Jo Eckert (left) and Jayne Armstrong (right), from the Iowa District Office of the Small Business Administration, speak with Dupaco President/CEO Joe Hearn. The SBA presented its Impact Award to Dupaco staff Dec. 14 for being the top Paycheck Protection Program credit union lender in Iowa. (M. Blondin/Dupaco photo)

Dupaco recognized with SBA Impact Award for PPP lending

December 21, 2020

The Small Business Administration’s Iowa District Office recognized Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque, Iowa, Monday for its economic contributions through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Dupaco received the SBA’s Impact Award for being the top-ranked PPP lender among Iowa’s credit unions.

Dupaco lent out nearly $30 million to 654 small businesses through the PPP, with an average loan size of $45,000. Nearly half of Dupaco’s PPP loans were for $10,000 or less, and one loan totaled $80.

“Dupaco Credit Union played a major role in saving a lot of local small businesses and non-profits during the COVID pandemic,” said Jayne Armstrong, district director of the SBA Iowa District Office. “But it is more than the borrowers. It is about our communities and the employees and families that rely on these small businesses and non-profits for their livelihoods.”

More than 99% of Dupaco’s PPP loans went to businesses with 50 employees or less. Several eastern Iowa businesses accessed loans for less than $900 from Dupaco, including a butcher shop, daycare, hair salon, logger, photographer and quilter.

“As a member-owned financial cooperative, Dupaco is a genuine advocate for all members—no matter the size,” said Dupaco President and CEO Joe Hearn. “When some banks put big loans to the front of the line, many small businesses turned to Dupaco and we were happy to help.”

One such business, Silker’s Store, has been passed down from father to son for four generations -- serving its community through 23 U.S presidents, two world wars and the advent of the internet.

The owners turned to their longtime bank for a PPP loan, but was turned away. They were then told it wasn’t worth reapplying when the PPP was reauthorized.

“They put the little guy down and had all the big ones ahead of us,” said owner Steve Silker. “And I’m sure that happened across the country.”

Steve Silker and his brothers Wayne and Larry, all co-owners, said the personalized experience was enough to make them the store’s long-standing banking relationship. They moved their business account to Dupaco this summer.

The funding allowed Silker’s to add two part-time positions to expand services that have been sought during the pandemic. Silker’s now employs eight workers.