During the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus has been on supporting small businesses that are suffering an unexpected negative financial impact. With a mission to serve its clients and communities, Countybank has worked hard to provide financial support and continue meeting the needs of its customers by emphasizing online banking services and extending its customer service call center hours to provide additional support to customers during this time.
Countybank has also provided opportunities to ease the financial burden that small businesses are facing through payment relief programs. Most recently the community bank turned its attention to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was passed as part of the CARES Act and is designed to provide financial relief to small businesses. The bank proactively began reaching out to customers to keep them informed about the PPP, even before the program was finalized. Countybank’s SBA team quickly formed a task force and was able to move quickly once the SBA released guidance.
Since the PPP applications process opened, Countybank has focused its efforts on helping its small business clients apply for the PPP using a dedicated team of experienced lenders, more than 20% of the bank’s workforce. The PPP task force continues to work quickly to help Countybank clients complete applications so that they can receive this much needed funding as soon as possible.
“Small businesses are the heart of our communities, and it is important that we put their needs first right now,” said R. Thornwell Dunlap III, President and CEO of Countybank. “Programs like the PPP acknowledge the value that small businesses bring to their communities. Countybank is here to let small businesses know that they are not alone and that we are here to help.”
Countybank is well positioned to support small businesses with this program as an SBA Preferred Lender. In fact, the bank was ranked No. 1 for SBA 7(a) Loan Volume in South Carolina in 2019, and Paul Pickhardt, Senior Vice President and SBA Lending Manager at Countybank, was recently named SBA 7(a) Lender of the Year.
“Our SBA team was proactive in developing a protocol for processing applications and supporting our small business clients from the start, and their work has enabled us as a community bank to be responsive and first to market as a participant in the PPP,” said Ken Harper, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Countybank. “One of our core values is to put people first, and that is evidenced by our workforce’s commitment to the customer. Our professional lenders are fully engaged and working around the clock, even through the weekend, to get small business clients the funding they so desperately need.”
Countybank will continue to work with its existing clients and community-based businesses in Greenwood, Greenville, Greer, and Anderson. Customers who are interested in applying for the PPP should reach out to their relationship manager.
For more information on how Countybank is supporting its customers, read their letter to customers at https://www.ecountybank.com/notice-details.html.