Lots of people—from politicians to entrepreneurs—talk about “small businesses” and how crucial they are to the economy and to people’s livelihoods. But at Hudson Valley Bank, actions speak louder than words.
“I don’t like to use the word ‘small,’ because, to the business person, it’s their life,” says Michael Maloney, executive vice president at Hudson Valley Bank. “It’s not small to them, and it’s not small to us.”
Founded in Yonkers in 1972, Hudson Valley Bank has long been an ally of Westchester businesses, growing as a result of fruitful relationships it has built with businesses in Yonkers and its neighboring communities. “As they’ve grown, we’ve grown,” says Maloney, who has been with Hudson Valley Bank since 1993. “One customer started out with a $50,000 line of credit. Today, they have a $7 million line of credit. We’ve been able to keep up with our customers.”
The bank had about a dozen branches and $500 million in assets when Maloney started working there. As of press time, Hudson Valley Bank has about $2.8 billion in assets and 35 branches throughout Westchester, Rockland, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Connecticut. Despite its growth, though, the bank has stayed true to its community-centric ideals. “As a testament to the bank’s relationship style of banking, many of the bank’s customers are the second and third generation of the family business,” says Joan Dupay, HVB’s senior vice president and marketing director.
The bank currently has more than 1,500 small-business loans with a total outstanding balance of more than $650 million in Westchester, according to Dupay, including commercial mortgages to help businesses purchase or renovate properties; term loans to help businesses expand; lines of credit to help companies with receivable and inventory financing; bridge loans to help businesses through challenging times; and equipment loans for energy upgrades and capital improvements.
When a business requests a loan from Hudson Valley Bank, a relationship manager will usually meet with the borrower at the business to get an understanding of the company’s plan and purpose of the loan. “That’s really the key: understanding their business,” says Maloney. Depending on the complexity of the deal, approval of the loan can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
The bank doesn’t just sit and wait for businesses to come to it, either. Last year, for instance, Hudson Valley Bank rushed to help victims of Superstorm Sandy, becoming the first bank in the state to commit funds to a small-business emergency loan fund established by the New York Business Development Corp. and coordinated through the New York Bankers Association. Hudson Valley Bank pledged $500,000 to the lending pool, which provided expedited low-interest loans to small businesses hit hardest by the storm.
“Small businesses have been our lifeline,” says Maloney. “That’s been our core, and we’ve never wavered from that.”
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