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    First Resource Bank: It’s All About Relationships

    The passing of the CARES Act on March 27th opened the door for struggling small business owners to apply for much needed relief from the SBA in the form of a Paycheck Protection Program Loan. These potentially forgivable loans were designed to help small businesses stay afloat during the Coronavirus crisis, and most importantly, keep their staff on the payroll.

     

    Many small businesses reached out to their banks seeking this relief but a few things happened. First, not all banks offered these loans as they were not SBA lenders. Second, several big banks who offered these loans limited their assistance to only their existing loan customers. Despite being a long-time customer of these banks, if you didn’t have an existing loan relationship, they weren’t willing to help you. Lastly, this loan program was entirely new, resulting in uncertainty and numerous questions as the SBA provided little guidance regarding the loan process. This left banks to determine what information might be required to apply, and small businesses scrambling to find a bank to help them. Several local businesses in need of this funding were stuck. Lacking a personal relationship with their bank, they didn’t know where to turn. Many of these businesses found themselves having to lay-off employees and fearing that their business might not make it.

     

    Fortunately, community banks really stepped up to the plate and saved the day. Anticipating the approval of the CARES Act, the team at First Resource Bank proactively called their business customers to let them know about this opportunity. Wanting to help as many businesses as possible, they provided them with a list of information to begin collecting, ensuring that they were prepared to apply for a PPP loan as soon as the application process opened.

     

    Well before the introduction of the PPP loan, First Resource Bank developed a genuine partnership with countless business owners, always focused on one main goal—helping them succeed. One of these businesses is Blue Dog Printing & Design. The paths of owners Bill and Debi Friedmann and the Bank crossed well beyond the lobby of the local branch. Their active involvement in a myriad of business and civic organizations in our community, including The Rotary Club of West Chester, the Exton and West Chester Chambers of Commerce, the Women’s Business Connection, and more, provided both businesses with an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships.

     

    The level of partnership that has been established with Blue Dog Printing & Design is a reflection of the relationships that are shared with all of First Resource Bank’s customers—it’s what makes them unique. They understand small businesses because they are one. They’ve spent the last 15 years building a bank that caters to the needs of the local community and have done it by focusing on customer satisfaction.
    There is no one who knows this sentiment better than CEO, Glenn Marshall. He states, “The survival of many small businesses in our community depended upon the PPP loans. Behind every loan that we helped secure, was a team of people whose jobs were protected. Behind every job was a family that relies on that employee. I’m incredibly proud that through the efforts of the First Resource Bank team, we were able to help over 5,000 families survive this crisis.”
     

    It’s evident—at First Resource Bank, it’s all about the relationships. Whether you are a small business owner or not, give the bank a call to discuss your needs. They look forward to getting to know you! “As a small family-owned business, having a great banking relationship is essential. The great thing about First Resource Bank is their people—which is why we have been a customer for 15 years. When the PA Governor shut down business, we were terrified—how would we pay our employees (whom we consider our family), our rent, our vendors, our mortgage? We reached out to Lisa Donnon, the bank’s Chief Lending Officer—she spent the better part of an hour on the phone with us formulating a plan, providing some marriage counseling, and most importantly, reassuring us that First Resource had our back.
     

    We spoke with a lot of other small business owners who were frustrated with the PPP process. For us, it could not have gone smoother. Jack Ellis, West Chester Market Manager, reached out to us on a Saturday afternoon to let us know that the application was available. He called back at 8:00pm with a loan number. Not many bankers are working on a Saturday night. The PPP funds carried us through the last eight weeks by allowing us to pay our rent and our employees, who have families to support. First Resource Bank has been terrific—a lot of companies are proclaiming that “we’re in this together,” but in the case of FRB, they really mean it.”
    Bill & Debi Friedman, Owners of Blue Dog Printing & Design.