FINANCE, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Valley Bank Launches Community Lending Platform

Valley Bank | September 09, 2022 | Read time : 03:10 min

Valley Bank Launches Community Lending Platform
Valley National Bank today announced the launch of a Community Lending platform to streamline processing as it ramps up its efforts to provide more financial products, resources and connections to women and minority-owned businesses.
In 2021, Valley made more than 6,181 small business loans in low-to-moderate-income census tracts and to businesses with a gross annual revenue of $1 million or less. Valley’s Community Lending Team, which focuses specifically on providing financing solutions to women and minority-owned small businesses within this space, quickly realized the need for a separate platform to organize the program across the Bank’s four states. This new platform makes the application and lending process much easier and faster by reducing a great deal of paperwork that would normally take weeks to process. The new platform offers women and minority-owned businesses easier access to traditional products such as payroll, commercial mortgages and merchant services, while also looking at qualifications for loans with a different lens. Instead of just considering traditional requirements related to cash flow and having three years of business history, the bank is also considering personal and business credit scores. Under the leadership of National Director of Community Lending Thais R. Sullivan, the department now consists of 15 dedicated professionals and reaches across Valley Bank’s U.S. footprint from New York south through Florida, into underserved communities where businesses often don’t qualify for traditional lending. “The Community Lending team is committed to looking at financing for these small businesses differently,” said Sullivan. “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.” Sullivan and her team of experienced professionals worked to create the products, resources and relationships to ensure the Community Lending team could provide timely access to the crucial elements to help businesses in need.

The regional leaders for Community Lending are:
  • Luis De La Hoz, Regional Director of Community Lending New Jersey
  • Martine Pierre-Paul, Regional Director of Community Lending Florida/Alabama
  • Michael Warrington, Regional Director of Community Lending New York
“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,” said Sullivan. “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.” With a lack of professional relationships or experienced mentors that could help find paths to financing, many small business owners lacked the vital documentation needed to obtain a traditional loan. In addition to providing access to its own banking products and services, Valley Bank’s Community Lending solutions include leveraging strong partnerships with national and regional organizations that can provide additional education, mentorship and financing resources. These organizations include such groups as the Small Business Administration (SBA), Palm Beach County Black Business Investment Corporation (BBIC), and National Entrepreneurship Association (NEC).

Valley Bank’s Community Lending team members have been working with underserved small businesses for more than two years to create custom financial solutions that make a difference. As two examples:
  • Juan Garay, a disabled veteran and president of Facility Services Solutions Group in Edison, New Jersey, first turned to Valley Bank in 2020. “Valley helped to connect us with loans and grant opportunities,” Garay said, “and guided us in certifying our organization as a Disabled Veteran Owned Business, Minority Business Enterprise and Small Business Enterprise.”
  • Dr. Angie Mason, DPT, OTR/L and Dr. Tyre Patterson, DPT were struggling to get financing for their startup business Dynamic Duo PT+ in West Palm Beach, Florida, despite having over a decade of experience in their field. “Valley Bank provided us real financial guidance and connected us to other professionals we needed to help our business thrive,” said Dr. Angie Mason. “We opened the doors to our office in May of this year.”
About Valley
As the principal subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp, Valley National Bank is a regional bank with approximately $54 billion in assets. Valley is committed to giving people and businesses the power to succeed. Valley operates many convenient branch locations across New Jersey, New York, Florida and Alabama, and is committed to providing the most convenient service, the latest innovations and an experienced and knowledgeable team dedicated to meeting customer needs. Helping communities grow and prosper is the heart of Valley’s corporate citizenship philosophy. To learn more about Valley, go to www.valley.com or call our Customer Service Center at 800-522-4100.

Spotlight

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a technology that companies use to manage their interactions with their current and potential customers. Team365 CRM helps organizations to build customer relationships and streamline processes so that they can increase their sales, Improves their customer services and increase profit.


Other News
BUSINESS STRATEGY

American Express and TikTok Launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator to Help Small Businesses Reach New Audiences on Small Business Saturday

American Express | November 15, 2022

American Express today announced that it has partnered with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Accelerator, a new program to help small business owners reach a new generation of shoppers on Small Business Saturday, which is on November 26, 2022, and runs throughout the holiday shopping season. The partnership with TikTok builds on the ongoing support American Express provides small businesses year-round and its goal to drive $100 billion in reported consumer spending at small businesses from 2021 through 2025. Starting November 14, the #ShopSmall Accelerator will include an offer for eligible small business owners to earn a $100 TikTok advertising credit*. In addition, small business owners will be given access to tools and resources to think like TikTok creators, including a tutorial at AmericanExpress.com/ShopSmallAccelerator on how their businesses can stand out on the platform. Lifestyle creators Anna Sitar @annaxsitar and Sofia Bella @iamsofiabella, along with small business owner Brandon Blackwood @brandonblackwoodnyc, will teach small business owners how to use TikTok as a search engine; leverage sounds, trends, hashtags and communities; and how to drive engagement with users. To help small businesses get discovered by new audiences, American Express has also partnered with musical artist Chlöe Bailey @chloebaileywashere to create a “Shop Small Soundtrack,” which TikTok users can add to their content. “The #ShopSmall Accelerator will help give small merchants the tools they need to reach the next generation of consumers on TikTok, where our Shop Small Impact Study found that 67% of Gen Z users have shopped from a small business that was displayed on their For You Page ,Shopping small has a significant impact on helping local communities, with two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses staying within the local community. Last year, consumers reported spending more than $23B shopping small on Small Business Saturday, and we want to exceed that in 2022.” Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express "More and more American small businesses are turning to TikTok to take us inside their world in a fun authentic way, and as a result, they are reaching new customers, hiring more employees and growing their business. The real world impact is undeniable, with 44% of TikTok users saying that they discovered something on the platform and immediately went out to buy it, according to our Global Retail Path To Purchase Study," said Sofia Hernandez, Global Head of Business Marketing for TikTok. "This holiday season, the TikTok community is ready to #ShopSmall and support small businesses. Based on data in the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the US.2 The study also found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the US stays in the local community and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services. 63% of small business owners said they want to grow their Gen Z and Millennial customer base this holiday season, and 50% agreed that Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever for their business this holiday shopping season. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 to help small businesses and communities thrive. Since then, it has turned into a nationwide Shop Small movement that is celebrated annually and is critical for small businesses during the holiday shopping season. American Express provides ongoing support to small businesses year-round through the Shop Small Resource Hub where small business owners have access to complimentary marketing supplies and resources; Amex Offers for Merchants for services ranging from technology to shipping solutions; a new, dedicated Small Business Saturday page from Business Class, featuring insights, tips, and inspiration; and more. U.S. consumers can find American Express accepting independent retailers across the nation through the Shop Small Map and Card Members can access special Amex Offers from Small Merchants on the Shop Small Offer Hub here. ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.

Read More

MARKETING AND NETWORKING

U.S. Small Business Administration Veterans Small Business Advisory Committees Set to Host Virtual Public Meetings December 7-8

U.S. Small Business Administration | November 29, 2022

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF) and Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (ACVBA) announced that the task force will hold their next set of virtual public meetings on December 7 and December 8, respectively, via Microsoft Teams. "Both the IATF and ACVBA committee meetings serve as opportunities for participants to learn the latest on the state of veteran-owned small businesses and discuss how the SBA can continue to serve the military and veteran community,This quarter, participants will receive an important update on the SBA's Veteran Small Business Certification Program." Associate Administrator for the SBA Office of Veterans Business Development, Larry Stubblefield. WHAT: IATF and ACVBA Virtual Public Meetings The IATF meeting will include committee member updates from the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA), Treasury, Defense, Labor; U.S. General Services Administration; Office of Management and Budget; North Carolina Business Center; the American Legion; VET-Force; and the National Veteran Small Business Coalition. The ACVBA meeting will cover briefings from SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development on the SBA's Veteran Small Business of Financial Assistance, VA, and the Madison Services Group. WHEN: IATF Meeting Wednesday, December 7, 2022 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) ACVBA Meeting Thursday, December 8, 2022 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EST) WHO: Larry Stubblefield, Associate Administrator, SBA Office of Veterans Business Development Robert Bailey, ACVBA Chairperson, Veteran Small Business Owner IATF and ACVBA Committee Members Guest Speakers from Interagency Partners and Veterans Service Organizations HOW: The IATF will meet on Wednesday, December 7, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EST) via this Microsoft Teams link. To join the meeting by phone instead, use 206-413-7980 and enter the Conference ID: 978023539#. The ACVBA will meet Thursday, December 8, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (EST) via this Microsoft Teams link. To join by phone instead, dial 206-413-7980 and enter the Conference ID: 674127009. Public comments and questions are strongly encouraged to be submitted in advance via email by December 6 to veteransbusiness@sba.gov. For technical support, please visit the Microsoft Teams support page. Meeting presentations and minutes will be available after both meetings at www.sba.gov/ovbd under the "Federal Advisory Committees" section. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

