Remember what it was like to live during “precedented” times? The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world financially, forced us all to think on our feet and innovate creative solutions to problems we never even anticipated.
Never before have sturdy relationships between small businesses and their banking partners been so important. The COVID-19 crisis will likely change the way banks and small businesses alike, operate for the foreseeable future.
When choosing the right bank for your small business, finding the services and rates that suit your endgame is the ultimate goal. There are many advantages to intimate, caring partnerships with small banks over the impersonal, generic service provided by large national banks.
Here are a few advantages to consider:
National banks tend to have rigid systems that can make your overall banking experience frustrating. If you need assistance, you’ll likely wind up on an automated toll-free line, where you’ll be passed from extension to extension before finding the help you need. In contrast, small banks provide a simpler system, where one person can assist you from start to finish with your customer service needs, cutting the process in half and saving you a headache.
Because of their vital knowledge about your specific business and the local area, smaller banks provide specialized services and can help you navigate through unique situations. For example, if you need to borrow money, smaller banks tend to be more easily accessible. With the decision makers living locally, requests tend to receive quicker responses so opportunities aren’t missed and lost in the approval layers of larger banks.
Smaller banks give you an opportunity to support your local economy. Many small banks give back to the community. This is a huge plus for those who want to make an impact in their communities.
It’s more important than ever that you work closely with your banking partners. And more valuable than ever that your banking partners pay careful and personal attention to you and your small business, to establish your current state and ascertain if any special circumstances are required. Your bank should be flexible, and willing to work creatively in the face of the current disaster in order to help you secure your financial stability. Potentially available relief options include:
Paycheck Protection Programs
Payment Deferral on Small Business Loans
Fee Waiver Programs
Your bank should also be familiar with options and relief provided by the Small Business Administration. Working with your bank on a personal level, they will help you ascertain which relief and assistance options you qualify for and help you connect with the proper channels within the SBA. Options that may be available to you include:
Disaster assistance loans
Fixed interest rate loans for non-profits
Fixed interest rate loans for for-profit businesses
30-year term and amortization
Fraud and other schemes associated with the Coronavirus pandemic have been growing in number, which is why it’s even more essential that your bank inform you about current trends and signs to vigilantly be aware of. Some of these scams include:
Phishing and supply scams, in which the scammer impersonates another business to sell fake supplies related to COVID-19
Charity fraud, in which scammers seek illegitimate donations
Virus tracking malware
Bank or FDIC scams, in which the scammer falsely claims that banks are limiting access to deposits or there have been security breaches with your deposit
Investment scams (often presented as research reports) for companies that claim they can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19.
Additional Safety Precautions
In addition to personal attention with your banking relationships, Signature Bank of Georgia has gone out of its way to assure the safety of our team members and everyone they interact with. Our additional COVID-19 safety policies include:
Extended preventative care in all of our locations and offices, including but not limited to: social distancing, disinfecting and cleaning all surfaces, the removal of lobby coffee stations, empowering our team to work remotely, and providing team members with extra time off and benefits in the case of a positive COVID-19 test.
The move to focus on touch-less, digital technology.
The launch of a “Dedicated Emergency Preparedness” web page with all of the important information about COVID-19, service delivery updates, and more.
A temporary switch to appointment-based services, and drive-thru only services when necessary to protect clients and the team.
During these times, it’s important to have a personal relationship with a bank you can trust. That bank is Signature Bank of Georgia. Reach out to us today for more information.