April 4, 2016 — Norway Savings Bank contributes to several non-profit agencies that help new immigrants integrate and prosper in Maine. In 2015, the bank contributed approximately $20,000 to various Southern Maine agencies that provide programs and support from legal advocacy and financial literacy training, to helping young children of new immigrants aspire to higher vocational and college education. “We try to direct these contributions in ways that will help new Mainers gain knowledge and skills while at the same time grow and thrive in our communities,” said Pat Weigel, President & CEO.
The Bank recently made a $300,000 Equity Equivalent (EQ2) loan to Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) to support access to capital for new Mainers. Headquartered in Brunswick, CEI provides an array of advising services and financing solutions for thousands of Mainers every year, including a number of borrowers who, for many reasons including religious restrictions, may be unable to access capital from a bank to start and grow their businesses. The loan from Norway Savings Bank, which will ultimately be repaid, provides flexibility to CEI in structuring loans for small businesses with a variety of needs. “This is a unique financing opportunity in Maine, and our investment will help create greater access to small business loans,” said Weigel.
Hussein Ahmed of Global Halal Market in Lewiston has received loans and business advising from CEI’s StartSmart program, and appreciates the range of financing options available from the mission-driven lender and investor, because they “help business owners who would otherwise have no loan options for starting businesses.” StartSmart, one of CEI’s targeted business advising programs, provides free, confidential business advice for new Mainers looking to start or expand a business in Maine.
About Norway Savings Bank
Founded in 1866, Norway Savings Bank is a leading mutual banking and financial services company headquartered in Norway, Maine. As of December 31, 2015, Norway Savings Bank had $1.026 billion in total assets and provided financial services to over 43 thousand households throughout western and southern Maine. Norway Savings Bank has 24 branch locations and operates divisions in asset management, personal banking and business banking. In 2013, Norway Savings Bank was awarded the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence and was honored as one of the Best Banks to Work For by American Banker and Best Companies Group. Norway Savings bank has been recognized as one of the healthiest companies in America by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) as a two-time Gold-Level Well Workplace award recipient and has been acknowledged as one of the strongest banks in the nation after receiving a 5-Star Superior rating for over 100 consecutive quarters from BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm. For more information, visit www.norwaysavingsbank.com.
About Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is a mission-driven lender and investor specializing in rural economic development in Maine and throughout the U.S. CEI combines financing, advising services and policy leadership to help create economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential.
CEI supports small and medium-sized businesses; natural resource-based industries from the farm, fishery, aquaculture, forestry, renewable energy, and nature-based tourism sectors; and community facility, commercial real estate, and affordable housing development. Learn more at www.ceimaine.org.