Community Banks Go Extra Mile

Community Banks Go Extra Mile

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What makes a community bank different from other banks? Much depends on the size of the bank, but what's more important is the focus. A true community bank knows that its success hinges on the success of the community it serves. A community bank has a vested interest in its customers' success.

Customers are also neighbors and friends. Their children attend the same schools and often the same church. And while many of these things are done virtually now, the connection is just as strong.

That's why community bankers were eager to lend a hand and willing to put in the extra hours needed to get payroll protection program loans granted to their business customers. The 47 banks listed on page 7 are among those that should be congratulated for going that extra mile for their customers.

In addition to having less than $200 million in assets (mostly with just one or two branch locations) each of these banks extended PPP loans to more than 10% of their respective customers. That shows an incredible degree of dedication and we don't want it to go unnoticed.

5-Star Republic Bank of Arizona, for example, with one branch in Phoenix and another in Scottsdale, extended 247 PPP loans by June 30th totaling over $25 million. Republic Bank is not a minority depository institution, but it joined forces with several minority focused companies to support the local food bank in July. Today, it is helping business customers that received PPP loans apply for forgiveness.

The single branch of 5-Star Tioga-Franklin SB, Philadelphia, PA, has been serving its community since 1873, not long after the Civil War. It has weathered every economic and health crisis ever since. And, even during the height of COVID, Tioga Franklin kept its office open.

A personal message from John T. Coleman, President and CEO of the bank, urges borrowers who have fallen on hard times not to hesitate to contact the bank for assistance. He also assures them, "We will do everything we can to insure that our community not only gets through this catastrophic event, but comes back stronger than ever." That's how it's lasted nearly a century and a half. And that is the sprit of a True Community Bank.

5-Star One World Bank, Dallas, TX, was also featured on page 7 of JRN 37:39 as an Asian-American Minority Bank (MDI). Established in 2005, One World just recently added a new full-service location in Houston. It is steadfast in its commitment to help the community. In fact, hundreds of dollars in employee donations have gone to the North Texas Food Bank. And, reportedly, One World Bank has the best coffee in Dallas.

Not all of the banks listed on page 7 are rated 5-Stars, or even 4-Stars. But they are all doing their part to improve the quality of life in their little corner of the map. 3-Star Neighborhood National Bank, San Diego, was established in 1997 and is designated by the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). CDFIs typically serve the underserved, markets that may be overlooked by other financial institutions.

In addition to providing banking services, Neighborhood NB works together with other organizations to help strengthen San Diego's underserved areas. Services like education, health, social services and even the arts, benefit from this alliance.

Those are just four, and we would love to give a shout-out to all community banks that go above and beyond for their communities, it just isn't practical.

As of June 30, 2020:

- Over 4,000 banks had extended PPP loans
- 3,851 were community banks;
- Community banks held over 1.5 million PPP loans on their books;
- Representing over $155 billion dollars in loans.

Our representatives in Washington decided to wait until after the election to pass another stimulus and your guess is as good as ours on what the outcome of that will be.

But, what we do know is clear. Community bankers are ready to help, whatever Washington does or doesn't do. If there is another loan program to help businesses make payroll, community bankers will be there. If no such program comes along, community bankers will still be there, working together with consumers and businesses to help everyone get through this together.
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