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We have exciting news!

In 2022, we will be expanding our Employee Opportunity Loan Program to include an E-bike loan option. This week, we “soft”  launched the Equitable Commute Project (ECP), a partnership between NYU, the Hope Program, Electric Avenue, and Transportation Alternatives. Together, we distributed the first of what will ultimately be 5000 discounted E-bikes to NYC essential workers, with Spring Bank providing an affordable small-dollar loan to fill any funding gaps.

Formed at the height of the pandemic in July 2020, the Equitable Commute Project addresses the need for safe and accessible commuting for essential workers. According to a recent report from the Office of the NYC Comptroller, one million frontline workers in New York City commute across the five boroughs, and a quarter of those folks earn less than $54,000 a year. They also often live in “transportation deserts” in New York City, where residential locations are distant from train stations or bus stops.

Marianna Koval, the Director of Invest NYC and the SDG Center for Sustainable Business, and her team at the NYU Stern School of Business are founding members of the Equitable Commute Project. They quickly realized that many essential workers could buy E-bikes, an affordable and time-saving solution for daily commuting — with a bit of capital support.

“We know that for many New York City residents, the impediments to biking to work as a viable option is the financial capital and the access to the capital to purchase a bike,” says Marianna. “We are beyond grateful for the emerging partnership of Spring Bank, a B Corp bank in NY, and CDFI!”

Through an introduction from Paul Lipson, founder of Barretto Bay Strategies,  we met Marianna and her team at NYU. We worked quickly to create an affordable E-bike loan product –through our Employee Opportunity Loan Program — to support the Equitable Commute Project.

Read more about the beginnings of this project via a financial inclusion grant we were awarded from Empire State Development this fall. Check out our Employee Opportunity Loan Program, and stay tuned for more details soon about how your organization can sign up for the E-bike Loan Program in 2022. Learn more about Equitable Commute Project. You can also check out our personal savings account and small business accounts options.