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  • Content Expert: Banking

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    From restaurants to gyms to retail stores, this summer is going to be a challenging time for Montgomery businesses.
    As a vice president and business banker with Valley Bank in the greater Montgomery area, I have helped countless small business owners dealing with the challenges wrought by the pandemic.
    Business owners have reached out to the bank to defer payments, add lines of credit and explore their eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program. These are obvious things for your banker to help with, but there are also a number of other areas where your banker can help you:
    The pandemic came out of the blue, but there could be a second wave of infections in the fall or winter, so what’s your game plan if that happens? It’s best to have a plan in place so you can be nimble in the moment. A quality contingency plan will also come into play if a financial institution is evaluating your eligibility for loans and additional lines of credit.
    I work in the world of finance, of course, but I see myself as more than a numbers guy. My goal is to create deep relationships with my clients, and in many cases, to connect
    them with potential service providers (such as lawyers or accountants) or potential customers. Your banker should be able to make quality recommendations about folks who can help your business.
    As we get through this tough situation, businesses will need to keep finding ways to be more efficient. With this in mind, we are reaching out proactively to small business clients to find out how we can help. It’s important to ask questions that some folks haven't thought about yet, such as whether a company has sufficient reserves with plenty of flexibility, along with a high level of efficiency.
    More than ever, it is vital for businesses to have access to good advice. So business owners need the ability to have direct conversations with their banker, to be able to say, “Things are not perfect, but let’s get on the same page.”
    We are pleased to help all types of businesses in Montgomery. Earlier this month, we worked with a local tutoring franchise that employs college students as tutors. We were able to help them get a small loan, and the employer said, “You have no idea how far these dollars will go for these college students.” Among the other businesses we’ve helped is a local assisted living and nursing home.
    No matter what size business you have, your banker should be able to work with you to find creative solutions. Even in these toughest of times, there is a solution out there.
    Ryan Skipper is a vice president and business banker with Valley Bank in the greater Montgomery area.
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