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Arvest Announces Non-Bank Subsidiary for Small Business Loans

2 min read

Arvest Bank of Fayetteville announced it has launched a non-bank subsidiary to provide loans and lines of credit to small business that fall just below bank loan policy requirements.

As part of the Arvest Opportunity Fund program, loan recipients agree to receive financial education coaching for 12 months after funding. The financial education program, delivered by professional educators and community partners, is designed to improve the financial standing of recipients to the point where they can eventually meet traditional bank lending standards.

Arvest said that fund candidates are determined when a loan application is submitted and the applicant opts in for consideration. If the applicant’s credit file does not meet Arvest Bank loan policy requirements, the application is automatically reviewed by the Arvest Opportunity Fund.

Beta market testing for the fund began last year. As of Jan. 6, it has delivered more than $1.2 million in small business loans.

Hillis Schild is executive director of the Arvest Opportunity Fund. She also serves on the board of directors or advisory committees for the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation, Arkansas Coalition for Housing and Neighborhood Growth and Empowerment, and Arkansas Asset Funders Network.

“We know that underbanked business owners often rely on financial services that may put a patch on an immediate need, but do not contribute to their overall and long-term financial health,” Schild said in a news release. “The Arvest Opportunity Fund is intended to serve as a bridge to provide financial and educational assistance that allows these business owners to fully access the products and services they need to make their business grow and thrive.” 

Arvest Bank led all Arkansas banks in U.S. Small Business Administration loans in 2022. It was the ninth consecutive year the bank has led the SBA lending list

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