SBA Recognizes Berkshire Bank as #1 Small Business Lender in Central New York Region

PITTSFIELD, MA, December 8, 2016 – The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized Berkshire Bank, America's Most Exciting Bank®, as the "Top SBA Lender" for fiscal year 2016 in the Central New York District within the large community lender group. Berkshire totaled 117 loans for small businesses in the Central New York Region for $6.368 million.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reported that Central New York's small business owners received 963 loans supporting over $151 million in fiscal year 2016 (October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016) through its business loan programs.

Berkshire Bank was responsible for 282 7(a) loan approvals totaling more than $18 million at the district level, doubling the $9 million in approvals from the previous fiscal year. These SBA loans can make a significant difference, particularly to the communities that use these small dollar loans more frequently. The Syracuse District Office distributes the SBA's various programs and services to 34 counties in Central New York. For more information about these SBA programs and services, the office can be reached at (315)-471-9393.

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.

Berkshire has a team of dedicated small business banking professionals located in every region throughout its footprint trained to help customers find the best combination of services to make their businesses prosper, today and in the future. For more information regarding Berkshire Bank's Small Business Lending programs, contact the Commercial Lending group at (315)-433-0111.

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 $9 billion in assets and 99 full service branch offices in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont providing personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. The company has a pending agreement to acquire First Choice Bank, a $1.1 billion bank with eight branches in Princeton, New Jersey area and a national mortgage originations subsidiary. Berkshire Bank was named one of Massachusetts Most Charitable Companies in 2016 by the Boston Business Journal. 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 and community partner of Boston Seasons at City Hall Plaza.

Contact: Heidi Higgins
             Berkshire Bank
             Phone: (413) 236-3756
             E-Mail: [email protected]

             Vanessa Pesa
             Berkshire Bank
             Phone: 413-447-1851
             E-Mail: [email protected]