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Peoples Bank sees 21 percent jump in 3Q profits

Munster-based Peoples Bank headquarters is shown. The bank was named Most Active Bank Partner by the Regional Development Co.

The Regional Development Co., a Valparaiso-based non-profit agency that administers U.S. Small Business Administration loans, had 36 loans approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2018, bringing a total of $16 million in SBA loan funding to local companies.

The RDC hosted a meeting last week to discuss 2018 accomplishments and present lender awards.

Seven of the RDC-administered loans were to women-owned businesses, seven were to minority-owned businesses and seven were to rural businesses.

The RDC also partners with local banking institutions to provide business financing for capital projects. In 2018, it assisted with $41 million in new investment into communities in Indiana and Illinois. The RDC closed 28 loans as part of that effort, helping to create 130 jobs.

RDC officials presented awards to the top referring lenders. Peoples Bank was awarded the Most Active Bank Partner award with eight loans and $2.6 million in referral dollars.

The 2018 Most Active Lender awards were presented to Scott Jelinek of BMO Harris Bank, who referred $1.4 million in SBA loan dollars, and to Dan Duncan of Peoples Bank, Mark Baird of Centier Bank, Kim Modigell of Peoples Bank, Chris Chatfield of First Merchants Bank, Dan Magura of Peoples Bank, Jim Xeros of Grand Ridge National Bank and Monica Garcia of JP Morgan Chase Bank. Each referred two loans to the RDC in 2018.

Lenders Keven Jennings and Heather Thompson of Old National Bank, along with Jelinek and Baird, were inducted into the Millionaires Club, a group of lenders who have referred loans of $1 million or more.

The SBA 504 Loan program, with relatively high financing levels and fixed interest rates, provides advantages to lenders and banks, according to RDC President and CEO Erica Dombey.

“Ninety percent financing allows our customers to retain more of their funds for working capital needs, and the long-term fixed interest rate mitigates the risk of increasing payments during the life of the loan," Dombey said. “Banks benefit from the collateral structure, which allows them to maintain a 50 percent loan-to-value on the project real estate or equipment."

She said the locked 20-year rates are particularly attractive recently, with interest rates predicted to continue rising next year.

For more information about the Regional Development Co. or the U.S. SBA 504 Loan Program, call 219-476-0504 or visit