1880 Bank Helps Dorchester Businesses Navigate PPP
Community banks have been on the frontline helping businesses navigate loans to remain solvent and retain employees during the pandemic. In Dorchester County, 1880 Bank’s lending team worked around the clock to process 252 Paycheck Protection Program loans in just two-weeks.
To put this in context, 1880 Bank processed in just two weeks the number of loan applications they typically handle in one year. The team funded every application they received and directed $24 million in PPP loans to area businesses.
“We had all hands-on deck from the start,” said senior vice president Judann Culver. “Folks worked long days and weekends to accomplish this and our lending team helped both existing customers and established new relationships with companies who had not previously banked here.”
The bank implemented a system to track requests and respond within 24 hours. All applications were funded within the federally mandated 10-day period.
1880 Bank is waiting for guidelines from the SBA on steps businesses should take in terms of reporting, repayment or loan forgiveness. Culver’s team is in frequent contact with the Maryland Bankers Assn., Independent Community Banking Assn. and American Banking Assn. who monitor and post frequent updates from the SBA. She encourages businesses to carefully track how they spend PPP funds.
1880 Bank Adapts Operations
To serve all customers and keep employees and clients safe during the pandemic, 1880 Bank closed lobby operations except by appointment. The drive-through windows are open normal hours and the bank is providing many services – such as notarizing documents, opening accounts and processing wire transfers – that were previously only handled in the lobbies. They are also steering customers to use electronic and mobile banking.
Judann finds the Business Resource Team Covid19 Update Webinars with economic development director Susan Banks and Chamber president Bill Christopher “very helpful because they’re local” and notes that there is a lot of industry information being shared online regarding HR, marketing and compliance. Her only wish is that supplies would be more readily available.
Judann believes that the sheer vastness of the Eastern Shore’s geography has made physical distancing easier.
“We are fortunate to more readily be able to enjoy outdoor activities due to our remoteness. And businesses that are open are not as crowded as those in urban areas, which makes it easier and quicker to navigate.”