Timberline Bank named SBA rural lender of the year

Representatives from Timberline Bank were presented with the Colorado Rural Lender of the Year award from the U.S. Small Business Administration during a ceremony at the History Colorado Center in Denver. Pictured, from left, are: Jim Pedersen, Mike Taets and Jeff Taets. (Photo courtesy Timberline Bank)
Representatives from Timberline Bank were presented with the Colorado Rural Lender of the Year award from the U.S. Small Business Administration during a ceremony at the History Colorado Center in Denver. Pictured, from left, are: Jim Pedersen, Mike Taets and Jeff Taets. (Photo courtesy Timberline Bank)

Timberline Bank, a community bank with three locations in Western Colorado, has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as Colorado Rural Lender of the Year.

Representatives from Timberline Bank were presented the award during a ceremony at the History Colorado Center in Denver conducted as part of Small Business Week.

The award recognizes a Colorado lender for its services to small businesses in the communities it serves.

James Van Horn, lead lender relations specialist with the Colorado District Office of the SBA, said Timberline Bank impressed the agency in dedicating 50 percent of its SBA loan portfolio to rural lending.

Founded by employees and investors in 2004, Timberline Bank operates locations in Grand Junction as well as Aspen and Montrose. The bank employs a total of 39 people at the three locations.

As an SBA preferred lender, the bank can make quick decisions on SBA-backed loans as well as quickly process the paperwork.

For the 2015 fiscal year, Timberline Bank remained the top SBA lender in Mesa County with 11 loans worth a total of nearly $8.2 million approved through the 7(a) general loan guarantee program. That accounted for the bulk of the 18 loans worth a combined $9.2 million the bank issued statewide under the program.

For the 2014 fiscal year, Timberline Bank issued 12 loans backed through the 7(a) program worth a total of nearly $1.7 million.

The SBA doesn’t make direct loans through its lending programs. By guaranteeing repayment on a portion of the loans, however, the agency enables lenders to extend financing to businesses that might not otherwise qualify under conventional terms.

“As employee owners, we at Timberline Bank understand what it means to own and operate a business in a personal way,” said Jeff Taets, president of Timberline Bank.

“As direct and preferred lenders with the Small Business Administration, Timberline has the ability to customize lending solutions for our customers,” Taets added. “Our customizable lending solutions often help our customers realize their dreams. Timberline bankers recognize our customers as business peers and referral sources, and we understand that their satisfaction is the most important product that we can deliver.”