For months now, every facet of “normal” life has been upended by COVID-19. Where and how we work, learn, shop, socialize and even bank have all been affected. Yet, the bright spot amid this sea of change has been America’s enduring spirit as friends and neighbors work together to stay safe, remain connected, and support one another.
A great example of coming together for the greater good is how the nation’s 5,000 community banks rallied around small businesses, which account for roughly 48 percent of the U.S. workforce and serve as the backbone of our nation’s economy.
When stay-at-home orders forced millions of small businesses to curtail or close their operations, community banks like Peoples Savings Bank (PSB) stepped in to lend support.
So when the Small Business Administration (SBA) turned on the spigot for its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)—which backstops emergency small-business loans from financial institutions to help cover payroll and related costs Peoples Savings Bank mobilized every available resource at our disposal to process these loans.
In just 3 weeks PSB processed 290 loans totaling $23.3 million helping to save 2,947 jobs, across Mid-Missouri. The average loan amount was $80,000 with the largest PPP loan being $1.4 million and the smallest was $2,000.
PSB’s President and CEO Mark Laune said, “I could not be prouder of our staff, many of whom worked nights and weekends or assumed new roles to get the job done and ensure critical funds were delivered to those who needed it most.”
FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams recently referred to community banks as “the small engines that could and did and delivered big,” and the numbers certainly seem to support that description.
So, as restrictions lift and you venture out to your favorite bakery, barbershop or boutique, you will be met with “open for business” signs and familiar faces waiting to service you.
Even before the PPP launched, we’d begun offering our small businesses options for modifications of loan terms, payment deferrals for up to six months, and adjustments to the rate and term to create lower payments. And we continue to seek ways to contribute to our economy and support local businesses.
Laune added, “When times are tough you can depend on us, your trusted local community bank. Because at Peoples Savings Bank relationships are priority one. We consider it our privilege and duty to ensure the financial health and welfare of this community.”
Congress recently extended the deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program, allowing business owners through August 8th to apply.