The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO) appointed Antonella Packard as the new director of its Utah Small Business Credit Initiative (USBCI).
The initiative is a federal loan program that includes $69 million in funding to expand access to capital for small businesses in Utah, especially for underserved communities. USBCI provides access to capital for small businesses emerging from the pandemic, creates high-paying jobs, and builds ecosystems of opportunity and entrepreneurship in Utah.
“The Utah Small Business Credit Initiative is in good hands with Antonella Packard. We’re thrilled with her experience helping Utah business owners, understanding business loans and banking, and her ability to reach diverse communities,” said Pete Codella, managing director of business services at GOEO. “We thank the former USBCI director, Alecia Hart, for her work setting up USBCI for success. Through this initiative, in partnership with local lending institutions, the Economic Opportunity office looks forward to addressing the loan needs of Utah’s small businesses, especially in underserved areas.”
As USBCI director, Packard is responsible for interfacing with stakeholders and partners to administer the federal program. Packard will manage Utah’s new State Small Business Credit Initiative relationship with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, foster relationships with other federal, state, and community partners, help recruit and enroll lenders into the program, and bolster the USBCI team’s work.
Packard brings a wealth of experience in managing community stakeholder relationships. She was most recently the director of community initiatives, a senior business advisor, and a loan officer for the Suazo Business Center.
The Economic Opportunity office anticipates the USBCI program will stimulate up to $690 million of private investment in Utah’s small businesses.