BY JASMINE PALMA
In light of the COVID-19 crisis and the ongoing national discussion on racial equity and justice, Ridgewood Savings Bank has augmented its corporate contributions in an altruistic effort to help the communities it serves.
During the second quarter of 2020, the 99-year-old community mutual savings bank donated $25,000 to civic nonprofits, helping an estimated 120 organizations locally address issues stemming from COVID-19.
“We are helping first responders, food banks and other safety net programs that perform vital roles in improving the life and welfare of many residents,” said Leonard Stekol, the chairman, president and CEO of the bank.
From the beginning of the pandemic, the bank has shown its support through different means.
Monetarily, Ridgewood Savings Bank has supported housing programs, youth development centers, food banks, economic opportunity programs and more. The bank has also provided KN95 masks to local hospitals and Echo Show devices to senior homes in response to a shortage of medical supplies as coronavirus cases swamped the health care system.
The bank put in orders of $24 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans by the end of June, presenting relief to more than 350 small businesses affected by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. The loans were used to help businesses pay their employees and cover overhead costs.
To help contribute toward the growing conversation surrounding police brutality and racial bias in the U.S., Ridgewood has provided grants to organizations championing racial equity and reform, such as the NAACP chapter in Williamsbridge in the Bronx and ERASE Racism in Nassau County.
According to the bank, philanthropic behavior is at the nucleus of the bank’s ideals.
Aiming to “Multiply the Good,” Ridgewood’s principle is to bolster communities by assisting customers gain financial stability.
“We also ‘Multiply the Good’ by supporting nonprofits that play such an important role and are the linchpin of the communities in which they serve,” Stekol said.