Q&A with Chris Kneer for SBA Month

Library | 9/19/2019
Chris Kneer

How has your career led you to leading the SBA team at Valley?

I have been involved with SBA Lending for over 20 years both as a lender and a manager.  As a lender at a small community bank, it was my responsibility to learn all aspects of the program from calling on customers to underwriting the deal, then presenting to the loan committee and finally processing the loan through the SBA and working with an attorney to close the loan.  This experience has been incredibly valuable to me as I have done every step in the process and understand what each teammate does. 

In addition to SBA Lending, I have been a conventional lender most of my career which has helped me distinguish between the two types of loans.  I have a clear philosophy on what makes a good SBA loan and try to consistently communicate it to the sales team.


How do SBA loans benefit/impact local communities?

There are a lot of loan requests that do not fit conventional guidelines.  This causes an access to capital issue for many good companies.  SBA Lending allows a bank to fill that void and help local businesses grow.  When they grow, they hire more employees and purchase more equipment or inventory.  It is a cycle that benefits the whole economy, but often starts with an SBA loan.


Can you share a story or experience of a customer you helped with an SBA loan?

We recently financed the expansion of an optical franchise.  Our SBA loan allowed them to lease the unit next door, build out the space and buy new equipment.  The expansion increased their revenue by 41 percent! 


Why should a business owner consider an SBA loan with Valley?

Our SBA Team is deeply experienced.  We know what loans are eligible and will help structure the request for maximum benefit. Our borrowers are customers, not just a transaction.  We want to provide every service these companies need.  Finally, we understand how important a quick answer is.  Our experienced team analyzes a request and will give feedback within days.      


What’s the best way for a business owner to learn more and apply for an SBA loan?

We have recently produced a great video on the basics of SBA Lending that can be found on our website.  They can request more information online and be connected with an SBA Business Development Officer. 


What is the advantage of Valley expanding the SBA program into the NY and NJ markets?

​The primary reason for expanding the SBA Program to NY and NJ is to provide capital to more businesses and bring new customers to the bank.  Valley has a great reputation in these markets and an existing client base as well as a strong network of branches and lenders.  We just need to get the word out that Valley is an SBA Lender.  The opportunity is huge.

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SBA Lending

The success of your business is important to us. That's why we would like to help you achieve your business goals with an SBA Loan from Valley.

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