About Us

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans provide long-term, fixed-rate financing options for real estate and equipment needs. Business Lending Partners (BLP) specializes in processing and servicing these loans throughout the State of Wisconsin, as well as, various community loan programs. BLP is a private non-profit organization, licensed by the SBA as a Certified Development Company (CDC) to do SBA 504 lending. We are the only CDC headquartered in Southeast Wisconsin and have been in business since 1983.

Committees, Boards, and Members

Business Lending Partners is a division of RCEDC, a non-profit organization that is run by a Board of Directors with a Loan Committee that makes loan recommendations to the Board. Its members support the organization. Follow this link to view our Board listing, Loan Committee members, and other contributing Members.

Our Mission

To finance the growth and development of businesses throughout the State of Wisconsin by helping them access the SBA 504 loan program and other resources using our expertise, knowledge, and partnerships.

What We Do

BLP is committed to business growth and community development by providing alternative financing options for:

  • Land and Building purchases and/or renovations
  • Building construction
  • Machinery Equipment
  • Furniture Fixtures
  • Leasehold Improvements
  • Inventory
  • Working Capital
  • Environmental remediation
  • Limited Refinancing with expansion project

Staff Information

Carolyn Engel

Business Finance Manager



Carolyn Engel is Business Lending Partners Business Finance Manager and has been with the organization for over 20 years. Carolyn oversees business operations, marketing the various loan programs, screening applicants for eligibility and loan processing.

Carolyn brings experience in all areas of finance operations, including loan servicing, closings and reporting functions to various governmental agencies. Carolyn holds a degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Before Business Lending Partners she worked for Fleet Mortgage Corporation in a management position of its Customer Service/Escrow Department.


Janell Topczewski

Compliance/Closing Officer



Janell Topczewski is Business Lending Partners Compliance/Closing Specialist. Janell maintains the compliance standards for the BLP loan portfolio which include reporting to various governmental agencies. Also, she works with borrowers through the closing and funding of their loans. Janell has been with Business Lending Partners since 2011 and holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Business Management - Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Thomas Van Gent

Loan Officer



Thomas Van Gent is one of Business Lending Partners Credit Analysts. Thomas conducts credit analysis and application processing for BLP. He also assists in maintaining the business loan portfolio. Thomas holds a B.S. in Business Management - Finance from the University of Wisconsin Parkside.

Karmin Garstecki

Loan Officer



Karmin Garstecki is one of Business Lending Partners Credit Analysts. Karmin conducts credit analysis and application processing for BLP. Karmin also assists in maintaining the Business loan portfolio. Karmin holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.

Patricia Grimm

Portfolio Manager



Patricia Grimm is BLP Portfolio Manager for SBA 504 loans. She opened our Green Bay office in 2018, shortly after joining BLP. She handles servicing actions for SBA 504 clients and handles annual reporting requirements. She believes remarkable customer service is something all our borrowers and lenders deserve.


SBA 504

September 2018

25-Year Fixed Rate:


20-Year Fixed Rate:


10-Year Fixed Rate: