We are Catalysts for the Entrepreneurial Dream

We are fully committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve the dreams they have for their businesses. That has been our sole purpose for the past 30 years – whether we’re working directly with the business owner, a lender, or an economic development organization.

Who We Are

Catalysts for the Entrepreneurial Dream

For more than a quarter century, we have helped entrepreneurs like you obtain the financing they need to realize their business dreams. We are a non-profit, small business lender that offers SBA 504 loans, and we administer the City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) and Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) grants.

Purpose Driven

Behind every good business is a compelling vision. And a need for capital. Our purpose is to guide your vision to reality through impactful financial solutions. That’s because business growth, job creation and community impact are our priorities.

Values Oriented

We get how tough it can be. That’s why we never forget compassion, patience and honesty when we work with you. With our lending partners, we work efficiently and ethically to provide outstanding customer service and tangible results.

Mission, Vision & Values


We are catalysts for the entrepreneurial dream.  We assist in bringing the entrepreneurial vision into reality through impactful financial solutions. We help businesses grow and positively impact the owners, employees and communities.


We seek to become a national leader in SBA lending and economic development; thereby helping as many Americans as possible take the next steps towards fulfilling their entrepreneurial dreams.


We care about our clients and believe in treating them with compassion, integrity, fairness and honesty. We work efficiently and ethically with our partners to provide outstanding customer service and tangible results. In doing so, we have the greatest positive impact on our clients, their businesses, employees and communities.

The significance of a mission-based Certified Development Company

With a portfolio of nearly $450 million, SomerCor is one of the largest SBA lenders in the Midwest, consistently ranking in the top 25 Certified Development Companies (CDC’s) nationwide. We are a mission-based, nonprofit corporation certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Our mission is accomplished through SBA loans in partnership with lenders, and through the administration of grant funds through economic development organizations.

That mission is three-fold:

  1. Business Growth
  2. Job Creation
  3. Economic Development

The numbers speak for themselves

  • $1.58 billion in funding for Illinois small business
  • 3,671 businesses helped
  • 42,532 jobs created
  • 1,624 communities affected

SomerCor Significant Events


SEPTEMBER: SomerCor is granted Local Economic Area (LEA) expansion authority to lend in Kenosha and Rock counties in Wisconsin.

SomerCor is the only Illinois based CDC with LEA authority to lend in these select Wisconsin counties. The expansion of SomerCor’s lending footprint into Wisconsin marks the first time the CDC has had the authority to lend outside the state of Illinois. This milestone is part of the company’s strategic growth plan and is special as it coincides with SomerCor’s 30th anniversary.


APRIL: SomerCor awarded prestigious SBA Accredited Lender Program (ALP) Status.

To achieve ALP status, SomerCor underwent an extensive SBA qualification process that included the evaluation of staff expertise, as well as an assessment of performance metrics related to SomerCor’s loan processing, portfolio growth and servicing, and compliance with SBA lending regulations.

CDCs with ALP designation are granted an increased authority in the processing, closing, and servicing of SBA 504 loans, resulting in an expedited lending experience for borrowers and lending partners. In addition, pending SBA final rules, SomerCor will be able to participate in the new SBA 504 Express Loan program. ALP CDCs will have the authority to approve, authorize, close, and service SBA 504 loans of $500,000 or less under program enhancements enacted through federal COVID-19 relief legislation.


DECEMBER: SomerCor responded to the COVID-19 crisis by partnering with city, county, and state entities to administer additional critical funds to small businesses throughout Illinois – as of December 31, 2020 this includes $10.242 million in grants to over 850 small businesses in Illinois

SEPTEMBER: SomerCor received the SBA Illinois Community Advantage Lender of the year for its support of lending nearly $600,000 to emerging markets, including women and minorities, and in low- to moderate-income areas


JANUARY: SomerCor achieves official accreditation with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau


NOVEMBER: Manuel “Manny” Flores elected President & SomerCor’s first Chief Executive Officer; first Latino to lead an Illinois CDC


FEBRUARY: City of Chicago enters into an agreement with SomerCor to administer the NOF program

MAY: SomerCor is awarded the Illinois Community Advantage Lender of the Year by the U.S. SBA


SomerCor is awarded the NADCO Diamond Award for Innovation in Economic Development

NOVEMBER: Eric Spokas elected President & Executive Director


APRIL: U.S. Small Business Administration enters into an agreement with SomerCor to become a Community Advantage lender


NOVEMBER: SomerCor is named one of the Largest SBA Lenders by Crain’s Chicago Business


SomerCor is awarded the Greatest Increase in Percentage of 504 Loan Approvals – Portfolio over $200 Million by NADCO


SomerCor is awarded the Greatest Increase in Number of 504 Loan Approvals – Portfolio over $200 Million by NADCO


MAY: SomerCor moves into its current location at 601 S. LaSalle Street,
Suite 510, Chicago IL

JUNE: David Frank elected President & Executive Director


DECEMBER: Portfolio hits $250,000,000


SomerCor is awarded the Arthur Goodman Achievement and Diversity Award for the Small Business Improvement Fund by NADCO


JANUARY: Russ Lenich elected President & Executive Director


SEPTEMBER: Portfolio hits $100,000,000

City of Chicago enters into an agreement with SomerCor to administer the SBIF program

City of Chicago enters into an agreement with SomerCor to administer the Central Loop Improvement Fund program


SomerCor moves into its first location at Two East 8th Street, Chicago, IL 60605


JULY 21: SomerCor 504, Inc is incorporated

JULY: Karen Lennon elected President & Executive Director, first woman to create and lead an Illinois CDC