As a longtime small business owner, Ed Tropeano of NewsWatch TV and Bridge Communications LLC knows a thing or two about the rewards and challenges many of his clients experience when running their companies.
“I started Bridge Communications in the Washington, DC area in 1989 as a solely-owned video production and communications company,” says Tropeano. “As the company grew, we found that many of our small business clients didn’t have the means for full production and distribution services, so we decided to expand our scope.”
Leaning on his professional background in print and television journalism, Tropeano and his team launched NewsWatch TV in 1999, a television news series featuring businesses and products that cover a wide range of interests including consumer, technology, travel, health, and entertainment news and reviews.
Airing on AMC Network and ION Network, NewsWatch has told more than 10 thousand individual stories and has become a go-to for businesses looking to gain exposure for their products and services.
“It’s been exhilarating to grow the company into a family business,” says Tropeano. “My oldest son Andrew is a co-host for NewsWatch and my other son, Bryan, manages the business side of the company. Working together, the team has created incredible features for our small business and startup clients.”
With growth, however, comes additional challenges.
“Like a lot of small businesses, freeing up cash flow is a need for us as we increase our marketing efforts and fund future projects,” says Tropeano.
Tropeano decided to explore opportunities available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and applied via the SBA’s online portal, which provides small businesses and SBA-preferred lenders an opportunity to connect.
Soon, Tropeano was contacted by WSFS Bank’s Asu Mustapher, Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager for WSFS Bank.
“There was an instant comfort level with Asu and WSFS,” says Tropeano. “She took the time to come to meet me in-person, which was impressive. The entire experience felt personal and consultative with a focus on matching our business with the right SBA program to provide additional working capital.”
That personal approach was put to the test early on as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.
“The pandemic didn’t make things easier for the small business community, but Asu and the WSFS team worked closely with us all along the way to close the loan,” says Tropeano. “Their efforts helped us continue to provide valuable services for our Bridge Communications and NewsWatch clients.”
With the loan in place, Tropeano and his team were able to continue their support of fellow small businesses and overall vision for the future of Bridge Communications and NewsWatch TV.
“We’re proud of the work we’ve done to help connect businesses with consumers and potential business-to-business partners,” says Tropeano. “Despite recent challenges, the future is bright for so many businesses, from established companies to entrepreneurial startups. We look forward to growing with our amazing customers.”
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