SBA Names First American Bank Export Lender of the Year for the Second Time

CHICAGO, April 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of International Trade selected First American Bank as its 2024 Export Lender of the Year. The award recognizes institutions for their accomplishments in helping small U.S. businesses break into new markets through SBA international financing.

“First American Bank is honored to accept this award for the second time and looks forward to continuing to help small businesses access the necessary capital to expand and diversify their customer base in this ever-changing global landscape,” said James D. Matteson, First Vice President and SBA Program Manager at First American Bank.

The three SBA export loan programs—including the Export Working Capital Program (EWCP), International Trade Loan, and Export Express Program—provide federal support to small businesses aiming to expand their operations abroad. With more than a decade as a delegated EWCP lender, First American Bank’s trade finance department extensively leverages SBA export loans to fulfill customers’ export goals.

By working closely with small businesses to fill trade financing gaps, First American Bank earned its first SBA Export Lender of the Year honor in 2017. In the subsequent years, the Bank greatly expanded SBA program usage. In 2023 alone, the Bank contributed an additional $7 million to its export loan portfolio.

Working capital shortages often prevent companies, especially small and medium-sized firms, from expanding their revenue streams across the globe. With customized guidance and decades of business lending experience, First American Bank’s trade finance team provides the export solutions small businesses need to navigate international complexities and access new customers.

“First American Bank is dedicated to meeting our customers’ needs, whether that be in the domestic or international arena,” Matteson continued. “As a full-relationship institution, we have an experienced team of lenders to support our customers with any lending solution, including trade finance. Our consultative approach allows us to tailor solutions for our customers so they can further grow their businesses.”

About First American Bank

First American Bank is a privately held multi-state full-service community bank. Having started over 50 years ago as a combination of community banks serving the metro Chicago area, we’ve since grown to become the largest privately held bank in Illinois with 61 locations across Wisconsin, Illinois, and Florida—including Miami—and over $6 billion in assets. Our focus consistently centers on three core values: creating solutions, delivering exceptional customer service, and providing unmatched expertise in commercial banking, wealth advisory, and personal finance solutions.


James D. Matteson                                                                                                
First Vice President – SBA Program Manager                                                                                      

First American Bank is a Member FDIC.