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Helping Our Communities Amidst COVID19

We are proud of the ongoing support we have provided to our customers, community  and employees throughout this challenging time. Here are just a few examples*:
 
  • 450 PPP loans, totaling over $65 million and 6,400 local jobs impacted
  • 20% increase in community donations in 2020 (over the $400,000 done in 2019)
  • $100 million in total loan deferrals... and counting
  • $115,000+ in bonus pay for hourly wage employees who were working on site throughout the pandemic
 
For more information about Pentucket Bank's Covid19 pandemic response continue reading below.

Customer Assistance

In 2019 the Bank embarked on a full Customer Experience (CX) cultural shift throughout the organization. With the fundamentals of CX in mind as COVID-19 came about, the Bank swiftly implemented the follow programs to help customers “weather the storm” (all numbers as 5/8/20):
  • Mortgage deferrals:
    • # 77 Borrowers
    • # 100 Loans
    • $20,611,000 – Consumer
    • $70,000,000 - Commercial
  • Fee waivers:
    •  2,720 - Pentucket Business Express Fees Waived
  • Account service charge waivers:
    • $1,828- Consumer Monthly Maintenance Waived
    • $8,700- Commercial Analysis Maintenance Waived
  • Increase on ATM withdrawal amounts to allow more cash accessibility without having to visit the Drive-Up teller window:
    • Raised from $500 - $1,000 daily
    • $2,026.25- ATM Foreign Fees Waived
  • The Bank supported their local restaurant customers by buying staff lunches on Fridays for those employees on site:
    • $3,915 total spent on lunches
    • 12 restaurants supported
  • Branch lobbies were closed early however all Branch Drive-Up locations were able to remain open with regular business hours.
  • Lobbies were accessible by appointment only for Safe Deposit Box access - which was an infrequent occurrence.
A COVID-19 web page was added to the Banks website where information on the Banks services was kept up to date with the most current information. This page was made accessible from the Bank home page. Click Here.
  • A separate Federal Stimulus web page was also established to hold information related to PPP and EIDL for businesses. Click Here.
  • The Bank released online banking product tutorials, such as how to use Mobile Check Deposit, as a way to encourage customers to take advantage of simple online tools from the safety of their homes.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans
On April 2nd, the evening before the first round of PPP funding was released a team of 10 Pentucket Bank employees went into the office at 11 p.m. to prepare their loan applications for submission into the SBA authorization portal. The goal was to be the first to submit at midnight on the dot on April 3rd. While the portal experienced some technical difficulties, the Bank’s team was poised and ready - making several attempts to enter applications until just past 1 a.m. Although none were able to be entered during that time, the committed team was back at it first thing in the morning with the first application being successfully entered at 8 a.m. making Pentucket Bank one of the first Banks in the Northeast to obtain PPP authorization. Within one week, they had funded their first group of loans for the businesses who placed their trust in Pentucket Bank.
 
In order to maintain their commitment to the business community, on the day of the second round of PPP funding release, once again Pentucket Bank was ready. With several technical glitches on the SBA portal that caused frustration nationwide - Pentucket Bank lenders remained steadfast submitting applications until 3 a.m. the following morning. This resulted in the successful completion and SBA authorization for over 100 additional businesses within the first 15 hours that the funds were available. Most bankers around the country woke up on day 2 frustrated with the process, while Pentucket Bank instead worked to close their loans and began shifting their focus towards Forgiveness.
 
PPP Totals:
  • Over 450 Loans
  • $65 million
  • 6,400 local jobs impacted
 
Unique and useful tools the Bank established during the PPP process:
  • A dedicated email address (ppp@pentucketbank.com) was set up to communicate with in process loan customers – this enabled the Pentucket Bank team to stay focused and organized on specific PPP correspondences
  • An online PPP Loan Application submission form was set up to help make the process quick and safe. It also assured a secure submission process for both the customer and the Bank. A PPP Forgiveness submission portal is also in the works
  • A customer PPP loan amount calculator and document check-list
  • Checklist and guidance docs for Forgiveness are also in the works
On May 20th the Bank partnered with the law firm of McLane Middleton to offer a PPP Forgiveness Guidance Webinar for all of Pentucket Bank’s PPP loan customers. Two representatives from the Bank also participated on informational PPP webinars through the Chamber of Commerce and a local law firm.

