Local Bank Honored in Veazie for Small Business Contributions in Maine 

The Small Business Administration named Bangor Savings Bank the top lender in Maine for 2012.The bank partnered with the SBA to provide almost $5 million in loans to more than 40 new or existing businesses. “When you think about the fact that there are 147,000 small businesses in Maine, they make up 97% of the Maine economy, you really don’t have to say much more than that. That’s what it’s all about,” said Jim Conlon, president and CEO of Bangor Savings Bank.People from the business community gathered to recognize the bank and talk about the support they give.”Fortunately, in a place like Maine, we all know each other, so we can collaborate in ways that make a difference and so, it isn’t just the capital loan, it’s guidance that comes with that. It’s the banker that will come out and visit the facility and meet with them. It’s working with others to develop workforce development,” said Michael Aube, president and CEO of Eastern Maine Development Corporation.Starting a business isn’t easy.”It means until things get going, you really have to put all your efforts into it you have to raise your focus in whatever you do,” said Kurt Cressey, co-owner of Pack Baskets of Maine.Business owners appreciate the help they get.”There’s certain things that you have to provide in the whole loan process, but they made us do our homework and I think that a lot of small businesses, because they are really good at preparing their customers, I think in the long run it helps them, but it helps us as well,” said Kathy Cressey, co-owner of Pack Baskets of Maine.”The fact that they are as local in Maine based businesses, it’s huge. I’ve got my business lender, my residential lender, several others, all on my speed dial: I talk to them all the time. It’s a nice safety net to know that if you need something they’ve there for you,” said Matt Qualey, owner and president of Qualey Granite and Quartz.Bangor Savings officials say it’s all about personal relationships.”It’s not about sitting in your cubicle and waiting for someone to come see you. It’s about getting out in the market place and going to visit these businesses and then you’ll truly know how to help them. You’ve got to be efficient with their time, because they don’t have a lot of time,” said Conlon.