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First Southwest Bank helps fund purchase of Western Excelsior facility

David Sitton works out details to starting up operations of a rebuilt aspen mill in Mancos. He gained financing for the purchase of the former Western Excelsior plant through a loan from First Southwest Bank and Community Development Financial Institutions, which assists distressed rural areas.

First Southwest Bank recently facilitated a loan that allowed S&S Wallwood Inc., the parent company of Aspen Wall Wood of Dolores, to buy the Western Excelsior facility — which burned down in 2017.

With the loan, the company bought the real estate, logging assets and equipment to reopen the plant and hire an estimated 17 employees.

U.S. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, praised Community Development Financial Institutions for helping to create growth in Montezuma County.

“By helping to provide critical resources to local businesses, Community Development Financial Institutions are playing an important role in helping these communities thrive, and First Southwest Bank providing a loan to help S&S Wallwood expand is the perfect example of that,” he said in a press release from Amanda Goad of the marketing firm Bold Brew. “I thank First Southwest Bank for their commitment to their community, and I will continue in my support of this CDFI and others like it.”

First Southwest is a certified member of CDFI, which offers resources and programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector capital in distressed rural areas.

“This story is one that truly demonstrates the benefits of First Southwest Bank being a CDFI,” said lender Cassie Alexander. “We utilized a SBA Guarantee and collaborated with another rural bank to help facilitate a credit that typically would be difficult to finance.”

S&S Wallwood Inc. is owned by David Sitton and Sean Stafford and is parent to Aspen Wall Wood and Aspen Wood Products, which will operate the Mancos plant. In addition to creating 17 jobs, the company hopes to add 12-15 jobs as production picks up.

“First Southwest Bank has been involved since the very beginning — and not only with the financing,” Sitton said in the press release. “After we prepared our first preliminary business plan, they helped us flesh out concerns with our revenue forecasts and operational needs.”

The expansion was made possible by a SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program, one of the tools used by First Southwest to help small businesses in rural markets.

For more information about First Southwest Bank, contact Cassie Alexander at AllSpecialLending@fswb.com, 970-739-8430.

Jun 16, 2021
Logging, thinning plan for Dolores District is released