Boca Raton-based First Southern Bank is adding a new line of business and has brought in an experienced banker for oversight and expansion.

The new business: lending through the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The division will help Florida business owners whose operations occupy more than 51 percent of their space to obtain real estate loans for property acquisitions, expansions, renovations and refinancing, according to a release from the bank.

Don Adams has been hired as senior vice president and SBA/USDA lending manager to launch the effort. His mandate is to grow the new division statewide. He will be based in Orlando.

He has more than 35 years experience in all areas of SBA and USDA loan programs, most recently as an executive vice president with First Community Bank of Southwest Florida in Gainesville, where he set up and managed the bank’s Florida-Georgia government-guaranteed lending division.

Adams served as chairman of the SBA North Florida District Office Advisory Council for eight years. In 2010, he was chosen to provide input on improving USDA lending programs.

As of Sept. 30, First Southern Bankcorp had total assets of $1 billion, up from $400 million when it launched an expansion program in early 2010. Branches now number 15 throughout the state, up from five in South Florida. Client accounts have grown from about 5,400 to about 17,000, according to the release.