Spring Bank Staff Profile

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When we became the first bank in The Bronx to headquarter there in decades, we knew that hiring locally was crucial to understanding our customers’ needs. Many of our staff at our Bronx branch live and work in The Bronx. It goes back to our belief that the best way to serve our community is by working with the people who know it best. Germarie Medina has lived on 167th St for over 20 years and worked at Spring Bank for four of them.

“I love working for a community bank in my neighborhood,” she says. “Not only do I get to interact with many of the people that I grew up with, but I also get to provide them a service that I know will benefit them.”

Germarie started working with us as a Teller and then a Greeter when she was a junior in college. She became familiar with our products and helped guide our clients to their needed support in those roles. We were so impressed with her outreach and ease with community members that we offered her an internship in our consumer lending department.

Our consumer lending department offers various personal lending products. One of Germarie’s favorite to recommend is our Credit Builder Loan. It allows clients to save while improving their credit score, the two most essential attributes to financial independence. There, Germarie quickly mastered the process of helping underserved community members apply for a personal loan. Still, she also had her first opportunity to address the obstacle we exist to remove – financial illiteracy and exclusion.

“I provided a more human and holistic approach that allowed clients to get the personal loans they needed but could not get elsewhere because of credit and income issues,” Germarie explains. “It was a great opportunity because I’m from this community!”

Her passion for The Bronx and ability to help people get a personal loan left an impression. As soon as she graduated, we offered her a position as a Credit Analyst in our commercial lending department. At the time, she was considering a career in investment banking, but the call to serve her community was stronger.

Today, as a Credit Analyst, she uses her local and financial expertise to help our small business and real estate customers access the credit lines and commercial loans they need to accomplish their goals. She also continues to combat the financial illiteracy she first encountered when she was an intern.

“Many of our small business clients lack the financial literacy to apply for our financial products,” she says. “But I don’t give up on them. Instead, I meet with them one-on-one and offer them personalized services that give them the time and space to bolster their applications, so they can get access to the products they need.”

We offer a variety of financial products that aim to stimulate growth and opportunity in The Bronx. Whether it’s a personal checking account, a business checking account, or a personal loan, we tailor our products to meet the needs of our community. But the most important thing we offer is our individualized approach.

“Spring Bank’s mission is to create a world where all people have opportunity and access to building prosperous futures: I believe I am living proof of Spring Bank’s mission,” says Germarie.

After witnessing Germarie’s impact over the years, we couldn’t agree more. Learn more about how we make our mission a reality by reading our staff profile on Barry Mann here. Get a firsthand look at the perks of banking with a community bank by opening a personal checking account or a small business account with us today!

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Managing your finances can be challenging. Having a personal checking account with a community bank like us makes it easier. When you open a personal checking account, you create a safe place for your money to keep track of your finances and build a vital banking relationship. We all have financial goals; a personal checking account is a powerful tool to reach them. If you do not currently have a bank account, here are five reasons why a personal checking account with us can benefit you:

  1. Keep Your Money Safe. Keeping your money at home–even if it’s in a safe place–is risky. When you open a personal checking account, your money has a paper trail. Federal laws protect your personal checking account from fraud and erroneous transactions. In addition, our bank accounts are backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means your money is insured for up to $250,000 per person. Keeping your money in a bank account keeps it safe.
  2. Access Your Money from Anywhere: When you deposit your money in a personal checking account, you can access your money simply by swiping your debit card. And if you need cash, you have access to a network of no-fee ATMs where you can withdraw money. With us, you not only have access to ATMs at our two branches in The Bronx and Harlem, but you also have access to any ATM in the MoneyPass and Citibank domestic branch networks for free.
  3. Build a Banking Relationship:  You also establish a relationship when you open a personal checking account with your bank. You gain access to a banking team that can introduce you to financial products, like our personal loan of up to $2500, to help you achieve your financial dreams. As one of a few community banks in New York City, we take pride in getting to know our customers. We offer personalized services that help our clients­ – whether they have a personal checking account or a business checking account – gain access to wealth-building opportunities they can’t get elsewhere.
  4. Pay Bills & Send Money Effortlessly: If you don’t have a bank account, transferring money to your loved ones or paying a bill can be extremely time-consuming. A personal checking account gets rid of the hassle. A bank teller can make the transfer for you, or even better, use a mobile app. We offer a user-friendly app and online banking system that allows you to transfer money or pay bills in seconds from home or when you’re on the go.
  5. Manage Your Finances:  It’s easy to lose track of how much money you are spending when you don’t have a record of your transactions. When you open a personal checking account, you can see your income and expenditures online and create a budget that works for you. If you are interested in saving, you can open a personal savings account that connects to your personal checking account. We offer an automatic savings transfer option that can help you increase your personal savings for a rainy day or a future goal.

