Following its merger and absorption of Colonial Co-operative Bank, Fidelity Bank is making sure that it continues to support small businesses in the communities that Colonial served, such as Gardner and Winchendon.

The now $900 million institution announced yesterday that it would earmark $300,000 for the establishment of a microloan fund called The Colonial Bank Loan Fund, a Fidelity Bank Endowment.

“We want to honor Colonial Co-operative Bank’s prior commitments to the people of Gardner and Winchendon,” Fidelity Bank Chairman and CEO Edward F. Manzi Jr. said in a statement. “It aligns well with our LifeDesign promise of being a team of caring people, who take a caring approach, to provide caring solutions.”

The fund will be managed by Fitchburg-based North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) to provide the loans to small businesses in the city of Gardner and the towns of Winchendon and Templeton.

“We are very excited to be partnering with Fidelity Bank on the establishment of the new Colonial Bank Loan Fund,” Roy M. Nascimento, president and CEO of NCMDC and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “These funds will go a long way in providing local entrepreneurs with the critical infusion of capital that they will need to take their business from dream to reality.”

The Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce will partner with NCMDC to promote the loan fund to businesses in the area.

“We are pleased to promote the fund as a resource for new businesses to accelerate their ideas and achieve their ambitions. In large part, small businesses are driving the economic growth in the Greater Gardner region,” Carol Jacobson, president and CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. “It is also a fitting tribute to Colonial Co-operative Bank’s rich history of supporting businesses and citizens in Gardner and surrounding towns for more than a century.”

Fidelity Bank also gave gifts to four nonprofits based in Gardner and Winchendon. Former Colonial Co-operative Bank President Joseph D. Guercio is president of the advisory board that chose the nonprofit recipients.

Gardner-based Alyssa’s Place: Peer Recovery and Resource Center, Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center and The Gardner Community Action Committee received gifts of $5,000. The Wendell P. Clark Memorial YMCA in Winchendon received a gift of $2,500.

Fidelity Bank Announces Microloan Fund in Former Colonial Communities

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min