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PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Greylock Federal Credit Union recently earned the distinction of being the first credit union in the state to be designated as an SBA Preferred Lender. Under the agency’s Preferred Lender program, Greylock can approve qualifying SBA loans with no additional reviews by government underwriters. In 2005, the $810 million CU was the top SBA lender in Berkshire county here, according to Angelo Stracuzzi, president/CEO of Greylock. The CU closed 36 loans last year. “We granted this Preferred status based on Greylock’s outstanding record of small business lending,” said Maurice Dub, SBA’s Massachusetts district director. “SBA is pleased to have Greylock as a partner in supporting Berkshire County’s small businesses.” A large percentage of the credit union membership owns or operates small businesses or is self-employed, according to Don Kuczarski, Greylock vice president of commercial lending. “We work closely with our customers in evaluating their business plans, helping them avoid the most common pitfall facing small businesses: lack of adequate capital,” Kuczarski said. Last year, loans were sought by a diverse array of businesses including an electric utility service provider, plumbing contractors, bakeries, restaurants, landscapers and commercial real estate developers, according to the CU. Greylock is certainly doing its part to help budding and established entrepreneurs. Last fall, it along with Banknorth Massachusetts, Berkshire Bank, Hoosac Bank, Pittsfield Cooperative Bank and the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, co-sponsored a business planning workshop on such topics as business plan development, business structure, legal obligations, market research, marketing and advertising, financial reports and financing considerations. The CU’s new SBA status will help even more businesses. “This is good news for Greylock, and good news for businesses in Berkshire County,” Stracuzzi said. “As an SBA Preferred Lender in 2006, we can provide even more loans, more quickly.” Kuczarski praised the work of Greylock’s lending team, including Mike Dicenzo and Bill Ryan, who was named SBA Lender of the Quarter for all of Massachusetts for October through December of 2005. The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center also considers Greylock vital to creating businesses here. “Greylock Federal is helping more businesses get through the start-up phase, take on new capacity, or add equipment to service their customers,” said Susan Mongue, management counselor at the center. This recent news is one of several “firsts” for the Greylock. In 2005 and for the seventh year in a row, the CU said it was the top mortgage lender in Berkshire County here. Greylock FCU serves more than 59,000 members. -

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