Bank adds SBA lending team to downtown branch


Scott Ellison. Courtesy Horizon Bank

A bank is expanding its services at the branch it recently opened downtown.

Michigan City, Indiana-based Horizon Bank is adding a Small Business Administration, or SBA, lending team to its Grand Rapids branch, which opened last month.

The SBA team will be led by Grand Rapids native Scott Ellison, who joined Horizon Bank in 2015 and will act as VP and SBA/government loan manager.

Ellison’s 32 years of experience in commercial lending will be paired with Angela Durrah-Bays’ 20 years of financial services experience. Durrah-Bays will provide administrative support for SBA and other government-backed loans.

Ellison said he looks forward to being a resource for the branch and customers, as well as taking on speaking and panelist opportunities in his hometown.

SBA loans

Ellison said the ability to offer SBA loans will allow Horizon the space to make commercial loans with more favorable terms for its clients in the Grand Rapids market.

“Clients can get up to 25-year terms, with no balloon payments — which helps keep debt payments low,” he said.

Ellison said the SBA options allow Horizon Bank to make loans to startup businesses, those that lack sufficient collateral and those with other concerns that might affect their ability to get a standard loan without SBA support.

In addition to being an SBA Preferred Lender, which allows Horizon to shorten the approval process by making lending decisions without prior SBA approval, Ellison noted Horizon offers a diverse portfolio of government-backed loan servicing.

Horizon Bank

Founded in 1873, Horizon Bank operates 58 branches in northern and central Indiana and southwest and central Michigan.

Horizon Bank entered the Grand Rapids market in 2013 via a temporary commercial lending office, before expanding to open a downtown branch in February.

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