Some Banks Focused on Fostering Small Business Growth

Over the past month, I have talked with 3 banks that are working to foster small business growth with specific financing programs.  This is heartening news at a time when the regulatory restrictions on loans are intense; the backlash to the 2008 financial collapse is yet another factor slowing recovery. Below, I outline some programs tailored specifically for small business financing from Gorham Savings, Key Bank and Camden National Bank.

Gorham Savings Bank began its high profile LaunchPad program this spring, offering $30,000 to the best business idea to help the economy of Maine.  It is expected to be an annual event.  This year, the 7 semifinalists will have 5 minutes each March 21 to make a pitch for their idea, and the top 3 will be selected.  A video will be posted on the bank’s website fore each of the 3 finalists, and the public will select the winner.

This intriguing event definitely encourages submission of the ideas out there and will give publicity to more than the sole winner. LaunchPad can promote the many excellent ideas that Mainers have now to grow the economy, and provide them with the publicity to gain some sorely needed funding.

KeyBank also impressed me with their specific position for a Small Business Relationship Manager, someone dedicated to this niche, demonstrating a real commitment to this sector.  Small business brings in a smaller level of assets than larger companies; however, Key Bank has relationship managers dedicated to small, medium and large companies, to ensure each gets the attention it needs.

In addition, the bank has a specific financing option available to small businesses, or even start ups, the Small Business Key Equity Options (KEO).  It is a business financing option secured by equity in your home.  It combines a variable-rate line of credit with up to three fixed-rate loan options into one account.

Importantly, the U.S. Small Business Administration backs high risk loans for banks who are approved SBA lenders.  Camden National Bank, noted as a top ten SBA lender in Maine, spoke at a Maine Technology Institute event on financing options earlier this year.  The list of approved banks for SBA loans is extensive, and the SBA website has a quick search option to find the ones in your area.

The Maine District Office, SBA, lists the remaining top 10 SBA loan providers, based on the number of loans, as:
– Katahdin Trust Company
– Bangor Savings Bank
– Norstate Federal Credit Union
– The Bank of Maine
– TD Bank, NA
– KeyBank, NA
– Eastern Maine Development Corp.
– Saco & Biddeford Savings Inst.
– Machias Savings Bank

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of banks committed to helping small businesses grow in Maine.  These are small business programs of banks that I have come across in the last month or two.  However, if you are aware of other effective small business bank programs, please feel free to share them with the readers here.


Tove Rasmussen, your partner in business growth @ Partners Creating Growth, offers business expertise worldwide to help organizations grow, and disadvantaged regions thrive.

Photo credit: 401(k) 2013’s photostream


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