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Community First Bank is Indiana Statewide CDC Lender of Year
Community First Bank of Indiana, headquartered in Kokomo, is Indianaís Small Business Lender of the Year. It earned the award for making U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans with Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation.

The award is earned by the bank devoting the largest percentage of its deposits to SBA 504 loans with Indiana Statewide CDC.

Twenty Indiana banks were in the running for the award. In a close race, The Farmers Bank of Indiana, with its home office in Frankfort, was runner-up to Community First.

Kelly Ayers, vice president of Community First Bank, accepted the award at the Indiana Statewide CDCís annual meeting Wednesday evening in Indianapolis.

Indiana Statewide CDC works with local banks to provide SBA 504 loans to Indiana small-business owners. In fiscal year 2016, ending September 30, Indiana Statewide CDC approved more than $31 million in loans to 44 small businesses, creating or saving 480 jobs in Indiana.

The owners of small businesses receiving SBA 504 loans can take advantage of long-term, fixed rate financing and reduced down payments similar to commercial loan terms available for large companies. The $31 million is the highest since 2007, indicating a strong demand for business expansion financing in Indiana.

Other banks and individual lenders honored by Indiana Statewide CDC included; Lake City Bank and lender Ryan Hart, Huntington National Bank, and Casey Arnold of Community First Bank.

Indiana Statewide CDC and its banking partners have made more than $475 million in loans to 1,157 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving 26,500 Hoosier jobs. It is the most prolific CDC in Indiana.

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