CLINTON, NJ, April 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Gary Shiman, co-owner and executive vice president of Renovation of the Bellari house Branchburg, is one of nearly 1,000 companies to receive more than $ 130 million in Unity Bank loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the special funding initiative designed to help small businesses survive the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I consider myself very lucky to have been a client of Unity Bank when this crisis erupted because the government put the banks in a very difficult position by asking them to be responsible for putting PPP funds into the hands of companies. “Shiman said. “The banks had to drop everything and open a dime to do PPP, which was not an easy task. Unity Bank is everything a community bank is supposed to be, so they did it for us, but I could have lost a 70 year old business without Unity.
Bellari, formed in 1950 as Somerville Aluminum, has around 40 employees, half of whom were laid off due to the crisis, with the rest accepting a 25% pay cut to continue working. Shiman said the company has lost 95% of its business since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The Unity loan team worked 24 hours a day, evenings and weekends to process all of the PPP requests we received from our clients,” said James A. Hughes, President and CEO of the management of Unity Bank. “I could not be more proud of our employees as all completed Unity Bank customer requests have been approved or are being processed. The Unity team is committed to helping our customers as many companies would not have survived the crisis otherwise.
In P3’s first federal funding round, Unity completed and funded 451 SBA-approved loans, totaling more than $ 89 million. In the second round of federal funding, which was just announced this week, Unity approved 504 applications, totaling nearly $ 42 million.
“All of our operations have been impacted by COVID 19,” said Bob Frankenfield, executive director of Warren County Family Promise, who received a PPP loan with Unity. “Our shelter program is closed because all of the congregations that have closed. The way our program works, before the crisis, a place of worship might have been programmed to accommodate homeless families about four times a year for a week at a time, but due to the fact that congregations are closed and that many of our volunteers are in a high risk category, unfortunately we cannot serve these families. Our requests for relocation and homeless prevention programs have also been drastically reduced due to regulatory requirements despite our best efforts to serve the community. The end result will be a huge increase in service requests when the lockdown is lifted. “
Loans for the second round of financing are still being processed by the SBA. The average PPP loan amount approved to date by Unity is around $ 140,000 and thousands of jobs have been saved through its PPP loan business. The geographic location of companies benefiting from Unity PPP loans is: New Jersey, 89%; Pennsylvania, 5%; New York, 5%; and others, 1%.
“I can finally sleep at night,” said Jill Reising, a Unity PPP beneficiary who is a co-owner of Jersey Mike’s Subs franchises operating in Flemington and Doylestown, Pennsylvania. “We have 36 employees between the two restaurants and have been a Unity SBA customer since the Flemington site opened six years ago. We plan to open a third restaurant in New Hope, PA, hopefully this summer. We’ve had to cut down to about eight or 10 between the two sites and our business is down 50% to 60%, but at least we don’t have to worry about paying our employees and we’re healthy.
Thomas True, CEO, President and Founder of True and Associates of Westfield, an insurance agency with offices in Clinton, Cranford and New York, said its business had declined by 25 to 50% since the start of the crisis.
“We probably would have had to lay off 11 of our 56 employees if we hadn’t received the PPP funds from Unity,” said True, a customer of the bank for about 10 years. “We have been very proactive in reaching out to our clients to negotiate premium relief for them with the insurance companies that have their policies, as insurance coverage is one of the biggest expenses on the company’s balance sheet. . Unity has been very helpful in organizing the PPP process for us and I know that has not been the case for many companies with other banks, so we are grateful for this long-standing relationship with a leading bank. community.
PPP is designed for any small business with less than 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers, private non-profit organizations or 501 (c) (19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. Companies in some industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA size standards for those industries. Business owners can apply through any existing SBA 7 (a) lender or any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and participating farm credit system institution. .
“Last year, Unity updated their lending technology and adopted Abrigo such as its SBA lending solution to enable the bank to obtain PPP loans for clients that were not traditionally served by large financial institutions, ”said Hughes. “The technology investment has been important to our success with PPP loans, as the software upgrade has helped Unity secure funds for our clients. This efficiency improvement allowed Unity to redeploy loan officers to the field and restart our normal loan operations. We are here for your business.
Unity participates in the Loan Program 7 (a), the SBA’s main program to help start-ups and existing small businesses obtain financing when they may not be eligible for commercial loans through normal lending channels. The bank also participates in the SBA 504 loan program, an economic development program that provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization.
About Unity Bancorp, Inc.
Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNTY), the parent company of Unity Bank, its principal and wholly-owned subsidiary, is a financial services organization headquartered in Clinton, New Jersey. Unity Bank provides financial services to businesses and consumers at 19 branches across New Jersey and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Unity Bank provides community-driven commercial banking services including deposit accounts, loans, online and mobile services. For more information, please visit www.unitybank.com or call 800-618-BANK (800-618-2265).
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