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Florence Bank Receives Award from U.S. Small Business Administration

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 Davey and Erin Couture, both vice presidents and 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 Corp., Bay Colony Development Corp., 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 Lynch, senior vice president and 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% down payment to purchase business property with only 10% down, while also reducing the bank’s exposure to risk.

“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.”

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