As a bank based in the diversity-rich Bronx, we’re proud to have a team of individuals with different backgrounds and skill sets, all working together to create equal opportunities for people to build prosperous and abundant futures for their families and communities. As we grow to support more community members with our affordable banking services, we always look forward to having passionate and talented individuals join our staff. Binnoy Amin is such a person, having started with us over a year ago.

Like most of our team members, Binnoy likes working with numbers. Growing up in India, Binnoy’s family was very business-oriented, owning several companies, from a packaging factory to a poultry farm. This entrepreneurial spirit inspired him to pursue a career in business. He studied Business Administration, Accounting, and Finance in the UK, ultimately leading him to hotel management, where he led a team of over 60 employees.

With experience in operations at such a scale, Binnoy sought to learn more about what goes into running and managing a business. So, he tapped into his finance background and discovered a role at Spring Bank. As the bank’s Accountant, Binnoy manages much of the administrative end of daily banking services, including managing vendor relationships and wire transfers and forecasting budgets and investments. It’s much different than his previous work, which was more customer-facing, but Binnoy is up for the challenge.

“It’s challenging and fascinating to learn. I have access to the bank books, which helps me understand the system, and it’s been exciting so far. I’m learning a lot about my position, the overall mission, and how a community bank operates,” he says.

Binnoy values our commitment to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. He understands the importance of getting to know our customers to be able to develop a strategy each business’ needs.

“I strive to help small businesses. I know how hard it is to run one and the commitment it requires every day to keep it going. I am proud to work at a bank that shares this vision for local businesses, too,” he shares.

There’s so much to uncover in finance. Fortunately, working for a community bank allows Binnoy to dive deeper into the New York City financial system. Our team’s openness and willingness to share and grow together have allowed Binnoy to quickly learn about our community partnerships, small business accounts, commercial lending, and more. He can see the application of our mission and impact on the community.

“Everyone here, even the senior managers, are always open. I can easily walk into their office to talk. I feel supported and part of something larger than my job here,” he says.

We are grateful to have Binnoy as our staff member and for his eagerness to jump right into the mission, learn, and become part of our open, supportive culture. 

Read more about our team and what it’s like to work at one of the only community banks in Bronx, New York.

–   Against All Odds: Eric’s Story of Launching a Bank in the South Bronx

–   Erica Rosero: Centering Our Community in Our Small Business & Nonprofit Lending

–   Growing Together with Keila Mendez, Head Teller & Customer Service Representative

–   How Germarie Uses Her Financial Expertise to Help Her Community

–   Living Our Mission: Featuring Diana Ravagnan, BSA Officer

–   Rooted in Community: A Conversation with Josefa Ruiz, VP & Branch Market Manager

Image features Small Business Client, SouthBox Gym by Eric Kelly.
Image features Small Business Client, SouthBox Gym by Eric Kelly.

Celebrating National Small Business Week This May

“We understand every single stage of the business and are here to help you. We are a small business ourselves.” – Erica Rosero, Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Officer

Whether you’re just starting your business or have been operating for many years, there are challenges at every stage of owning a small business. For example, managing finances and obtaining capital is a common hurdle for entrepreneurs. Here at Spring Bank, we’re equipped with the resources, tools, and education you need to understand and prepare for the lending process. In addition, unlike larger conventional banks that use a standardized approach to manage thousands of clients, we bring a personalized approach to help you grow your business. Finally, we want to get to know you and your business, and developing a good relationship starts with building trust.

Erica Rosero, our Small Business and Nonprofit Loan Officer, works one-on-one with clients to align their finances with their small business goals. While in university, Erica worked for Lehman’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a counselor and certified business advisor. She supported small businesses at all life stages with tools from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to support business expansion. Coincidentally for the five years she worked there, Erica referred clients to us to open affordable new business bank accounts and access credit.

“Once the business is established, at some point, you will need a line of credit, credit card, or a business bank account, depending on what kind of product or service you are offering,” says Erica.

