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ESL Federal Credit Union Earns Position as Rochester’s #1 Small Business Banking Lender

The locally-owned financial institution earned this honor by securing the highest volume of SBA 7(a) loans in the Greater Rochester area.

Rochester, N.Y. — ESL Federal Credit Union has been ranked the #1 small business banking lender in the Greater Rochester area by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). With 139 loans in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018, ESL exceeded $8.2 million in lending volume. This is the fifth time ESL has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration since launching its business banking initiative in 2010.

“We are excited to be named Rochester’s #1 SBA lender for the second consecutive year,” said Keith Cleary, ESL’s senior vice president and director of business banking. “We owe a special thanks to all of our business banking customers and employees for making this possible. We are proud of our growth in this area and will continue to ensure that small businesses in the Rochester region can depend on ESL as a reliable lending partner to help them grow.”

The average loan amount in this latest fiscal year was approximately $59,000. This higher volume of loans—at a relatively modest average loan size—helps further demonstrate ESL’s commitment to meet the needs of all businesses, regardless of their size or revenue.

“Access to capital is a critical need for many Rochester small businesses,” Cleary adds. “We’re in a great position to be able to offer packages to businesses with needs of only a few thousand dollars, or higher, to provide the necessary funds to grow.”

ESL’s business banking line of business has experienced tremendous growth in its early years. The team has more than 30 employees and helps manage more than $700 million in combined deposits and loans. Recently, to allow easier access to small businesses, ESL made upgrades to its business loan processing capabilities that allowed employees in its branches and Contact Center to more efficiently accept and process business loan applications up to $100,000.

“Many of our small business customers connect with us through our branches and Contact Center,” said Marcelina Nobrega Courtney, senior vice president and director of retail banking. “Our frontline employees are pleased to help small businesses from opening and servicing their accounts, to applying for their first line of credit. It’s building that relationship with our business banking customers that has helped fuel the progress of our SBA loan applications.”

ESL first appeared on the Rochester SBA Lender list in 2013 having processed three SBA loans for $385,000. ESL recognized a growing need to provide small businesses in Rochester access to capital and focused on building internal capabilities and strong partnerships with organizations such as the SBA, SCORE, and Pathstone. As a participant in the SBA’s Preferred Lender Program (PLP), ESL has demonstrated proficiency in processing and servicing SBA guaranteed loans which benefits customers by making the process easy.

About ESL Federal Credit Union

With nearly 100 years of locally-owned history, ESL Federal Credit Union serves as a full-service financial institution to approximately 348,000 members world-wide. The company provides personal, business banking, and wealth management services through its locally-based [current branch count] branch network, telephone, mobile, online, and live chat center.

The Rochester-based financial institution employs more than 750 people in Rochester, New York and holds $5.9 billion in assets. The company has appeared on the Great Place to Work® Best Small & Medium Workplaces list for seven years since 2010. ESL Federal Credit Union is headquartered at 225 Chestnut Street, in Rochester, and can be found on the Internet at

Find and connect with ESL on Twitter (@ESLFCU) and

For more information, contact:
Rich Pulvino
Manager, Corporate Communications