By Ines Marino, our Director of Small Business Lending
After I say goodbye to the newest addition to my family, Pipa, our nine-month old puppy, I head to Harlem to visit a client. They are opening their second restaurant and renovations are in full swing. So many things to do to be ready for the grand opening! Spring Bank will provide the financing to purchase furniture and fixtures as well as cover working capital expenses so the business has a great start. I can’t wait to see it up and running!
I head back to the office to work on the underwriting of a small business loan. The numbers are not quite there yet and I need to find a way of making the deal work. I consult with the Chief Lending Officer, my supervisor (who happens to sit 10 feet away from me) and we do our best to make it work for the local business.
After a quick lunch, I meet with a new client, who wants to apply for the first line of credit for her business. She makes artisanal chocolates through selected retail outlets and online. Luckily for me, she brought some samples and they are amazing! She tells me she started her business two years ago with a tax refund and her credit cards, and now that sales are growing she needs to be prepared for larger orders. I commend her for her decision, as the best time to apply for line of credit for your business is when your financials look strong and you don’t need the funds immediately. She leaves with a list of documents we will need and confident that I will be there supporting her through the process. A really great first meeting!
In the early afternoon I meet with the marketing and communications director to review the presentations we have lined up at different food-incubators in the city. We are both very excited about this potential partnership, as businesses incubated at these facilities are exactly the type of client we want to serve: young and vibrant companies already selling and struggling to get to the next level. We have the perfect product for them, our unsecured $10,000 line of credit.
Later in the day, I head to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. My goal is to meet and understand the needs of small business owners so that Spring Bank can develop products that are designed to meet these challenges. These informal conversations are a great source of information that will later be used to make our products work for our clients. As a small, community bank it’s easy for us to be innovative and adaptable based on local needs.
I love my job because I get to see and interact with people who are passionate about what they do, on a daily basis. Clients often inspire me with their stories of resilience, perseverance and drive. It takes a lot of courage to start a business and get it off the ground. Entrepreneurship is often a lonely road. At Spring Bank we want to be a partner and accompany our clients on this exciting path!