Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely
Kings Co. Imperial — c/o Leisurely

A Small Business Client Feature

If that image above didn’t already make your mouth water, we want to warn you that by the end of our feature of Kings Co. Imperial, you will most likely be hungry.

Kings Co. Imperial marries a farm-to-table philosophy with a Brooklyn-style spin on traditional Chinese food. Their unique philosophy? Offer home-style traditional Chinese food with a creative cocktail program and an eclectic vibe. As Jacob Dean wrote in a 2018 article for the Michelin Guide, “Josh Grinker and his business partner Tracy Jane Young made a name for themselves by serving up a menu that didn’t pull its punches.”

We agree. Kings Co. Imperial’s menu punches include dim sum: sesame shrimp toast, Chinese hanging pork ribs, and bok choy potstickers; dishes like Dan Dan Mian (preserved mustard stem, Sichuan pepper, chili oil, minced pork, peanuts), Ocean Wealth Shrimp (baby shrimp, smoked tofu, snow pea, egg, ginger) and many classics, too. They serve dishes from multiple regions of China, including Canton and Sichuan, and don’t forget their beverages.

“Our fruit, herb, and edible flower garden supports our robust and enticing cocktail program, and we do our best to use fresh herbs and juices as often as we can,” says Tracy.

With three locations—Lower East Side, Downtown Brooklyn (for take-out and deliveries), and Williamsburg, they became a hit quickly. We are proud to be part of their small business growth story.

Kings Co. Imperial chefs and owners Tracy Jane Young and Josh Grinker, met in culinary school 20 years ago and trained under the same master Sichuan chef. Later, they traveled to China together, learning and honing their skills. They discover a shared love and passion for the craft and highly technical, diverse cuisine—the most technically difficult cuisine to master in the world.

“China has more recipes than any other country in the world because there is so much originality,” explains Josh. “It’s like the mother source of South Asian cuisine, all other Asian cuisines stemming from China.”

After traveling throughout Southeast Asia and China and working for some of the best restaurants in New York City, including 11 Madison Park, River Cafe, and Nobu, Josh knew he wanted to open his own Chinese restaurant. He approached Tracy, who was traveling the world as a chef on a superyacht, and at first, she thought he was crazy. She wasn’t sure why anyone would come, but also knew she had to find out, and in 2015 they opened their first location in Williamsburg. Eight years later, they still love it.

“We don’t pretend to be experts and we’re not classically trained Chinese chefs. We feel lucky to be able to continue learning and cooking a cuisine that we love,” says Josh.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Josh reminisces about eating Chinese food with his family.

“When we could afford to celebrate a special occasion, we went to Chinatown, eight or six of us around a table,” says Josh. “It’s a special culinary experience for me and the cuisine that makes me most excited to cook.”

Dedication and commitment continue to pay off for Kings Co. Imperial. In 2016, they made the Micheline Guide, and they never closed their doors during the pandemic. They continue to grow and expand. Through our commercial real estate loan program, Kings Co. Imperial bought their Williamsburg location, and they plan to purchase their next property, too.

“This is truly beyond our wildest dreams — to own our own building. Five years ago, we were looking down the line at the end of our rental extension. And now, we own our flagship. We are so grateful to Spring Bank for helping us get the loan process done so quickly,” says Tracy.

“Spring Bank went out on a limb for us.  Our financials are strong, but we didn’t have a lot of cash, so they allowed us to put only 25% down, which is less than most commercial real estate deals,” says Josh.

The next plan is to buy the building next door, which they already rent, and own contiguous buildings with almost 3500 square feet. The plan is to expand private dining options, host more events like their dumpling classes, and continue to support their local followings.

“Rising tides lift all boats; the community can support the businesses, and the businesses can support the community,” says Tracy.

We couldn’t agree more.

Visit Kings Co. and check out their menu.
Learn about the Kings Co. Imperial garden and read their Michelin Feature.

Learn more about our commercial real estate program and how we can help your business grow through a business checking account or business bank account.

Learn an easy way to alleviate stress in the workplace. 

Money is the number one stress for all Americans, higher than work stresses, family responsibilities, and health concerns.*

New York City— continues to make the top five of most expensive cities in the United States. With rising inflation, income does not always equate to financial security. It feels like money is tight for all of us, and many of us know all too well, that circumstances can change quickly, impacting financial goals. 

