A win/win proposition: Supporting the communities where we live
Lending helps local businesses tap into the “real” wealth of their communities
- Credit & Lending
As CEO of Madison Park Development Corporation, Jeanne Pinado has seen her Boston neighborhood blossom in many ways. “We’re physically changing the landscape of this community and impacting the lives of people who live here. We’re changing vacant land into affordable housing and into supermarkets. We’re taking empty lots and turning them into community gardens,” says Pinado.
“So much about what we do is giving people hope and optimism.”
- Jeanne Pinado
Achieving this new vision for Madison Park requires the energy and enthusiasm of the diverse, family-like staff she has assembled and “their talent and knowledge of the community,” she says. But it is also financially possible because Pinado engaged Boston Private and others who have provided loans and funding to her non-profit organization.
Similarly, Boston Private gave Annette Palazuelos, President and CEO of Tridant Solutions, the financial support she needed to seize an opportunity to grow her small business in Southern California. “Tridant is a government contractor with the Department of Defense, so when the government needed additional products and services from us, it was an opportunity to grow the business and employ more people,” says Palazuelos. But first she had to find additional capital to hire and house the employees she would need, in advance of getting paid under the new contract.
That’s where Boston Private stepped in with a small business loan written with favorable rates and terms. As a result, she was able to move into a larger office space and take on new staff. “We have approximately 45 employees in five different states right now,” says Palazuelos. And she’s optimistic about the future.
“I’m not going to stop. This is just the beginning!”
- Annette Palazuelos
Read our interview with Annette to learn more about her biggest influences and what has driven her company’s success.
These are just two of the successful people and organizations that Boston Private has helped through the infusion of funds into their neighborhoods. By investing in community leaders like Pinado and entrepreneurs like Palazuelos, Boston Private is investing in the wealth creators of the next generation.
A long-standing commitment to investing in local communities
Banks recognize the importance of giving back to their communities. But it wasn’t until the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 that the government required banks to formally document these efforts.
“Every bank meets the CRA requirements to support the local community in its own way. How they do this depends on their business model and company culture, as well as their history of meeting the needs of the neighborhoods where they are located,” says Esther Schlorholtz, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Investment.
At Boston Private, we’re solidly committed to serving all of the people within our footprint. That’s why we work in close partnership with diverse groups of people and organizations in our neighborhoods to give them access to capital for a variety of programs that serve low- and moderate-income people.”
This commitment to the community involves three major types of lending, she says.
- Direct lending to small businesses
As in the case of Annette Palazuelos, the bank often lends funds at competitive rates to help small businesses move to the next level of success. These loans, typically under $1 million, are used to finance fixed assets, working capital, and other business needs.
- Home mortgages
“Our Community Homeowner Programs also help foster investment and growth in our neighborhoods, and have made Boston Private a leading provider of residential mortgages for low- and moderate-income families in both Massachusetts and California,” says Schlorholtz. She credits much of the bank’s success with residential lending to its team of bilingual loan officers who “take the time to understand each buyer’s individual financial situation and recommend suitable mortgage financing options.” This ability to combine flexible financing with personal guidance has had very positive results, she says. “About 20% of our home mortgage loans are to low- and moderate-income people.”
- Community development
Boston Private’s community development effort involves larger-scale commercial lending that finances multi-family housing, affordable homeownership, health centers, schools and other types of community investment initiatives. “Essentially, any kind of service that provides a direct benefit to low- and moderate-income people or neighborhoods,” says Schlorholtz. “We also have special expertise in financing community development projects that use Low Income House Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits, rental subsidies and other governmental programs,” she says.
A wealth building approach that creates win/win opportunities
When Boston Private invests in local individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations, it looks for two things: a good business opportunity and a way to promote building wealth in the community.
“Our loans and investments make good business sense, and they also turn out to be very good for the community,” she says. “They end up creating new jobs, improving an area, or rebuilding vacant land into income-producing properties that help to build more economic growth and vitality. It’s really the quality of these investments that makes the difference.”
Schlorholtz is passionate about her work and the importance of Boston Private’s efforts to give back to the communities where the bank is located. “We are committed to making quality investments in the neighborhoods we serve because, when we do, we are building the true wealth of every community by improving the lives of the people who live there.”
The opinions expressed and information contained in this article are given in good faith, may be subject to change without notice, and are as of the date issued. The accuracy and completeness of this information is not guaranteed. Since each client’s situation is unique, please review your specific investment objectives, risk tolerance and liquidity needs with your advisor before a suitable investment strategy can be selected.
- Credit & Lending