First National 1870 became a U.S. Small Business Administration preferred lender June 8.

This will allow First National 1870 to make small business loans up to $5 million under the SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program with which the SBA backs such loans, said Joshua Baca, public information officer at the SBA New Mexico district office.

The SBA now has eight preferred lender banks in New Mexico, Baca said.

These SBA loans cover business purposes such as commercial real estate, equipment and short-term working capital.

Under the SBA Preferred Lenders Program, First National 1870 is delegated loan approval and can make loan decisions more rapidly, Baca said.

First National 1870 is a division of Sunflower Bank in Denver, with 11 branches in New Mexico in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Los Alamos. The four branches in Santa Fe are at 62 Lincoln Ave.; 540 W. Cordova Road, Suite A; 2021 Cerrillos Road and 13 Avenida Vista Grande.