Financial inclusion is what we do and strive for: We believe that everyone should have access to their money when they need it. That’s why we offer an extensive ATM network and an app that allows you to access your money from wherever you are. We also believe that everyone should have a bank account.

Please let us know how we can help you achieve your financial goals by opening a personal checking account.

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Every entrepreneur needs a small business account to monitor daily expenses and make financial projections. But, our small business account goes a step further. When you open a business checking account,  you also get access to our award-winning banking team that can help you expand or reimagine your venture.

As a small business ourselves – and as a community bank in New York City – we know that thriving small businesses are the key to flourishing communities. After all, most of our country’s firms are small businesses. So when you open business checking account with us, we get to know you and give you firsthand access to innovative and affordable financial products that put you one step closer to accomplishing your dreams. Unlike larger banks that typically prioritize large corporations, we listen to our community. As a result, we prioritize our small business account clients in our small business lending efforts with loans starting at $10,000. And we are an SBA Preferred Lender.

Just look at our PPP lending efforts. In 2020 and 2021 we secured over 700 PPP loans – valued at $150 million–for small businesses and nonprofits in the New York City area. Many of them were small business account and nonprofit checking account clients; others were small businesses and nonprofits who were having trouble getting a response from their bank – at a time when they needed them most. So we were happy to step up and have continued to do so. It’s what community banks in New York City exist to do.

We are so lucky to see the fruits of our labor. According to a new report from Georgetown University, community banks like us made more PPP loans than larger banks. But, even with vaccinations rates rising and business opening for business, we know that the financial fallout from the pandemic will be with us for many more years to come. So, we will continue to stand with our small business account holders until our city recovers.

When you have a small business bank account with us, you can also use our online banking system and app. With an online business bank account, you get access to our staff that can help you manage your money and business with the click of a button. One of the many perks of having a small business account with a community bank is personalized attention and flexibility.

Still have questions about our small business account? Check out our work with local New York City small businesses like Harlem Pizza Co, Ultranauts, and Chelsea Restoration Project. Learn more about what makes our small business accounts unique here. Contact us at customerservice@springbankny.com for more information.

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As the first bank to headquarter in The Bronx in decades, we have one priority: our community. We are a mission-driven bank in New York City which means that we not only recognize how our financial system has extracted wealth from communities of color, but we are also doing something about it.

In addition to offering an affordable and user-friendly personal savings accountbusiness checking account, and personal checking account — we offer something priceless – the human touch. We infuse compassion and understanding into our products and services to ensure that any person — regardless of background, race, gender, or sexual identity — can access the financial system and the wealth-building opportunities it can provide. We believe it’s one step toward building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Becoming a B Corp was a crucial step in making that vision a reality. Both the B Corp certification and our community of values-aligned peers help us consider the impact of our decisions on workers, consumers, the community, and the environment. As a result, we are accountable for our mission — and how it plays out across our organizational culture and products.  That’s why we take the biennial B Impact Assessment so seriously and why we are so proud that B Lab has given us the 2021 Best For The World distinction in two of the five Impact Areas: Governance and Customers.

This recognition means that we rank among the top 5% of B Corps globally for our size in both categories. Receiving this honor means that we practice what we preach. We take great pride in being an honest, transparent, and responsible lender and bank.  Every decision we make centers on our mission and our community’s need. We will always hold ourselves to the highest standard; we are grateful to B Lab for highlighting that commitment. Again, it goes back to our pledge to put our community – and Customers – first.  Now, as our community embarks on the winding road to recovery, we will use our personalized approach to ensure our customers get access to the aid and opportunities they deserve.

