Operation HOPE and Popular Community Bank Celebrate the Launch of a Comprehensive Small Business Program with “HOPE Inside”


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Popular de Puerto Rico's
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014 9:30 am EDT



Public Company Information:

"With small business employing over half of the country's workforce, the support and growth of entrepreneurs and small business is critical in order to have a healthy community and robust local and national economy. We strive to provide the necessary tools, education, advocacy and guidance to the small business community."

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Popular Community Bank, a subsidiary of Popular, Inc. (Nasdaq: BPOP) and one of the nation’s premier community banks, together with partner Operation HOPE celebrated the advancement of small business empowerment with the launch of the HOPE Inside program.

A celebration to commemorate the opening of the HOPE Inside took place on April 1, at Popular Community Bank’s Harlem Branch in New York City - the same location where aspiring entrepreneurs are learning the basics of building their own business by attending these free workshops with a trained Operation HOPE counselor.

“Operation HOPE is proud to join Popular Community Bank to celebrate the launch of the first HOPE Inside for the state of New York," said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Operation HOPE, Inc. “The HOPE Inside model is an important part of Project 5117, our national initiative to continue Dr. King’s work to bring economic justice to underserved communities. It is my sincere hope that this first location in Harlem actually represents the first of many more to come, in addition to the three additional locations that are already planned.”

“We are thrilled to share the same commitment Operation HOPE has of helping others secure a brighter financial future,” said Brian Doran, New York Metro Region Executive, Popular Community Bank. “With small business employing over half of the country's workforce, the support and growth of entrepreneurs and small business is critical in order to have a healthy community and robust local and national economy. We strive to provide the necessary tools, education, advocacy and guidance to the small business community.”

There are two options offered through HOPE Inside:

  • The Technical Assistance Program – in a private consultation with a trained Operation HOPE Counselor, candidates are helped with establishing their goals and needs, review of their credit report, business plan and financials, and are provided assistance through referral programs.
  • The Entrepreneurial Training Course - is a 12-week program supplying entrepreneurs with simple, practical information to help them succeed, as well as feature a variety of guest speakers. Topics covered include evaluating feasibility, selecting a business name, conducting market research, advertising, securing startup money, types of distribution channels and where to access capital.

The partnership to develop HOPE Inside program commenced in November 2013 with a commitment of $300,000 from Popular Community Bank for four locations. Seeing value in the program, Popular Community Bank has already committed to launch three additional HOPE Inside locations this year, in the New York area.

Focused on small business development the first Workshop took place in mid-February and the next workshop started March 5 - focusing on business ideas ranging from real estate financing to components of a business plan, to help these entrepreneurs of tomorrow achieve success.

For more information or to sign up for the Small Business Development Program speak with the Operation HOPE representative at the 125th Street Popular Community Bank Branch or call (917) 477-2800.

Note: Photographs of the event are available upon request.

About Operation HOPE

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through the delivery of financial inclusion and education tools to underserved communities. Through its core divisions, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, promoted home ownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 2 million individuals, families, and small business owners. HOPE's next phase will be focused on Project 5117, a multi-year initiative that will track and increase business role models for youth, boost credit scores for adults, and empower underserved communities. To learn how you can join Project 5117, go to www.operationhope.org.

About Popular Community Bank

Founded in 1893, Popular, Inc. is the leading banking institution by both assets and deposits in Puerto Rico, and among the largest 40 banks in the U.S. by assets. In the United States, Popular has established a community-banking franchise that does business as Popular Community Bank, providing a broad range of financial services and products, with 90 branches in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and California.

Services of Popular are available at branches and online at http://popularcommunitybank.com. For customers seeking more information, call 1-800-377-0800 or email popularnet@bpop.com. Find out about the community service of Popular Community Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PopularCommunityBank.

Multimedia Files:

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Pictured left to right front row: John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.; Brian Doran, NY Metro Region Executive, PCB; Mary Hagerty Ehrsam, CEO, New York and Division President, HOPE Youth Empowerment Group Operation HOPE, Inc.; PCB Assistant Branch Manager Charlene Wint; Manuel Chinea, COO of PCB; Stephanie Penceal, Small Business Program Manager, HOPE Inside. Back row left to right: Rafael Sanchez, PCB Regional Manager, Manhattan North, Bronx & Queens; Malik Hodges, PCB 125th Street Branch Manager (Photo: Business Wire)
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Operation HOPE
Sherry John, 213-891-2908
Popular Community Bank
Gabriela B. Maldonado, 787-217-8522

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