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Community First Bank of Indiana is Indiana Small-Business Lender of the Year
Indiana's Small-Business Lender of the Year is Community First Bank of Indiana. The annual award is given by Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation, which works with local lenders to provide financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program.

Community First Bank Indiana is based in Kokomo, with branches in Westfield, Noblesville and Indianapolis, Robb Blume is president and CEO of Community First. The commercial loan officers providing the winning loans are Duane Kamminga, Jonathon Malin and Greg Gordon.

The winner of the Small Business Lender of the Year Award is the institution that generates the largest volume of loans with the Indiana Statewide CDC as a percentage of bank deposits. Loans made by the end of the Fiscal Year, September 30, qualify for this annual award. Twenty-eight financial institutions contended for this year's award. Runner-up was Greenfield Banking Company, last year's winner.

Community First Bank was announced the winner of the Fiscal 2022 Lender of the Year award at Indiana Statewide CDC's annual meeting.

Other banks also received awards. They included: First Merchants Bank for generating over $5.6 million in SBA 504 loans with Indiana Statewide CDC; and Centier Bank for the most SBA 504 projects, with nine approved loans.

Josh McKenney of First Merchants won two individual awards for generating the most SBA 504 dollars and the highest number of projects.

The annual meeting in Indianapolis capped a strong year for Indiana Statewide CDC. As previously announced, for the third straight year, Indiana Statewide CDC is the state's top lender of SBA 504 loans. Fifty-eight small businesses received a total of $39.3 million from the Statewide CDC during Fiscal Year 2022 ending September 30. The 58 loans represent nearly 30 percent of all SBA 504 loans last year by the state's five CDCs. In addition, the $39.3 million is a new annual record of loan approvals in the 39-year history of Indiana Statewide CDC.

The Indiana Statewide CDC's $39.3 million contribute to a total loan value of $98.2 million for 2022 when counting the bank share of the loans and the borrowers' down payments. The SBA guarantees a portion of the loans.

Indiana Statewide CDC's Founder and Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says local lenders help the statewide CDC put "Indiana" in its name. "The banks are why we made loans were made to companies in Evansville, Kokomo, Pendleton, Waynetown, Beech Grove and other large and small communities. And, yes, we also made loans to a little town called "Indianapolis."

The SBA 504 loans help owners of expanding or startup small businesses buy real estate, buildings and equipment. The main feature of the 504 loan program is that it allows borrowers to pay a below-market down payment and repay the loan with a fixed low interest rate over a long term.


Indiana Statewide CDC has approved over $798 million of financing for more than 1,650 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving more than 30,000 jobs, and is the most prolific CDC in Indiana. These projects represent more than $2.0 billion in expansion financing for Indiana businesses.

Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says, "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. The SBA guarantees bonds sold privately to finance a portion of the loan. With the guarantee, we can offer more favorable loan rates than generally available to small businesses."

Community First Bank Indiana ( was the first new bank chartered in Howard County in over 55 years when it opened in 2003. CFB now operates branches in Howard County, Westfield, Noblesville and Indianapolis while remaining a bank that is locally owned, locally governed and staffed with experienced bankers.

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