For the second time in three years, Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Large 7(a) Lender of the Year. The 2013 award will be presented to Wells Fargo – the No. 1 SBA 7(a) lender to America’s small businesses by dollars – Friday, June 21, at the SBA’s National Small Business Week celebration event in Washington, D.C. The award, which recognizes Wells Fargo’s leadership and role in driving our nation’s economic growth as an SBA lender, will be presented by Karen G. Mills, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. "Through the SBA’s partnerships with lenders such as Wells Fargo, business owners across the country obtain essential capital to build their businesses, add jobs and strengthen America’s economy," said Mills. "Being recognized by the U.S. SBA for the second time in three years is a tremendous honor for all of us at Wells Fargo," said David Rader, head of Wells Fargo’s SBA Lending Division. "At the same time, the greatest reward for our team is when our small business customers thrive and grow with help from SBA financing." One recent SBA 7(a) loan was extended by Wells Fargo to a Delaware-based custom conveyor belt manufacturer, O’Connor Belting International/DERCO USA in Newark, Del., that produces custom belts for food harvesting and processing applications. With an SBA 7(a) loan from Wells Fargo in 2012, Paul O’Connor – who had been the North-American division manager of Netherlands-based DERCO – was able to purchase the division and start O’Connor Belting. By the end of 2013, O’Connor expects to add a total of nine new jobs to keep up with increasing business demand. The company will be featured during a statewide business tour sponsored by the SBA commemorating National Small Business Week. "Being a business owner is more special and rewarding because I am able to share this experience with my two sons, who also own the company," said O'Connor. "Together, we worked with Wells Fargo to achieve our goal of running our own business, and we are thankful for the financial guidance we received to make our business a success."