Florence Bank Receives Award from U.S. Small Business Administration
Third Party Lender of the Year honor acknowledges bank’s support of small businesses
FLORENCE—Florence Bank was recently recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the Western Massachusetts Third Party Lender of the Year for loans the bank administers to small businesses in the area.
Michael A. Davey and Erin Couture, both vice presidents / commercial loan officers with the bank, accepted the award on Nov. 8 at an event held during SBA’s Annual Meeting at Clark University in Worcester.
Davey explained that third party loans, called SBA 504 loans, are offered by the bank in collaboration with Certified Development Corporations such as Granite State Development Corporation, Bay Colony Development Corporation, and BDC Capital / CDC New England.
“The SBA recognizes that small business owners sometimes have more difficulty getting traditional real estate financing, yet owning their own real estate is essential to growth,” said Michael J. Lynch, senior vice president / senior commercial loan officer. “Having real estate assets gives small business owners more of a stake in the community and allows them to build equity. The community gets the benefit of additional jobs, business growth, and tax revenues from a growing small business.”
Davey said the program allows small business owners who might be lacking the traditional 20 percent down payment to purchase business property with only 10 percent down. “It also reduces the bank’s exposure to risk,” he added.
“The 504 loan program supports the growth of small businesses,” he added. “It allows Florence Bank to help promote entrepreneurs and overall economic growth in the region. Small businesses are critical to our local economy.”
Florence Bank has branches in Amherst, Belchertown, Easthampton, Granby, Hadley, Northampton, Williamsburg, West Springfield, and Springfield, and it is headquartered in Florence.
Florence Bank is a mutually-owned savings bank chartered in 1873. Currently, the bank serves the Pioneer Valley through 11 full-service branch locations in Florence, Northampton, Easthampton, Williamsburg, Amherst, Hadley, Belchertown, Granby, West Springfield, and a new branch located on Allen Street in Springfield. Additionally, they offer 26 ATMs and a wide range of financial services including investment management through FSB Financial Group (FSBFG) to consumers and businesses. Florence Bank is consistently voted best local bank by the readers of the Valley Advocate and the Daily Hampshire Gazette.