In addition to our business bank account, our most popular small business product is our $10,000 micro line of credit. This microloan can help you get things off the ground or expand your existing business. If you are not ready to apply, Erica will never simply decline you. Instead, she will always connect you to the necessary tools to get you on track for approval.

So, what does a human-centered, personalized approach to small business lending look like?

Our Unique Approach

The personal experience you get with us is unlike any other bank. We value meaningful relationships in our work. Here’s what you can expect from our lending experience compared to high-interest FinTech lenders in the market:

No snooping

We only look at your bank statements and ensure the line of credit we offer will not hurt you. We don’t want you to devote all of your cashflows to repayment.

In-depth expert review

We take our time to understand the business, its needs, and why you are looking for the money. Then, we look at it as a case-by-case scenario and customize the lending experience. In some cases, we offer more or less than what is requested based on our review of the financials.

Additionally, we understand and address the other challenges small business owners face, such as preparing your credit score for review when applying for loans and ensuring you keep your personal and business transactions separate using a personal checking account and a business checking account.

No predatory lending

We don’t just give you a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ We will always explain why you are approved or denied for a loan. Of course, not everyone likes to be denied what they request, but it’s essential to understand that things could change at any moment. For example, how will you support your business in an emergency if you plan to allot all your savings to pay off the loan? In this way, we protect you from unnecessary debt. We also offer affordable interest rates with no interest rate floor.

As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we commit to supporting small businesses that create jobs and living wages. We offer various new business bank accounts, lending options, and free financial counseling services through our community partners, like GreenPath Financial Wellness and Start Small Think Big, to get your business on the right track.

Are you ready to experience small business banking on a whole other level? Get expert knowledge and personalized service from our community bank. Ready to start your entrepreneurial journey or build your existing business? Contact us today to learn more about our $10,000 micro line of credit and small business bank account options.

Proud to be a new member of The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV)

We are excited to announce that we joined a collaborative and international network of mission-aligned financial institutions and leaders called The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). We are one of just a handful of banks invited to participate from the United States, including our colleagues and B Corp peers at Amalgamated Bank, Beneficial State Bank, and Sunrise Bank.

The collective goal of the GABV is “to make the banking system more transparent and support positive economic, social, and environmental change.”

The approach includes:

● Making the business case of values-based banks through thought leadership
● Setting the standard for triple-bottom-line finance through the GABV scorecard
● Addressing urgent challenges like climate change
● Driving systemic change through industry engagement
● Supporting leadership development through a leadership academy
● Sharing best practices at an annual conference and online gatherings

“We are excited to be joining an international network of like-minded banks. We hope to learn from other GABV banks about how to best utilize our unique position as capital providers to advance economic and climate justice. At the same time, we hope that we can contribute what we have learned over the past fifteen years as a mission-driven financial institution so that more of us in the financial services industry can be a part of the solution to economic justice and the climate crisis rather than part of the problem.”
Demetris Giannoulias, CEO, Spring Bank

If you follow our story, you’ll know that we are continually working to improve how we increase access to capital and help people build generational wealth. When we opened our doors fifteen years ago, we were the first bank to headquarter in the Bronx in over 20 years, and we knew we needed to stay committed. At first, it wasn’t easy developing trust in the South Bronx, a community where many people had negative experiences with banks or had never opened a personal savings or checking account. We knew it would require time, relationship-building, and reliability. As our President and Compliance Officer, Eric Pallas, says, “we defied the odds.”

We quickly realized we needed to join arms and learn alongside like-minded financial institutions that also balance profit and mission goals. Part of what holds us accountable to our mission of financial inclusion is the B Corp and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) communities. We are grateful to now also be held accountable by an international network of banking peers at the GABV. Learn more about The Global Alliance for Banking on Values here. Follow their work on LinkedIn here. Explore why we are one of the best community banks in Bronx, New York.

$10M from Mizuho Bank for Mission-Based Lending

Trust is the foundation of our business. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we are positioned between larger financial institutions, many of which have no physical presence or retail space, and the financial needs of our community. Investments of affordable capital from other financial institutions help support our lending goals.

