First Niagara Tops SBA Lender List

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Bank underwrote $14M in 7(a) loans in FY 2012

"">NB4earleNEW HAVEN — First Niagara Financial Group has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business AdministrationÂ’s (SBA) Connecticut District Office as one of the recipients of the organizationÂ’s 2012 Eagle Award for Top Dollar 7(a) Lender in Connecticut.

The 7(a) loan program is the SBAÂ’s primary lending program to "cheap_valium">cheap valium start-up and existing small businesses secure financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through traditional lending channels.

Photo: "//#valium_generic">valium generic.S. "">buy . Richard Blumenthal presented First NiagaraÂ’s SBA Department Manager, Chris Earle, with the "//#there">there.S. SBAÂ’s Eagle Award for 2012 Top Dollar 7(a) Lender in Connecticut.


“First Niagara has built upon the success of its predecessor, NewAlliance, by working closely with the SBA to offer 7(a) loans to businesses throughout the state,” said SBA District Director Bernard Sweeney. “Small-business growth is vital to Connecticut’s economic recovery, and we’re pleased that First Niagara is playing a leading role in that recovery by offering this product to small business owners.”

In 2010, First Niagara’s predecessor, NewAlliance Bank, recorded $6 million in 7(a) loans to Connecticut small businesses. First Niagara continued to grow its SBA business following its acquisition of NewAlliance. As a result, First Niagara’s SBA loan total rose to $8,040,000 in 2011 and, in 2012, the bank saw dramatic growth to more than $14 million — an 83.5-percent increase over 12 months.

SBA lending in Connecticut totaled nearly $229 million during the federal government’s 2012 fiscal year ending September 30.

“The exponential growth of our SBA lending business is a strong indicator of the strength and resilience of small businesses in Connecticut, and across our footprint,” said First Niagara SBA Department Manager Chris Earle. “First Niagara is proud to be the top dollar lender for SBA 7(a) loans in Connecticut, and we look forward to continuing to provide small businesses in the region with products and services that meet their needs and allow them to thrive in the state.”

Locally, Harty Press, a family-owned, 100-year-old commercial printer and mailer in New Haven, secured SBA financing from First Niagara in May and moved all of its operational accounts over to the bank as well. “From early conversations through our closing, the loan process was completely transparent and every person and department we dealt with at First Niagara was responsive and professional,” said Harty Controller Bob Graham.

In addition, Trumbull dentist Jason Oberhand was able to acquire a dental practice with more than 4,000 patients and 11 staff as a result of SBA funding from First Niagara. The practice, Jason Oberhand ,DDS Family Dentistry, opened in July.

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