The loans must go on: Shutdown can’t stop SBDC from honoring TD Bank, other top lenders

Cherry-Hill based TD Bank was honored as the Diamond Award winner at the annual New Jersey Small Business Development Center awards earlier this week.

TD Bank was the No. 1 participating third-party lender in the 504 loan program; No. 1 in 7A lender awards and small loans lending; and the No. 1 export lender, totaling more than $102.9 million in financing, SBDC officials said.

Silver award winners included: M&T Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, the Regional Business Assistance Corp., JPMorgan Chase Bank, Santander Bank, UCEDC and the Cooperative Business Assistance Corp.

RBAC was the top certified development corporation and No. 1 community advantage lender, while CBAC was the top microloan intermediary.

Bronze award winners included: PNC Bank, Independence Bank, Berkshire Bank, Republic Bank, Newtek Small Business Finance, NewBank and Celtic Bank.

Since the U.S. Small Business Administration and other federal government agencies are not operating due to the federal government shutdown, NJSBDC — which was the co-sponsor of the event as SBA’s major partner — conducted the awards presentation at this affair.

Brenda Hopper, NJSBDC network CEO and state director, said she was glad the organization was able to step up.

“We were glad to fill in to conduct the annual luncheon and lenders awards presentation,” she said. “The banquet room was packed with lenders, and we were glad to host the event and acknowledge their financing benchmarks.”

Hopper and Deborah Smarth, NJSBDC network chief operating officer and associate state director, led the event.

Rutgers Business School Professor Arturo Osorio gave the keynote address, emphasizing that the fiscal status of individuals and households affects their health, lifespan and the overall well-being of the community.

The NJSBDC network’s 12 centers rely on federal, state and other private/public funding and sponsorships to maximize resources and technical assistance for the state’s small businesses and entrepreneurs in all 21 counties.

Because of this, Hopper and Smarth are hoping that the federal government will open for business soon.

“During this shutdown period, we are relying on other funding sources,” Smarth said. “The state investment portion is extremely important. The Legislature restored state funding increases in 2015 and again in 2018 in the Appropriation Act and the (Gov. Phil) Murphy administration’s continued support is important.”

The NJSBDC is a nonprofit federal-state-educational partnership leveraging funding from the SBA, the New Jersey Business Action Center and other private/public grants/sponsorships. It is headquartered in Newark at the Rutgers Business School.

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