In December 2022, Mizuho Bank (USA), a partner and leading wholesale bank, placed a $10 million deposit with us. This deposit directly supports the growth of Bronx-based small businesses and nonprofit organizations, including Empire Tool Rental, Rocking the Boat, and Bronx River Alliance.

“We are grateful to Mizuho Bank for its investment in our community. It is always a challenge for CDFI banks with branches in low-income communities to generate deposits that fund loans to individuals and small businesses in our neighborhood in the South Bronx,” says Demetris Giannoulias, our CEO. “The Mizuho Bank deposit helps us do this.”

“We rely on partnerships and the skills and expertise of people that operate and have strong relationships in under-resourced communities. So, when we were thinking about how to deploy more capital into the communities of New York City, Spring Bank was on the shortlist,” says Lesley Palmer, Managing Director, Head of Community Relations, and CRA Officer at Mizuho Bank (USA), a subsidiary of Mizuho Americas LLC. “We are committed to putting resources into the hands of CDFIs and mission-driven organizations that can use them most effectively.”

We equally rely on the quality of our relationships—to receive significant investments from larger institutions like Mizuho Bank and lend that capital back to businesses in New York City. Like a loan to long-established Empire Tool Rental, a construction equipment and tool rental, service, and sales company, to help acquire a commercial building in the South Bronx.

“Not only did I expand my business, but the loan with Spring Bank also helped me purchase a real estate property to rent out no matter what happens with the business,” says Terry Fuhrman, CEO of Empire Tool Rental. “I know Spring Bank has my back. My business is built on relationships, and I can’t speak more highly of the personal, quality relationship I have with Spring Bank.”

Check out Empire Tool Rental and read the features on Bronx River Alliance and Rocking the Boat: The Bronx is a Place Where Everything Is Possible,

Learn more about Spring Bank, its commitment to New York City communities, and its impact on local economies through the great work of CDFI Certified Banks.

We hope you’ll consider us for your new business bank account among banks in Bronx, New York. We offer small business accounts and a business checking account, and one of the best savings accounts online.

Featuring Five Staff Perspectives

Seven proud years and counting.

When we first joined the B Corp community in 2016, we saw the B Corp model as an opportunity to formalize and be held accountable to our community-centered mission. We exist to create financial inclusion for families, small businesses, and nonprofit leaders in the Bronx and across New York City.  Today we experience being a B Corp as a way to certify that our model is working for all our stakeholders; measuring our internal and external impact across our community, workers, customers, the environment, and also as part of a movement of leaders to “go beyond.”

The B Impact Assessment has helped us to understand and guide our path toward carbon neutrality; to shape our products like our E-Bike Loan NYC and accessible and transparent nonprofit and small business checking accounts. We are proud that our score has steadily increased over the years and that today our overall B Impact Score is 161.2 the highest B Corp Bank score in the U.S.

Read Celebrating Earth Day Big! We Are Officially Carbon Neutral

Read Happy B Corp Month, Celebrating 5 Years in the B Corp Movement

Check out Our B Corp Profile

Because we see being part of the B Corp movement as an opportunity for ongoing thinking about how we create positive impact through our business and use our power as a financial institution for the benefit of all, the B Corp values have become the barometer for our decision-making and have influenced our team. So, this year, as we celebrate our seventh B Corp month, we want to share the impact the B Corp movement has made on our team and culture.

Here’s what being B Corp means to us:

Erica Rosero, Small Business & Nonprofit Loan Officer
Community Impact

“Because we are one of a few small community banks in the Bronx, New York, we understand the needs of the people surrounding us. We work hard to ensure our neighbors have equal access and the opportunity to build personal savings and prosperous futures for their families. We also support organizations and community leaders in the Bronx, Harlem, and New York City.

For example, our customer, The Kota Alliance,  empowers women and fights for gender equity;  Greyston Bakery provides work for people who have experienced barriers to employment through their innovative Open Hiring policy; and University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) helps create thriving neighborhoods. These are just a few of the nonprofits and small businesses we proudly support.

