We hear of so many businesses in Idaho and around the country that have suffered due to COVID-19. The curveball the virus threw to the world caused baffling changes to consumer demand and job opportunities.
But not all businesses have seen this happen, one of them: banks. One of the many essential businesses helping people get through this difficult time, banks have played a vital role in the pandemic.
Tom Romrell, the President, and CEO of the Bank of Commerce said they have only gotten busier with all that's happening. He said they had seen a massive increase in loans needed for people and businesses in Eastern Idaho.
"We produced over the last few weeks, nearly 1,150 loans totaling about 100 million dollars all in Southeast Idaho," Romrell said."
Romrell said that one could only imagine how many loans have gone out in total, if including all the other banks in the area.
"When you multiply that by all the banks and other financial institutions helping the community through this challenge, that's significant," Romrell said.
Idaho Central Credit Union is another one of the banks working overtime right now.
Lance Hatzenbeller, the Vice President of Commercial lending for ICCU, said his team works close to 80 hours a week to help meet the demand of all the small businesses that need assistance.
"Since we started almost a month ago now with the first round of loans, we've actually helped over 3,000 small businesses in the state of Idaho," Hatzenbeller said.
Even through long hours and the economic hard times, Hatzenbeller said their team keeps a positive outlook and finds pride in their work.
"We're just fortunate to be able to help as many businesses in Idaho as we possibly can," Hatzenbeller said. "Helping members achieve financial success is our mission statement…and we pride ourselves in delivering to our members their expectations of what a financial institution should be."
On top of the surge of loans, are still open and busy with their drive-thru and online banking services.
Bankers are playing a key role in the fight with the coronavirus. Even though they’re lucky to be open, they recognize many people are not so lucky and need help.
Romrell said that there are only a handful of businesses in Eastern Idaho that have flourished during the pandemic. More often, unfortunately, companies find themselves in need of dire help.
So, if you know or see a banker, be sure to tell them "thank you" for all their hard work.