Vets Among Many Intrepid Entrepreneurs Discovering the ‘Advantages’ of Newly Renamed Small Business Loans

Veterans are among hundreds of entrepreneurs in Utah who are discovering perks associated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Advantage Loan Program, which was previously known as 7(a). The SBA announced the name change Nov. 1, 2016 to better reflect the loan’s purpose for borrowers.

Zions Bank approved the largest number of Advantage Loans in the SBA’s Utah District, representing 20 percent of the 1,108 total loans approved during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016.  The bank approved 227 loans totaling more than $54.9 million. For the past 23 consecutive years, Zions Bank has ranked as the top provider of small business loans in the state.

Zions Bank also continues to be a leader in marketing SBA loans to women, minorities and veteran-owned businesses, which accounted for 48 percent of the loans approved by Zions Bank during fiscal year 2016. The average SBA loan amount approved by Zions in Utah was $242,000. Data show Zions-approved SBA loans helped create more than 614 new jobs in the state.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Stevenson created two new jobs when he launched Bridgerland Audiology and Hearing in Logan, Utah this year. Stevenson served his country for 22 years, but experienced hearing loss as a KC-135 pilot.  As he researched his own condition, he became interested in studying hearing and later became a board-certified audiologist. In April, he launched Bridgerland Audiology to serve hearing-impaired patients with the help of an SBA loan through Zions.

“The SBA loan offered me the best interest rate, and I wanted to capitalize on the positive veteran loan opportunity so I decided to pursue it,” said Stevenson. “The people at Zions Bank are really good to work with.”

“We honor veterans like Lt. Col. Stevenson, who take the skills they learn through their service and apply them to their new business enterprises, and in doing so, help grow the local economy,” said Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson.  “Zions Bank is proud that the SBA loans we made in 2016 are helping businesses like Bridgerland Audiology and Hearing create jobs that provide a foundation for economic growth and are essential to the long-term health of our communities.”