Lending Financial Support and Know-How in a Time of Great Need
The ability to work remotely enabled the Chelsea Groton team to help thousands of customers and community members in their time of need. With rates as low as they’ve been, Chelsea Groton’s team handled a record number of mortgage refinancing and new home purchases. As more folks were furloughed and struggling to make loan payments, the Bank approved temporary deferments on existing loans and waived fees in order to help people stay in their homes and relieve some of the financial burden the pandemic caused. And team members worked around the clock to ensure businesses obtained the financial support they needed in order to stay afloat.
Small Business Support
The Commercial Lending team, with support from across the Bank, helped to secure nearly 600 low cost, forgivable Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for local businesses and non-profits in 2020. The funding Chelsea Groton secured helped to retain more than 5,000 jobs in the region, more than any other financial institution in the area. The team worked tirelessly to ensure businesses of all sizes, whether they employed one person or had a few thousand on their payroll, and across many industries, including large cultural institutions, restaurants, construction companies, marinas, law and medical offices, car dealerships, churches, schools, non-profits, and more, who qualified for the PPP loans received support from the Bank.
Here’s what a bookkeeper for a local business who received a PPP loan through CGB had to say about the experience: “Chelsea Groton Bank has been an invaluable partner in our ability to both access the PPP loan and secure its forgiveness with the SBA. Knowing how great the demand was, the shifting parameters and the incredibly tight deadline, Chelsea Groton vastly exceeded our expectations in their responsiveness to inquiries and questions, often responding to emails late at night or over the weekend, giving practical advice and proactively communicating information as they got it from the SBA. The portal they set up for the forgiveness application was very straightforward and easy to use. It was an extremely stressful time and the team always responded professionally and with true concern about our business.”
The SBA re-opened the PPP program to Chelsea Groton Bank on January 19, 2021. The Bank is currently working with hundreds of customers to help them secure funding. If your business is interested in receiving funding through the latest round of PPP, please visit the Bank’s website for next steps. Details about Chelsea Groton’s Small Business Relief Loan, the Equity Match Grant Program from the Women’s Business Development Council, and more are also accessible on the website.
Over the last several months, the Bank has also continued to invest in customer-facing technologies that have enabled them to continue to enhance relationships.
Chelsea Groton has upgraded five traditional ATMs to be Video Banking ATMs, which by simply tapping the screen, “call” a local Chelsea|LIVE Video Banker who is able to assist a customer with banking transactions, making loan payments, cashing a check down to the penny, and more, during a live conversation on screen.
The Video Banking team is also available to be reached Monday – Friday, 8am – 7pm directly from your phone, tablet or computer through the Chelsea|LIVE Video Banking App. Video Banking, which is similar to “FaceTime” or “Telehealth,” has the added capability and security of being able to share and sign documents, review proposals and more, all while participating in a face-to-face conversation with your banker.
In addition to the individuals, families and businesses the Bank continued to assist, the Chelsea Groton Foundation contributed more than $300,000 in the spring to emergency relief efforts and to support the ongoing work of many area non-profits. Additional funding for organizations continued throughout the year. The Foundation and Bank combined to give a record $1,000,000 to the local community in 2020.
Chelsea University continues to offer complimentary educational classes and resources to members and non-members of the Bank. Visit Chelsea Groton’s website to register for financial education and business webinars, and to access the E-Learning Center.
“The Bank’s mission, which is ‘We help our customers and communities achieve their specific goals by taking them on as if they were our own’ has been a guiding light through all of this,” shared Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank. “Whether the goal is about not falling behind on payments, buying a home, planning for retirement, or figuring out a way to keep your business or organization afloat during a pandemic, we are in your corner. I’ve watched team members from across the organization roll up their sleeves, be trained in new areas, and work literally around the clock in order to help people in any way they can, and we promise to continue to do so for however long it takes."