OGDEN, Utah; November 4, 2013 — Zions First National Bank was the top provider of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans in Utah during 2013, marking its 20th consecutive year as Utah’s No. 1 SBA lender.
Zions Bank and its affiliates approved 372 SBA 7(a) loans in Utah, totaling $45.3 million for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013. These loans represent 35 percent of the 1,049 SBA-backed loans approved in the state during fiscal year 2013.
Capital provided through Zions Bank’s SBA loans helped Utah businesses grow so that they could hire 858 new employees and retain 1,732 positions, according to SBA data.
Ten new jobs were created in Northern Utah when Randy Anderson, owner of the kitchen supply store Love to Cook in Logan, opened a second location in Ogden’s Newgate Mall in October. He received an SBA loan from Zions Bank to expand to the new location. No stranger to running a small business, Anderson had owned and managed Master Mechanic in Providence for more than two decades before he followed his passion for cooking and sold the auto repair shop to his nephew. Now, he has shifted focus away from engine oil to olive oil.
“I was born and raised in Utah, and I take pride in hiring the local people in the area and putting them to work,” said Anderson. He credits Zions Bank relationship manager Doug Kohler as part of his success. “As a business owner, you want to be treated like you treat your customers, and Doug just really dove in and helped us out. He responded immediately and had the answers we were looking for.”
Because they hire workers, small businesses like Love to Cook are key drivers of the economy, according to Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO. “Roughly 97 percent of companies in Utah qualify as small businesses, and we know they help fuel our economic growth because they are the principal source of new jobs. As the state’s top SBA lender, Zions Bank is proud to be part of the economic solution by offering support and expertise to entrepreneurs,” he said.
Zions Bank also leads all other financial institutions in Utah in marketing SBA loans to women and minority-owned businesses and new start-ups. During fiscal year 2013, 39 percent of the SBA loans approved by Zions Bank were to women and minorities, and 31 percent were made to new businesses.
SBA 7(a) loans are the most basic and most used type of loan in SBA’s business programs. The program offers up to 25-year, fully amortized loans that result in lower monthly payments for the borrower. Proceeds from the 7(a) program may be used for most business purposes, including the purchase of real estate for business operations, acquisition of equipment, and working capital. On Oct. 1, the SBA announced a reduction in the annual service fee for all 7(a) loans in fiscal year 2014 and a reduction in the upfront guaranty fee for all 7(a) loans in the amount of $150,000 or less. These reduced fees allow borrowers to retain more of their funds for operating capital.
About Zions Bank
Zions Bank, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION), is Utah’s oldest financial institution and operates 124 full-service financial centers in Utah, Idaho and Jackson, Wyoming. In addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has consistently ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Utah for the past 22 years and Idaho’s Boise District for the past 14 years. Founded in 1873, Zions Bank has been serving the communities of the Intermountain West for more than 140 years. Additional information is available at www.zionsbank.com.