These organizations share a common denominator: empowering our community. By investing in them, we invest in the people surrounding us. We would all benefit if more financial institutions became part of the B Corp movement!”

Read The Kota Alliance: Changing Lives Through Empowerment


Josefa Ruiz, VP/Branch Market Manager

Customer Impact

“We’re unlike other banks in NY because we build and prioritize relationships, offer time and personal attention to our customers. We meet with our clients one-to-one to better understand their financial needs and help provide solutions.”

Read Rooted in Community: A Conversation with Josefa Ruiz, VP & Branch Market Manager


Germarie Medina, Commercial Loan Underwriter
Environmental Impact

“It is tough to imagine how a bank can make a positive environmental contribution. When describing the B Corp movement to my customers, friends, or family, I always start with the fact that we are carbon neutral with no fossil fuel investment pledges. However, when choosing a financial institution, most people do not instinctively consider community and environmental impact.

As an underwriter, I take pride in the fact that we support organizations that work to clean and restore the Bronx River, like Rocking The Boat and The Bronx River Alliance. The nation would be different if all financial institutions adopted the B Corp ethos or became a B Corp.”

Read: How Germarie Uses Her Financial Expertise to Help Her Community

Read: Change Flowing Through Our Community, The Bronx River Alliance

Read:  The Bronx is A Place Where Everything Is Possible


Katherine Martinez, Consumer Lending Associate


“When I started working at Spring Bank, I didn’t know about the B Corp movement or its significance. Now I understand how powerful it is for us as a bank in the financial capital of the world to be the first B Corp bank in New York City. Knowing we are doing something for the community is big for me. I’ve also always been focused on how we can do better for individuals and the environment.”

Read Building Our Bronx Community with Katherine Martinez

Read How B Corps Are Building People-First Workplaces


Susan Chapas, Marketing Analyst


“Working for a B Corp is extremely reassuring. I know that my work makes a positive impact because Spring Bank’s business structure protects our mission as the first priority. The bank’s decisions must be made ethically — focusing on affordable banking products, equal access, and equitable assistance for underserved communities.”

Read Introducing The E-Bike Loan NYC

Find out how you can bring our Employee Opportunity Program to your organization.

Learn about our nonprofit checking options

Learn about our Green Checking, a personal checking account

As a small community bank in NYC, building relationships with our clients and community is at the heart of our work. These meaningful connections motivate many of our passionate team members, like Katherine Martinez. This month we look at what inspires Katherine, a Bronxite,  as a Consumer Lending Associate.

Katherine has always been drawn to two things: community and finance. Serving and helping others was instilled in her at a young age when both her high school and college were focused on community service. Her overall love of working with people makes her great at customer relationships and allowed her to know she wanted to prioritize people in her finance career.

The stars aligned for Katherine, now living in Westchester, when she discovered a Spring Bank job posting. Not only was working for a community bank very important, but she was also drawn to returning to the place where she was raised. “There’s something different about going back to the community you came from and teaching others what you’ve learned along the way,” she says.

Katherine started her career at Spring Bank as a greeter at the front desk. It was the perfect role for her to connect with customers daily and introduce them to our affordable banking products. Language is  a barrier for many of our clients, but Katherine was able to familiarize them with our services and connect them to the right people.

“The key is to be respectful and polite and treat everyone who comes through the door like an individual. Everyone is going through their own economic situation. Even just saying good morning can make a difference in a customer’s day,” she advises.

New York City is sometimes known for being impersonal. So, Katherine makes a conscious effort to stick to her ethos and bring a human touch back into daily interactions. That’s one of the benefits of choosing a community bank. You get to truly experience personal customer service that isn’t offered at conventional big banks.

“I would see the same customers come in daily and know they would feel comfortable at Spring Bank. They feel a part of the community, but most importantly Spring Bank becomes a part of their community,”  Katherine says.

