Albany, NY - March 24, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the Bridge to Success loan program, now available through participating lenders committing at least $20 million to expand access to short-term bridge loans for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs). The program will provide qualified MWBEs with the short-term resources they need to participate in up to $1 billion in contracting opportunities with New York State.
“Small businesses are the engine of New York's economy, but because of their size they have a harder time getting the capital they need to compete for state contracts," Governor Cuomo said. "To encourage their full participation in rebuilding our economy, the Bridge to Success program will help more small businesses access short-term loans so they can do business with New York’s agencies and authorities. Supporting MWBEs is one more way we're expanding economic opportunity for all New Yorkers."
Empire State Development (ESD) is providing $2.73 million under the Bridge to Success program in loan loss reserves to five participating lenders who will make $20 million available in much needed, short-term, working capital loans to qualifying MWBEs. ESD’s support stimulates increased lending in this area and enables participating lenders to mitigate risk.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “By partnering with high capacity lenders around the state, we are dramatically increasing the lending opportunities for MWBEs looking to work with the State. Many banks are reluctant to provide credit to these firms given the short-term nature of their capital need and the size and experience of many of these companies, despite a good idea or track record. The Governor’s Bridge to Success Program levels the playing field and opens the door for businesses that face challenges using traditional funding sources.”
The following participating lenders provide loan coverage across New York State:
- New York Business Development Corp (NYBDC) – Statewide
- State Employees Federal Credit Union (SEFCU) – parts of the Capital Region, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes and Western New York Regions
- Tompkins Mahopac Bank – Mid-Hudson Region
- TruFund Financial Services (TruFund) – Mid-Hudson, Long Island and New York City Regions
- Carver Federal Savings Bank – New York City Region
Loans made under the program will typically be under $200,000 with terms under two years. Funds will provide qualified MWBEs the bridge capital they need to hire staff, buy materials, or purchase equipment, giving them a better chance to secure and perform on the up to $1 billion that is currently available in State contracting opportunities. Click here to learn more.
New York Business Development Corporation President & CEO Patrick J. MacKrell said, “NYBDC is pleased to participate as a Bridge to Success lender and commends Governor Cuomo and his economic development team for developing this innovative program. Since 1955, NYBDC has maintained its focus on access to capital for New York’s small businesses; this additional tool will allow us to serve a broader array of needs. The formula is simple— access to capital for small business expands opportunity while opportunity promotes prosperity, confidence and sustainable growth in our economy. We look forward to supporting businesses statewide.”
SEFCU President & CEO Michael J. Castellana said, “This new loan program will provide small businesses and entrepreneurs—specifically those that are owned by women and minorities—the opportunity to compete for and execute state contracts by providing the working capital they need. We believe by providing these young companies, as well as seasoned ones, the necessary cash flow, they can compete and expand their business, boosting the economic vitality of our region.”
Tompkins Mahopac Bank Sr. Vice President John Kraus said, “We are extremely pleased and enthusiastic to be a participant in the State's Bridge to Success loan program. Our commitment to the Program is consistent with our community banking model of supporting local businesses with access to capital for growth, economic development and job creation. We look forward to contributing in an important way in the program's success.”
TruFund Financial Services President James H. Bason said, “TruFund Financial Services is delighted to be a participating lender in the Governor’s Bridge to Success Loan Program. This program will allow skilled MWBE contractors to effectively mobilize to the capacity levels required of contracting opportunities with the State of New York. These MWBE contractors will be empowered with the capital to grow their businesses and serve as employers and economic engines, enhancing the economic well-being of this region while contributing to overall, diversified economic growth of the State of New York.”
Carver Federal Savings Bank Chief Lending Officer Alfredo Assad said, “Our support of the Governor’s Bridge to Success Loan Program is a natural extension of Carver’s successful 65-year history of providing credit and financial solutions to individuals, businesses and organizations working or located in the various neighborhoods we serve across New York City. As an organization, Carver continues to support programs that provide increased loan capital access to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises looking to participate in New York State’s contracting opportunities. We look forward to working with the Governor’s office on this exciting new partnership that will provide employment, expand business opportunity and enhance New York State’s infrastructure.”
The Bridge to Success Program complements the New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program, which provides training and financial support to help MWBEs and other small businesses access the surety bonding necessary to bid and perform on State construction contracts. Over $40 million in surety bonding has been secured by small firms to date through the New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program.
The “Bridge to Success” loan program and Surety Bond Assistance Program are just some initiatives that the State has launched to eliminate obstacles to business growth and success, as identified by firms and stakeholders. Other initiatives include an improved online reporting system, a streamlined certification process and increased outreach initiatives.
These efforts to engage entrepreneurs and provide opportunities in an easy and concise way have helped raise the contract utilization rate for MWBEs in New York State beyond the 20 percent goal that Governor Cuomo set in his first State of the State address, when the state utilization rate by MWBEs stood at nine percent.