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We may have a long way to go for a full economic recovery, but if the statistics from the Small Business Administration are any indication, community banks will continue to play a leading role.

When the Paycheck Protection Program went live back in April, community bankers nationwide were working all hours of the day and night to ensure local businesses had access to the funds they needed to keep their businesses running and our communities strong.

And your community bankers delivered — in a big way.

According to the SBA, community banks provided PPP loans to 57.5% of all loan recipients. They also proved their commitment to building and sustaining diverse and equitable communities, providing 72.6% of loans to minority-owned small businesses, 71.5% of loans to women-owned small businesses, and 63.4% of loans to veteran-owned small businesses.

“To us, these statistics are more than just numbers, and they’re no accident. Supporting our entire community is nothing new to us. As a community bank, we live where we do business, so we are invested in making the community better on a personal level,” says James Rubin, Park Bank Assistant Vice President Business Banking. Rubin also serves on the Park Bank Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Most impressively, community banks did all of this significantly faster — five to 10 times faster — than other PPP lenders.

“The concept of local decision-making has never been more important. When my client’s business is on the line, they don’t have time to wait for a lengthy decision process,” says Leila Godkin, Park Bank Vice President Business Banking. “It feels good to know that I was able to provide them with a sense of relief when we could get them a decision and their funds quickly.”

And community banks aren’t done fighting for you.

As winter approaches, many of the service models that have kept local businesses afloat — outdoor seating at restaurants, for example — will no longer be an option. “We recognize that this situation is far from over for local businesses and nonprofits, and there are more challenges to come. Our clients are getting creative with more ways to serve their customers, and we are doing the same as we take steps to support our clients,” Rubin says.

Additionally, the window to apply for PPP loan forgiveness has opened. “While guidance has yet to be released on how the loan forgiveness process will work, we have been helping our clients prepare their application in every way we can,” says Godkin.

Whatever comes next, businesses can rest assured their community banker is on their team, and as the statistics have shown, that’s a powerful teammate to have.

With convenient locations throughout Dane County, Park Bank blends financial technology with individualized, proactive service in order to help clients achieve their goals. From individuals and families to nonprofits and businesses, Park Bank has over 50 years of experience bringing clients’ ambition to fruition. As the longest-serving Madison-based community bank, Park Bank is driven to create an ever-stronger community through collaboration with nonprofit organizations focused on diversity and inclusion, paid volunteer time for associates to give their time and energy to causes that matter to them, and deepening charitable impact in order to help create positive change in the communities Park serves. Learn more at or call (608) 278-2801 for more information.

As featured in InBusiness.