Top lenders to be honored

HONOLULU — The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Hawai‘i District Office has reported the top SBA lenders among the participating banks for fiscal year 2003 which ended on Tuesday.

Citing a record year for loan generation in Hawai‘i, SBA District Director Andrew K. Poepoe announced that Bank of Hawaii had earned the SBA Lender of the Year in Category 1. American Savings Bank took the number one spot in Category 2 for the second year in a row.

“We’ve had a record year and we thank all our participating lenders for their work,” Poepoe said. “This has been a critical year to get dollars out to small business owners and our banks should be commended. It is really making a difference for our economy.”

Loan volume hit a record level for the SBA Hawai‘i District Office, with local firms receiving over $49 million in government guaranteed financing.

The number of 7 (a) loans, SBA’s flagship financing program, also exceeded previous annual performance levels with over 292 loans.

The 504 Loan program which provides long-term, fixed rate financing for major fixed assets, also experienced record performance in 2003 with 33 loans for over $16 million.

The Hawai‘i-based non-profit agencies which administer these loans are HEDCO in Honolulu and Lokahi Pacific on Maui.

Bank of Hawaii claimed the Top Lender award following a highly competitive race with the 2002 winner, First Hawaiian Bank. The strong performance of branches on Maui and the Big Island contributed significantly to the first place finish. The bank took the lead in the last month of the fiscal year with 89 loans totaling $7,999,700.

“We are honored to be recognized as the SBA Lander of the Year,” said Kathy Fujihara-Chong, Executive Vice President of the Business Banking Division.

“Over the last two years, we were able to put together a team of business banking officers focused on small business. Because of their dedication, we were able to provide the community with the financing they need. And SBA has been a great partner in helping us serve Hawai‘i’s small businesses.”

The Category 11 Lander award winner was American Savings Bank. The bank delivered 25 SBA loans to small firms for $2,685,000. This was the second year in a row for American Savings to be recognized for their strong support for small businesses,

Gabe Lee, Senior Vice President for Commercial Markets commented, “The small business segment is very important to American Savings Bank, The performance of our experienced commercial lenders over the past few years shows our commitment to Hawai‘i’s small business.”

Banks are recognized as top Lender of the Year In two separate size categories based on total volume of their small business loan portfolio.

Category I includes those banks with total commercial loan portfolio of $500 million or more.

Category 11 is comprised of those financial institutions with a total commercial loan portfolio of less than $500 million.

SBA’s top lenders and loan officers will be honored at a luncheon event October 20 at the Renaissance ‘Ilikai Waikiki Hotel in the Pacific Ballroom. The luncheon follows special training on the Certified Development Company 504 Loan Program.

The cost for the luncheon is $28 while the conference is offered for an additional $27 for materials.

Reservations In advance are recommended. Call Kali Tarnay at HEDCO at 808-521-6502 for more information.

For more information about SBA financial assistance, business development opportunities and technical assistance, contact the Hawai‘i District Office at 541-2990 or visit


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