Bank of Commerce, the nation's biggest Small Business Administration lender among banks, will open a lending office in Englewood, Colo., this month.

The San Diego-based bank will use its 12th lending office to make SBA- guaranteed loans of $25,000 to $2.5 million in the Denver area.

Bank of Commerce is an SBA preferred lender, which lets it make its own lending decisions rather than waiting for the federal agency's approval.

"The Denver area and Colorado are extremely vibrant small-business markets," said David Bartram, Bank of Commerce senior executive vice president. "We will be a strong lender in the market."

In addition to its five lending offices in California, Bank of Commerce has offices in Seattle, Portland, Ore., Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, and Tucson, Ariz.

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