The past year and a half has been a challenge for many small businesses, as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their operations, forced some businesses to close during mandated shutdowns, and has even impacted recruiting and hiring qualified staff. PPP loans were a critical bridge for many small business owners, but the flagship SBA 7(a) program has been a key tool to economic recovery and growth.
Through it all, small business owners and operators throughout the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region have persevered, and even thrived, to keep their businesses running and their workers employed.
“In speaking with our Customers over the past 18 months, the common thread my team and I see is the strength of small businesses to stand up and deliver for their customers and each other, every day,” says Candice Caruso, Senior Vice President, Director of Government Guaranteed Lending for WSFS Bank. “Small business owners and their employees have taken the Main Street mentality of banding together for their community a step further, relying on one another by combining and sharing resources during the hard times and continuing to support each other at every step of economic recovery.”
Caruso has also seen the impact SBA-backed loans have had on small businesses throughout 2021 as communities and economies have emerged from the height of the pandemic in 2020.
“I’m proud of the resiliency of our communities’ small businesses and their willingness to trust their bank, and in our case, the WSFS SBA Lending Team.” WSFS Bank has continued to lend under the 7(a) program to support small business owners with business acquisitions, commercial real estate purchases, debt refinance, equipment purchases and franchise ownership. “At the heart of our communities are the small business owners supporting their family and creating jobs.”
As a result of these efforts on everyone’s part, WSFS Bank ranks first in Delaware for SBA 7(a) loan dollars lent, and in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey WSFS ranked third in loan volume and second in loan dollars lent, which also earns the Bank national rankings for 7(a) loan volume and dollar amounts.
“These rankings are a testament to the hard work, dedication and relationships built with our Customers, and I am extremely proud of our team in meeting the needs of our small business community,” says Caruso.
“It is also a reminder of the fortitude and entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses throughout the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region. While we celebrate them for 2021’s National Small Business Week, we continue to admire their perseverance and will to step up for their employees, customers and communities every day.”
As businesses continue to recover, owners and operators are encouraged to speak with their SBA-District office about new and expanded government programs such as changes to the SBA’s Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. “The expanded EIDL program is open now through the end of 2021, so the time to act is now,” says Caruso.
Click here to learn more about the SBA’s National Small Business Week and virtual summit, September 13-15, 2021.
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