That’s why we designed our Employee Opportunity Program. Let your employees know you care in a tangible way, and help them access funds to manage unforeseen expenses—and not get caught in cycles of debt and stress. Through our Employee Opportunity Program, you can help your employees learn to build credit and personal savings, receive free financial counseling, and access our Employee Opportunity Loan

We often describe the Employee Opportunity Program as a financial health benefit, part of your larger employee benefits package. When you join the program, we partner with you, too. 

Learn more about how you or your employer can build a financially healthier workforce through the many benefits of our Employee Opportunity Program in this video above & linked here, too:

https://spring.community/employeeoppprogram

 *73 percent of Americans rank their finances as the number one stress in life, according to new Capital One CreditWise survey.

Jason Garcia, Credit Analyst, a Spring Bank Staff Feature

We’re a Bronx-based community bank in NY dedicated to helping our community and the greater New York City area thrive with affordable banking products. We couldn’t do this without the compassionate and talented people that make up our team. This month, we spotlight Credit Analyst, Jason Garcia, and his contributions to the commercial lending team.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jason graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in finance. A long-time athlete, he launched his career as a middle school basketball coach, and highly valued the opportunity to witness his team grow and improve their game. The discipline and teamwork he taught them were transferable skills he brought to our lending team at Spring Bank when he joined us in October of 2021.

“I’ve always wanted to pursue banking as a long-term career, and the teamwork and leadership training I learned as a coach equipped me in commercial real estate lending,” Jason shares.

As a Credit Analyst, Jason works on underwriting loans as part of our small business lending services. He also improves the annual review process for regulatory requirements by institutions like the FDIC. Jason has learned many aspects of working on the lending team — from portfolio management to auditing and underwriting. He loves educating clients and wearing various hats.

“Being a part of a community bank requires performing in multiple roles so that the lending process runs smoothly, and our clients are well informed and confident in their loan,” says Jason.

For example, Jason guided Kings Co Imperial Chinese restaurant in Williamsburg in securing their first commercial real estate purchase. This is a significant win; a restaurant that owns property in New York City is an asset if the business encounters risk.

“The lending team at Spring Bank is highly committed to the long-term success of our clients. We customize each experience, and integrity and teamwork are always present.”

Jason is also pursuing an MBA at Baruch College. He’s adjusted to balancing his time between work, school, and leisure activities and looks forward to a spring 2024 graduation. He aspires to move into a managerial role and support the launch of our upcoming Brooklyn location.

The value of building a relationship with a small bank is that you will receive personal, one-on-one support. We will work to get a loan that meets your needs while being transparent about the information and the loan process. Our unique services are tailored to fit your financial goals and situation.

We’re grateful to have people like Jason on our team who bring compassion and ambition to our community. Our small business account clients receive an exceptional experience and build meaningful relationships thanks to our small business and commercial lending teams. Contact us if you want to expand your small business or open a small business account.

Wheated Brooklyn — 10 Years of Pizza & Bagels in Ditmas Park

A Spring Bank Small Business Feature 

The best bagels at a Brooklyn pizza shop, anyone? If you’re a bagel lover like so many New Yorkers, you know the bagel shop options are abundant, and the competition is fierce. But when you’re a pizza shop that’s won “Best of the Boroughs” and third place for “Overall Best of the Fest” at New York Bagel Fest 2023, you know you’ve got both New York staples covered in one location.

Meet Wheated, a neighborhood pizzeria in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, making big waves in the New York pizza scene, and one of our small business clients. Founder and owner David Sheridan grew up cooking and feasting with his Italian family over Sunday dinner. 

“My parents are foodies. I was seven or eight years old the first time I ate sushi. As a teenager, I sought out new foods all the time. My parents exposed me to new foods often; I need to thank them more for that,” says David. 

An avid baker, David and his wife hosted pizza-tasting gatherings in their backyard in Queens a few years before opening Wheated. They experimented with dough, sauces, style, and brand identity.  Ten years later, Wheated celebrates its anniversary this year with expansion. We are so proud to be part of their story.

