March 2021. It is hard to believe that one year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic first reached our area. The impact on business owners here was very diverse. Some saw virtually all their revenue sources simply stop. Others were able to keep their business going as usual. Others still had to reinvent their business from scratch or make significant adjustments to work through a new normal of issues they never dealt with before. Topics like supply chain, cash flow, and employee and customer safety all represented significant challenges.
In this article, we’ll hear from Marquette Savings Bank and how its business bankers have helped business owners gain the financial resources they needed to manage through situations no one could have foreseen.
For Marquette, the past 12 months have been quite remarkable. It was a year that began with the construction of its new building at the corner of Peach and West 10th streets. As of press time, the final stages of construction are nearing completion. When complete, the building will feature a state-of-the-art Operations and Training Center and a new concept in banking — an Innovation Learning Center. The new building will more than double the size of Marquette’s headquarters and its unique architecture is sure to become a landmark in downtown Erie.
The past 12 months have also been a time of unprecedented growth. Personal banking services — mortgages, loans, deposits, checking accounts and adoption of the intuitive online and mobile banking resources — all realized significant growth in 2020. Marquette’s proficiency with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan processing and its commitment to local business throughout the pandemic resulted in substantial growth in its Business Banking department as CPAs, attorneys and other business owners referred business to Marquette.
“Overall, the pandemic and the needs of our customers served to galvanize everyone throughout our organization,” says Chief Executive Officer Michael Edwards. “The importance of our role as the only remaining local bank hit home with everyone at Marquette. It drove us to work longer and harder to ensure anyone who came to us had what they needed to get through the challenges they were facing.”
Local Decision-Making Matters
Few businesses were impacted as hard as one local business. Imagine losing 96 percent of your business in one quarter. That is what happened to Grisé Audio Visual, an Erie, Pennsylvania-based company that provides AV services for major events and conventions locally, nationally and internationally. The pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of events booked for 2020.
Describing what the last 12 months were like, owner Don Grisé says, “Without Marquette, I do not know where the business would be right now. We essentially had no income in second quarter. Having a local bank like Marquette made all the difference. I felt they cared as much and worked as hard as we did to keep our business afloat. My PPP loan was processed quickly and I was able to keep all 14 employees working as we literally reinvented our business. Then, despite the fact our revenue was down so drastically, Marquette stood by us to provide the line of credit we needed to take advantage of an opportunity that helped put us back on our feet.”
Read more in the March 2021 edition of the Business Magazine.