An economic development corporation in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania has announced the creation of a new partnership with area banks to provide access to a range of financing options to support economic growth.
With economic growth on the rise in the region, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has worked with 13 local banks to establish the Lehigh Valley Lending Network. This unprecedented new program will offer a single point of entry to both private and public financing, allowing businesses that are seeking financing to simultaneously access and shop commercial lending institutions and economic development resource providers.
“We believe this lending network which allows new customers to shop for capital resources in one spot, is very unique in the economic development world and will serve as a best practice for the entire country,” said LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham. “Most regions aren’t fortunate enough to having competing banks working in this unique way to support regional economic growth.”
The Network will streamline the process for Lehigh Valley businesses seeking to establish new bank relationships and allow them to determine the lowest cost options to finance their project. Through the Network, they can canvass incentive financing and traditional bank loan products through one inquiry simultaneously.
“The fact is many companies find the process of trying to find the right bank for their needs exhausting and layered in redundancy,” said John Kingsley, LVEDC Vice President of Finance. “We want to help companies find the right financing quickly.”
The program is simple: An eligible borrower completes a series of forms outlining their business and provides a financial profile outlining their operating history and financing needs. This information is circulated to banks and economic development lenders based on the preferences of the borrower.
Representatives of the selected lending organizations will then provide an expression of interest in working with the borrower that will outline the likely terms of a loan that could be offered if the company meets specific eligibility and credit criteria.
Participating banks include Bank of America, BB&T Bank, Conestoga Bank, Embassy Bank, Lafayette Ambassador Bank, M&T Bank, National Penn Bank, New Tripoli Bank, PNC Bank, Peoples Security Bank, Provident Bank, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo.The Lehigh Valley is the third-largest metropolitan area in Pennsylvania, behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. With a population of about 822,000, the region has a GDP of $35.4 billion, larger than that of the entire state of Vermont and 94 other countries.