Sterling State Bank Announces $30,000,000 in Paycheck Protection Program Loans


ROCHESTER, MN – Sterling State Bank is pleased to announce that as of Wednesday April 8th, just three days after loan application processing opened, our Bank has approved and as of yesterday are funding over $30,000,000 through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

Just as significant as the total dollar amount of economic relief secured is the speed at which this funding is being delivered to our customers in Minnesota.

“Today might just be the greatest day in the history of Sterling State Bank,” said Sterling State Bank President Justin McNeilus.  “Through the government funded PPP program we have locked in over $30,000,000 dollars in desperately needed economic stimulus for the small businesses, their employees and the communities we serve.”

“The vast majority of this funding is being allocated to payroll protection. This means tens of thousands of employees will remain working and keep their jobs during these difficult times.  We simply couldn’t be happier for our customers.”

 “We are among the very first banks in the country to start putting money into people’s account with this program,” said Sterling State Bank President Justin McNeilus.  “Calls have come pouring in over the past few days from our colleagues at other banks asking how this was achieved and our response has been simply to credit the incredible team of dedicated bankers and lenders here at Sterling State Bank.  Our employees have demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice in order to help our customers and help our communities during an incredibly painful and difficult time.  I couldn’t be more proud of our employees than I am right now. The atmosphere in our bank has been electric watching the SBA approvals for our applications here in Minnesota just roll in.”

Sterling State Bank was first granted access to the SBA ETRAN application system on Saturday at 8:10 pm. Since that time employees have worked almost around the clock to get applications submitted.  “At this moment we believe our efforts are helping get Rochester and all the communities we serve more than their fair share of this program. At this time there is a national cap on these funds. Some communities far larger than ours won’t see any or very limited funding,” said President McNeilus.   

Proportionally the amount of funding as a community bank, to total amount of funding that Sterling State Bank has secured so far is remarkable.  To put what we have done locally in perspective – if the top 10 Big Banks did what we just did, on a similar scale, it would equate to a Trillion Dollars back into local businesses. If that same hard work and effort were done at that level, it would mean some major dollars for US businesses.

While some of the initial press coverage surrounding the SBA and their efforts to implement the Paycheck Protection Program have been critical, Sterling State Bank wants to applaud what we view as a remarkable job on the part of the SBA in assisting us with processing our applications.  “At a time when SBA is being thrown under the bus we’d like to applaud their effort,” commented Sterling State Bank President Justin McNeilus.  “They have been nothing but supportive. All day Sunday they answered our calls. The SBA workers on the other end of the phone have been nothing but pleasant and helpful. I want to personally thank the SBA and their staff for their role in delivering funding to our customers.”

Sterling State Bank believes that the speed and agility with which we were able to secure this critical economic aid for our small business employers and their workers demonstrates the important role that community banks play in the nation’s financial system.  “Our bank is not too big to fail,” said Sterling State Bank President Justin McNeilus. “We need to prove daily to our customers, our communities and our employees that we deliver value and deserve to stay in business. Through these devastating times I think we’ve done that. Where you bank makes a difference.  If you’re less than satisfied with the response you’ve received from your financial institution so far, please give us a call.  We are here today and will be here tomorrow.” 

Sterling State Bank is a state-chartered Bank founded by local community members in Austin, MN in 1958.  Purchased by the McNeilus family in 1992, the Bank first opened an office in Rochester, MN that same year.  In 2001 the Bank transitioned its corporate headquarters from Austin, MN to Rochester, MN to better support a changing geographic footprint.  Currently, Sterling State Bank has branches serving communities in Lyle, Austin, Rochester, Apple Valley, Lakeville and Savage.  For more information about our Bank and how we connect with the communities we serve, please visit