February 1, 2013

Look to Community Banks for Small Business Lending

Ami Kassar’s recent commentary “The State of Small Business Lending” in the New York Times gives short shrift to the role community banks are playing in making loans to small businesses.  Nearly 60% of all loans under $1 million to small businesses are made by community banks, according to the Independent Community Bankers of America, even though community banks comprise only 20% of bank assets nationally.  While national banks are saying “No,” community banks are saying not just “Yes,” but “How else can we help?” There are 275 community banks across the country that participate in the Federal Government’s Small Business Lending Fund.  Of those, nearly 90% have increased their small business lending in the past year.  In fact, nearly…Read More >

December 17, 2012

We’re Banking on Virginia Businesses

From the day EagleBank opened its doors, we have been lending to small businesses in the Washington metropolitan area.  As a community bank, it is the essence of what we do.  And we are proud to see so many of our customers expand and thrive.  It is most gratifying for me to drive around the area and see so many businesses accomplish what they set out to do, and more.  For their success is our success.  In a recent post, I described how EagleBank continues to expand its presence in Northern Virginia.  It is certainly evident in the signs atop our branches and the signs you will see at real estate construction projects.  While it may not be as evident,…Read More >

November 15, 2012

EagleBank – Stronger and More Local Than Ever

For years, EagleBank has been helping Virginia businesses grow.  Our loans to companies headquartered in Northern Virginia and to real estate projects springing up around the Beltway, the Toll Road and I-66 have been part of our portfolio since the early roots of the Bank.  Customers keep deposits with us and operate their businesses utilizing our sophisticated offerings.  Relationships include small businesses, restaurants, retailers, technology companies and real estate developers.  And a lot more. In the past year-and-a-half, EagleBank has doubled its efforts in Northern Virginia.  Actually, you can say we’ve quintupled our efforts.  We’re now five branches strong in Fairfax and Arlington Counties.  You’ll find us in Tysons Corner, Rosslyn, Ballston, Reston and the just-opened Mosaic District in Merrifield. …Read More >

October 9, 2012

Relationships F·I·R·S·T

“Just Do It.”  “Oh! What a Feeling!”  “It’s the Real Thing.”  “Like a Good Neighbor…” Businesses use taglines to create and burnish an image.  It’s been no different here at EagleBank.  Since the day we opened our doors 14 years ago, our tagline has been “We’re Listening.”  With good reason.  When the founding directors of EagleBank banded together, they committed to have EagleBank serve as a true community bank.  We are here to serve our customers, not the other way around.  We start an introductory meeting not with “Here are our products. Which one do you want?” but with “How can we help?” Over the years, our customers have commented on how much they appreciate this attitude.  But we’ve heard…Read More >

September 20, 2012

Washington is Building into a Stronger Economy

As I have written before, it will be small businesses that will be the engine for economic recovery.  Here in the Washington area, that includes a lot of real estate developers. Have you noticed more and more construction activity lately?  I have.  And I’m proud that EagleBank has played a starring role. Drive down Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, and see Akridge’s new speculative building.  Once a GSA outpost, 7550 Wisconsin Avenue will be 110,000 square feet of brand new space.  The skin is being finished and leasing activity is strong.  Expect to see it ready for occupancy before the end of the year.  It’s a great building with a great sponsor in a great location. The Shaw area in the…Read More >

May 29, 2012

Unlimited FDIC Insurance for Business Accounts is Critical

In this week’s Washington Business Journal, I wrote an Op Ed piece urging Congress to extend the Transaction Account Guarantee programthat has the FDIC providing unlimited insurance to business noninterest bearing demand deposit accounts.  This is critical for small businesses to continue to have such protection, whether they bank at a megabank or a community bank. I have written about this before.  This issue is time sensitive because the TAG program sunsets at year-end absent Congressional action. This is not just a matter for community banks.  This is important to every small business which is considering where to place funds among alternative investment vehicles.  Knowing that its accounts are fully FDIC insured allows a business to choose to bank with…Read More >

April 23, 2012

Howard Theatre’s Re-opening is a True Community Effort

One of the “jewels in the crown of American cultural coolness.”  That’s how music legend Berry Gordy of Motown fame described it.  Not the Apollo.  Not the Beacon.  No, he cited DC’s Howard Theatre as playing such a vital role in our country’s culture. The Howard Theatre reopened this month after an absence of four decades.  You know the joke: A tourist in Manhattan asks “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”  The native New Yorker responds, “Practice, practice, practice.”  How did we get to a reopened Howard Theatre? Imagination. Collaboration. Dedication. The stage will once again present things of beauty.  It is no less artful how the developers and funders were able to put it all together.  It took…Read More >

February 13, 2012

Credit Unions Don’t Deserve A Bigger Tax Break

For a century now, credit unions have played a special role in providing financial services to communities.  Owned by their members, they serve people with a common bond or in the same geographical area.  Their mission is to help individuals and truly small businesses. They also have a very special role in our tax system: None.  That’s right.  Credit unions are tax exempt.  They are treated as not-profits.  Contrary to banks, which pay corporate taxes regularly to the federal and state governments, credit unions do not pay any taxes. There are limits on credit unions making too many commercial loans, veering from their mission.  In exchange for getting a free ride from Uncle Sam, credit unions are capped in the…Read More >

February 9, 2012

2011 a Banner Year for EagleBank

Eagle Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for EagleBank, recently issued our financial statement for fiscal year 2011.  Keep in mind that 2010 had been a record year for us.  (In fact, we’ve had increasing income each year of our 13 year history.) So how did we follow up 2010’s record year?  By increasing profits by 47% in 2011. Our income for the year was $24.6 million, up from $16.7 million the year before.  That resulted in net income available to common shareholders of $1.14 per diluted share, a 50% increase. What’s the basis for our success?  Our customers. Last year, we continued to build new relationships and deepened and expanded relationships with existing customers.  More and more businesses and individuals…Read More >

February 9, 2012

DC: Move Deposits to Community Banks

A bill has been introduced in the District of Columbia Council to encourage the District government to increase deposits of government funds to local, community banks rather than to make those deposits into out-of-town megabanks. Participating banks would agree in return to make new loans to District small businesses equal to twice the amount of new DC government deposits. So for example, a $50 million deposit (of the more than $1 billion of invested District funds) into an eligible local bank would result in that bank making $100 million of new loans to DC small businesses. Interest on the deposits would be at market rates, so DC taxpayers come out with the same investment return while keeping the funds local.  I…Read More >

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