Valley National Bank officials said the financial institution has launched a Community Lending platform to streamline efforts to provide financial products, resources, and connections to women and minority-owned businesses.
“The Community Lending team is committed to looking at financing for these small businesses differently,” National Director of Community Lending Thais R. Sullivan said. “We examine their growth potential rather than their current size to determine how we can help drive long-term growth. The launch of this platform will help us as we help small businesses along the path to growth and future success.”
The new endeavor eases and expedites the application and lending process by reducing a large measure of paperwork that would normally take weeks to process, offering women and minority-owned businesses greater access to traditional products that include payroll, commercial mortgages, and merchant services while also viewing loan qualifications with a different lens.
Last year Valley National Bank established over 6,181 small business loans in low-to-moderate-income census tracts. Loans were also granted to businesses with a gross annual revenue of $1 million or less.
“During the pandemic, we became painfully aware how many businesses weren’t in a position to qualify for emergency funding programs like the Paycheck Protection Program,” Sullivan said. “Minority-owned businesses, in particular, were less likely to apply, not because they didn’t need the funding, but because they weren’t set up to qualify.”
The bank’s Community Lending focuses specifically on providing financing solutions to women and minority-owned small businesses and expediently recognized the need to establish a Community Lending platform across the bank’s four states (New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Alabama).