In her new role in the Consumer Lending Department, Katherine has more time to speak with customers one-on-one and share some financial knowledge, discuss the benefits of consumer loans, and find the path that suits them best. We offer unique loan options available as a community bank that aren’t offered anywhere else, such as our Credit Builder,  Opportunity Loan and Personal Loan. Katherine assesses the state of her clients’ financial journey to see if they are ready to apply for a personal loan and helps them get on track to do so. This not only saves her clients time and money before completing the application process, but it leads them on a path toward financial empowerment.

“It’s never ‘No, you’ve been rejected for the loan,’ it’s always ‘Hey, this isn’t right for you now, but you can do this instead, like work on building up your credit score, and you can apply in a couple of months,’” she says.

If a client is likely to be denied, Katherine will refer them to our in-house partner, Ariva, who offers free financial counseling, including credit-building planning; or to GreenPath Financial Wellness, another Spring Bank nonprofit partner. Additionally, she’ll encourage qualifying clients to apply for our Credit Builder loan, which has a proven track record of successfully improving your credit score in just 12 months.

Katherine always finds joy in seeing her client’s reactions when they discover they have upwards of $1,500 in their personal savings.

“What drives me is seeing progress. I’m looking for progress in the work I’m doing. That’s what motivates me,” she says.

Katherine is a passionate individual who truly enjoys serving the Bronx through community banking. It’s people like her that make us the small bank in NY that we are. We’re very grateful to have her on our team and for her commitment.

“I also love that Spring Bank is a B Corp. Knowing that we are doing something for the community [as a B Corp] is big for me. I’ve always been focused on how we can do better not only for individuals but for the environment,” says Katherine Martinez, Consumer Lending Associate.

Thanks to Katherine for investing in the future of the Bronx and the greater New York City area with us. We are grateful to have her on the team!

Discover more about our personal lending options and our continued impact:

  1. APPLY: Check out our Credit Builder, Employee Opportunity, and Personal Loan options and contact us to inquire about applying.
  2. READ: Learn more about why we became a B Corp bank!

Family Life Academy Charter Schools, A Nonprofit Feature

Changing the Trajectory for Families in the South Bronx

For years Spring Bank has been proud to call Family Life Academy Charter Schools (FLACS) in the South Bronx a partner. That’s why we were thrilled to learn that at the end of last year, Ms. Marilyn Calo, CEO of FLACS, received a call from the Mackenzie Scott office administration with a very well-deserved $4.5 million gift.

Founded in 2001 by the Latino Pastoral Action Center (LPAC) under the vision and activism of Bishop Raymond Rivera, FLACS has changed the trajectory of thousands of South Bronx families. The founding FLACS team developed a vision for a school that would serve the community, primarily immigrant students and English language learners. LPAC saw the opportunity to provide whole-care education through the charter school model, just as the charter school movement was taking off across New York City.

“Parents, many from the Dominican Republic and Mexico, came to us to tell us their children were having a hard time in public school,” says Ms. Calo. “We already had a pulse on the full spectrum of community needs, so starting a school seemed like the next step.”

At first, Ms. Calo, a former East Harlem public school teacher and administrator in the Department of Education, was not interested in leading a charter school. However, her mind quickly changed after seeing the opportunity to make a big difference in her home community, the Bronx. The school began with 200 students, grades K to 3. Fast forward 19 years later, FLACS is presently serving 1500 students in grades K-9 and, in a couple of years, will help approximately 2000 students K-12 in the South Bronx.

In addition to a rigorous curriculum rooted in ENL (English as a New Language), together with LPAC, FLACS provides a “whole family, whole community” experience. From nutrition to the arts, sports, and technology, FLACS recognizes the need to offer a holistic academic opportunity for their students to thrive. For example, Spring Bank has had the pleasure over the years of supporting their cooking classes, where students learn how to use organic produce to create healthy meals.

During the pandemic lockdown, not only did FLACS deliver thousands of fresh, healthy meals and farm boxes to their students’ homes every day, they offered laptops and paid Wi-Fi to any family who needed it. These efforts were essential to keeping their students on course.

