Eastern named 2016 No. 1 SBA lender in New England

February 13, 2017

Eastern Bank named No. 1 SBA lender in New England for seventh consecutive year

Eastern ranked among the Top 10 SBA lenders in the United States for second consecutive year

BOSTON, Nov. 16, 2016 – For the seventh consecutive year, Eastern Bank soared past all competitors to rank as the No. 1 U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in New England, placing it among the Top 10 SBA lenders nationally, the bank announced today.

“Eastern Bank is proud to once again set the pace for SBA lending in New England,” said Richard E. Holbrook, Eastern Bank Chairman and CEO. “Our bankers understand that securing capital is one of the biggest challenges for early stage businesses – that’s why we’ll continue to partner with the SBA to help local entrepreneurs and businesses succeed.”

Eastern’s success was bolstered by its latest innovation, the Express Business Loan, which was introduced earlier this year and provides funding up to $100,000 to small business owners within minutes.

Eastern made 852 7(a) SBA loans in New England totaling more than $54.6 million, according to the SBA. In addition, Eastern ranked No. 1 in the origination of 504 SBA first mortgage loans in New England for the fourth consecutive year with 46 loans worth $34.2 million. The rankings are issued annually in October, based on the number of loans originated by banks in the SBA fiscal year, which runs Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Eastern’s 852 7(a) SBA loans made in New England created 1,136 jobs and retained 1,474 jobs. In Massachusetts, Eastern’s 798 7(a) SBA loans created 955 jobs and retained 1,352 jobs. Eastern made 48 7(a) SBA loans in New Hampshire, which created 169 jobs and retained 66 jobs, according to SBA data self-reported by the bank.

“Our SBA lender community is anchored by a great small business supporter in Eastern Bank,” said Robert Nelson, SBA Massachusetts District Director. “Not only has Eastern led our region, but continues to climb the national ranks with SBA lending finishing top ten this year as well.”

Small business accounts for 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States and employs half of the nation’s private sector workforce. Small firms pay 44 percent of the total U.S. private payroll, have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years, and hire 43 percent of high tech workers, according to the SBA.

SBA loans are intended to help businesses that may not qualify for conventional loans get the funds they need to start, grow and expand. In 2001, Eastern Bank’s experience with processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed loans earned it the designation as a preferred lender, allowing it to speed up the loan approval process significantly.

Starting in 2008, Eastern Bank placed a greater emphasis on providing SBA loans, including the addition of an SBA specialist to its team of business banking professionals.

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest and oldest mutual bank in the United States, with $10 billion in assets and nearly 100 branches serving communities in eastern Massachusetts and southern and coastal New Hampshire. Eastern Bank offers banking, investments and insurance all under one roof, and prides itself on working harder to understand its customers’ needs so it can deliver these services in a committed and personal way. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is a recognized leader in corporate social responsibility and for its advocacy on behalf of a number of social justice causes.

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