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Q: Best small-business technology banks in Boston? ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Best small-business technology banks in Boston?
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: jake-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 29 Nov 2006 22:32 PST
Expires: 29 Dec 2006 22:32 PST
Question ID: 786884
My company is opening a Boston office in the next few months and we'd
like to start a relationship with a Boston-based bank.

We're looking for a bank that specializes in small business,
preferably one that has a good history servicing Boston's technology
start-up community. We'll be primarily talking with them about lending
services (term loans and credit lines) to help finance our Boston

I've looked at the SBA website (for example
but that doesn't give me much information about the relative merits of
the banks themselves, just how much they lend out. Citizen's bank has
a technology group (
but I've been unable to find additional information about it.

The ideal answer will include not just the bank information, but links
to press, blog posts, and any other material that will help us make
our decision.
Subject: Re: Best small-business technology banks in Boston?
Answered By: keystroke-ga on 27 Dec 2006 18:01 PST
Hello Jake,

Thank you for your question.

I've found a few Boston banks that specialize in small business.  You
may have heard this advice before-- small businesses usually get the
best support from small banks (that are relatively small businesses
themselves), so it's usually best to avoid the banking behemoths in a
situation like this.  You can get to know the loan officer and avoid
the large fees that large banks will charge for business accounts.
However, some large banks, such as Comerica, have special small
business departments that can give you the feel of a community bank

To begin my search, I went straight to the best source for Boston
business news: the Boston Business Journal.

Here are my recommendations from the Journal:

Patriot Community Bank

Patriot started about a year ago, specifically to meet the needs of
small businesses in Boston.

"Patriot to be first state-chartered bank since 2000"

"John O'Donnell, the bank's president and CEO, said Patriot will be a
full-service retail bank but also specialize in serving small
businesses with $10 million or less in annual revenue. Patriot expects
to serve its hometown of Woburn, as well as the surrounding
communities of Arlington, Bedford, Lexington, Malden and Medford.

"It's just an old, traditional, mom-and-pop bank we're trying to
establish," O'Donnell said.

O'Donnell, a Medford Cooperative Bank executive vice president until
that bank was sold in 2004 to Brookline Bancorp, said Patriot will
differentiate itself by its executives' accessibility. Customers
who'll be known by name can go straight to the president for a loan

Since Patriot is such a small bank, there really isn't as much online
about them as you would find about, say, Bank of America.  For
instance, check out this Google Blog Search thread:

From the looks of it, there are only about five blog posts that
Google's robots have found on this bank.  I do think you'll have
better luck getting loans and other things a growing business might
need from a small community bank and I recommend that you check
Patriot out.  If the above quote is true, you can interact directly
with the bank president and other high-ranking employees and that will
certainly be a nice perk.


Comerica Bank

Imperial Bank catered to young technology start-ups, and it has been
bought by Comerica, which has taken over where Imperial left off.

Boston Business Journal
"Venture firms contribute more than just capital"

'"In the last 12 months, we're seeing more and more venture capital
firms trying to support their portfolio companies with a variety of
services," said Dianne Hyde Russell, senior vice president and manager
at Los Angeles-based Imperial Bank's Boston office, which caters to
the startups and early-stage firms invested in by venture

Here are some reviews of Comerica (although mostly from an individual
consumer standpoint):

Insider Pages


Here are a few other (relatively) small Boston banks that have made
concerted efforts to target small business customers-- they both chose
the locations of new branches specifically to target that market, so
they seem to be serious about getting and keeping this type of
business.  Again, because these are small banks, there's not much
beyond these business journal articles to go on.


First Ipswich Bancorp

Here is an article that reiterates that relationships are key in
establishing a business banking relationship.

Boston Business Journal
"When finding a bank, aim to invest in a relationship"

The businessperson quoted in the article recommends Eastern Bank.


Boston Business Journal
"The over-under on the Bay State's community banks"

Sacramento Business Journal
"Comerica buys Imperial Bank, enters Sacramento market"

East Bay Business Journal
"Cash flows to technology and service startups"

Boston Business Journal
"Burb banks branch out to the city"

Search terms:
patriot community bank
bank specialize small business
charles river ventures bank
bank small business

(on search engines)
dianne hyde russell
imperial bank comerica
comerica start-ups
comerica review

If you need any additional clarification, let me know and I'll be glad
to assist you.  Best of luck!

Subject: Re: Best small-business technology banks in Boston?
From: cynthia-ga on 18 Dec 2006 02:57 PST
I didn';t find the majority of what you are asking for, but in the
spirit of giving, here's what I was able to gather:

Boston Business Resource Guide
Thomas M. Menino, Mayor - City of Boston
How to Build Your Business in Boston

Western Massachusetts Regional SBDC

Massachusetts Community & Banking Council (MCBC)

Boston Banks & Credit Unions Reviews

Best regards,

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