New Haven gets a new 'Start'
(12/6/2010) (From WTNH)
New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) - A new community bank, based in New Haven, will soon open its doors. One of its promises is to extend more credit to small business to help jump-start the economy.
Beaming with pride and enthusiasm, the president and CEO of the new Start Community Bank says this financial institution will be different.
“Decisions will be made down the street from you, not in another state and not an ocean away,” said Bill Placke.
Also different, according to Placke, is the new community bank will be owned by a non-profit holding company instead of shareholders.
He says Start Community's emphasis will be on community and focusing on things like loans to small businesses to create jobs and rehabilitating local housing units.
“It's important for us in the community to be aware of how we can do better economically,” said Evelyn Streeter of New Haven.
Another focus will be empowering more people about the importance of saving and financial literacy, which includes the young people from Hillhouse High School who attended Monday's news conference.
'We are going to keep track of how many people we move away from check cashing and payday lenders to people who are saving for the future,” Mr. Placke continued.
Monday’s announcement comes just months after the New Haven-based New Alliance Bank announced its merger with First Niagara out of Buffalo, New York.
Start Community's first two branches – one on Whalley Avenue and the other in Fair Haven -- should be open for business in January of 2011.
“Today is an important threshold,” said Mayor John DeStefano (D-New Haven). “But we still have not made a loan. We still have not opened an account and that's the business we need to be about'
So far in 2010 just three banks have cleared all of the federal hurdles needed open up. In a typical year that number would be closer to 100.
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