U.S. Small Business Administration Recognizes Dupaco as Top Paycheck Protection Program Lender

DUBUQUE, Iowa—Dupaco Community Credit Union received the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Impact Award for being the top Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) credit union lender in the state of Iowa.

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

The SBA’s Iowa District Office recognized Dupaco on Monday for its economic contributions through the program.

“Dupaco Community 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. About one in four of all Dupaco’s PPP loans were for $5,000 or less. Dupaco’s smallest PPP loan was for $80.

One of those businesses Dupaco was able to support was Silker’s Store located on Main Street in Epworth.

The general store has been passed down from father to son for four generations. When the U.S. government established COVID-19 emergency funding for small businesses earlier this year, the Silkers brothers turned to their longtime bank for help accessing a small-dollar PPP loan. They were turned away twice.

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

The Silkers were encouraged to reach out to Dupaco for a PPP loan. Within days of applying for a $9,800 loan, they were approved. They have since moved their business account to the financial cooperative that was there for them when they needed help.

Recently released data showed that most of the national PPP funding went to mostly larger companies. More than half of the money from the PPP fund went to just 5% of the recipients, according to SBA data on more than 5 million loans that was released Dec. 1 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit, according to the Washington Post.

“ … About 600 mostly larger companies, including dozens of national chains, received the maximum amount allowed under the program of $10 million,” the Washington Post reported. 

Besides Silkers, Dupaco’s PPP loans helped a variety of small businesses. These types of eastern Iowa businesses accessed loans for less than $900 from Dupaco:

  • Butcher
  • Cleaning
  • Daycare
  • Hair salon
  • Healthcare service
  • Logger
  • Personal service
  • Photographer
  • Quilting

“As a member-owned financial cooperative, Dupaco is a genuine advocate for all members—no matter the size,” said Dupaco President/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.”


Dupaco Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative. It is dedicated to the financial well-being of its members, and specializes in customized financial counseling, money advice and education. It offers savings, loans, investments, insurance and wealth management products for individuals and businesses. Dupaco serves residents in 112 counties throughout Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin. Chartered in 1948, membership totals more than 134,000 with assets exceeding $2.3 billion. Visit Dupaco at www.dupaco.com.

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