American Riviera Bank to open new branch Monday
American Riviera Bank has announced the opening of its most recent location in Santa Maria.
This is the bank’s sixth full service branch, and it will open Monday at 2605 Miller St., Suite 108, in downtown Santa Maria.
The bank’s other branches are located in the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo areas. But the bank locations leave a stretch of about 90 miles that don’t have an American Riviera Bank nearby.
The opening of a location in Santa Maria closes this gap.
The new branch also offers American Riviera Bank access to people who may live in Santa Maria but commute to the Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo area.
“We’re very very happy to be in the Santa Maria community and to have our team there,” said Joanne Funari, executive vice president and chief operating officer of American Riviera Bank.
In the last 19 years, Santa Maria’s population has increased by 41%, and continued business and population growth has greenlit the building of 16,000 new housing units (by 2040). American Riviera Bank is hoping to provide the support that Santa Maria needs in this time of rapid expansion.
The new bank location will offer access to loans, helping to cultivate new homes and support expanding businesses.
Ms. Funari said the bank can accommodate any type of business or personal account.
American Riviera Bank describes itself as the Small Business Administration Loan lender in the region. The bank helps small businesses expand and run their operations.
“It’s important to us that Santa Maria has ready access to the No. 1 SBA lender in the region and our amazing commercial lending teams,” Ms. Funari told the News-Press. “Our team can make an immediate impact for clients using their extensive expertise, strong community relationships, and entrepreneurial mindset.”
In addition, according to Ms. Funari, despite American Riviera Bank’s access to resources being like that of a large business — the banks just hit $1.4 billion in assets — she said American Riviera Bank keeps the level of customer service to that of a small business.
“Clients are also our friends,” she said.
As Ms. Funari told the News-Press this fact over the phone, a loyal customer happened to stop by to give her an unexpected gift.
The new branch in Santa Maria will be staffed with existing employees, although the bank is still looking to hire some new employees as well.
American Riviera Bank is a community bank, so instead of investing the money you deposit in stocks on Wall Street, American Riviera Bank invests that money in the community, according to its website. By using American Riviera Bank, customers help someone in the community receive a loan.
Relying on American Riviera Bank is like betting on the community, she said.
In anticipation of the new relationship between American Riviera Bank and the city of Santa Maria, Jeff DeVine, the bank president, said, “We recognize Santa Maria’s importance to the Central Coast’s economy and identity. We are thrilled to support this growth and development by offering true community banking opportunities that will support the ongoing expansion of the region.”