Press Release
May 20, 2008
3 minute read


TRENTON, N.J. (May 20, 2008) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) has approved two new community-based financial institutions – Columbia Bank and Peapack-Gladstone Bank – as its newest Preferred Lenders.   The program, which supports Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s commitment to enhance New Jersey’s economy, streamlines the EDA’s loan-approval process and speeds the flow of capital to growing businesses in the state.


     Columbia Bank, founded in 1927, is headquartered in Fair Lawn and operates a network of 43 branches in 10 counties with more than $4.3 billion in total assets.   Peapack-Gladstone, founded in 1921, is based in Gladstone and has 22 branches serving Somerset, Hunterdon, Morris and Union counties and $1.4 billion in total assets. 


     “We are delighted to add these two community banks to our list of Preferred Lenders,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini.   “The program is an effective resource for our banking partners and their borrowers that need affordable capital for fixed assets like buildings and equipment, working capital for operating expenses and refinancing higher-cost debt.”


     The program features a three-day turnaround time for loan approval and applies to transactions in which the EDA buys a participation in bank financing and/or guarantees a portion of a bank loan.    It is designed to create new opportunities for EDA’s lending partners because it makes funds available at below-market interest rates with flexible terms for growing New Jersey businesses.   Quick turnaround time from approval to closing provides a strong incentive for borrowers, while the EDA’s exposure by participating in or guaranteeing a portion of a loan reduces the lender’s risk.


     “We are pleased to become part of the EDA’s Preferred Lender Program,” said Mark Krukar, Columbia Bank’s senior vice president, commercial lending.   “This lending program is an important element in promoting business growth and statewide economic prosperity.”


    “We are very pleased and excited that Peapack-Gladstone Bank has been granted Preferred Lender status by the EDA,” added Garrett P. Bromley, the bank’s executive vice president and chief lending officer.   “We look forward to working closely with the EDA in the years ahead in support of the many value-added financial programs available for New Jersey-based companies,”

Under the Preferred Lender Program, the EDA provides up to 50 percent of the bank loan amount for fixed asset loans, with a maximum participation of $1.25 million and a maximum guarantee of $1.5 million.   For working capital loans, the EDA offers up to 50 percent of the bank loan amount, with a maximum participation of $750,000 and maximum guarantee of $1.5 million.   EDA participation and guarantee terms may be up to 10 years for fixed asset loans and up to five years for working capital loans.


        Borrowers of low-interest EDA funding under the Preferred Lender Program have the option of choosing a fixed rate indexed to the five-year Treasury rate or a variable rate indexed to the Prime Rate.   Businesses must be New Jersey-based, in operation for at least two years, and commit to creating at least one new job per $50,000 in EDA exposure.   Manufacturers need only to maintain one job per $50,000 of EDA exposure.  


    The EDA also offers other programs for borrowers that require businesses to be in operation for only one year.


    To learn more about the Preferred Lender Program or other products and services of the EDA, contact EDA Customer Care at or (609) 777-4898.   For more information about doing business in New Jersey, visit or call (866) 534-7789.


The EDA is an independent, self-sustaining state financing and development agency that works to promote economic growth, job creation and the revitalization of New Jersey’s communities with financing assistance, technical support and real estate development activities.