After searching for the right location for two years, David called us about our commercial real estate lending options. Wood-fired pizza was making a comeback in NYC, and our Chief Lending Officer, Akbar Rizvi, knew it was a great opportunity. 

“2023 has been our busiest year yet. We have grown slowly and steadily, quality over quantity. Now, I’m proud to say we are a New York City destination pizzeria,” says David. 

With three distinct styles of dough — roll out, hand pressed, and New Haven—Wheated creates pizzas named after Brooklyn neighborhoods, including the Bay Ridge, Cobble Hill, Borough Park, and, of course, the Ditmas Park pizza.  Their award-winning bagels and breakfast sandwiches on homemade biscuits are available most mornings, and at night, their handcrafted cocktail list is, too.

“We’ve been lucky. Except for pandemic years, we’ve always made a profit. Our earnings would be more of an issue if we did not own the building. But by owning the space, we know the investment offsets other costs,” says David. 

To David, the “recipe for a great restaurant location” meant there was no pizzeria or bagel shop competition in the immediate vicinity and close enough to public transportation and his family’s home since the 1920s.

“The biggest advice I have for small business owners is to think wisely about and negotiate a buying price before you sign the papers. It was a big deal for us to buy the property, and the SBA loan from Spring Bank made it happen,” says David. 

Wheated was David’s first entrepreneurial endeavor, but not the last.  David and his business partners are working on the build-out for their next pizzeria in Kentucky and plan to open a bagel shop in Brooklyn next year.

“It has been fantastic to work with a community bank. Spring Bank cares. You can talk to them on the phone when needed; they have your back. They will give you a call, for example, to avoid overdraft fees when you forget to move money around,” says David. “We are also very grateful to Spring Bank for helping us navigate and take advantage of both rounds of PPP lending.” 

Follow Wheated on Instagram @wheatedbrooklyn. Visit them on Church Ave, just off the B/Q, F/G. Check out their award-winning bagel feature @bagelfest. And if you’re still wondering how to get to Ditmas Park, read a 2012 feature on Wheated after they first opened in the neighborhood. 

Are you a small business owner looking for a commercial real estate loan? Learn more and read how we also helped Empire Tools expand. You can also check out the benefits of our business checking accounts and small business accounts. Our team can help you open a new business checking account

Our team with local Bronx nonprofit Rocking the Boat

As we approach the end of 2023, we look back, grateful to be a trusted financial partner to dozens of community-based organizations across the South Bronx and New York City, who are dedicated to transforming education, empowering women artists and entrepreneurs, environmental and climate justice, among many other causes. This year, on Giving Tuesday, we feature a selection of the nonprofit organizations we’ve been proud to partner with below. We invite you to consider supporting one or many of them with your volunteer time, donation, or advocacy.

Ariva

As a bank in Bronx, New York, we know financial mastery and stability are vital for community growth. That’s why we proudly support Ariva, an organization that provides free financial counseling and tax preparation services to low-income individuals. Our partnership highlights mission-aligned collaboration’s power to build economic resilience and financial empowerment within the Bronx community.

Learn More: ariva.org
Read: “When Missions Align: Shining the Spotlight on Our Partner Ariva”

BronxWorks

With a focus on helping individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being, Bronxworks has been a cornerstone of community empowerment since 1972. Their dedication to providing essential services, educational programs, and resources aligns perfectly with our values. We were honored to be by their side as they uplifted the community through the troubling times of the pandemic, and we continue to support their social services.

Learn More: bronxworks.org

Read:BronxWorks: Adapting to Change and Changing Bronxites Lives”

Bronx River Alliance

We’ve had the privilege to collaborate with this organization on its mission to protect, improve, and restore the Bronx River ecosystem, which directly impacts the local environment and community. The Bronx River Alliance serves as an agent of the river and engages the community in building a connection with the environment and one another. We recognize the significance of this work and proudly support the Bronx River Alliance’s initiatives.

Learn More: bronxriver.org

Read: “Change Flowing Through Our Community: The Bronx River Alliance”

Family Life Academy Charter Schools (FLACS)

Fostering education in our community is a priority for us, and we applaud FLACS’ dedication to providing high-quality education and preparing students for success. FLACS holds a commitment to supporting primarily immigrant students and English language learners. By supporting FLACS, we contribute to the educational advancement of Bronx youth, elevating our community’s future.

