Kick off Small Business Week with the Top 10 lenders

Eric Olson, SBJ EditorToday at the Springfield Area Small Business Week kick-off breakfast, U.S. Small Business Administration officials gave a nod to the top 10 SBA lenders in 2012.

More than 60 attendees, mostly bankers, also heard from SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year Thomas Douglas, owner of JMark Business Solutions Inc., who will go on to compete for national award honors in June at the National Small Business Week activities in Washington, D.C.

Before the Top 10 lenders announcement (hold the drum roll), there was a brief appearance and introduction by SBA Region 7 Administrator Patricia Brown-Dixon. She touted the Springfield office’s loan volume, crediting local administrators with 40 percent of the Kansas City district office’s loans issued. Then she had to hit the highway for a noon meeting in St. Louis.

The stat is particularly notable given the office operated without a branch manager for a year following the August 2011 retirement of Walter Cowart, who helped open the Springfield office in 1981.

Suzanne Stearman, who in December was appointed SBA branch manager in Springfield, detailed the top-lending banks through the local SBA office:

  1. Liberty Bank
  2. RMI Missouri Southwest
  3. Arvest Bank
  4. The Bank of Missouri
  5. Commerce Bank
  6. U.S. Bank
  7. Southwest Missouri Bank (Carthage)
  8. OakStar Bank
  9. Heritage Bank of the Ozarks (Lebanon)
  10. Great Southern Bank

Springfield Business Journal Editorial Researcher Kim Schumer will publish in the May 13 issue the top lenders in our coverage area, along with the number of loans and loan volumes. The research is archived at

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