When Your Company Needs to Pivot, Banking Relationships Matter
A strong relationship with an experienced, knowledgeable banking team can help your new career or business hit the ground running. That’s precisely what happened for Jordan Franklin, the CEO of Stratice, a Montgomery-based IT staffing firm that also has offices in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Tallahassee, Florida. Boasting a staff of 75, it works with clients nationwide and even has some recruiters based in India.
Stratice was founded by Scott Franklin, Jordan’s husband, as an IT projects company. In 2017, Jordan came on board as 51 percent owner of the company and expanded it into the high-growth world of IT staffing. The move allowed Stratice to compete for big contracts with state and federal government agencies, which often give preference to firms that are majority owned by women and members of other underrepresented groups.
But in the staffing world, companies that provide workers — whether on a temporary, permanent or contract to-hire basis — often have to pay salaries to those workers upfront, and that meant Stratice would need a big bump up in its working capital. “You front salaries until your clients pay you,” Jordan said. “You’re making money, but it’s just not sitting in the bank.”
This is when the Franklins turned to us at Valley Bank. Scott had a pre-existing relationship with our Montgomery banking team and knew we had a deep understanding of the staffing industry. We were able to assist Scott on the “back end” of the business, helping Stratice set up its accounts and secure a commercial line of credit, which freed up Jordan to go out and do what she does best: sell.
“It was extremely reassuring,” Jordan said, adding that she left the office at 10 o’clock in the morning and by 11, “I owned a new company and had a line of credit and 10 clients signed. It was perfect timing, but if it hadn’t been for that relationship with Valley, I don’t know if we could have run as fast as we did.”
Our Valley team, which also includes Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer Chase Hardy and Service Excellence Manager Joshua Williams, kept in close touch with Jordan and Scott while they quickly grew Stratice into a $2 million company during their first year and a half in business.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck — wreaking havoc in workplaces around the world and creating big headaches for staffing firms — Stratice applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. “Valley let us know when everything came out, and when we could fill out the form to get the loan forgiven,” Jordan said. “They were super communicative and kept us informed, so much so that my cousin, who owns businesses, was calling us with questions [about PPP].”
MEET THE EXPERT
Elizabeth DuBard is the first vice president and market manager of Valley Bank, based in the downtown Montgomery branch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334-270-3040.
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