Thank you, B Lab, for the Best For The World award — five years in a row! Visit our blog for more small business stories that illustrate how we put our customers first. Join one of the few banks in NYC humanizing money by opening a personal savings accountbusiness checking account, or personal checking account today.

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Here’s How via Our Partners at Start Small Think Big

The pandemic has transformed the way we interact with one another. Whether it’s taking a meeting over Zoom or using more online banking services. As a result, small businesses must continue to adapt. While 90% of US commerce takes place in-person, it’s rapidly shifting online–and it will continue to–even after the pandemic is over.

Earlier this month, we spoke to Jennifer DaSilva, Founder and Executive Director of Start Small Think Big– a nonprofit that provides under-resourced small business owners across the country with free, legal, and financial services. Her advice for small businesses post-pandemic? Prioritize the E-Commerce transition now. Below, we offer three tips to help your small business make the digital leap easier:

  1. Design a Lead Generating Website: Your website is your most effective sales platform. It’s not an online brochure but can function as a tool to generate targeted leads and nurture customer relationships.  Now is the time to identify your target audience and design a website with personalized messaging that speaks directly to them. Many free and accessible platforms now exist to help small business owners integrate sales funnels into their websites to drive more traffic.
  2. Build-Up Your E-commerce Capabilities: From apps to online stores and texting clients, the E-Commerce web can quickly feel overwhelming. But like most things in business, a build-out plan can ease the transition. Begin by mapping out the tools you think you need to reach your customer segments online. Secondly, analyze your product suite. Can you easily translate the value of your products online, or do they need to be adapted? Finally, what will selling your products online require of your operations and marketing capacities? As you transition to E-Commerce, knowing the impacts across your business is crucial.
  3. Remember Your Local Community: Small businesses have a greater reach than ever before. Online, it can be tempting to appeal to all markets. But the rise of movements like Shop Local and Shop Small indicates that consumers want to support their local small businesses –- especially when so many are still struggling. So, keep your message and impact locally by collaborating with neighboring small businesses and appealing to your community’s preferences. The market right around you is likely more extensive than you know.

We are first and foremost a community bank in NYC, but we are also a small business. We understand the importance of an online presence. Using our digital banking system, you can stay close to your business balances or check out the latest savings account rate. Along the way, we have never lost sight of our priority–you. You can access your accounts with us from wherever you are, but you can also trust that we are reinvesting your money into New York City.

Learn more about what we have done to support our community by checking out work with local small businesses and nonprofits on our blog. We have worked with The Lehman Center for Performing ArtsThe Forward, and Chelsea Restoration, to name a few. Invest your dollars locally by opening a business checking accountpersonal checking account, or personal savings account today!!

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As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), supporting nonprofits and small businesses is fundamental to our mission. One of the ways we prioritize community-based organizations is through our membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY). The FHBLNY helps community lenders like us in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands by advancing housing and community growth.

Investing in small business and nonprofit sectors is one key to maintaining financially healthy communities. However, the pandemic and the economic fallout have threatened the survival of countless small businesses and nonprofits that do not have access to affordable credit and cash reserves. So, when we heard that the FHLBNY was offering a Small Business Grant Recovery Program, we immediately signed up!

The Small Business Grant Recovery Program provided participating member banks funds to allocate $10,000 grants to 10 small business and/or nonprofit partners. Beneficiaries needed to demonstrate a decrease in revenue because of COVID-19. Knowing how dramatically the pandemic impacted NYC nonprofits, we reached out to 10 organizations that have inspired us. The grantees are:

Arete Education

Ariva

Bronx River Alliance

The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Custom Collaborative

The Greyston Foundation

The Health and Housing Consortium

Hester Street

Rocking the Boat

Mary Mitchell Family & Youth Center

These nonprofits have wide-ranging missions that include: the arts, financial empowerment, housing, and the environment. For example, Brooklyn-based Arete Living Arts creates artwork that inspires personal, political, or spiritual awakenings. Rocking the Boat, a South Bronx-based nonprofit offers, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education programs for 200 teenagers a year. We are inspired by the work of all the Small Business Grant Recovery recipients and encourage you to stay tuned as we feature them on our blog over the next several months.

To learn more about our mission to support nonprofits, you can read our 2020 Reflection. Learn more about Ariva, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Custom Collaborative. You can also read about our free nonprofit checking accounts and how we can support your organization.

