By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Webster Bank has provided Jobs for Fall River Inc., a charitable organization with a $750,000 equity equivalent investment. The funding will help the organization, which is also part of the Fall River Office of Economic Development. Officials are hopeful Fall River businesses and start-ups will be created and assisted by the funding.
The announcement was made at a visit to Book Enterprises LLC by Fall River Mayor William Flanagan and representatives from Webster Bank and Jobs for Fall River Inc. The organization was formed on March 29, 1978, and is 501 (c)(4) private nonprofit corporation.
Book Enterprises, a book reseller with accounts with companies such as Barnes & Noble and T.J. Maxx, has moved into a 280,000 square-foot former curtain factory at 847 Pleasant St., in Fall River. To purchase the building, which currently houses 55 employees and three million books, Book Enterprises President Jason Zutaut secured financing JFR, Webster and the SBA . Zutaut says that his business has doubled over last year and that he expects it to grow into a $15 - $20 million business over the next three years. He also has plans to add jobs and open an outlet store on the site.
The Fall River Office of Economic Development Executive Vice President of the Kenneth Fiola Jr., acknowledged Webster Bank’s investment noting: “On behalf of the Fall River Office of Economic Development I would like to thank Webster Bank for this investment in our office and the greater Fall River area. This funding will greatly facilitate our efforts to provide low-interest loans to local businesses,” he said.
Since its inception, Jobs for Fall River has helped create or retain more than 14,000 jobs, one-third of the city’s total workforce, it said.