Firestone Chief Hails Record 2018, Sets Stage For 2019 Momentum

Posted On: 3/14/2019

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NEEDHAM, MA -- Firestone Financial president and chief executive David Cohen reported that 2018 was a banner year for the nationwide finance company. Its portfolio reportedly grew to more than $270 million, with a record number of new loans, marking an 11% increase from 2017. Firestone wrote more than 1,700 loans to over 1,000 different customers.
 
Founded in 1965, Firestone Financial serves the amusement, carnival, fitness, vending and laundry industries. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Bank.
 
Recognizing the market need for quicker access to smaller transactions, Firestone hired 15 new employees IN 2018 and improved its operational efficiencies across all industries, according to Cohen.
 
"Our revamped process has allowed us to serve our customers better than ever before. The key to our continued growth and success has remained the same over the years: a commitment to long-term relationships with all of our customers," Cohen commented. "This record of repeat business is also one of our greatest points of pride and demonstrates the value customers and partners see in our commitment to doing things the right way to deliver for the long term."
 
With more than 50 years of experience in the industry, Cohen said Firestone  continued to grow its portfolio in amusements in 2018 by providing a high level of service and responsiveness and its location-based entertainment segment demonstrated "explosive growth."
 
Notable in family entertainment centers, according to Cohen, is growth driven by franchises like Urban Air and Altitude. "We've been trusted advisors and financing partners for franchise owners for years by understanding the franchise lending cycle and providing advisory services on a wide range of financial issues," he said.
 
He added that the company partnered with 44 Business Capital to provide up to $5 million in SBA financing for larger projects.
 
Firestone's well-established street, vending and video lottery business segments all continued to show robust performance in 2018, according to Cohen.     
 
Looking ahead, Cohen said Firestone is poised to grow, increase its efficiency and deliver more value to its customers.
 
"Through our partnership Berkshire Bank, we can deliver a total banking relationship to our customers, including deposits, insurance, wealth management, and SBA products," the Firestone chief concluded.  "With 2019 underway, we'll continue to sharpen our focus on customers' needs by delivering transparent, quality service to our customers."
 
Cohen joined Firestone Financial in 1986. He leads the planning of the business, including oversight of strategic initiatives, new business development, and directing all policy-making functions. He previously served as chairman of American Amusement Machine Association, one of the leading trade associations for manufacturers, distributors and suppliers to the coin-operated amusement industry.