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April 25, 2005


“Citizens Job Bank” provides millions in low-interest financing for local businesses


WATERTOWN – Governor Mitt Romney and Citizens Bank of Massachusetts Chairman, President and CEO Robert Smyth today announced that the recently launched Citizens Job Bank has closed on $5.8 million in loans that will create 145 jobs and approved an additional $8.2 million to add another 204 jobs across the state.


“Bringing new jobs to Massachusetts is a top priority and the partnership with Citizens provides an innovative opportunity for businesses to tap into the state’s public and private resources,” said Romney. “In just two months, the job bank has added hundreds of jobs for our citizens and helped local businesses grow and thrive.”


The Citizens Job Bank, which is administered by the state Department of Business and Technology, has provided four Massachusetts companies with low-cost loans to help them expand their workforce and upgrade their facilities. Since its launch, the $100 million low-interest loan fund has generated financing requests from dozens of additional companies looking to expand their business.


The success of the new job creation program comes as the Massachusetts economy demonstrates consistent positive growth. Since January 2004, more than 30,000 jobs have been created, including 5,600 in the last month, the seventh consecutive month for job growth. The partnership program between Massachusetts and Citizens Bank will help keep the state on the right track to continue fueling the economy and adding jobs.


“The first four recipients of Citizens Job Bank financing demonstrate the tremendous strength of this initiative,” said Robert E. Smyth, Chairman, President and CEO of Citizens Bank of Massachusetts. “Exergen, Expressway Motors, Legal Sea Foods and Metropolitan Cabinets come from a variety of industries and they are looking to create jobs in four different Massachusetts communities. Citizens is proud to support these inspiring businesses as they grow and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the state to provide low-interest financing to a strong pipeline of companies.”


Exergen Corporation, a Watertown-based manufacturer of non-invasive infrared thermometers and medical products, received $2 million in Citizens Job Bank financing to purchase a new facility and add 50 new manufacturing jobs. The company’s patented line of “TemporalScanner” thermometers are now sold by major retailers, including Wal-Mart, Costco, Walgreen’s and Toys‘R’Us, and are in daily clinical use worldwide.


“As a business owner looking to grow operations in Massachusetts and boost employment, I was pleased that the financing from Citizens Job Bank provided efficient access to capital at a below-market rate,” said Dr. Frank Pompei, President of Exergen Corporation. “Over the coming months, Exergen is looking forward to moving our operations to a new facility at 400 Pleasant Street in Watertown, adding manufacturing jobs and continuing our momentum as the leading provider of non-invasive thermometry products throughout the world.”


In addition to Exergen, three other companies committed to creating jobs in Massachusetts have closed on their Citizens Job Bank loans. The recipients include:


* Expressway Motors, a Dorchester-based Toyota auto dealership and provider of auto parts and services. Expressway has received $800,000 in Citizens Job Bank financing to construct a new and much larger facility at 700 William T. Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester. The company is committed to creating 20 new sales and service technician jobs.

* Legal Sea Foods, the Boston-based company with 30 restaurants stretching along the eastern seaboard, has closed on $2 million in Citizens Job Bank financing to expand its restaurant network in the Boston area. Legal Sea Foods is committed to creating 50 new jobs.

* Metropolitan Cabinets, a wholesale kitchen cabinet, vanity and countertop distributor and manufacturer with showrooms in Norwood, Watertown and Natick, has closed on $1 million in Citizens Job Bank financing to expand its manufacturing operations in Norwood. Metropolitan Cabinets is committed to creating 25 new jobs.


The Commonwealth’s partnership with Citizens is designed to help add more than 2,500 new jobs in Massachusetts and throughout New England. The Citizens Job Bank requires borrowers to create a minimum of one full-time job for every $40,000 borrowed at the fixed interest rate of 3.5 percent (2.25 percent below prime). The terms of the loan require that the specified jobs be created within three years after the funds are borrowed.


The Citizens Job Bank’s minimum loan size is $240,000 and the maximum is $10 million. Companies eligible for the program include any publicly- or privately-owned business in a broad array of industry sectors, including manufacturing, information technology and life sciences.


The Department of Business and Technology will conduct annual audits to certify that borrowers fulfill job creation commitments. The agency is also marketing the innovative program to companies already in Massachusetts and those businesses considering relocating to the Commonwealth.


Companies interested in obtaining more information about the program can call the Citizens Job Bank information line at 1-888-358-0100 or the Massachusetts Business Resource Team at 1-877-BIZ-TEAM. Companies can also log on to www.mass.gov/citizensjobbank or www.citizensbank.com.


About Citizens Bank of Massachusetts


Citizens Bank of Massachusetts is a $31 billion bank with more than 260 branches and 640 ATMs stretching from Greater Boston to Cape Cod and the Berkshires. It is headquartered at 28 State Street in Boston. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $137 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island.



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