Our firm admires the hard work, dedication and fierce commitment of frontline workers who are helping those in need, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have stepped up in the face of this great challenge and we, along with the rest of our community, are profoundly grateful. To shine a light on some of the heroes in our community, we have created a series of blog posts to help share their stories of working during COVID-19.
Rhinebeck Bank has been serving the Hudson Valley for more than 160 years and its team has stepped up to help businesses and community members survive through the financial burdens brought on by the pandemic. Thanks to their dedication to helping others, many jobs and businesses have been saved. Read more about their efforts below and join us in thanking them for their important and tireless work.
Tell us more about the mission of your organization and the populations you serve.
For over 160 years, Rhinebeck Bank has been an integral part of the area’s economic growth and a driving force for commerce along the Hudson River. We serve the banking, lending and wealth management needs (through our subsidiary, Rhinebeck Asset Management) of individuals, families and businesses located throughout the Hudson Valley. We continue to take pride in being personally involved in local businesses, communities and charitable organizations.
How you have been carrying your mission, programs and services forth during COVID-19? What has changed?
During our long history in the Hudson Valley, one of our strengths has been our ability to cultivate strong relationships with new and established customers including consumers, businesses and nonprofits of varying sizes. Our shared commitment to their growth and success has been, and continues to be, the reason we work tirelessly to offer the products and services to meet their everyday business needs.
The bank received authorization from the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to fund over $84.9 million in loans under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on their payroll. As a result, over 600 Hudson Valley small businesses and nonprofits received much-needed relief from the devastating economic impact of COVID-19. Equally as important, the bank’s efforts have helped to save over 9,200 local jobs.
While this was a truly collaborative effort among numerous departments, it could not have been accomplished without our Credit Administration, Commercial Lending, Branch Managers and Loan Documentation teams, who helped to process, approve and document all of the PPP loans.
How has your specific role changed since the start of this crisis?
As a community bank, our role has always been to serve the needs of our customers. That role hasn’t changed as a result of this crisis; however, we have been reminded of the impact we can have on people and businesses in the communities we serve. The true measure of a bank is its ability to stand with its customers through both the good and challenging times in their lives. This is certainly a challenging time and we will remain focused on our role as a resource for financial assistance and guidance for those in need throughout the Hudson Valley.
What are the biggest challenges your organization is facing right now?
Two challenges we are facing related to the PPP loan program are 1) strains on our staff, who continue to work diligently to assist local businesses with loan processing, approval and documentation needs, and 2) keeping up with the latest regulatory changes affecting PPP and advising applicants accordingly.
How can people show support?
We strongly encourage our customers, friends and neighbors to support local businesses as they re-open. We know local businesses are the pillars of economic growth and vitality here in the Hudson Valley. By supporting those businesses, we all help to make the entire area a better place to live, work and play. We are blessed with abundant customer support over our 160-year history and know that our local economy can survive the unique challenges we’re facing at this time, and ultimately thrive once again.
What has resonated with you most during this time?
In our efforts related to PPP, what has resonated most for us has been the knowledge that by helping these business customers, we have directly helped their employees and the communities that we live in. Like us, their employees have families, homes, careers and the everyday stress of dealing with the uncertainty the current situation brings into all our lives. By helping small businesses access these SBA funds, we’ve helped to stabilize not only local businesses, but the thousands of employees that work for them, something that has served to encourage and motivate us as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. And in the end, each one of the people we have helped is our friend, neighbor and member of our Hudson Valley community we call home.
If you had to pick something positive that has come out of this, what would it be?
One of the most positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the knowledge that we have been able to help nearly 600 local businesses keep over 9,200 of our friends and neighbors working and able to pay their bills and provide for their families.