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 25+ 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


Mission

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.

Vision

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.

Values

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 $500 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

  • $1.48 billion in funding for Illinois small business
  • 3,500 businesses helped
  • 41,400 jobs created
  • 1,608 communities affected

SomerCor Significant Events

2021

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.

2020

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

2019

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

2018

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

2017

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

2016

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

NOVEMBER: Eric Spokas elected President & Executive Director

2013

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

2012

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

2009

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

2008

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

2007

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

JUNE: David Frank elected President & Executive Director

2005

DECEMBER: Portfolio hits $250,000,000

2004

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

2001

JANUARY: Russ Lenich elected President & Executive Director

1998

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

1995

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

1992

JULY 21: SomerCor 504, Inc is incorporated

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