The U.S. Small Business Administration has advised The Bank of Holland that it has been selected as the agency's Michigan SBA Diversity Lender of the Year.
The award goes to a bank that best demonstrates a commitment to providing guidance and capital to Michigan businesses owned by veterans, women, and minorities.
“The Bank of Holland takes great pride in helping these small businesses succeed. We are uniquely positioned to use our extensive expertise, SBA Preferred Lender and Patriot Express Lender statuses, and targeted events to focus specific attention on lending to military veterans, women, and minorities,” said Brad Dyksterhouse, senior VP of the bank’s Business Resource Lending group.
Allen P. Cook, assistant director SBA Michigan District, cited the following rankings that led to The Bank of Holland’s selection for the statewide award:
#1 for percentage of loans made to veteran-owned businesses
#1 for percentage of loans made to women-owned businesses
#5 for percentage of loans made to minority-owned businesses
#1 overall for percentage of total loans made to these historically underrepresented groups
Dyksterhouse said the bank’s business loans can be as small as a $25,000 line of credit, up to $10 million, and their average business loan is about $500,000.
On the loans backed by government guarantees to make them more attractive to lenders, the business borrowing the money has to be active, rather than passive.
Examples of an active business would be a retail business or manufacturer, while a passive business would be an investment in an apartment house.
The types of businesses that the government loan programs are aimed at ranges from a mom-n-pop business – “two people working out of their house,” said Dyksterhouse – to a manufacturing company with up to 500 employees.
If the loan is to finance real estate, it has to be owner-occupied, as opposed to a strip mall where all the property will be leased out when it is completed.
Dyksterhouse said the loan interest rate is determined by the Bank of Holland based on the “perceived characteristics of the deal.” He said their SBA and USDA loan rates are “typically more attractive than a normal, conventional rate,” but he was not able to provide specific numbers.
He said SBA-backed lending is up nationwide about 14 percent this year, according to SBA.
“Michigan is again this year leading the nation in SBA lending,” said Dyksterhouse. The state has “been a big contender over the past few lyears – it led last year and is having a very strong showing this year.”
The Bank of Holland and its sister bank, The Bank of Northern Michigan, have lent over $150 million in SBA and USDA-backed programs over the past four years, according to Dyksterhouse.
“There’s a lot of money available, and lots of quality programs we can put borrowers into,” he added.
The Bank of Holland and The Bank of Northern Michigan reportedly rank in the top 1 percent of all banks in the nation in SBA lending and have achieved the highest lending statuses with both SBA and USDA. Over the past several years, both banks have been recognized by both SBA and USDA for their involvement in lending to support Michigan’s small businesses.
The Bank of Holland opened in 1998 in Holland and expanded in 2005 with the opening of a second branch in downtown Grand Rapids.
In 2011, the bank opened a Grand Haven location to serve the business communities in Grand Haven and Muskegon.
The Bank of Holland has assets of over $650 million. Its parent company is Lake Michigan Financial Corporation, in Grand Rapids, which also owns the Bank of Northern Michigan in Petoskey and Traverse City.