Think back a year ago to that uncertain time when stay-at-home orders forced all of us to reimagine daily life as we knew it. Amid all the uncertainty and fear, there were bright spots, like a hot meal delivered by the restaurant down the street, or a bag of books made just for you by an independent bookstore.
Small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic, but they also saw the needs of their communities and pivoted to meet those needs in new and creative ways. As we emerge from the worst stages of the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to support the small businesses that are the backbone of the Fredericksburg community. Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. annually, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At Community Bank of the Chesapeake, we believe that supporting small businesses is a key part of our mission as a community bank. Community banks make more than 60% of all small business loans under $1 million. They are consistently rated as small-business lenders of choice, according to a series of studies from the Federal Reserve Banks.
During the pandemic, we’ve helped small business owners through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan process, helping them access funds that were crucial to their survival during the shutdown.
We took our Community Cash Mobs virtual during the pandemic, spreading vouchers for restaurant takeout orders and other purchases. This spring, we look forward to the return of our in-person cash mobs, when our team of bankers descend upon a local business on a selected day and time, spend money and give an allotted number of vouchers to customers shopping during the event.
When it comes to the banking needs of small businesses, many in the Fredericksburg area are learning that Community Bank of the Chesapeake is a partner with the long-term support they need. From commercial services that help with payroll, remote deposits, merchant services and fraud detection, to loans and lines of credit and business checking and savings accounts, our team of bankers can customize solutions to meet your business needs.
It’s a relationship that business leaders and owners in the community are embracing.
The Fredericksburg Area Museum, which catalogs local history in the historic Town Hall at the corner of Princess Anne and William streets in downtown Fredericksburg, chose Community Bank of the Chesapeake for its nonprofit banking needs.
“The Fredericksburg Area Museum loves working with Community Bank of the Chesapeake,” said museum President and CEO Sara Poore. “The staff is tremendously helpful and responds quickly to any needs we might have. During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the bank was amazingly responsive to help nonprofits get the financial support needed to continue our missions.”
Just across William Street at River Rock Outfitters, owners Keith and April Peterson chose to partner with Community Bank of the Chesapeake after noticing the local bank was heavily involved in community projects and donated money to causes they valued as well. It was a perfect fit. The Petersons were especially grateful to have the bank at their side during the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent financial crisis.
“Community Bank of the Chesapeake stepped up for our business and community by expeditiously completing our PPP loan application and assisting us in immediate funding that, in part, saved our business,” said April Peterson. “While larger banks were struggling to execute the PPP guidance, the Community Bank team was ready and capable to support small businesses in saving their dream. As long as we are in business, Community Bank is our bank!”
At Community Bank of the Chesapeake, we are vested in the success of our small business neighbors, and we remain committed to their overall health and prosperity. We know that when they succeed, our community flourishes. Whether you come to us for your business or personal banking needs, we look forward to providing you with personalized service that meets your needs.