SOURCE: First National Bank of Santa Fe

First National Bank of Santa Fe

November 18, 2015 13:43 ET

First National Rio Grande Receives Top Honors for Small Business Lending Leadership

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwired - Nov 18, 2015) - First National Rio Grande, a division of First National Bank of Santa Fe, has been recognized for its leadership in small business lending and business loan solutions by being awarded with the 2015 SBA 504 Lender of Year and 2015 SBA 504 Banker of the Year awards by the Enchantment Land Certified Development Company (ELCDC).

ELCDC, licensed by the Small Business Administration to provide financing for small businesses under the SBA 504 program, held its annual awards luncheon on Friday, November 6. Garnering the premier award of the event was George Sanchez, vice president of commercial banking at First National Rio Grande.

"To be awarded as the Lender of the Year was an amazing honor for me. It was such a great experience to be recognized by like-minded professionals who are constantly looking for ways to bring growth and development to our community and are dedicated to this industry," Sanchez said.

First National Rio Grande has specialist capabilities in structuring the types of small business lending transactions for which they were recognized with these awards. In reviewing the SBA 504 loans completed across ELCDC's footprint of New Mexico and West Texas in 2015, ELDC found First National's SBA 504 financing for a $6.1MM acquisition of a new building for Ray's Flooring Specialists, Inc. to be the most exemplary. Ray's Flooring Specialists is one of the premier flooring contractors in the state of New Mexico and the Southwest. This local and family-owned company has been a valued customer of Michelle Coons, president of First National Rio Grande, since the mid-1980s. The recent relationship originated three years ago when First National Rio Grande opened its first office in Albuquerque, beginning with several credit and deposit facilities that ultimately developed into a full banking relationship that included the financing of the new building.

"These awards demonstrate our longstanding commitment to small business growth in New Mexico," said Coons. "One of our primary objectives is to further economic growth in this unique region we call home, and this recognition validates our hard work in helping local businesses realize long-term financial success. We are honored to be recognized by ELCDC and look forward to ongoing achievements."

About First National Rio Grande
First National Rio Grande is a division of First National Bank of Santa Fe. Chartered in 1870 as the first bank in the Southwest, First National Bank of Santa Fe has a rich heritage of community commitment and financial strength and stability. With $1.68 billion in assets (as of September 30, 2015), First National is the largest locally chartered banking organization in the state of New Mexico operating as First National Rio Grande and First National Santa Fe. In Colorado, the Bank operates as First National Denver. To learn more, visit

About Enchantment Land Certified Development Company
Enchantment Land Certified Development Company is headquartered in Albuquerque, with loan offices in Las Cruces and El Paso, Texas. Established in 1992, the company has provided over $400 million in long term fixed rate financing to more than 850 companies through the SBA 504 program. To learn more, visit

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