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The Farmers Bank is Indiana Statewide CDC Small Business Lender of the Year
The Farmers Bank of Frankfort is Indiana's Small Business Lender of the year as recognized by the Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation.

Farmers Bank Senior VP Bradley Cunningham accepted the award for The Farmers Bank at the annual meeting of the Indiana Statewide CDC in Indianapolis.

The small business lender of the year is the Indiana bank devoting the largest percentage of its deposits to US Small Business Administration 504 small business loans with Indiana Statewide CDC. SBA 504 loans offer loan rates and extended repayment periods to small businesses that are generally available only to large companies in conventional business loans.

Runner-up for this year's Lender of the Year award is Kentland Bank. Craig Hooker, VP and loan officer, accepted the award for the bank.

The awards were made at the Indiana Statewide CDC annual meeting in Indianapolis the evening of December 4.

Twenty-two other banks competed for the award.

Several other banks and individuals were honored at the meeting.

  • First Merchants Bank generated the most SBA 504 debenture dollars (money raised by private bonds SBA sells to finance part of a loan). First Merchants Bank had six loan approvals for $5.4 million in debenture dollars.
  • German American Bank had the most SBA 504 loans approved, with six loans.
  • The individual banker with most SBA 504 loan debenture dollars was Brian Burrell of Huntington National Bank with one loan for $2.7 million.
  • The individual banker with most SBA 504 loan with Indiana Statewide CDC: a four-way tie with two loans apiece;
    • Greg Cardinal of German American Bank
    • Chuck Fippen of First Internet Bank
    • Ben Hutchins of Fifth Third Bank
    • Ken Yedlick of Marine Bank
Indiana Statewide CDC is certified by the SBA to work with local lenders in providing SBA 504 loans to owners of small businesses.

The awards are for Fiscal 2018 that coincides with the Federal Fiscal Year ending September 30. In October, it was announced that Indiana Statewide led Indiana CDCs in 2018 by providing 50 SBA 504 loans totaling $35.8 million to companies across Indiana. The loans created or saved approximately 550 jobs. More than 20 Indiana banks participated with Indiana Statewide on the loans. These projects totaled more than $90 million when taking into account the bank portion and the borrower's down payment. Companies receiving the loans include small manufacturers, software engineers, medical and law practices, retail and service providers.

The US Small Business Administration released the totals for the state's 504 loan activity. All together, eight CDCs made 160 loans for a total of over $97 million in 504 financing in 2018. Indiana Statewide provided 31 percent of all SBA 504 loans in Indiana.

Indiana Statewide CDC Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says, "We appreciate our bank lending partners who spot small companies in their markets than can grow using SBA 504 loans. The local bankers allow us to put "statewide" in our company title,"

Wojtowicz says that SBA 504 loan rates are more favorable than generally available to small businesses because the SBA guarantees bonds sold privately to finance a portion of the loan. "SBA 504 loans help small businesses grow because borrowing companies can put as little as 10 percent down and receive a low, fixed interest rate for as long as 25 years," she adds.


Indiana Statewide CDC has provided more than $520 million to 1,240 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving 26,595 jobs, and is the most prolific CDC in Indiana. Nationally, since Congress created the 504 program, SBA 504 loans have funded over $67 billion to more than 135,000 small businesses in the US. In turn, those small firms have created or retained over 2.1 million jobs.

The Farmers Bank ( is locally owned and operated. Based in Frankfort, The Farmers Bank has ten banking centers in Clinton, Boone and Hamilton counties.

Kentland Bank ( was founded in 1932 and remains locally owned. It is based in Kentland, the Newton County seat, and operates three branches in Newton County and a branch each in Jasper and Tippecanoe counties.

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