LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) recently recognized Arvest Bank as the 2016 U.S. Small Business Administration Arkansas District Top 7(a) Lender of the Year.

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The designation is based on the number of loans secured during fiscal year 2015. This is the second consecutive year Arvest has been recognized for this achievement.

“Small businesses greatly contribute to the success of local communities and our national economy as a whole,” said Jason Warren, Business Banking Manager for Arvest Bank in Little Rock. “We are honored to be part of the success of these entrepreneurs by providing them with banking solutions that not only help get their businesses started, but also help them grow and reach the financial goals they have set for their companies.”

In addition to the bank’s accomplishments during fiscal year 2015, Arvest was recognized by the SBA as the No. 1 SBA lender in Arkansas for the second quarter in fiscal year 2016.

According to the SBA, small businesses create almost two-thirds of net new jobs every year and employ more than half of all Americans. Fiscal Year 2015 was a record year in lending for the SBA, which helped provide almost $33 billion in loans through its 7(a) and 504 loan programs. The 7(a) loan program is a general small business loan for start-up or existing companies. Small businesses apply for a 504 loan to finance fixed assets such as real estate and equipment.

The SBA helped create or retain more than 680,000 jobs nationwide during the 2015 fiscal year.