Saving small businesses and helping communities rise up, one wave at a time
In 2008, businesses and consumers were in desperate need of lifelines to stay afloat as traditional banks were closing their doors and branches were shuttering during the recession, rendering conventional banking services less accessible. With a new bank charter, a clean balance sheet, and fresh capital to deploy, Cross River opened its doors with a sole purpose of providing access to financial services to those in need. Twelve years later, in March of 2020, faced with the Covid pandemic, the economy was on the brink of collapse again. Small businesses—the backbone of our economy—were drowning and in need of a new lifeline to keep them afloat. We knew it was our responsibility to step up and help in any way we could, not only to keep businesses open, but to lift them up.
In March of 2020, Cross River answered the call of Congressional leaders within the CARES Act and the mandate from the SBA to help small businesses survive the pandemic. While many big banks focused narrowly on servicing their existing customers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Cross River shifted almost every available asset and resource to better serve small businesses and other underrepresented customers across the country, regardless of size, number of employees, or loan dollar amount. According to the NY Federal Reserve Bank, fintech lenders like Cross River were critical in providing PPP loans to underserved demographics, including Black-owned businesses. Research from the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank further highlights that fintechs served ten times the number of self-identified black-owned businesses during PPP, and almost twice the amount of LMI communities.
Naturally, Cross River quickly rose to become one of the leading PPP lenders in the country. Ultimately, Cross River provided 480,000 financial lifelines to small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors, totaling more $13 billion in aid. While we’re humbled and grateful to have been able to save over 1.4 million jobs, we know our work is far from done.
Coming off the success of Cross River’s PPP initiative, we’re proud to kick-off Making Waves with Cross River, a campaign dedicated to small businesses and the entrepreneurs that fuel them—those truly facilitating change one transaction at time. We know firsthand what it’s like to get that personal touch, the community support, and the access to resources when you are small yet mighty. For Cross River, it’s in our DNA, and we’re here to pay it forward, because we are only successful when others are successful.
A wave is created by the simplest disruption in the water but can grow to a powerful force impacting everything around it. This season, we’ll send ripples through our communities, create waves and fuel change while we rise—together.
Cross River is here as a true partner in both times of challenge and of success. Now, we are dedicating the coming weeks to giving back, helping bring more businesses in to the larger economy, facilitating change one transaction at a time. This season, Cross River is partnering with organizations specifically focused on supporting diverse small businesses who are serving their communities and creating jobs. Most importantly, we’re paying it forward to those who persevered this past year for their customers in a time of need.
Starting with National Small Business Week (September 13-15) and running through the end of the year, Cross River is thrilled to partner with key organizations fueling entrepreneurship and imparted with values close to our heart.