USDA Recognizes Pathward as Top Lender for Rural Development Programs

Published: 08 February 2023

Members of Pathward’s Commercial Finance team met with representatives of Renewable Properties, one of Pathward’s recipients of the USDA Rural Development loan, Oct. 26, 2022, in Pathward’s office in Troy, Michigan. Photographed left to right: Brennan Quenneville, Chris McFarland, Allan Riska (Renewable Properties), Ian Chisholm (Renewable Properties), Tom Fink, J Barrett, Dave Menoian and Brian Kwiatkowski. Renewable Properties specializes in developing and investing in small-scale utility and community solar energy projects throughout the U.S.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized Pathward, formerly known as Crestmark, as the No. 1 national lender for rural development projects for Fiscal Year 2021. With more than $386 million in obligations, our Commercial Finance team exceeded the next lender by $55 million, according to the USDA. These loans support vital infrastructure, equipment, and renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades for small businesses and rural communities all over the United States. These loans support vital infrastructure, equipment, renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades, and other financing benefits for many small businesses and rural communities all over the United States.  

“I could not be more proud of this success. In 2020, our USDA obligations totaled $122 million.  Exceeding that three times over, becoming the No. 1 USDA lender in the country, and most importantly providing loans and creating jobs within America’s rural communities truly exemplifies Pathward’s purpose to power financial inclusion to all,” said Christopher Soupal, Pathward’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Finance.

In late 2021, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack highlighted a few of the projects that Pathward helped finance, including four solar energy projects in Maine with Renewable Properties, a developer and investor in small-scale utility and community solar projects. The four projects are expected to produce approximately 25,500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in their first full year of operation, according to the USDA.

Renewable Properties Chief Investment Officer Allan Riska said, “We are thrilled to have worked with Pathward and the USDA to help provide community solar to rural customers in Maine. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Pathward and to delivering more local renewable energy in the state of Maine and beyond.”

“USDA’s lending partners play a critical role in building stronger rural communities,” said USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator, Dr. Karama Neal. “USDA is proud to partner with lenders like Pathward to support small businesses and farmers in their use of renewable and reliable energy systems that will keep rural people and economies prepared for the future with clean, affordable, and dependable energy.”

As the alternative energy market continues to grow, Pathward’s team is more focused than ever to help the USDA provide customized financing to help increase America’s energy independence.


Learn more about Pathward’s Structured Finance solutions and how we’re helping energy developers grow at And, if you’d like to speak with a Pathward representative about financing options for your business, you can submit a request through our website.  


Ready to learn more about our solutions? Contact Us


You are leaving a Pathward website

You are leaving a Pathward website and will be going to a website that Pathward does not control. Pathward has provided this link for your convenience, but does not endorse and is not responsible for the content, links, privacy policy, or security policy of this website.