Community Support

As it became clear that many nonprofit and community service organizations were losing funding due to cancelled events; many were also incurring additional cost because they had increasing programs and services to assist the area’s most vulnerable population during the pandemic period- therefore in need of support more than ever. By the third week in March, Pentucket Bank had publically made the commitment to increase community donations by 20% over the $400,000 the Bank had contributed in 2019. Here are the total ways in which Pentucket Bank has provided support throughout the pandemic period:
  • Increase community donations by $80k in 2020
    • In the first month the Bank provided $45,000 to 23 local “front –line” service organizations
  • The Bank supported the Chamber of Commerce restaurant gift card matching fund
    • Contributing $500 the day the program rolled out
  • Many annual partnerships and spring community event sponsorship dollars had already been distributed by time the pandemic hit, and before many had been forced to cancel their events or programs. Although the Bank would no longer receive their sponsorship benefits, the organizations were encouraged to keep the funds to support the needs of those they serve.
  • Since Bank employees also love helping their communities and were looking for ways to personally contribute, each Friday the Bank chose one deserving origination to promote to all employees, encouraging them to make a small donation that the Bank would then match 100%. This was done with payroll deduction, a new way for employees to donate without having to exchange cash and easily managed even while working from home.
    • $1,060 raised by employees / matched 100% by Bank for a total of $2,120 and still going (in addition to the $80M increased commitment)
  • The Bank wanted to support local hospital employees and thank them for their heroism. They had specialty cookies delivered directly to the hospital staff and a team of Bank employees placed signs at hospital employee entrances with messages of thanks, hope and inspiration.
  • Pentucket Bank partnered with their neighbors on the top floor of their administrative building and placed marquee styles lights in the windows of their offices - the lights read: HOPE and were lit up for three weeks starting on April 20. 
  • In the early days of the pandemic (last week of March) as medical supplies became difficult to obtain, the Bank introduced the Home Health Foundation (a long time community partner and an agency providing services to some the area’s most vulnerable population) to a Bank vendor who was able to supply them with necessary medical supplies when resources were running out elsewhere
  • Pentucket Bank has also participated in two community compilation videos.

Taking Care of Employees

In order to assist their customers and communities, the Bank knows that taking care of employees is key. To show appreciation for all employees that were required to work in the Branches and offices during this pandemic the Bank provided the following benefits:
  • Friday lunches on the Bank. This began on March 20th and ended June 5th
  • Jeans day every day since March 13th (the Bank usually maintains a business attire requirement in the all locations)
  • On Fridays employees were encouraged to dress in unity wearing shirts showing off their favorite sports team or favorite Band. This was to encourage a little fun during the stressful workday.
  • Additional $100/day for essential, hourly wage employees working on site
    • $115,201 as of 5/6
  • 80 hours of additional sick time for all employees
  • To make sure that as many employees as possible were equipped to work from home at near full capacity, the Bank issued over 60 additional laptops for employees.
  • The Bank’s Senior Management team hosted the Bank’s first ever All Employee Zoom meeting to give a State of the Bank address on April 1st
  • Senior Management issued several all employee email updates, particularly in the early weeks of the pandemic to ensure open communication and transparency as the situation was evolving.
  • The Bank’s intranet houses updates in a special COVID-19 section and on the home page for all employees to keep up to date on key messages
  • Virtual Chair Yoga Sessions offered during the work day for all employees to assist with stress relief.
  • Webinars and information such as ways to deal with stress were released via email periodically throughout the pandemic as well.

There are countless stories of the ways in which individual employees have supported one another and the Bank throughout this pandemic. The numbers/dollars and examples presented on this submission are increasing daily as the Bank continues to support our key constituents through the on-going pandemic period. We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions or provide additional detail on any of the items included.
 
Please contact:
Scott Cote, CEO/Chairman of the Board | scote@pentucketbank.com | (978) 556-5442
Jonathan Dowst, President | jdowst@pentucketbank.com | (978) 556-5485
Leanne Petrou, VP/Marketing | lpetrou@pentucketbank.com | (978) 556-5474