Learn More: flacsnyc.com

Read: “A Community-Grown Charter School in The Bronx, FLACS”

Floating Hospital

With a history in New York City for over a century and a half, The Floating Hospital provides a healthcare safety net to nearly 27,000 children and their adults annually. Nearly 100% of the unhoused families we serve — 40% of whom are children — report living below the Federal Poverty Line. The Floating Hospital never turns anyone away; it is one of their core commitments. In a city where access to quality healthcare is often a privilege, they are a beacon of inclusivity.

Learn More: thefloatinghospital.org

Health & Housing Consortium

A Bronx-founded collaborative network of health care, housing, homeless and social service organizations, and government partners with the shared goal of improving health equity and housing stability by fostering cross-sector relationships, informing policy, and building the capacity of frontline workers to support people with unmet health and housing needs.

Learn More: healthandhousingconsortium.org

Hester Street 

Hester Street is an urban planning, design, and development nonprofit that ensures neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live there. They offer planning, design, and community development technical assistance to community-based organizations, government, and other agencies. Their goal is equitable, sustainable, and resilient neighborhoods and cities.

Learn More: hesterstreet.org 

Kota Alliance

Founded in 2015, the Kota Alliance 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. As an umbrella organization, they elevate collaboration across borders for women-centered nonprofits, social enterprises, and entrepreneurs. 

Learn More: kota-alliance.org

Read: The Kota Alliance: Changing Lives Through Empowerment

Rocking the Boat

In flowing down the stream of change, we’ve had the honor of elevating another coastal-based nonprofit. Rocking the Boat empowers young people from the Bronx through hands-on education on boat building and environmental stewardship. We recognize the importance of investing in our youth, who are paving the way for the future. Rocking the Boat’s free public programs, like community rows and youth development, are transformational.

Learn More: rockingtheboat.org

Read: “The Bronx is A Place Where Everything Is Possible: In Conversation with Rocking the Boat.”

South Bronx United

South Bronx United provides academic support, college prep, mentoring, workforce development, immigration legal services, and more while using soccer as a vehicle for social change. 

Learn More: southbronxunited.org

The Inspired Community Project

A nonprofit research organization, The Inspired Community Project provides no-cost early intervention services to neurodivergent children, advocacy coaching for their families, and specialized career training and certification support for Bronx community members in the name of best practice research!

Learn More: theinspiredcommunityproject.org

YMCA Bronx

Another organization we stand beside is the YMCA. Their wide-ranging programs and services, aimed at improving health, building community, and fostering youth development, greatly benefit the Bronx community. The YMCA Bronx is the hub for individual wellness and community cultivation.

Learn More: ymcanyc.org/locations/northeast-bronx-ymca 

A Mission-Driven Lender to Nonprofits

As we celebrate Giving Tuesday, we reaffirm our dedication to empowering Bronx communities through these partnerships with local nonprofits. By providing access to capital and resources, we aim to drive positive change and contribute to the overall financial well-being and health of the Bronx community.

We offer nonprofit organizations affordable checking and savings account options and nonprofit lending, too. Learn more about our nonprofit banking opportunities and how we can support your organization. Read more about what it means for our team and community to be one of the only mission-driven banks in NY.

The Floating Hospital: A Nonprofit Feature 

“At The Floating Hospital, we’ve always been deeply committed to addressing the immediate health needs of our patients. Beyond that, it’s crucial for us to stand with them, offering resources and steadfast support for their stable, healthy future and positive contributions to the community. Our values resonate strongly with the dedication Spring Bank has shown to the community, and we’re grateful to align with a partner that shares our profound commitment.” — Sean T. Granahan, Esq., President and General Counsel, The Floating Hospital

Nonprofits are the backbone of positive change and community uplift. At Spring Bank, we are committed to supporting these transformative organizations, providing them with the financial tools they need to thrive and make a lasting impact. We are proud to spotlight one of our customers, The Floating Hospital, an inspiring healthcare nonprofit building a healthy future for New York City’s most vulnerable children and their families.