“We know we’re in the two poorest congressional districts in New York, so you can pick a topic, and our community deals with it. Ask us about obesity, diabetes, AIDS, unemployment, homelessness — we face these issues with our families every day. During COVID, we saw many tough realities when students worked remotely. We could see their living conditions — many students living in homeless shelters or in a one-room apartment they share with 15 other people,” shares Reverend Susana Rivera-Leon, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors.

So, when the Mackenzie Scott office administration offered the gift, FLACS leadership saw a way to expand their reach across the Bronx and support their teachers.

“Within two weeks, the entire gift was in the bank — no strings attached. We were told we could use it for anything to continue our work with families and children in the South Bronx,” says Ms. Calo.

The board immediately formed a committee to hear from the parents, community partners, and other community leaders about how they should utilize the generous gift. To start, Ms. Calo and Reverend Susana agreed that teacher and parent training would impact their students long-term.

“First, we want to consider a teacher training institute. I always tell our team, “I want you to be the best teachers and best staff,’” says Dr. Calo. “Secondly, we are thinking about how to offer our parents skills-based training. But no matter how we use the gift, I want it to create long-term value and be sustainable.”

Reverend Susana adds, “We will continue to make sure our impact contributes to the social and emotional learning of our students — a key part of ‘The FLACS way‘ as we call it. We are committed to our children receiving the rigor and enrichment activities they would get in any other zip code. I’m excited for our FLACS family to see how this gift will continue to provide a whole education and impact, not just for the child, but the entire family.”

Thank you to Ms. Marilyn Calo & Rev. Susana Rivera-Leon, for their time and for sharing their powerful story with us. We are proud to be part of the FLACS community — supporting their work as they support our shared community in the South Bronx. We look forward to all that’s to come in 2023 together and beyond! Learn more about their gift from Mackenzie Scott here.

We are committed to helping NYC nonprofit organizations like FLACS thrive. Learn more about our nonprofit checking and lending options. We support small businesses too! If you’re weighing out your options for a new business bank account among banks in Bronx, New York, we are your choice. We offer small business accounts and a business checking account.

“It’s satisfying to help women one-on-one. But in the end, big change happens only when you do organizational and systemic work.” – Jaana Rehnström, MD MPH

We’re always inspired by our nonprofit clients who are changing lives and impacting the New York City community—and beyond. This week, we shine the spotlight on The Kota Alliance. Founded in 2015, the organization serves as an incubator and hub for gender equality. Individuals, partner nonprofits, and entrepreneurs empower women and girls both locally and globally through collaboration and advocacy.

This year, the organization moved into its own location in Harlem with the help of our commercial lending team and business checking account. The multi-level space facilitates cooperation among community organizations. With over 70 partner organizations here in NY and internationally, the Alliance has already welcomed over 500 women to connect, learn, and inspire each other this year.

“Spring Bank’s Commercial Lending team is really pleasant to work with. You need a local bank to do this kind of work,” says Jaana Rehnström, MD MPH, Kota Founder and President.

Jaana Rehnström built Kota’s global network of gender equity and women’s empowerment organizations based on her 40 years of experience working as an OBGYN in New York. She was previously a volunteer in international and human rights organizations, and Kota’s mission was born from her two experiences and the belief that women’s rights and empowerment are intersectional.

“It’s going to take women’s leadership to achieve gender equity,” Dr. Rehnström says.

The journey to gender equality has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. The Kota Alliance is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #5: Gender Equality, which recognizes that gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Both Kota’s ethos and SDG #5 acknowledge that women can bring immense positive change to the world.

“It’s been shown that when you have women involved in negotiations, those agreements hold up better. So ultimately, if we want to change things, we need women,” she adds.

For instance, women are more successful in enacting policies and legislation that improves the lives of millions of people—of all genders—when in political positions of power. However, our society often fails to meet the needs of women, particularly mothers who need resources to support their children while taking on leadership positions. That’s why Kota strives to be an accessible resource for women’s empowerment.

