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Amalgamated Bank brings new branch in Ridgewood




by Holly Tsang Dec 21, 2009 | 16 views | 0 |1 | |

At a critical period when home and business owners are struggling to hang on to what's theirs, it's cause for buzz when the nation's only union-owned bank chooses to extend its lending services to your neighborhood. Amalgamated Bank celebrated the opening of its third Queens branch at 56-29 Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood on December 15 with a ribbon-cutting/community event that featured elected officials and the musical stylings of a student choir from Grover Cleveland High School and a string quartet from Queens College.

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Image 2 of 3 The staff of Amalgamated Bank's Ridgewood Branch and President/CEO Derrick Cephas (third from right).

Derrick Cephas, president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, said Ridgewood was identified as an ideal place for a new branch because of its history of being a stable neighborhood with many working families. Additionally, it's home to a number of small businesses and close to the subway, resulting in a high volume of area foot traffic. "Ridgewood is thriving and will continue to grow for many years to come," said Cephas. "Our bank can nurture that growth by providing personalized banking services and financial resources to the neighborhood's individuals, families and small businesses." He added that within hours of the bank opening several weeks ago, locals had already stopped by to open accounts. Though less than a month old, the bank has already gained acceptance from the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), which co-sponsored the ribbon-cutting event. "We are delighted that Amalgamated Bank has chosen to come to Ridgewood," said Myrtle BID Executive Director Theodore Renz. "We look forward to a long-standing relationship as we work to make this a better community and serve the needs of working people and the business sector as well." The bank will promote its Tween Green Savings program in schools to teach students about the importance of saving. In the spring, the bank will also present free financial literacy workshops on topics like reducing personal debit, building/restoring credit, and saving for a home or retirement. "I think we have a good product and people need banks," said Cephas. "The reception we've gotten so far seems to indicate we'll do great here."

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