published on October 27, 2016 - 6:20 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
For the fourth consecutive fiscal year, Fresno First Bank has taken the top spot for community bank lenders through the local Small Business Administration district.


Fresno First Bank — the operating bank of Communities First Financial Corp. — approved 37 SBA 7(a) loans totaling $16.7 million. Twenty-two of those loans were made in Fresno County for a total of $8.75 million, followed by Madera County with four loans totaling $4.38 million.

“The credit for this recognition goes to our team. Their dedication and hard work has allowed us to keep the top community bank lender spot in the Fresno District,” said Michael Fanucchi, senior vice president, in a statement. “As a Preferred SBA lender, we are committed to the SBA Program. Our experienced team works with a broad base of loans including franchises and changes of ownership.”

The lending activity occurred in the local SBA’s 15-county district. The 7(a) loan product is guaranteed by the SBA, and can be used by small businesses for general operations.

There were a total of 691 7(a) loans made from Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, totaling $335.3 million, compared to 778 loans with volume of $415.5 million in the 2015 fiscal year.

Looking at only locally based community banks, Premier Valley Bank came in No. 2 with 7(a) lending with 18 loans totaling $13.1 million, followed by Central Valley Community Bank with 28 loans totaling $5.59 million.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo made the most 7(a) loans by volume, with 131 loans totaling $37.73 million

Another SBA-guaranteed product is the 504 loan, which is designed for the purchase of fixed assets including real estate, buildings and machinery. Fresno-based Cen Cal Business Finance Group — a certified development company (CDC), which are nonprofit corporations certified and regulated by the SBA that work with participating lenders to finance small businesses — made the lion’s share of 504 loans in the district with 24 loans totaling $22.69 million.

A total of 98 504 loans were made in the district, totaling $83.92 million.

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