Our most significant, and probably most obvious, role in this sort of community and economic development would be as a lending source. Our Commercial Lending team puts its substantial market knowledge and experience to use as it works with property owners and developers looking to invest in economically-challenged areas within the communities we serve.

A recent example of this sort of direct involvement would be when we set aside $3,000,000 of our commercial loan portfolio in support of the City of Poughkeepsie’s “Poughkeepsie Innovation District” initiative. This initiative, which began earlier this year, has a goal of improving the business climate over several blocks with Poughkeepsie’s downtown area. Through rehabilitation of existing buildings/properties, as well as plans for multi-family and live/work spaces, the goal is to transform this collection of properties into a center for design, retail, professional offices and cultural establishments. As a long-time member of the Poughkeepsie community, we felt strongly about doing what we could to encourage and support investment in the City of Poughkeepsie! Our loan fund continues to provide funding for different loan types, including commercial express loans, equipment and vehicle purchases, as well as real estate transactions to prospective borrowers in the Poughkeepsie Innovation District. We look forward watching the growth of downtown Poughkeepsie and are proud to lend our support (pardon the pun)!

We don’t just look at our role as a lender, rather, we play a vital role as a community leader as well. We are well-positioned, for example, to connect developers with potential investors in both commercial and residential settings. Our own Phil Bronzi, SVP - Commercial Lending Director, was invited to participate in a panel discussion in April, entitled “Rejuvenating Urban Centers – Beacon & Poughkeepsie”. The purpose of the discussion was to identify Poughkeepsie and Beacon-area buildings and properties within Opportunity Zones1 “where their rehabilitation or redevelopment would be a catalyst for the revitalization of the surrounding area.”2 Mr. Bronzi explained the Bank’s potential role as a key part of local Opportunity Zone teams, including how we can serve in that “connector” capacity.

For more information about our Commercial Lending products or services, please click here.

References:

1. May, 2019. Opportunity Zones. Economic Innovation Group. https://eig.org/opportunityzones

2. April, 2019. Rejuvenating Urban Centers – Beacon & Poughkeepsie. Panel discussion hosted by Chris Lankenau of Urban Partners.

Patrick Hickey

Marketing & Communications Coordinator