|Bank of America is announcing the hiring of 29 small business bankers across the state of Arizona to provide guidance and counsel to local small business owners. One of the bankers is Janet Monette, who will work out of the downtown Flagstaff branch at 125 E. Birch Avenue. The additional bankers are part of the company’s previously announced plan to hire approximately 1,000 new small business bankers throughout the U.S.
Through a relationship with a Bank of America small business banker, customers will have convenient access to local small business expertise and a dedicated resource. Small business bankers will consult with small business owners at their place of business and assess their companies’ deposit, credit and cash management needs.
“Small business customers have told us they want a relationship with a banker who understands their business and can provide them with guidance and expertise unique to their financial situation,” said Lynn Fernandez, Small Business Banking regional executive for the Pacific Southwest. “As small businesses continue to fuel and drive the economy forward in their local communities, the state of Arizona and the nation, our small business bankers will be there to provide them with the solutions they need to sustain and grow their business.”
In Arizona, 95 percent of all businesses are small businesses with less than 100 employees. These businesses employ 32 percent of the state’s workforce according to the U.S. Census Bureau. City to city, these small business owners are often faced with unique and complex financial demands that require personalized guidance from a small business banker who understands their needs.
As a part of its ongoing commitment to small business, Bank of America extended $7.8 billion of credit to small businesses in the first half of 2011, increasing new loans to small businesses by 35 percent. In Arizona, Bank of America extended more than $118 million in loans to small businesses in the first half of 2011.
As the nation’s largest investor in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Bank of America began awarding $10 million in grants in August 2010 to nonprofit lenders for use as loan loss reserves required to access federal microlending capital. The program, which has recently been increased to $12 million, has enabled CDFIs to access nearly $80 million in capital to serve more than 7,600 local businesses and help create and retain more than 10,000 jobs in local communities throughout the country.
As of June 2010, Bank of America increased its spending with small, medium-sized and diverse businesses through a commitment to purchase $10 billion in products and services from those suppliers over five years. In 2010, Bank of America has already spent $4.1 billion with small, medium-sized and diverse businesses, tracking ahead of schedule to meet its goal.
Other efforts to help small businesses include a new suite of small business charge cards that give businesses more choice and control over their payment and expense management needs. Additionally, Bank of America has made recent improvements to the bank’s two million small business credit card accounts, such as no penalty rate increases on existing balances, and enhancements to the Advisor Alliance(TM) retirement plan platform, which serves more than 950,000 people from more than 40,000 businesses. Advisor Alliance combines Merrill Lynch investment and advisory services with a choice of diverse, committed partners to provide competitive recordkeeping and plan administration services for businesses’ retirement plan needs.
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services through its many subsidiaries. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 58 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,800 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America Corporation is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America Corporation offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company and its subsidiaries serve clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.