A world that we once knew literally changed overnight. As mid-March approached, we began to hear about the Coronavirus pandemic a bit more frequently, but it hadn’t hit home just yet. Looking back seven months now, we could have never anticipated the impact and toll that this global pandemic would take, and has continued to take, around the world and at home in Alabama.
When our economy came to a screeching halt, lives were upended and businesses were forced to shut down. Like many, the bankers at Bryant Bank were nervous about the unknowns ahead, but quickly knew that every customer would be impacted in some way.
Fortunately, the Government recognized that financial assistance would be vital to keeping our economy alive and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was born. As the team at Bryant Bank worked relentlessly to understand the intricate details of the program, they began to communicate with customers about the financial relief. Living out their mission to put care into action to help Alabamians invest in their full potential was never more important than it has been during these unchartered moments.
Like every bank, Bryant Bank had to navigate the constant changes and unknowns of the PPP but remained calm as they began to help customers one phone call, text, and email at a time. But one thing was different in regards to how Bryant Bank approached the PPP process – they did not waiver on their expectations for a standard of excellence when delivering a very personal level of customer service that is filled with care, compassion, and empathy for others.
You see, at Bryant Bank, every customer is someone. They know their name and know their story. Customers have local bankers that they can call upon at any time and it was paramount for the bankers to provide this level of service throughout this unprecedented time. To put this into perspective, this is what one banker had to say in early March when this [COVID-19] began.
“We can be that shoulder that you need to cry on, we can be that person that you need to talk to, we can be the one that can push some of that fear aside and get down to what really matters, and what really matters is family and making sure that your business is on sound financial footing, and it is at Bryant Bank.”
At the bank, it was all hands-on deck as the PPP applications began to roll in. It was important for customers to have a human to talk to rather than a computer system to work with. Team members helped in any way. Administrative staff from different departments put their jobs on hold to jump in so that bankers could support each customer personally. As it became time to submit the applications to the SBA, bankers spent nearly 24 hours submitting to the portal. During this time, it was a beautiful testament to the dedication of the bankers as they worked tirelessly to provide customers a lifeline that was essential to keeping their employees paid and business doors open.
All-in-all, Bryant Bankers worked alongside 1,300 Alabama small businesses and reinvested $150 million back into our economy. It is not an exaggeration to say that bankers worked night and day to help customers survive.
Now as bankers and small businesses across the country prepare for loan forgiveness, it will be important again for borrowers to work collaboratively with their banker. Just as Bryant Bank did at the beginning, they will continue to passionately serve their customers throughout the entirety of this process and beyond.
Bryant Bank recognizes that the road ahead will have its challenges, but time-after-time we see the resilience of Alabamians. Together, we truly are Alabama strong. And as time carries on, the Bryant Bank vision to see every Alabamian experience a financially stable future and live in a thriving community will always remain.