1st SouthWest Bank
1st SouthWest Bank is a strong and growing community bank dedicated to serving the people and businesses of Southwestern Colorado. For over 20 years, the bank has actively supported and sought opportunities to improve the quality of life in its communities. In addition to providing professional and personalized service to customers, 1st SouthWest strives for 100% involvement from its employees in community organizations, programs and non-profits.
NCIF invited 10 partner CDFI and Minority Banks to identify small business customers that are integral to their local communities and needed support to sustain their respective businesses through the pandemic. NCIF used over $100,000 of its own funds to pilot an unrestricted microgrant program as gap funding to these customers. Our first batch of microgrants was given to social entrepreneurs, retail businesses, community facilities, affordable housing organizations, arts nonprofits, and other small businesses across the country. These CDBA members are First Southwest Bank, Carver Federal Savings Bank, City First Bank of DC, Community Bank of the Bay, First Eagle Bank, Industrial Bank, Native American Bank, Providence Bank & Trust, Southern Bancorp, and United Bank.
First Southwest Bank was awarded Community/Rural Lender of the Year by the Colorado Small Business Administration during their virtual conference for National Small Business Week. Sherry Waner, FSWB's Chief Development Officer, accepted the award on behalf of the bank. Examples of rural businesses across the state that FSWB has helped through SBA loans include GEOMAT, Phoenix Recycling, Espinoza Consulting Services, Agile Space Industries, Chinook Medical Gear and Ace Towing. During the ongoing small business impacts of COVID-19, First Southwest Bank has completed 805 Paycheck Protection Program loans through the SBA to small businesses across Colorado to date.
First Southwest Bank, a community development financial institution, is forging links with its Native American neighbors by offering opportunities for career and economic development. FSWB’s partner nonprofit, the First Southwest Community Fund (FSWCF), is another tool the community bank is using to connect with the Native population. It has created a pilot loan program dubbed the Native American Entrepreneur Loan Fund.