COSTA MESA, Calif., June 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Mercantile Bancorp (Nasdaq:PMBC). Pacific Mercantile Bank ("PMB") announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration ("SBA") had presented Joan Earhart with the agency's Year 2013 Region IX Financial Services Champion of the Year Award. She was nominated for the award by Andrew Dmitrenko of CDC Small Business Finance. District Director Adalberto Quijada stated, "Joan's initiative in addressing challenges presented by small businesses trying to obtain working capital and contract financing and proposing solutions is indicative of her entrepreneurial spirit and her desire to put her clients' needs first. We're proud of Joan and pleased to give her this award." "Lenders like Pacific Mercantile Bank play a vital role in helping SBA achieve its mission in helping small businesses start and grow. As a valued partner of the SBA since the Bank's establishment in 1999, Pacific Mercantile Bank has made clear their commitment to serving America's job creators," added Rachel Baranick, Acting District Director, SBA Santa Ana District Office. A 30 year veteran of SBA guaranteed lending, Joan Earhart presently holds the position of Senior Executive Vice President and Manager of PMB's SBA Department. Ms. Earhart came to PMB from Fullerton Community Bank, where, 12 years ago, she launched their SBA division, called Business Community Capital. During that time, she and her team provided approximately $700 million dollars in loans to some 1,200 small businesses. As more of her clients found it difficult to raise capital to sustain and grow their businesses, she saw an opportunity to help by using an underutilized sub-program of the SBA's 7(a) loan program created to offer short term financing via credit lines and contract financing. The program needed changes put into effect to allow for more lenders to participate, so she wrote to the SBA Administrator and key staff members outlining some of the problems, as well as proposing solutions. She worked closely with SBA to craft revisions to the agency's Standard Operation Procedures (SOP), resulting in the creation of the new CAPLine program. Since these changes were made, the volume in this program has increased from $117 million, through 108 loans in FYE 2011, to $409 million through 532 loans, in FYE 2012. Based on 2.5 months of activity in year 2013, the program is on track to provide financing totaling $542 million to 710 small business loan recipients by the end of the fiscal year.