When some looked at the Belmont neighborhood around 44th and Girard, they saw a challenge. Real estate developer Harold Thomas saw an opportunity to make a difference. Since 1993, Thomas’ company, T.J. Properties, has developed more than 230 units of affordable housing in the neighborhood—offering homes for families and a new vibrancy to the entire community.
“As a small-business owner and real estate developer, I need a banking partner I can depend on.” he said. “United Bank offers great service. Everyone I’ve ever dealt with is pleasant and professional. More than that, they understand what I’m doing in Belmont and work with me.”
“Once, after one of my deals was completed, the president of the bank called me, just to make sure everything went okay and I was happy with the service. That’s something that just doesn’t happen with other banks. It really mattered to me.”
Around the Clock Home Health Care Services grew from two employees in 1999 to over 100 today. When they decided to build new office space, they wanted to make a positive impact in their Germantown community. “We went to several banks,” said Patricia McKinley, ACHHCS Executive Director. “They all gave us the run-around and then denied our loans. They looked at us as being too ‘new.’”
“Then we went to United Bank of Philadelphia,” said administrator Theresa Williams. “United is about community development and small business support. Their encouragement allowed us to eradicate blight and develop 35 new jobs for our neighbors.”
Executive Director Patricia McKinley said United Bank went the extra mile – they expedited the loan and the bank officer even stayed after hours when that was the only time settlement could only be scheduled. “United Bank cared about our goals and aspirations,” McKinley said. “It was important to them that we wanted to make a difference.”
Since 1826, West Philadelphia’s Monumental Baptist Church has been an important force in Philadelphia’s faith community, along with a source of great pride, solace and comfort to its congregants. But with a congregation of over 800 and offering a range of outreach and other services to the community, this church is also something else—a sophisticated organizational enterprise that needs an equally sophisticated and attentive banking partner.
“What attracted me to United Bank is that they understand the importance of churches like ours in the African American community,” said the leader of Monumental’s flock, the Rev J. Wendell Mapson, Jr. “Not only has United Bank been our primary bank for the last six years—providing everything from a basic checking account to renovation loans and remote deposit—they’ve also done things like provide financial literacy workshops for our congregation.”
“But the real difference with United Bank is that they get that churches are not always exactly like businesses,” he said. “We have an understanding of ‘mission’ that transcends corporate understanding of mission.”