Established over a century and a half ago, The Floating Hospital has a rich history rooted in serving children and their caretakers through charter boat rides. These boats allowed the hospital to offer healthcare and relief from urban overcrowding and sickness. While its focus has evolved, its unwavering commitment to health justice and community remains steadfast. Today, The Floating Hospital is a pillar of hope, providing comprehensive medical services, educational programs, and urgently needed food, clothing, and supplies that support underserved individuals and families.

One of the standout elements in The Floating Hospital’s offerings is Camp Rise Up, its educational program and camp for youth living in the city’s family homeless shelters and domestic violence safe houses. These initiatives enrich young minds and equip children with the tools they need to achieve happy and stable futures. Through nurturing their intellectual growth, these programs instill joy, teach employable skills, and create memorable experiences for youth. Spring Bank is honored to support these transformative opportunities that foster generational change in our communities.

“We offer a diverse yet focused program at Camp Rise Up. We start with sexual health and socio-emotional learning and move on to financial literacy, stress management, and leadership—skills they will need to succeed in school, gain fulfilling employment, and embark on a hopeful life trajectory,” says Meghan Miller, MPH, EdD, Director of Health Education, The Floating Hospital.

The Floating Hospital never turns anyone away; it is one of their core commitments. In a city where access to quality healthcare is often a privilege, they are a beacon of inclusivity. This value is a promise they uphold, providing essential medical care to all, regardless of insurance status, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, or immigration. This dedication to equitable healthcare aligns with Spring Bank’s values of fostering a stronger and more inclusive community.

Just as The Floating Hospital is committed to serving the community, Spring Bank is dedicated to supporting the growth and impact of nonprofits. We understand the unique financial needs of these organizations, and that’s why we offer specialized nonprofit banking services. From new business bank accounts and small business accounts to comprehensive business checking account options and commercial lending services, our products are designed to cater to your specific requirements. We are proud to be one of the banks in Bronx, New York, that plays a role in the success of organizations like The Floating Hospital.

The Floating Hospital‘s journey symbolizes hope, reminding us that compassion and resilience can transform lives. We are honored to be a partner in this journey, providing financial solutions for nonprofits like The Floating Hospital and our other nonprofit partners.

Whether you’re looking for a new business bank account, commercial lending, or other small business accounts, Spring Bank provides the support you need to flourish. Discover our nonprofit banking services today.

A Small Business Feature

Imagine what it would be like to feed the entire city of New York. Great Performances considers every community they touch in the course of their business. Founded in 1980 as a catering and event staffing agency, their mission was to offer a flexible source of income for women in the arts. Forty years later, Great Performances is one of the city’s most highly regarded catering companies, serving delicious food and providing impeccable service while maintaining a deep commitment to giving back to their communities.

From the Apollo Theatre to the Wollman Rink and parties for every occasion, Great Performances offers dining and wait staffing for private events, nonprofit galas and fundraisers, and corporate engagements. As a leader in the hospitality, catering, and events industry, they set the bar for industry best practices in food security, education, sustainable agriculture, and community development, and they constantly innovate to improve their environmental and social impact. For example, in 2006, founder Liz Neumark established Katchkie Farm in Hudson Valley, becoming the nation’s first caterer to own and operate a NOFA-certified organic farm. The nutritious fresh produce grown at Katchkie is a source of inspiration and ingredients for Great Performances chefs.

“It is always a great privilege as a chef to be able to collaborate with a farmer. Once a vegetable has been put into the ground, I feel it’s my responsibility to think about how to utilize it best. This not only goes for the main part of the plant but the whole plant. A good example of this is basil: I won’t just use the perfect leaves but also use the buds and flowers that have a huge amount of flavor and dry very well. These can be incorporated into pesto in the fall,” shares Andrew Smith, Culinary Director at Great Performances.

Almost all resources from the farm are intentionally utilized. For example, edible blossoms grown through the warmer months are dried for autumn meals. Great Performances collaborates with its partners to distribute CSA shares at local food pantries and community refrigerators. Upcycling, fermentation, and pickling are the cornerstone of all products that come into the Great Performances kitchen,” says Chris Harkness, Chief Operations Officer at Great Performances.

During the pandemic, Great Performances provided emergency food services for first responders and frontline healthcare workers and meal services for homebound seniors. They also actively support initiatives such as Grow NYC and City Harvest that are nourishing the city.

