It was 145 years ago this very week that Merchants Bank was founded with a vision of being the local bank of choice for the working class. I can’t begin to imagine the trials and tribulations encountered by our customers in those early years, but I know with confidence that the same resilience and resolve that would have been undoubtedly required for business owners and workers back then remain absolutely present in the communities served by Merchants today.
Lobbies Are Open: Thank You for Your Patience
It’s my sincere hope that you and your employees are safe and healthy. Thank you for your patience as we at Merchants Bank have navigated with an intense commitment to protecting the well-being of all stakeholders to the very best of our collective ability. We know that the action we took to close access to our lobbies on March 19 was necessary, but we are not ignorant to the possible service disruption you may have experienced. I’m extremely proud of the efforts made by all Merchants Bank associates to embrace creative new ways to meet the needs of our customers and it’s my sincere hope that any disruption you may have experienced was minimal.
We re-opened our Bank lobbies with confidence on June 22. We are thrilled that our customers have responded appropriately to the distancing markers in our facilities and our encouragement to wear masks out of respect to the health and safety of our customers, employees and communities.
Top Priority: Business Stability
In addition to our intense focus on the health of all stakeholders at this time, throughout the pandemic our top business priority has been to be a source of financial stabilization for our customers. We have demonstrated this in multiple ways, most notably with our very quick mobilization in originating Paycheck Protection Program loans through the Small Business Administration. Even though the program opened in early April without clear guidance, we were positioned from the program launch date to assist our clients. We have assisted more than 1,100 small business owners by originating more than $200 million in loans through this program. We have also worked with hundreds of businesses and individuals to accommodate loan payment deferrals based on each unique customer case.
It’s at times of stress and uncertainty that having trusted advisors is most important. It is my sincere hope that we have played that role effectively for you and your business throughout the past few months. I have heard from dozens of customers throughout the recent pandemic, letting me know how grateful they have been for having a true relationship with one of our bankers during this time of stress. However, if we have fallen short in that regard, I would welcome a contact from you to let me know how we might have done better.
Earning Your Trust
As we all begin to navigate toward the uncertainty of what a “new normal” will be, make sure you have advisors you can trust. Develop a strong sense of confidence that the people advising you on financial matters have your best interests in mind. It’s my expectation that your Commercial Banker at Merchants will meet that standard.
Thank you for your continued trust and confidence. We respect that it’s our responsibility to work to earn your loyalty each and every day… now, during this unprecedented time, more than ever. We appreciate you giving us that opportunity. Stay safe and be well.