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A Small Business PPP Story

New York City has long been known as a national and international artistic beacon. While the numerous theatres, museums, concert halls, and galleries are the lifeblood of our city, there are also, behind the scenes, hundreds of small businesses that help make our city’s arts scene the best in the world. Chelsea Restoration Associates Inc. is one of those small businesses whose work you may have seen without even knowing it.

Founded in 2004 by John Powell and Amy Sokoloff, Chelsea Restoration is one of New York City’s premier art restoration and conservation studios. They restore and preserve fine paintings that are exhibited in our city’s finest museums, galleries, and dealerships–and they do it from right here in the Bronx!

“It doesn’t matter if the work of art is a family heirloom or something you bought at the flea market, we will restore it,” explains Amy. “We work on paintings that range from $100 to $20 million.”

When COVID-19 hit, the arts were devastated. Without the ability to open venues, artists and the organizations that support them were forced to adapt to a new reality. We are proud to have helped Chelsea Restoration­ during this challenging moment for our city’s arts community with a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

“I am extremely thankful to Spring Bank,” says John. “When the pandemic began, our business flatlined. We did not know how we were going to get through it. But then Spring Bank came along, and they answered all of our calls and emails. Whatever we needed, they were there. Thanks to them, we secured two rounds of PPP funding.”

Before coming to us, Chelsea Restoration tried to get assistance from a large financial institution but was ignored. Small businesses often are. But not with us. As a community bank, we exist to provide personalized and affordable services to all individuals, small businesses and nonprofits.

“We knew that adapting to the pandemic was going to be difficult because so much of our work cannot be done remotely,” says Amy. “But the PPP loan gave us the time to do that. We pivoted to host client consultations and meetings virtually which allowed us to continue our work safely.”

“But it went beyond that,” she continues. “Securing the PPP loan gave us the flexibility to automate a lot of our business processes. Rather than managing our inventory and payroll manually, we can now do it automatically. The benefits will outlast the pandemic because we’ll be able to serve more clients.”

And now, Chelsea Restoration can rehire and employ more people.

“Before the pandemic started, we hired an NYU intern who moved home because of the lockdowns,” says John. “The PPP loan enabled us to hire her back; it prevented one less artist from leaving New York City.”

We know the arts are what make New York City so vibrant and unique. We are proud to have helped when the pandemic disproportionately impacted this vital industry. If you are interested in learning more about how we support the arts, check out our work with the Bronx Museum of the Arts. You can also read more about our PPP lending work here.

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Throughout the pandemic, we have helped dozens of small businesses and organizations across New York City acquire loans to keep their doors open. But you don’t have to wait until the next emergency to build a relationship with us–your local community bank. You can secure the future of your small business now by opening a business checking account with us today.

When you bank with us, we get to know you; we seek to understand your needs and aspirations. Every day we see how small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Across New York City, small businesses maintain the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of working families. But we also know that for a small business, success is not only measured in profits. Having a business checking account with us will give you firsthand access to our personalized approach. We’ll help you secure the funds you may not have access to from a traditional financial institution. And when the next crisis hits, we’ll do our best to help you secure the funds you need to keep your doors open and your employees on the books.

Our business checking account features make it easy for you to get your money when you want it and when you need it. When you open a business checking account with us, you can access free ATMs in the MoneyPass network and Citibank branches. You also have 24/7 access to your money from wherever you are with our mobile app and online banking options. You can even open a business account online. It’s convenient, and it’s safe. And if you run into any issues, give our team a call. With us, you’re never a number; you’re our neighbor.

Our zero-maintenance fee business checking account helps you avoid the time and money you would lose addressing surprise costs associated with your business checking account at a larger financial institution. When you bank with a community bank like us, you’re our priority. Our business checking account puts the community in a community bank. We give you the space to focus on what matters, managing your business and making an impact on your neighborhood. Merely putting your hard-earned money in our business checking account, you are giving back to your community.

When you bank with us, your money is invested locally, contributing to your community’s economic growth by helping other small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals get access to the loans they need. If you would like to support our mission in other ways, you can open a personal checking account or personal savings account today. We’d love to have you.  Read more about our work with small businesses here.

