18 Local Lenders Offer Valley Small Businesses $2 Million Emergency Loan Fund

Small Businesses impacted by the gas emergency have access to capital thanks to local, collaborative Financial Institutions.

BOSTON – December 19, 2018 – Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) announces the full funding of a $2 million recapitalization of the Merrimack Valley Small Business Emergency Loan Fund with support from 18 local financial institutions. The additional capital brings the total loan fund to $3 million, supported by 25 lenders providing a combined contribution of $2.1 million and MGCC supporting with $900.

In September, following the gas line explosions in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the creation of the Merrimack Valley Small Business Emergency Loan Fund. MGCC and ten lenders provided an initial $1 million in capital, partnering with the Lawrence Partnership and Mill Cities Community Investments (MCCI) to develop the fund and assist impacted small businesses. A month later, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the $2 million recapitalization of the loan fund at a press conference in Andover attended by community leaders, participating lenders, small business owners and local elected officials.

“The collaboration of financial institutions to address the needs of small businesses was urgent and although complex, was immediate,” said Larry Andrews, President of MGCC. “It is imperative regionally for each of us to consider buying from those businesses located in North Andover, Andover and Lawrence through the holiday season and into 2019. The greater the participation of new customers for these small businesses, the faster resumption of profitability and success.”

Today, the recapitalization’s full funding announcement honors the contributions of the financial institutions to the small businesses affected by the disaster. These lenders have given impacted businesses the ability to rebound from this emergency with access to immediate capital as they work to re-open their doors. It has been a unique opportunity in which an unprecedented number of financial institutions, historically competitors, came together to align resources and support the affected communities. The leadership of these lenders is demonstrated in recognizing the needs of small businesses during this crisis.

“The alignment of so many leaders for the banking industry is remarkable not only in its impact for the impacted businesses, but also as a show of unity and commitment to the future of these communities,” said Derek Mitchell, Executive Director of Lawrence Partnership.

The $2 million fund recapitalization is supported by 18 lenders contributing a total of $1.6 million, combined with $400,000 from MGCC:

• Berkshire Bank
• Cape Ann Savings Bank
• Century Bank
• East Boston Savings Bank
• Eastern Bank
• Enterprise Bank
• First Ipswich Bank
• Leader Bank
• Lowell Five Bank
• North Shore Bank
• Northmark Bank
• People’s United Bank
• Reading Co-operative Bank
• Salem Co-operative Bank
• Santander Bank
• South Shore Bank
• Stoneham Bank
• Wakefield Co-operative Bank

The initial fund was made possible by ten lenders providing a total of $500,000, combined with $500,000 from MGCC:

• Align Credit Union
• Digital Federal Credit Union
• Eastern Bank
• Enterprise Bank
• Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union
• M. Valley Federal Credit Union
• Pentucket Bank
• Reading Co-operative Bank
• TD Bank
• The Savings Bank

Three lenders – Eastern Bank, Enterprise Bank and Reading Co-operative Bank – participated in the initial capitalization, as well as the recapitalization.
Enterprise Bank was the lead bank on this initiative, organizing the 25 lenders’ participation and the administration of funds.

In its commitment to helping small businesses recover from this disaster, Columbia Gas contributed a $250,000 loan loss reserve in the fund’s initial round and a $500,000 loan loss reserve in the second round, totaling $750,000 since the fund formation.

Merrimack Valley Small Business Emergency Loan Fund Details

Any business that has been impacted by the recent gas disaster will qualify for the funds, including businesses from Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.
This fund is being offered with no payments and no interest for the first six months. For businesses that extend beyond a six-month period, market rates will apply and loans can be extended or restructured for multi-year term loans. Businesses can apply for up to $50,000. There is no minimum loan amount.
How to Apply

The fund is designed to create an expedited application and approval process, with the goal of getting all applications processed within 24 to 48 hours.
Mill Cities Community Investments will receive all applications for this fund and will process internally.

Contact MCCI by phone, email, or in-person at:
50 Island Street, Suite #103
Lawrence, MA 01840
For a full listing of required documentation go to www.wearelawrence.org/lawrencegasresponsebusiness.