SA microlender gains $25,000 grant and $500,000 investment from Oklahoma bank


Bank SNB has awarded locally based small-business lender LiftFund a $25,000 grant and a $500,000 investment. The grant will support entrepreneurs in Texas and Oklahoma by offering the tools necessary to start, stabilize or grow their businesses.

“We are grateful for the financial support we received from Bank SNB which in turn gives us additional resources to help entrepreneurs,” said Janie Barrera, president and CEO of LiftFund, the nation’s largest-small-business lender, in a news release. “Grants and investments from community partners, such as banks, are vital to our business model and to the success of entrepreneurs. It is that support that has allowed us to provide more than $218 million in over 17,700 loans to small-business owners throughout our 13-state footprint.”

Borrowed capital is LiftFund’s principal source of funds for relending. Community development investments become part of LiftFund’s pool of loan capital. LiftFund estimates that this revolving loan fund helps almost 1,000 small businesses each year and for every dollar loaned to small-business owners in Texas, $13.21 is generated in economic activity.

“Supporting vibrant business growth improves the quality of life for all who live and work in our communities, and we value our relationship with Janie and her team,” said Clay Jett, Bank SNB South Texas regional president in the release.

In addition to the funds received, Bank SNB will coordinate volunteer opportunities for their employees to provide financial education to LiftFund clients and develop a new referral program for small-business owners. Within the newly proposed program, Bank SNB will share LiftFund’s education, business counseling, and capital opportunities with its customers.

Bank SNB is a $2.4 billion bank headquartered in Oklahoma and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Bancorp Inc.

Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund is a nonprofit financial and business-support service organization that focuses on providing capital to entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources.

Susan Saporito assists the editor in managing the newsroom and handles some special publications.