WILLIAMSBURG — It was the perfect opportunity to learn about money management and finance at the free business lending forum hosted by Dime Community Bank. The event was open to everyone who wanted to learn more about SBA financing and how to grow your own business.
The free forum was held on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the Dime Community Bank located at 149 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg. Attendees had the opportunity to meet and interact with the Dime Bank’s expert business lending team who offered valuable advice on topics including everything you need to know to get faster access to capital and how to navigate quickly through the SBA lending process.
Speakers included Dime Bank Senior Vice President and SBA Group Leader Kevin Gallagher, Senior Vice President and Director of Retail Sales Angelo Frangella, First Vice President and Regional Director Richard Dodson and Dime Bank Marketing Officer Andy Grippo.
Gallagher joined the bank last January and has been building out the bank’s SBA lending operation by working with local area businesses. “We’re here tonight to spread the word about access to capital for small businesses,” Gallagher told this paper.
“A lot of the businesses don’t realize that there is money available with the right credit. So our role here at the bank has always been to streamline that process. And since we started in January, we’ve grown tremendously this past year,” added Gallagher.
Gallagher also revealed that according to recent FDA numbers, Dime Bank is top-six in New York. “So word is spreading that we have a great process and are giving loans to businesses that might not be available to traditional lending,” he said.
Gallagher said that it was especially rewarding to see businesses grow and go to the next level. “What’s really amazing is seeing someone come through the door with a vision and how fully invested they are in their business. They couldn’t get a loan from their traditional bank but come to us, a community based banking and lending [institution] and we sit down and figure it out with them. If it makes sense, we’re going to find a way to do it.”
Frangella has been working with the bank’s outreach and professional service groups as well as local businesses. “I’m in charge of the 29 branches that Dime Community Bank has and we’re trying to educate our local businesses and let them know about the product solutions we have and how we can help them grow in their business,” Frangella told this paper. “We just want to find a way to help businesses grow on a day-to-day basis and give back,” he added.
Grippo called the networking forum an exciting event. “We’re doing more outreach to the business community and we’ve been getting a great response by reaching out through digital channels,” said Grippo. “So for me, it’s great to see that there’s a hunger for learning about how to get more access to capital for small businesses and we feel we’re the right place for that.”