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."
The SBA Large 7(a) Lender of the Year honor is awarded annually by the SBA. The award is based on lender size, portfolio performance, growth in approval volume from the previous fiscal year, and a demonstrated, steadfast commitment to supporting the growth and expansion of small businesses across the country, even beyond the scope of SBA loans.An SBA preferred lender in all 50 states, Wells Fargo was the first SBA lender to approve more than $1 billion in 7(a) loans in a single year in federal fiscal year 2011, and surpassed the $1 billion mark again in federal fiscal year 2012. For the first eight months of the current federal fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2012 – May 31, 2013), Wells Fargo extended 2,211 SBA 7(a) loans nationwide totaling more than $862 million – a more than 17 percent increase in dollars from the same period a year ago. For the federal fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30, 2012, Wells Fargo extended $1.24 billion in SBA 7(a) financing to small business owners, and was the second largest SBA lender in units extending 3,176 SBA 7(a) loans. During the same period, the company was the No. 1 SBA 7(a) lender in dollars in 15 states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming – and the No.1 SBA 7(a) lender in number of loans (units) in 10 states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina and Wyoming. About Wells Fargo Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet ( wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo loans more money to America’s small businesses than any other bank (2002-2011 Community Reinvestment Act government data) and is a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses. With the nation’s largest network of retail banking stores, and an award-winning online library of videos, articles and webcasts known as the Business Insight Series ( www.wellsfargobusinessinsights.com), Wells Fargo provides business owners with timely advice and information to educate and help them succeed financially. For more information, or to speak with a Wells Fargo banker, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS.