Local small businesses to benefit from lending program

By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Wed., Apr. 27, 2011
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney talks with new Rockville Bank President Bill Crawford about the lending program. Photo by Jennifer Holloway.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney talks with new Rockville Bank President Bill Crawford about the lending program. Photo by Jennifer Holloway.

In March, the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved Connecticut’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) application, which will provide $13.3 million in federal SSBCI funds for the state. Connecticut is one of the first states in the country to receive this approval.

Part of the Small Business Jobs Act signed into law last year, the SSBCI program supports state-level small business lending programs, like Connecticut’s Capital Access Program, or Urbank.

Urbank provides community banks with the means to extend greater credit to small businesses. According to a press release issued by the office of U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2nd District), in the 19 years Urbank has been administered, it has created and supported 6,120 jobs.

Rockville Bank is one of approximately 30 banks participating in the program. Courtney met with bank officials on April 25 at the Rockville Bank branch in Enfield and said the bank has shown great leadership through its involvement in the program.

According to Josh Zembik, communications director for Courtney, the program operates on a 1 to 10 ratio, meaning for every $1, banks can free up an additional $10 in lending. Because Connecticut was approved for $13.3 million, the program is expected to generate more than $133 million in new small business loans.

Mark Kucia, senior vice president and commercial banking officer at Rockville Bank, praised the program, saying it was well designed. He added that the bank has already worked on its first loan through the program.

Bank officials urge small business owners to check out the lending program, whether the business is a start-up or is one that is in need of credit to grow to the next level. Farms and agricultural businesses do qualify for the program, and the program has few restrictions.


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