The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO) has chosen Antonella Packard as the new director of the Utah Small Business Credit Initiative (USBCI), a federal loan program aimed at expanding access to capital for small businesses in Utah and particularly those in underserved communities. With a funding of $69 million, the USBCI is expected to aid businesses recovering from the impact of the pandemic, generate high-paying job opportunities, and foster an environment of entrepreneurship in Utah.
The Economic Opportunity office foresees that the USBCI program will encourage up to $690 million of private investment in Utah’s small businesses, providing a substantial boost to the state's economic growth and supporting the overall well-being of its business community.
Said Pete Codella, the managing director of business services at GOEO, "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. 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.”
In her new role as USBCI director, Packard will oversee the administration of the federal program by working closely with stakeholders and partners. Her responsibilities include managing Utah's State Small Business Credit Initiative relationship with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, establishing connections with federal, state, and community partners, recruiting and enrolling lenders into the program, and bolstering the efforts of the USBCI team.
With a proven track record in managing community stakeholder relationships, Packard's previous experience as director of community initiatives, senior business advisor, and loan officer for the Suazo Business Center makes her well-suited for the position.