Bank enters market with small-business loan program

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:23 pm

California-based Innovative Bank has entered the Wisconsin market with its Small Office Home Office Loan Program, offering loans of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 backed by the US Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loan program.
It’s a level of lending that most banks can’t afford to handle, notes Jim Simelton of the SBA office in Milwaukee.
Innovative Bank has developed a streamlined process now used in all 50 states – a process that has made the program financially viable, said Sue Malone, who works with Innovative Bank on the program.
There is a one-page application for the loan, which has a seven-year payback schedule. There is no penalty for early payment, according to Malone.
Innovative Bank sees opportunity in the program, Malone said, noting that "emerging market business is the fastest-growing segment of the economy."
The bank will join a variety of other micro-lenders in southeastern Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., which can lend up to $35,000, and the West Allis Small Business Development Program, which supports West Allis business ventures with up to $25,000 in loans.
Last fall, Pennsylvania-based American Business Credit ( said it would expand into the Milwaukee market this year, offering loans from $15,000 to $500,000.
Innovative Bank ( was founded in 1982 as the Bank of Oakland. It established an SBA lending department in 1990 and obtained Preferred Lender Participant status from the SBA in 1999. After being purchased by private investors in 2001, the bank changed its name to Innovative Bank last year.
People interested in contacting Malone about the program can contact her via e-mail at

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