With an eye always on impact, Great Performance Catering supports healthy nutrition. They offer Embrace: Wellness at their corporate dining locations, providing tips, recipes, and menus that support healthy eating. In 2007, Liz Neumark founded The Sylvia Center to help teach youth and their families about the connection between food and health. And in 2022, the company also re-established Mae Mae Café as a vegan cafe and plant store on the first floor of their Bronx commissary in Mott Haven.

At Spring Bank, we value Great Performances’ business model rooted in partnership, arts, and sustainability, and civic responsibility. With over 1,000 employees, Great Performances is an essential NY institution, and we are proud to support them with their banking and financial needs as a local bank in the Bronx, New York.

Learn more about the impact of Great Performances in their communities. Follow them on social media. And if you’re looking to join an exceptional team, they are hiring now, especially in wait staffing.

No matter the size of your business, we have the resources and personnel to support your business. When you have a small business account with a small bank in NY, you’ll get the same offerings that you can get from a big conventional bank but with the personal customer service that you just can’t get anywhere else. And if you’re a small business looking to open a new business bank account or curious about our services, contact us.

Join Us, The Equitable Commute Project, & Propel Bikes on July 31st at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Are you a delivery worker interested in upgrading your e-bike?

In case you haven’t yet heard, New York law requires that by September 2023, all e-bikes sold in New York City must be UL-2849 certified. Because of recent fires caused by lithium batteries, this legislation is intended to keep New Yorker bikers safer with the highest safety certification available today.

As a proud member of the Equitable Commute Project, we are excited to invite you to join us for our first Bike Trade-In Event on July 31st at the Brooklyn Navy Yard [134 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205] along with Senator Chuck Schumer, Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, and other officials. Our partner, Propel Bikes, will provide the new Tern Quick Haul e-bike, UL2849 certified, with two Bosch batteries. They will also offer test rides on July 12th and July 19th.

To be eligible, participants must own the e-bike and bring in their bike and at least one battery for recycling. All trade-in vehicles will be safely and sustainably recycled by My Battery Recyclers.

Take Advantage of our GoGreen Cycle Loan

At our first trade-in event, selected delivery workers can trade their e-bike for discounted UL-certified e-bike. The first 25 participants will be eligible to purchase a Tern Quick Haul e-bike with two Bosch batteries for $1,900 (plus tax). This represents a 40 percent discount from the retail price of $3,775 (plus tax). Old vehicles and batteries will be safely recycled. To cover the balance of $1,900, drivers selected for the trade-in event can apply for our GoGreen Cycle Loan.
The loan has no credit score minimum requirement, and loan applicants can use IDNYC as their primary form of identification. While no prior relationship with us at Spring Bank is required, we hope you’ll consider opening a personal checking or savings account as the most efficient way to process and make payments on a loan. As a mission-based bank, we will be happy to have you as a customer.

Learn more about the great work of the Equitable Commute Project, the E-Bike Trade-In Program, and how our GoGreen Cycle Loan works.

Questions about the Equitable Commute Project? Contact [email protected]
Questions about our GoGreen Cycle Loan Program? Contact Katherine Martinez at [email protected]

Eric Pallas, President
A Spring Bank Staff Feature 

“We are doing our part to reach people in our community with lower incomes, and we have a strong commitment to small businesses. But we can’t do it alone. We work closely with numerous community partners to achieve our mission.”  — Eric Pallas, President

Born and raised on Morris Park and Lurting Avenues in the Bronx, Eric Pallas, President at Spring Bank, is a proud Bronxite. He fondly remembers an era when there were more horses than cars on Pelham Parkway.

“I used to play in the woods in the Bronx before the Jacobi Medical Center was built,” Eric reflects. “And I have played on the basketball courts in this neighborhood year-round.”

After graduating from Fordham University, Eric started his career in the travel industry at American Express. Then after post-graduate school and a stint at Citibank, he worked at Banco Popular for over 18 years. He was interested in returning to the Bronx when he learned about a mission-based bank opening on 167th Street. Today, Eric has been an essential leader at the bank since our beginnings as CheckSpring Bank in 2007. We applaud him for his unwavering service to our mission and success.

“I was here when we were a blip on the radar screen building a rapport with the community and with regulators, working to make money and meet the mission,” says Eric.

