How Prairie is Helping
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the staff at Prairie Community Bank has been working overtime to secure loans for our impacted businesses, answer questions, and generally ensure that we areavailable for you – our customers and community.
So far, Prairie Community Bank has secured over 150 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This is more than $11 million that goes right to the payrolls of local businesses, helping them to keep their staff employed while stay-at-home orders are in place, and get back on their feet again as the economy reopens.
In fact, several of the businesses we helped through the PPP process were not previously customers of Prairie: they came to us when they were unable to secure loans from their main banks – often larger, national banks. During the PPP process, those institutions tended to close their application windows earlier than community banks and make fewer, bigger loans to larger businesses. This left businesses and customers feeling alienated and treated like “just a number”. To us, you are a partner, and we want you to know we’re always here when you need us.
Throughout April and early May, we also made an extensive number of “care calls” – proactive, unprompted calls to our customers – to find out how they’re doing and offer any assistance that we could. We’re happy to have had some great discussions and made some new friends from these calls.
The PPP application process, care calls, and discussions on incoming calls to the bank have taught us a lot about what’s keeping Marengo, Union, and Elgin ticking even when we’re all at home. Over and over again, people tell us how appreciative they are of the extra human contact a community bank like ours can provide. Our extra work these last few weeks has inspired our staff to go the extra mile for you. Although we can’t predict the future, we know that we’ll always be focused on keeping Prairie Community Bank working for you.
Care calls allowed us to connect with you during social distancing
During April and May 2020, Prairie Community Bank’s staff initiated a new campaign called Care Calls – perhaps you even received one! The goal of the Care Calls was to reach out to customers sheltering in place. We reached over two thousand households by the end of this article, with more calls planned for June. Below are some examples of what we’ve heard:
- A customer was hunkered down “like a turtle” and ran out of checks – so we ordered him some!
- One customer had a TON of politics that he wanted to get off his chest. We were a good listener for him.
- A customer didn’t have online banking and had been wondering if his stimulus checks had come in. We walked him through it and he was so happy to have someone to gab with about the rain!
- One customer had his workload picking up after a slow period, and was recently able to sell a dump truck. He was appreciative of the way Prairie has handled our closure and how we communicated with him on updates.
- A customer was very surprised about the call from us. She said her family is doing very well and hope everyone else is staying safe here. She said she really appreciated the phone call and that it was very sweet of us to check on them.
Donations from Prairie help our neighbors who need it the most
Prairie Community Bank participated in the Federal Home Loan Bank Chicago COVID-19 Relief Program and was awarded a $20,000 grant to support our communities. We are proud to dedicate these funds to our community partners that have donated their resources over the past several weeks. Our contributions were made to the following organizations:
|McHenry Co. Community COVID-19 Response Fund||$7,000|
|Food For Greater Elgin||$2,500|
|YWCA of Elgin||$2,500|