Read More

TECHNOLOGY

BAU Launches New and Revolutionary Mobile App to Help Small Businesses Promote Themselves

BAU | November 21, 2022

BAU has launched a new mobile app designed to help small businesses advertise themselves through super-charged word-of-mouth for our digital age. Imagine a construction contractor attracting new clients by reaching the audience of a nearby real estate broker, or a coffee shop partnering with a nearby bagel business and getting its ads shown directly to their viewership. BAU lets you take advantage of industries that naturally appeal to consumers together in order to reach the right buyers and send the right message. Most business owners use Google, Meta, Yelp and other platforms as expensive but necessary tools to reach target audiences online ... but it doesn't have to be that way. BAU has created an opportunity to connect with the exact type of complementary businesses that have access to desired customers, attracting attention, sales, and clicks from the right prospects. "This is a 'dating' platform for everyone to build better relationships with small businesses nearby," BAU CEO Lambert Egbuchulam. The new BAU mobile app offers: BETTER TARGETING Let's face it: most ads are misplaced annoyances that people can't wait to skip. Advertisements on BAU get seen by your specific target audience, meaning better results with no exposures wasted on people you don't want to appeal to. LOWER PRICES Digital advertising is like the housing market—prices just keep barreling upwards, driven by competition. With BAU, you could save a fraction of what you would on a monthly ad budget compared to what you'd waste on "the big guys," increasing R.O.I. and making advertising a no-brainer. COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY BAU compiles straightforward, up-to-the-minute reports with results that let you know how your ads are doing at a glance. Update, suspend, or alter your campaign at any time. SIMPLIFIED MANAGEMENT No tech stuff, no setup wizards, no degree in computer science needed. We built BAU to be simple enough for Grandma to use, without all the jargon and learning curve. LOCAL BAU is all about symbiotic relationships within your local community. Not only do people like to buy where they live, but it also makes it more cost-effective and seamless for you, the business owner. ABOUT BAU At BAU, we believe it shouldn't be about who has the biggest ad budget or most genius marketing team —we dream of a world where needs are met and businesses are built based on honest, local collaboration. By connecting local businesses and having them help advertise each other, we're inspiring commerce to be more simple, more honest, and more clear. We consider our business model to be super-charged word-of-mouth, updated and revolutionized for our digital age. We invite you to join us on our crusade to bring the power back to the small businesses as we create marketing opportunities that don't just create profits... they also empower people.

Read More

MANAGEMENT

U.S. Small Business Administration Announces Strategic Alliance to Support Small Business Exporters

U.S. Small Business Administration | December 15, 2022

Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 33 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced the signing of the Strategic Alliance Memorandum (SAM) with BAFT (Bankers Association for Finance and Trade), the leading global financial services association for international transaction banking, which will formalize the SBA’s existing relationship with the association. BAFT and SBA strive to tackle challenges both lenders and small businesses face when seeking the trade financing that is essential to international trade. Together, the SBA and BAFT will work to educate small businesses and their lenders on the export financing solutions available in the marketplace. SBA’s new agreement with BAFT recognizes the impact and ingenuity of our small business exporters and the important role our lending partners play in funding their growth,” said Administrator Guzman. “Our joint efforts to increase resources to BAFT members and grow the number of lenders offering SBA international trade products will expand access to capital. By doing so, this work helps deliver on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to create opportunities for small businesses, and strengthen our economy for all of us. “Financing is an important element in helping small businesses expand their customer base internationally and has been a persistent challenge,SBA is helping to ease that challenge, and with the leverage of the global BAFT network, we hope to collectively make a positive difference.” Tod Burwell, President and CEO of BAFT. Through its Office of International Trade, the SBA works to support small and midsized exporters with a goal of increasing both the number of businesses exporting and the dollar value of those exports.​ This work is done across the Agency by offering access to​ education and technical assistance​, access to capital, and trade policy to support market access for small businesses. BAFT serves as a worldwide forum for analysis, discussion, and advocacy in international financial services and provides support to members that are active in trade finance, supply chain finance, credit insurance, and export credits. Specifically, BAFT is the voice of the global trade finance community. In addition to tracking strategic global trade policy developments, BAFT provides practical guidance papers and tools including standardized legal documentation as well as a forum for discussion on topical trade finance challenges. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

Read More

Spotlight

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a technology that companies use to manage their interactions with their current and potential customers. Team365 CRM helps organizations to build customer relationships and streamline processes so that they can increase their sales, Improves their customer services and increase profit.

Resources