A community bank that has been in business for more than 120 years, Bank of Botetourt prides itself on the personal relationships it has with its customers, a news release from the bank said. It is these relationships that have continued to help small businesses, located throughout the four counties and cities the bank represents, overcome the unprecedented challenges of forced closures and subsequent loss of revenue.
Under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Bank of Botetourt has received $31.8 million in PPP loan requests and has processed 425 loans totaling almost $29 million, as of noon on Friday, May 29. These loans will help local small businesses support payroll and related costs, saving 4,397 jobs in the region. The average loan size is approximately $68,000. The PPP originally launched on April 3 to address economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides forgivable, government-guaranteed loans for the nation’s small businesses, which account for roughly 48 percent of the US workforce.
“We made it a priority to first take care of our existing customers, and thanks to the collective efforts of our lending team we have done just that,” Chief Lending Officer and Senior Vice President Ned Honts said. “We have also had the good fortune to work with many businesses who did not previously work with us, many of whom are now opening accounts and moving their banking relationships to us.
“As a community bank and an essential business, Bank of Botetourt highlighted the difference between itself and other financial institutions. Some businesses were unable to reach their current financial institution or were turned away when seeking assistance with a PPP loan,” Honts continued. “These business owners were referred to us by their neighbors through word of mouth or from the testimony of someone they know who was successful in acquiring a PPP through Bank of Botetourt. Many of these men and women founded their businesses, a majority of which are the main source of income and provide necessary services for our region. It is critical to the well being of our local economy to help guide these businesses through these challenging times. Together, we walked them through the process of applying for and receiving a PPP loan in order to protect their respective businesses and employees.”
In addition to its PPP funding efforts, “Bank of Botetourt continues to help customers with all of their needs,” Honts said. “Our bank continues to work with our customers especially during these difficult and unprecedented times.” He elaborates, confirming, “We are available and in constant communication with our customers, many of whom have our personal cell phone numbers. This is one example of how banking with a community bank is different and the current situation reaffirms the benefits of having a strong relationship with your banker.
“Without the participation of community banks, the PPP process would have taken longer and been more challenging. Our lending team really came together and went into overdrive, working through the night and on the weekends, to process, underwrite and distribute these loans,” Honts said.
“Being able to help those in need is the culmination of a collaborative process, and we are grateful to be able to provide much needed reassurance to business owners. Our retail staff, business development team, operations, and lenders have all been working together to take care of our customers. We have been working with our local economic development, Chambers of Commerce and the Small Business Development offices to ensure every business who is seeking help knows how to get in touch with us.”
“As relationship bankers and dedicated members of our community, we are doing everything we can to protect the vibrancy of our small businesses, which serve as the economic engines for our local economy,” said Bank President and CEO G. Lyn Hayth III. “I’m so proud of our staff, who have worked around the clock to process these loans, open accounts and ensure that critical funds were able to get in the hands of those who needed it most. We will continue processing applications until all remaining PPP funds are accounted for. Our entire team is ready and standing by to support you. You rely on us every day for your financial needs, and we will continue to provide reliable access to the important services you count on. Thank you for your patience and trust as we work through these times together.”