Kennebunk Savings has been recognized by the Small Business Administration for its work with the small business community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank was honored with the District Director Award due to their exemplary lending practices to bolster local businesses at a critical time.

Kennebunk Savings made house calls, holding outdoor Paycheck Protection Program loan signings in April of 2020. Courtesy photo

“Kennebunk Savings has consistently been among the Small Business Administration’s top 10 lenders in Maine,” said Diane L. Sturgeon, district director at the Small Business Administration, in a Dec. 15 news release. “But from 2020 to 2021 they showed significant increases in loans for small businesses in Maine.”

“The Director’s Award singles out 504 and 7(a) loans, which are types of loans where a portion of the funds are guaranteed by the SBA,” said Chris Kehl, executive vice president, managing director at Kennebunk Savings, in an email. “It’s intended for new businesses and collateral shortfalls – areas where we ordinarily might not be able to lend. As you can imagine, over the course of the last two years those kinds of loans were critical to our small business community and we worked overtime to provide as many as we could.”

Paycheck Protection Program loans are perhaps better known to the general public, and were made available to businesses of all sizes. According to the news release, “Kennebunk Savings’ PPP Portfolio reveals a continued dedication to small and local businesses, as 89 percent of the first-round PPP loans from the bank were under $150,000.”

“We understand our customer base and our communities,” said Bradford C. Paige, president and CEO of Kennebunk Savings, in an email. “And small businesses in our communities know they can rely on us, particularly in times of economic stress. While we’re certainly proud to be honored with the Director’s Award, we even more proud of the meaningful impact of our work on the small business community throughout the pandemic.”

According to the news release, the SBA District Director Award is given in recognition of lenders who “greatly increase” their use of Small Business Administration programs in lending portfolios and make “efforts to increase access” to programs like the Paycheck Protection Program.