Two Things to Prioritize if Your Business Has Been Affected by COVID-19

Photograph of brick exterior building that houses Community First Bank branch on Clearwater Avenue in Kennewick, Washington.

In the age of COVID, customer service, account servicing, loan origination, and banking in general have all been re-evaluated to allow for the continued delivery of high-level, client-focused service without the necessity of a face-to-face meeting.

Although social distancing will likely continue to be the norm for business interactions for the time being, by making the appropriate adjustments, your bank should continue to provide you with a quality customer experience.

Business Clients

Your main concerns should be your ability to move money swiftly, efficiently, and securely to and from your accounts, as well as maintaining access to credit if/when you need it. First, let’s talk about how you move money in and out of your account.

The following products and services should be considered:

  • ACH debits/credits
  • Wire transfers
  • Bill Pay
  • Bank-to-bank transfers
  • Courier service
  • Lockbox
  • ACH and Check Positive Pay
  • Remote Deposit Capture

Each of these will allow your business to continue moving money in and out of your account, while receiving money from customers and paying vendors in a safe and timely fashion. 

Next, let’s talk about access to credit. Standard operations may remain limited due to COVID-19, creating a need for credit in order to support short-term working capital/operating needs, permanent working capital, fixed asset acquisition, lag time in conversion of short-term assets, or a safety net in the event of further COVID-related slowdowns. 

You will need to have a conversation with your banker to provide clarity on why you need the funds (what is the purpose?), and to discuss your timeline for repayment. Your banker will then determine whether the purpose of the loan makes sense, the repayment source is sufficient, and the term you seek is appropriate. From these conversations, you will be able to pin down the most appropriate loan structure and repayment plan for your business.

COVID has impacted businesses across the country; and while traditional access to credit is available, government guaranteed loans (i.e. SBA) are also viable options for those who qualify. The CARES Act provided a few solutions, such as the Payment Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Main Street, however there are still 7A, Express, and 504 options available. 

When you meet with your banker, detail the ways in which COVID has impacted you, and to what extent it will continue to negatively impact your business. 

If you have any questions or concerns, our team is here to help. Click here to connect with one of our local experts.

– Matthew Backlund, Chief Lending Officer, Community First Bank, NMLS: #730791

Community First Bank NMLS# 409021. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Opportunity.

HFG Trust is a subsidiary of Community First Bank. Not FDIC insured. Not Bank Guaranteed. May lose value.