Collaboration is a core mission value and indicator of Kota’s success. The organization serves as a hub for nonprofit organizations and female entrepreneurs to amplify mission-aligned programs. There is plenty of space in their Harlem headquarters for members to host events, upskill workshops, meetings, or photoshoots. The inspiration and new connections are genuinely significant.

“There are some people who have never learned to collaborate. Many organizations tend to work in silos, not because they don’t want to collaborate, but because there’s overlap or maybe even competition for funding. Ultimately, the impact would be greater if they could work together intelligently,” says Dr. Rehnström.

This type of teamwork can be limited by an organization’s resources—and that’s where Kota comes in. Kota covers overhead costs for nonprofits to focus on their agendas and create opportunities for the global network to connect both in-person and virtually. For example, the There Is No Limit Foundation was offered a membership which granted them a workspace in the headquarters, and they recently shared their reproductive health agenda with the Kota community.

As Kota continues to grow, they seek funding to help expand the quality of what they can provide. In addition, Kota aspires to bring in more Harlem-based local community organizations that advocate for women, youth, and LQBTQ+ folks. They’re also working to enable larger global organizations to connect and work together with the Kota community directly.

As a local bank in NY, we are proud to support Kota’s mission and encourage you to get involved!

VOLUNTEER: Kota is always looking for volunteers who can help in areas of fundraising, IT, finance, video production, graphic design, photography, social media, event planning, and grant writing.

MEMBERSHIP: Contribute to Kota’s success: help run programs, create an incubator for entrepreneurs, house events with sister organizations, renovate their historic headquarters, and more.

EXPLORE: Check out our nonprofit banking options to see what’s right for your organization, and open your new business bank account today.

READ: We’re not just another bank in Bronx New York – we’re a champion for nonprofits and local business owners all over the city. Read stories from café owners, restaurateurs, ecological educators, and financial nonprofits we’ve supported with our small business account services.


We’re not always strictly business. We value building personal relationships with our clients and community. Our staff spotlights are an opportunity for our clients and neighbors to get to know the committed team that makes Spring Bank the community bank in NY that it is!

This week, we shine the light on Carol Guzmán, our Community Development Portfolio Manager. Take a look:

Spring Bank: How long have you been at Spring Bank?

Carol Guzmán: I started working here in November 2015, so it’s been seven years.

SB: How did you get into banking and why?

CG: I was always interested in banking, even at a young age—it’s the reason I studied Business Administration in school. It’s easy for me to work with numbers, and I enjoy helping others.

SB: What are the three most important things you’ve learned during your time at Spring Bank?

CG: I’ve learned a lot while working at the best local bank in Bronx, New York! The most important thing is teamwork. I’ve also learned how to turn challenges into opportunities, and how to step out of my own independent work to support my co-workers.

SB: What have you enjoyed most about working in Consumer Lending?

CG: I value that I can help people in our community with their financial needs. I’ve helped clients improve their credit through our Credit Builder program, secure accessible and sustainable transportation through our E-Bike NYC Loan, apply for personal loan, build their personal savings, and more. Lessening the financial stress of our clients takes a significant burden off their shoulders, and it makes me so happy to be able to do that.

SB: Tell us what the new role entails. What will you be doing?

CG: In my new role as Community Development Portfolio Manager, I’ll train and supervise our new Consumer Loan Officer, as well as manage loan delinquencies. I’ll also assist our Community Reinvestment Act Officer with collecting data for grant reports. Lastly, I will support the Commercial Loan Department with daily operations.

SB: What are you most excited about in the new role?

CG: I love to learn new things, so I’m looking forward to learning more about our products and services—that way I can provide a comprehensive answer when I’m asked a question about our offerings.

SB: What inspires you or motivates you to be part of the team at Spring Bank?

CG: There’s always something new that’s useful for the community that we’re working on as a team. It’s very inspiring to be surrounded by people who share the same passion and interests as me.

SB: You work closely with mission-based consumer lending. Does the mission create value for your work? How so?
CG: Definitely! Being able to help our community brings so much value to my work, on both a personal level as well as within the community. Whether it’s helping an individual looking to apply for personal loan, a staff member from a partner employer in our Employee Opportunity Program looking to access The Opportunity Loan, or a small business seeking additional funding, I can connect clients to the right services that resolve their financial issues. It brings me great satisfaction to know that we have the tools to help our clients make healthy, positive financial decisions.

