Community Financial Institutions Shine Bright in Tough Times

In light of recent world events, many people have become masters at adapting to constant change. Those in the finance industry are no exception to this assertion. Community bankers have seamlessly adjusted operations to best serve their community in a safe and healthy way. Financial institutions have maintained and excelled at constant communication with their customers and have dedicated countless hours to ensuring the survival of their community. The Main Street family applauds you and your teams for all the tremendous efforts over the recent months. We admire your passion and endless devotion to serve your account holders and communities during this challenging time. Through news outlets and personal stories, the world is getting a preview of what we’ve known for over 20 years serving this industry—community financial institutions are the backbone for many towns and neighborhoods across the United States.

Main Street is proud to serve community financial institutions across our country. We wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of our customers and their efforts in the news recently.

PPP and Community Contributions

Community bankers have taken the spotlight for helping small businesses secure funding from the Personal Paycheck Protection (PPP) loans. When mega banks failed them in their time of need, many small businesses are recognizing the value in the commitment and service from community financial institutions. As of May 16th, according to the Small Business Administration, over $513 billion in PPP loans have been approved. An overwhelming 43% of these funds were approved by community banks, defined at $10 billion or less in assets stated in a recent S&P Global Market Intelligence data report.

In Huntsville, Alabama, Arts Huntsville lost significant funding after cancelling several sponsorship events due to COVID-19. Progress Bank secured two months of payroll to help sustain Arts Huntsville during this time. Their staff of six would have struggled without Progress Bank’s dedication.

Charter Bank in Eau Claire, Wisconsin processed 400 loans equating to $65 million. The loans issued include nonprofit organizations, small businesses and churches in their area. Brackett Bar spoke to Fox News about their exceptional experience with Charter Bank’s services. Their efforts have allowed the small businesses in their communities to continue to operate and stay open.

Marquette Savings Bank in Erie, Pennsylvania was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal’s article for getting 393 loan applications worth $50 million approved.

A local news station covered Ferguson Federal Credit Union in Colombia, Mississippi for serving in a unique way. This credit union filled containers to distribute free hand sanitizer to their members, first responders and community members.

Staying Connected

In recent months, we have added several words to our vocabulary, like social distancing, stay-at-home orders and quarantine. We have been pushed into an upheaval of changes in our world. Some of us are working at home while balancing homeschooling. Some of us go into work and experience new entrance procedures like temperature checks and symptom checks.

While the business world has shifted, so has our personal lives. On Facebook, we see videos of birthday car parades and virtual girls’ nights. During social distancing, we are still managing to stay connected. A few of our customers have created a few ingenious ways to stay in touch and spread joy. We wanted to share a few of the beautiful things they have come up with.

RIA Federal Credit Union in Illinois launched a coloring page contest for the month of April. Children were encouraged to draw three things they were saving for and have parents post it to RIA’s Facebook page. Three winners received a special prize! And mom and dad had the day off teaching arts and craft and money management classes.

First Port City Bank also stepped in to take care of homeschooling and promoted EverFi’s digital learning library free for students. Parents can access the materials directly and topics included financial learning, mental wellness, digital wellness, career exploration, STEM learning and more.

From coordinating conference calls, educating businesses on the new aid programs to countless phone calls and emails, community financial institutions have stepped up, showed out and saved many small businesses and families in their communities. Your hard work is appreciated, and we see your financial institution shining bright during a dark time. Thank you for serving your communities and staying committed to serving through this time of hardship.

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