For the last 16 years, Eric has worn every hat imaginable as the bank has evolved, from CFO to COO, Compliance Officer, along with President.

“I was willing to hold any role to build a bank in the South Bronx from scratch. I am so proud of what we built. Spring Bank feels like my baby. I’ve watched it grow in a place where no one thought it could be done,” says Eric.

To Eric, our unique ability to achieve our mission is directly connected with being a smaller financial institution. He witnesses firsthand the impact of our personalized service and how families have opened bank accounts and saved money instead of using predatory lending services.

“As a community bank, we can get a credit committee together quickly for loan approval for customers who need a timely response,” explains Eric. “We are committed to retaining that small bank ethos where we can still know all of our customers, maintain close relationships, and give personal attention to them.”

It’s also the hard work and dedication of the team at the bank that, to Eric, has led to its longevity and reputation. He takes great pride in knowing and supporting the staff in their professional development,  like Diana Ravagnan, who was promoted internally as our BSA Officer.

“From day one, we weren’t going to give up. I am proud I stuck it out when we were thinly staffed. It takes a long time for a financial institution to build trust in a community,” says Eric. “I am very proud to be part of the Spring Bank family.”

When Eric isn’t at the bank, you can find him playing tennis, jogging, or spending time with his wife and family. Many co-workers have started or enhanced their exercise programs due to his example. Thank you, Eric, for your leadership and service.

Are you ready to bank ethically with one of the best banks in NY? As one of just a few community banks in Bronx, NY, we are here to help you apply for personal loan, build your personal savings and discover more affordable banking products like our personal savings account and personal checking account. Call our Customer Service team at 718.879.5000 to learn more.

Mona Ozkurt is a New Yorker, born and raised in Washington Heights in the Bronx. When she married in 2001, she never expected to be the CEO of her husband’s company, Bronx-based Citiwide Exterminating, a full-service extermination company. But she learned the ins and outs of the industry. As her husband shifted into a real estate career, Mona managed everything from customer service, vendors, and operations and, in 2004, took full control of the business he started in 1995.

Twenty-seven years later, Citiwide Exterminating is thriving with customers in all five boroughs, Westchester, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Mona has led the growth. We are proud to have provided the commercial real estate loan the company needed to expand their headquarters in the Pelham Parkway neighborhood of the Bronx.

“In a very male-dominated industry, people are often still surprised when they find out I’m the owner and CEO,” Mona laughs. “But I am fortunate to have such a great, hardworking team who have stuck with us. Most of our employees have been with us for a long time, some fifteen years, and we work so well together.”

Mona is still inspired by her work and how every day offers something new. Most of Citiwide’s customers are referred by other customers, typically management companies and landlords of multi-family units. Mona enjoys the challenge of constantly adapting her business model as the industry becomes more environmentally conscious.

“Running a business is never the same old routine every day,” says Mona. “It’s one project after the next. I’m always wondering, ‘How can we improve this? How do we make this more effective? How do we create more value for our customers?’”

Designated as an essential business during the pandemic, Citiwide Exterminating kept everyone employed and serviced businesses and properties where they could maintain social distancing. Mona reflects on the pandemic as having created the next evolution of the company.

“We have been through so much together as a team. Continuing to grow Citiwide Exterminating is the career path for me. It’s ever-evolving, ever-changing, and I know we can handle anything that comes next,” says Mona.

We are so happy to support Mona and the team at Citiwide Exterminating with the same personalized attention we know they offer their clients.  With a commercial real estate loan and a new small business account, Mona received the support right when she needed it.

“Spring Bank cares about the success of my business. They provided the loan when I needed it and were there for me. I’m not just a number. I can call them any time, and they know who I am and are ready to answer my questions,” says Mona.

Learn more about Citiwide Exterminating.

Are you ready to expand your small business?

We offer commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family real estate loans between $100,000 and $8,000,000. Our dedicated lending team will help you set up your new business bank account and walk you through every step of the process. You’ll have access to all the great features of our business checking account, like zero maintenance fees on our Basic Business Checking account.

As one of the only community banks in Bronx, NY, we offer a personalized approach to banking. Learn more about how you can take advantage of our FDIC-insured small business accounts.