Customers Bank Donates $55,000 to Support Minority Small Businesses in Reading

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(L-to-R): Robert A. Fischer, executive vice president market leader – PA West Region; Sonya Smith, PA SBDC associate state director of program and policy; Joseph Schupp, senior vice president-community development officer.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Customers Bank recently donated $55,000 to the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center (KUSBDC) to support resources for minority small businesses in Reading. The donation will help minority entrepreneurs with strategic planning to improve critical growth areas.

“We are pleased to continue to work with minority micro-enterprises in Reading due to the support from Customer’s Bank and many others in the region,” said PASBDC associate state director of program and policy Sonya Smith. “These banks and businesses see the importance of reinvesting back into the community, to help push the economic growth in the Greater Reading area.”

As a result of the donation, KUSBDC will continue their eight-week Business Skills for Success series for Reading small-business owners. The series is available in Spanish and English. KUSBDC offers services to minority business owners in their native language to combat culture differences and language barriers. These disadvantages lead minority business to remain a small micro-enterprise. This year, a new feature of the program will include the SBDC Kitchen Incubator Program (SBDC/KIP). The SBDC/KIP provides entrepreneurs with a safe, regulated space in Reading to create their products. A total of 20 new business startups will be the expected outcome measure from the additional certification class.

“Customers Bank is excited to continue our work with Kutztown University SBDC,” said senior vice president-community development officer Joseph Schupp. “Reading’s minority population has proven to be entrepreneurial-minded, although business owners often encounter obstacles due to language barriers, culture and lack of knowledge about regulations governing business in America. We are happy to support KUSBDC, because we know firsthand the high quality of services KUSBDC provides its clients.”

Customers Bank has a strong record of supporting its community and regional organizations. Previously, Customers Bank supported KUSBDC and the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center by providing a $52,500 cash match to help seven graduate student stipends at $7,500 per student, per year. The donation is matched dollar for dollar by Kutztown University with tuition waivers.

Customers Bank also has partnerships with Berks County Community Foundation, the Leon H. Sullivan Charitable STEP-UP Scholarship; Berks County Community Foundation’s Veterans Center Fund; Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia and EverFI. 

For additional information about Customers Bank and its financial products, please visit  www.CustomersBank.com.

About Customers Bank

Customers Bank is a super-community bank with $10.6 billion in assets as of Sept. 30, 2018, offering commercial and consumer banking services along the I-95 corridor from Washington, DC to Boston; and in Chicago. Commercial products include cash management; commercial and industrial loans; small business loans; SBA government-guaranteed loans; commercial and multifamily real estate loans; and financing for leasing businesses and residential developers. 

Customers Bank provides consumer banking services including savings, checking and money market accounts; certificates of deposit; residential mortgages; and consumer loans. Additional consumer products are marketed by BankMobile, BankMobile Vibe and Ascent. 

Customers Bank is a member of the Federal Reserve System with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Customers Bank is an equal opportunity lender. Customers Bank takes pride in delivering extremely high levels of customer service while charging comparatively very low fees; service that makes our clients say, “Wow.” 

Commercial clients enjoy Single Point of Contact service with one team to handle all banking needs. Some retail bank clients are afforded Concierge Banking® Services that brings banking to them, when and where they need it. Customers Bank is a subsidiary of Customers Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company with its headquarters located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The voting common shares of Customers Bancorp, Inc. are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CUBI.

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The Pennsylvania SBDC network is the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high-quality one-on-one consulting, training, and information resources to empower new and existing businesses. SBDC consultants work with entrepreneurs in confidential, individualized sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities and much more. The SBDC program is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and 18 universities and colleges across the Commonwealth. For more information on the Pennsylvania SBDC services and impact, please visit www.pasbdc.org.