PITTSFIELD – Berkshire Bank has launched its fourth annual “Season of Giving” campaign, which runs through the end of the holiday season. Through the campaign, bank employees will complete a variety of community service projects throughout cities and towns that Berkshire Bank serves. Berkshire Bank employees are also inviting the public to join with them to support local children and families in need during this holiday season to further expand the collective impact.
More than 200 Berkshire Bank employees will participate in the holiday “Season of Giving” effort with all of the service projects benefiting non-profit organizations and families across Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. In addition to these local efforts, Berkshire Bank has teamed up with the American Red Cross to participate in their annual Mail for Heroes program through which bank employees will send holiday cards to service men, women and veterans who cannot be with their families during the holidays.
In the Pioneer Valley, all Berkshire Bank branches and Berkshire Insurance Group offices have teamed up with the Department of Children & Families to collect gifts for local families in need. Donations are being accepted at any Berkshire Bank location in the Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The public is invited to stop by their local office to see which items are needed from the “Giving Tree.”
Bank employees will also volunteer their time with a variety of local non-profit organizations during the holiday season including Wreathes Across America and The Salvation Army. Berkshire Bank Foundation, the charitable arm of Berkshire Bank also plans to contribute grants to local non-profit organizations.
Berkshire Bank is well known for its commitment to making a difference in the community. The Bank and its foundations provide over $2 million dollars annually to support the communities that the Bank serves.
In addition to financial support, the XTeam, the bank’s nationally acclaimed Employee Volunteer Program, provides employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours. In 2014, over 70 percent of Berkshire Bank’s employees provided more than 40,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations across the bank’s service area. In recognition of their work in the community, Berkshire Bank has received more than two dozen awards and accolades, most recently being named by the Boston Business Journal as one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies for the third consecutive year.
The United States Small Business Administration recognized Berkshire Bank as the “Top SBA Lender” for fiscal year 2015 in Central New York District within the large community lender group. Berkshire totaled 81 loans for small businesses in the Central New York Region for $3.2 million.
The U.S. Small Business Administration reported that Capital Region’s small business owners received 870 loans supporting over $207 million in fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30) through its business loan programs.
“With 7(a) loan program fee reductions in effect, our loan approvals have broken the $200 million mark for the first time and Berkshire Bank was a significant contributor to this year’s record,” SBA Syracuse District Director Bernard J. Paprocki said.
Berkshire Bank was responsible for 187 7(a) approvals totaling more than $9 million at the district level. These SBA loans can make an honest difference, especially to the communities that use these small dollar loans more frequently. The Syracuse District Office distributes the SBA's various programs and services to 34 counties in Central New York. For more information about these programs and services, the office can be reached at 315-471-9393.
Berkshire Bank was also recognized as “Top SBA Lender” in the Capital region of New York, Western Massachusetts and Vermont, emphasizing the dedication of Berkshire Bank to fueling small businesses within all the communities they serve.