Submitted by CIT
CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) has provided critical financing for its client Aria Designs to help it procure millions of advanced N95 surgical masks that will protect medical professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aria Designs, a North Carolina-based furniture manufacturer and importer, is using its global supply chain and manufacturers to supply the much-needed protective masks. To help finance the order, Aria Designs turned to CIT, which has long worked closely with Aria to finance its furniture transactions.
"We explained the situation and CIT immediately said: 'Let's go. How can we help?'" recalled Jeff Arditti, CEO of Aria Designs in Lenoir, North Carolina. "That gave us the confidence to go forward. CIT made it possible."
To date, Aria Designs has collected orders for more than 5 million masks from hospitals, medical practices and emergency services across North Carolina. Thanks in part to CIT's financing, the first masks are expected to arrive in the coming days – with millions more to follow by airfreight in the days and weeks ahead.
"Supporting clients is central to how we do business," said Mike Hudgens, Southeast regional manager for CIT's Commercial Services group, which finances transactions on everything from furniture to fashion to electronics. "When we learned of this opportunity to help our client and join the fight against COVID-19, we jumped right in."
About 150 people are employed by CIT in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the large majority of them associated with the Commercial Services group supporting the financial needs of consumer products companies that sell furniture, apparel, housewares, electronics, toys, hardware and much more.
"Financing that gets protective masks flowing to the healthcare professionals who need them most is another example of how CIT's expertise empowers businesses to make good things happen," Hudgens said. "We're proud to have played a key role in financing the delivery of surgical masks that will help stop the spread of the coronavirus from patient to healthcare provider."
For Aria Designs, the quick pivot to importing surgical masks has also allowed it to keep more of its workforce employed during the retail shutdown. That benefits its workers and also helps keep the local economy moving at a critical juncture.
But for Aria, it's primarily about helping protect the healthcare workers who are tending to those affected by the pandemic.
"It's our privilege to support the healthcare community in the midst of this unprecedented emergency," Arditti said. "We're grateful for CIT's financial expertise in making this possible."
CIT is a leading national bank focused on empowering businesses and personal savers with the financial agility to navigate their goals. CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with over a century of experience and operates a principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A. (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender). The company's commercial banking segment includes commercial financing, community association banking, middle market banking, equipment and vendor financing, factoring, railcar financing, treasury and payments services, and capital markets and asset management. CIT's consumer banking segment includes a national direct bank and regional branch network. Discover more at cit.com/about.
CIT is a division of First Citizens Bank, the largest family-controlled bank in the United States, continuing a unique legacy of strength, stability and long-term thinking that has spanned generations. Parent company, First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCNCA) is a top 20 U.S. financial institution with more than $100 billion in assets. The company's commercial banking segment brings a wide array of best-in-class lending, leasing and banking services to middle-market companies and small businesses from coast to coast. First Citizens also operates a nationwide direct bank and a network of more than 600 branches in 22 states, many in high-growth markets. Industry specialists bring a depth of expertise that helps businesses and individuals meet their specific goals at every stage of their financial journey. Discover more at cit.com/firstcitizens.
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