Zions Bank Maintains Role as Idaho's Top Lender to Small Businesses for Ninth Consecutive Year

Oct 19, 2010, 09:07 ET from Zions First National Bank

BOISE, Idaho, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Helping infuse small businesses with the capital they need to grow and create jobs, Zions First National Bank today announced its rank as the top provider of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans in Idaho for 2010. Zions Bank has ranked as Idaho's No.1 SBA lender for the past nine consecutive years. It has also ranked as the top SBA lender in Utah for the past 17 consecutive years.

Zions Bank is Idaho's third largest bank ranked by deposits (Source: FDIC). Zions Bank approved 149 SBA 7(a) loans in the SBA's Boise District totaling more than $18.8 million and representing more than 29 percent of the 503 SBA-backed loans approved in the district during fiscal year ended 2010.  Zions Bank also approved another 19 loans totaling more than $2.7 million in Northern Idaho out of the SBA's Spokane District.  

"As the Idaho economy works its way out of the Great Recession toward economic growth, Zions Bank remains committed to supporting small businesses as they create jobs and drive innovation," said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO.  "Our consistent ranking as the top SBA lender in the state led to the development of the bank's new Small Business Banking Division.  We've elevated our focus on small business lending, support, and resources."

Zions Bank also leads all other financial institutions in Idaho in marketing SBA loans to women-owned businesses. During fiscal year 2010, 30 percent (or 45) of the SBA loans approved by Zions Bank were to women.  Additionally, 22 percent (or 34) of the total Idaho SBA loans closed by Zions Bank in 2010 were made to rural 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.  

The recently enacted Small Business Jobs Creation Act strengthens core SBA programs by extending certain SBA American Recovery and Reinvestment provisions that eliminate borrower fees.  It also increases the government guarantees on SBA loans from 75 percent to 90 percent through December 31, 2010, and is expected to make available up to $8 billion in affordable capital to small businesses.  Additionally, it permanently increases loan limits on SBA loans, helps small businesses needing to refinance owner-occupied commercial real estate, and expands the SBA's trade and export finance programs.

Nationwide, there are an estimated 27.5 million small businesses. Small firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms in America. Small businesses employ about 50 percent of the private workforce, account for more than half of the nation's private sector output, and are the principal source of new jobs in the U.S. economy. In Utah, about 97 percent of businesses qualify as small businesses.

Zions Bank, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation (Nasdaq: ZION), operates 26 full-service branches in Idaho and 105 branches throughout Utah. In addition to offering a wide range of traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has ranked as the No. 1 lender of U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Idaho's Boise District for the past nine consecutive years. Founded in 1873, Zions Bank has been serving the communities of the Intermountain West for more than 135 years. Additional information is available at www.zionsbank.com.

SOURCE Zions First National Bank