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Level One Bank adds 50 to its staff, focuses on small biz lending

The need for small business lending has become a rallying cry for the economic activist set in Metro Detroit ever since the recession set in three years ago. One Farmington Hills-based bank is growing at an exponential rate by meeting that need.

Level One Bank has watched its small business lending shoot up 32 percent over the last year and it made the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch list. That growth has allowed it to hire 50 people since last June, expanding its workforce to 110 employees and a handful of interns.

"There are not many locally owned banks in the market here," says Patrick Fehring, president & CEO of Level One Bank. "It's important to have local banks so they can provide capital to local small businesses."

Level One Bank mainly deals with small businesses for its customer base. It has watched its business deposits increase 18 percent over the last year and it has started a residential loan program, which Fehring says has proved to be "robust." He expects that program and the bank's small business lending to continue to grow, allowing its overall operations to jump 15 percent over the next year.

"We see that trend continuing," Fehring says. "The economy here is doing much better."

Source: Patrick Fehring, president & CEO of Level One Bank
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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