We’re thankful to have committed people like Carol on our team, and we wish her the best of luck in her new role! Thanks to Carol, our Personal and Commercial Lending team and services are better than ever before.

Do you have a personal checking account or personal saving account with us? We have a variety of credit-building loans available for you. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to start or expand your business, check out our small business loan options. Feel free to contact us if you’d like a member of our team to walk you through our many loan products and services that can help you build a more prosperous and abundant future.

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“Our culture is rooted in community and personal relationships. We value our clients and prioritize one-on-one connections to understand their goals and who they are. By doing so, we can serve them better.” – Josefa Ruiz, Spring Bank Branch Manager

While we’re proud of our designations as a B Corp and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), we know that it’s the people who make up the Spring Bank team that truly make us a community bank. Their kind, personable, and caring energy connects individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits to our affordable services which help our neighborhoods grow. 

That’s why this month we’re happy to introduce you to one of our valued team members, Josefa Ruiz

Josefa has been with Spring Bank for six years as the Vice President and Branch Market Manager for our Harlem and Bronx locations. She’s done everything from consumer lending to personal banking to commercial banking. Her current role consists of training staff to be “universal bankers,” meaning that they can both serve as tellers and also know our full suite of financial products in order to support our clients, whether it’s a nonprofit seeking a loan or a local entrepreneur looking to open a new business bank account. Building a team with a diverse skill set means that no matter who our clients meet or what their needs are, they’re in good hands. 

While Josefa’s top priority is coaching and mentoring staff, she also contributes to the bank’s growth. Like many of our team members, Josefa has a real commitment to the bank’s success, which comes through her work. 

“Working at Spring Bank is something I’m truly proud of. I’ve put my efforts into investing in this community and I want to see it grow,” she says.

Josefa is always learning something new. As a small bank in NY, she’s been able to get involved in bank operations in a way that branch managers at larger institutions typically don’t. This allows her to support her teammates better and quickly make improvements, something she never experienced working for big banks in the past. 

“If there is ever a concern, I can communicate with the CEO, COO, President, or the Chief Lending Officer easily. They really value my opinion, and you just don’t see that at other institutions,” Josefa says.

Thanks to Josefa, our staff is guaranteed to give you a personalized experience, whether online or at a branch. She understands that accessibility is everything when it comes to serving our community, and proudly shares how our services are designed to make banking convenient and easy, and built to support you, your business, and your family for the long term. 

For example, we offer Zelle through our Spring Bank app so you can securely pay rent, split a bill, or gift money instantly. We also know that 40% of New Yorkers are foreign-born, so you can open a personal checking account or personal savings account with us as a non-resident with just an ITIN. Did you recently apply for personal loan and want a status update? You don’t have to call an 800 number to get in touch – simply call our direct line and get instantly connected to a real team member who will support you.

As Josefa says, “Our culture is rooted in community and personal relationships. We value our clients and prioritize one-on-one connections to understand their goals and who they are. By doing so, we can serve them better.”

Our mission has always been to serve the needs of individuals and small businesses in New York City. While we continue to make our impact felt as a community bank in Bronx, New York, we have plans to make our affordable and transparent services more accessible by expanding our branches into Brooklyn in the next few years. And Josefa will be part of it every step of the way.

“We value our clients. We ask questions and truly listen to the answers – we’re not just here to sell a product. It’s important to us to be there for them because it’s the relationships that make the Spring Bank culture and community what it is,” she adds. 

Thank you so much, Josefa! We are so grateful to have you on the Spring Bank team and look forward to continuing our mission to build a stronger, more resilient NYC together.

Interested in learning more about Spring Bank? Find out what makes The Bronx a place where everything is possible or get the back-to-school season started off on the right foot with 6 healthy money management tips to teach kids and young adults. 

Meet other members of our team: