Bank to spur growth

(L-r) Assemblyman Louis Diaz, Deputy Borough President Earl Brown, Denise Pease, Jarett Lockhard and Amalgamated Bank president and chief executive officer Derrick Cephas introduced a brand new bank to the Burnside community at their ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, May 30.

Burnside is welcoming a brand new bank into the community with open arms. 

On Friday, May 30, a crowd gathered at 94 E. Burnside Avenue to welcome the first Amalgamated Bank outside of the northeast Bronx into their neighborhood.

The new retail branch, located in one of the borough’s most underserved communities will meet the needs of residents and small businesses in Morris Heights, Mount Hope and University Heights.

Joining with Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., Amalgamated applied to bring the Banking Development District branch to Burnside with promises of working with the community and being good neighbors to residents and businesses, alike.

“The more you have to work with the better chance you have to succeed,” bank president and chief executive officer Derrick D. Cephas said about what he believes is a tremendous neighborhood for retail growth. 

Cephas added the new establishment would act as a catalyst for activity along the retail strip.

“We are forming alliances in the community to provide more affordable housing, promote homeownership, drive economic growth and create jobs by nurturing small business expansion,” he explained.

Working with Community Board 5, the Davidson Community Center and the merchants association, Amalgamated funded a commercial revitalization consultant responsible for enhancing the Burnside shopping district.

The bank is also partnering with the community center and merchants to bring a series of small business seminars to local shopkeepers.

As for personal services, the site will provide basic banking, financial literacy workshops and personal finance programs, all while first offering affordable checking and savings accounts to working families.

“Amalgamated Bank is committed to serving our community, its businesses and organizations by using its resources to foster business development on and around Burnside Avenue,” Carrion said.

Along with the site’s free, 24-hour ATMs, local residents can attend free Money Sense workshops to learn about financial independence. Cephas explained it’s especially important to uphold Amalgamated’s mission and focus on the specific needs of the customers.

“We designed a product based on the need rather than convincing people to buy the product we sell,” Cephas said.

Partnering with Citizens Advice Bureau and Mount Hope Housing, Amalgamated will also offer some of their clients a partially secured “Credit Repair-Credit Card,” which can establish or improve credit scores during use.

“A big part of the excitement is we’re doing something for the community,” branch manager Omar Perez said. “We’re here for the long haul.”

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