I hope you are well, and that you and your families are safe.
I wanted to provide you with an update on our COVID-19 actions over the past week or so. I am so proud of the response and the dedication our associates are demonstrating to navigate the current environment and to support our clients and our communities.
In addition, the past several weeks have reinforced for us just how significant an impact we have on our local communities. By remaining nimble and focused on the needs of our clients, we have been able to help make a difference – in many cases, and in many ways, above and beyond what many of our larger peers have been able to do. In fact, community banks have represented over 60% of the total funds processed through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) initial funding pool, to date.
Here are some recent highlights of our activities:
- We continue to help our clients and prospective clients participate in the SBA’s PPP:
- Over the past couple weeks, we developed and implemented a new application, processing and approval process to assist our clients with PPP – at a time when many other larger banks continued to struggle to stand up an approach for PPP;
- Using our process, we successfully prepared over 400 applications, which have been submitted to and approved by the SBA, representing $174mm in forgivable loans for businesses in need;
- The loans we have processed protect the paychecks of over 14,000 local families – offering a direct line of support for local businesses and our communities; and
- Processed loans have helped both existing clients as well as a growing number of new clients to First Western.
We remain committed to supporting our clients seeking help with PPP:
- The SBA recently closed the window for PPP after the initial allocation of $349 billion was quickly exhausted by a flood of applications;
- This window may re-open this week, based on news that Congress is working on a package for additional PPP funding;
- We are maintaining a queue of prepared and new applications from current and prospective clients in order to be fully ready when/if the PPP window re-opens; and
- If you or someone you know would like to apply for PPP, we stand ready to assist.
As we all move forward together:
- Our “by appointment only” approach for all of our office locations continues, with our bankers available by phone, email or for in-person private banking on a basis.
- All of our online and mobile-based banking services are available and functioning smoothly for our private banking and commercial banking
- If you know of other local businesses experiencing COVID-19 related hardships, or who are struggling to navigate the PPP process, please reach out to one of our 14 local offices;
- If you have a loan with us and are experiencing COVID-19 related hardships, call your banker to discuss options – we can help; and
- Please be sure to monitor our COVID-19 updates page for additional information on PPP and other COVID-19 related topics.
We believe that our actions and our support during this difficult time demonstrate our commitment to our clients and our communities. We also believe that our ability to move quickly to provide the right solutions for our clients underscores a simple truth – that it matters where you bank.
Thank you for your continued support and let us know if there is more we can do to help you during these uncertain times.