, and Freedom Bank of Columbia Falls approved four SBA loans totaling $536,200.

Figures released SBA’s Montana District Office show the federal agency guaranteed 287 small business loans in Montana last year totaling $97,260,419. Of these loans, 268 for $86 million were made through SBA’s 7(a) Guaranty Loan Program, which provides short- or long-term financing for small business start-up or expansion needs.

Nineteen loans totaling $11 million were made through SBA’s 504 Certified Development Company program, providing long term fixed rates financing for land, buildings and equipment.

Fitness and recreational sports centers, full- and limited-service restaurants, mobile food services and hotels/motels were among the most frequently financed businesses during the fiscal year. Of the 287 loans, 59 loans totaling $10,182,800 were made to women-owned businesses, 15 loans totaling $3,731,500 were made to veterans, and 21 loans totaling $4,188,019 were made to minority business owners.

“Montana is well-known for being one of the best places in the country to start a small business,” said Wayne Gardella, SBA district director for Montana. “Out of the 287 loans that were guaranteed by the SBA, 50 percent were made to new/startup businesses, while 144 existing businesses received $63,107,700 in SBA guaranteed funding across the state.”

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