What is the BEST Community Comeback?
The BEST Community Comeback is Berkshire Bank’s multi-year $5 Billion (B) commitment to powering the financial potential of its communities and local economies. The program focuses on strengthening communities in four key areas: fueling small businesses, community financing and philanthropy, financial access and empowerment, and funding environmental sustainability.
What are the goals?
Berkshire Bank’s $5B commitment will be distributed throughout strategic, focused investments and programs across the following:
Fueling small businesses:
- $1.5B in small business lending
- Targeted programming including financial coaching and technical assistance
Community financing and philanthropy:
- $2.5B in mortgage lending
- $15MM in community contributions
- $3MM equivalent in employee volunteer time
- $50MM in socially responsible investments under management
Financial inclusion and access:
- $2.5B in lending in low & moderate income neighborhoods
- $200MM in lending for minority mortgage borrowers
- 300,000 people impacted with financial wellness programming
- 200,000 socially responsible customer bank accounts
- $300MM in lending for low-carbon projects
- 100 percent renewable electricity usage
- Reduction in Green House Gas (GHG) emissions
How will it impact Berkshire’s communities?
The BEST Community Comeback will help fuel the economic resilience of communities across New England and New York. It will increase the Bank’s lending and investment in its neighborhoods and main streets helping create jobs, put more people in homes, start and expand businesses, address climate change and provide consumers with the financial solutions to reach their full financial potential.
How does the Comeback integrate with Berkshire’s business goals and BEST plan?
In May 2021, Berkshire announced Berkshire’s Exciting Strategic Transformation (BEST) program to improve the customer experience, deliver profitable growth, enhance stakeholder value and further strengthen its community impact. The BEST Community Comeback integrates with the Company’s overall transformation plan highlighting the power of the Bank to affect real and positive change in communities. Progress on Community Comeback Goals will help fuel success with the BEST program and viceversa.
How do I support the Comeback?
Every Employee, Customer and Community partner plays an important role in the success of the BEST Community Comeback. Employees contribute through their volunteer, financial wellness and business development activities. Customers contribute by doing business with Berkshire and all of Berkshire’s community partners contribute by partnering with the Company to help meaningfully impact people across the region.
Who can I contact for more information?
Reach out to the Berkshire Bank Corporate Responsibility Office at [email protected].