Countybank Ranked Top SBA 7(a) South Carolina-based Lender

Pictured (left to right) are David Trent, Vice President, SBA Business Development Officer for Countybank; Paul Pickhardt, Senior Vice President, SBA Lending Manager; Jordan Payne, Vice President, SBA Business Development Officer for Countybank; Emily Carter, SBA Processing Administrator for Countybank; John Wright, SBA Portfolio Manager for Countybank; and Lauretta Cross, SBA Processing Manager for Countybank.

The South Carolina District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration recently ranked Countybank No. 1 in total loan dollar volume for 2022 among all South Carolina-based SBA 7(a) lenders. Countybank also ranked No. 2 in South Carolina for loan dollar volume among 90 participating lenders during the fiscal year.

“Countybank continues to perform very well within this SBA lending space, largely as a result of focus on customized solutions that often involve a considerable amount of client handholding, listening, and counseling,” said Ken Harper, Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer of Countybank. “We are also pleased to have successfully brought additional expertise onboard to support further growth opportunities in this important small business lending area.”

The SBA lending team has seen continued success since its inauguration, with Paul Pickhardt, Senior Vice President and SBA Lending Manager of Countybank, being named SBA lender of the year in 2020 and the team leading the charge to support small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) efforts. Through this program, Countybank closed 912 loans totaling more than $90 million. The bank was also named the top SBA lender in South Carolina in 2021 and 2019. Finally, Countybank’s SBA department reached a significant milestone earlier this year, passing more than $100 million in loan closings.

“It has been an exciting time to be part of the Upstate’s small business development and growth,” said Pickhardt. “I’m proud of what our team has accomplished this year and look forward to many more years of supporting the small business community.”

SBA loans offer a multitude of benefits, including long-term financing, excellent business leverage via lower cash injection and longer terms.

To learn more about Countybank and the SBA lending program, visit

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