Bangor Savings Bank was the top Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in Maine in 2014, providing $9.34 million in loans to 87 new or existing businesses. Marilyn Geroux, Maine District director of the Small Business Administration, made the announcement on March 5 at a gathering of small business owners held at Central Provisions in Portland.
“Maine’s small businesses are the key to the state’s economic well-being, and the SBA works hard to provide many types of support,” said Geroux. “Having access to affordable loans is essential to get businesses off the ground or help them expand. I’m here to congratulate Bangor Savings Bank once again for their outstanding role in keeping Maine’s small business community thriving.”
In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014, Maine banks provided 382 loans totaling $80,892,540 to small businesses statewide.
According to 2013 SBA data, there are 142,812 small businesses in Maine. U.S. Census Bureau data from 2011 states that small businesses (1-499 employees) account for 59 percent of private-sector jobs in the state. Forty-two percent of Maine workers are employed in businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
In the past four years, Bangor Savings Bank has pumped over $2.7 billion in new loans into the Maine economy, including over $1 billion in new business loans.
One of the businesses benefitting from SBA financing is Central Provisions, a nationally recognized restaurant located in Portland’s Old Port. The restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Chris Gould and his wife, Paige.
Paige Gould shared the importance of SBA funding in getting a new restaurant off the ground: “It has taken us years to get to where we are today and to finally make our vision for this new venture a reality. We were fortunate to finally partner with Bangor Savings Bank after being told by other lending institutions that they couldn’t help us. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the SBA funding we received through Bangor Savings Bank.”
Bob Montgomery-Rice, president of Bangor Saving Bank, spoke during the small business celebration: “As Maine’s largest independent bank, we know how important small businesses are to the state’s economy. We see ourselves as a partner to Maine small businesses because we believe that business growth means job growth, and job growth results in an improved quality of life for Maine people.”
Montgomery-Rice introduced a number of small business owners at the event and remarked, “It’s gratifying to be here with so many successful entrepreneurs and see the very real results of our partnerships. Bangor Savings Bank is committed to helping Maine people realize their dreams of being their own boss.”
Bangor Savings was also the leading lender in Maine in 2011, 2012 and 2013, issuing a combined $30 million in 185 loans over that three-year period.