National Bank of Commerce Receives Inaugural Community Catalyst Award

April 13, 2022

Pictured (left to right): Shawn Wellnitz, CEO Entrepreneur Fund; Brad Roden, Chief Banking Officer National Bank of Commerce; Steve Burgess, President of National Bank of Commerce; Michael Lattery, Director of Business Finance Entrepreneur Fund.

The National Bank of Commerce (NBC) was awarded the Entrepreneur Fund’s Community Catalyst Award at the Regional Economic Indicators Forum on April 5, 2022. The award recognizes NBC’s outstanding commitment to the region’s small business community and leadership during the pandemic.   

Pandemic Leadership   

National Bank of Commerce has been a leader in the business community throughout the pandemic. In March 2020 when there was significant confusion around PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), NBC boldly stepped forwarded by making a strong commitment to working alongside our region’s small businesses by getting them access to PPP and Covid-19 relief with or without a pre-existing bank relationship. The impact was significant, especially during those early months as small business owners struggled to access critical relief.  

“National Bank of Commerce has been a long-time partner and advocate for small business with the Entrepreneur Fund. Their focus on community and bold action, during many of the most uncertain times, was instrumental for our region’s small businesses," said Shawn Wellnitz, CEO of the Entrepreneur Fund. 

Catalyst for Small Business Capital Access  

Prior to the pandemic, National Bank of Commerce was the first institution to contribute to the Entrepreneur Fund’s Envest Capital Campaign. The Campaign ultimately raised $25 million in new capital to directly support small business growth across the region. The contribution served as a catalyst for bringing this to completion at a critical time – early 2020. With NBC’s leading gift the Envest Campaign gained momentum and the goal was achieved.  This propelled the Entrepreneur Fund to deploy $46 million in small business relief and loans to those that needed it most in 2020 and 2021.  

“When I approached the NBC President, Steve Burgess, about the Envest Campaign in early 2020 he asked me, ‘What would make this meaningful so that you can get the momentum you need to get to the finish line?’ It speaks to his commitment to our shared vision that small businesses are the primary pathway to community vibrancy & regional economic diversity,”  said Wellnitz.

As the inaugural winner of the Community Catalyst Award, NBC has shown a true commitment to our small business and is a leader in building the resilience of businesses and communities across Minnesota and Wisconsin.   

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