MA Small Business Development Center Awards Peter Rice of Berkshire Bank the 2016 Massachusetts Fin

PITTSFIELD, MA, May 9, 2016 - Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®, is excited to announce that the Small Business Administration has awarded Peter Rice the title of Financial Services Champion of the Year for 2016 in Massachusetts.

The Financial Services Champion of the Year award is granted each year to an individual that surpasses both expectations and requirements for supporting and assisting small businesses. As Senior Vice President of Small Business Operations, Rice and his teams work closely with the SBA to fill credit gaps for the network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and SCORE chapters that guide and mentor small businesses.

According to Robert Nelson, SBA Massachusetts District Director, “Peter’s commitment in developing strong partnerships with SBA and its partners while supporting under-resourced communities - serves as a prime formula for success in community lending.”

Over the last three years, Berkshire Bank has provided over 150 million dollars in financing to local businesses, with 183 individual SBA loans approved, and ranks within the top five in the state for productivity consistently. Berkshire Bank is a preferred Small Business Administration (SBA) lender, works closely with the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), is a participant in the Massachusetts Treasurer's Office Small Business Partnership Program and offers a full suite of financial services for small businesses. Berkshire’s Small Business division is dedicated to helping business customers grow their companies and invests in the surrounding communities to help strive for success. 

Rice will be recognized with this award, along with the other Massachusetts Small Business Week 2016 award winners, at a luncheon event at the Westborough Doubletree on May 6, 2016.     

About Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Hills Bancorp (NYSE: BHLB) is the parent of Berkshire Bank, America’s Most Exciting Bank®.  The Company, recognized for its entrepreneurial approach and distinctive culture, has $7.8 billion in assets and 93 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services.  In 2015, Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies by the Boston Business Journal.  Berkshire Bank is the home financing and retail banking provider for the Massachusetts Teachers Association Benefits, MTA.  To learn more, visit, call 800-773-5601 or follow us on:  Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Berkshire Bank is the official bank of NESN’s Boston Bruins Coverage.