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Having a bank account­– whether it’s a business checking account or a personal savings account­–is critical to maintaining a healthy financial life. The economic downturn combined with the health crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a reminder of the importance of having financial and physical health. With our remote banking feature, you don’t have to make that choice.

Your health and safety are our top priority. Whether it’s over the phone, online, or through our mobile app, you can access our financial products from wherever you are. While we must reduce our social interactions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with our expanded remote banking features, you don’t have to delay making important financial decisions or getting access to the money you need.

Remotely accessing your personal checking account can help make this difficult time easier. As Tax Day approaches and Congress prepares to issue another round of stimulus checks, having a bank account can help you get quicker and safer access to the economic relief you need. Checks can get lost and can take weeks to arrive. When managing money is essential, using direct deposit and our remote banking features can help you pay for ongoing expenses and save for the future.

One of our biggest priorities is encouraging our community members to increase their personal savings to become financially independent. When you can open a bank account or access our services from wherever you are, you save on transportation expenses. Additionally, you don’t have to take time off work to start building wealth and reaching your financial goals. Our built-in flexibility is designed to meet you where you are and to help you attend to financial matters instantly.

Whether it’s in person or remote, our banking staff is personable and experienced. Once we activate your account, you can deposit checks securely from your phone or tablet while on the move or from the comfort of your own home.

Businesses can deposit up to $5,000, and individual customers can deposit up to $1,000. If you would like to increase your deposit limits, don’t hesitate to ask us. In addition to ATMs in the Moneypass network, via our partnership with Citibank, Spring Bank clients can use any ATM within a Citibank branch for free. Regardless of where you live, know that we have something for you.

We are providing services and products that meet all of our customers’ needs. Whether it be online or on the phone, know that we are here for you. Call or download our app. We’ll help you apply for a personal loan or open a new business bank account. We have one of the best savings account online. Find out how we can help you today!

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A few weeks into 2021, and as President Joe Biden reminded us in his inaugural speech, we have hard work ahead of us. With businesses shuttered, hospitals overwhelmed, and streets empty, and as we confront this winter wave of COVID-19, hope can feel distant. And yet, there is much to look forward to and much to fight for.

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) dedicated to financial inclusion, we are ready to meet this moment. Together with the 80 + members of the NYS CDFI Coalition, we are working to ensure that people across New York state receive the financial relief and tools to navigate this difficult time. But beyond our work on the frontlines of the pandemic, there are many reasons to bank with CDFI like us. Here are three of those reasons:

  1. Access to Flexible Lending Terms & Affordable Rates
    At large-financial institutions, customers must provide high credit scores and a large minimum balance to qualify for services, effectively barring people with lower incomes, many of whom are people of color. At a CDFI, someone lacking a healthy credit score or thousands of dollars in savings can get access to the financial system without having to pay exorbitant fees. CDFIs offer financially healthy and credit-building alternatives to the people who need them most by providing flexibility and customized banking products according to our local communities’ needs.
  2. Direct Community Investment & Impact
    Unlike mainstream financial institutions that prioritize shareholders, CDFIs prioritize the economic needs of local neighborhoods. As mission-driven organizations (both for-profit and nonprofit), CDFIs leverage money to support community development like small business lending, small-dollar consumer lending, and affordable housing lending for people and organizations excluded by big banks because of factors like systemic racism and redlining. We have a triple-bottom-line, meaning that we measure success by the health of our community and environment. When you bank with us, you know your dollars are invested back into New York City.
  3. Relationships Matter Most
    Large financial institutions often overlook small businesses, startups, and nonprofits because they can’t offer products with a high-risk factor. CDFIs provide hands-on services that allow them to evaluate small businesses and nonprofits as a whole, starting with a relationship with the entrepreneurs and community leaders. Our holistic approach enables us to create customized products that address the specific needs of vital institutions in excluded communities and, in doing so, support their sustainability.

We are proud to be a CDFI and the first to headquarter in the Bronx. With or without a pandemic, we will continue to fight the racial and economic disparities it has magnified. By opening a personal savings account or business checking account with us, you help support our mission. To learn more about what we do, read our 2020 Reflection. You can also check our blogs about our involvement in the Bank for Good movement and our community-first culture. Apply for a personal loan today!