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COVID-19, Update 7/16/2020

 

Our highest priority continues to be the health and safety of our customers and employees. As we navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19 on our community, effective tomorrow 7-17-20, we are temporarily modifying teller operations to Drive-Thru Only to help limit person-to-person contact. If you need access to the lobby for other banking services, please simply call the main number and schedule an appointment. Thanks for your patience.

 

 

COVID-19, Update 5/21/20

 

We’re here to help.  It’s not about being apart.  It’s about doing our part. 
#hereforyou #banklocal #bankingtruetoyou #communitybanking

Available Service Chart

 

 

COVID-19, Update 5/18/20

 

We’re here to help, and ready to welcome you!

 

We recognize this is an unprecedented time, bringing uncertainty and unease-especially regarding navigating public spaces. We want you to know that we have increased our already stringent procedures so you can feel safe, secure, and confident when entering our branch lobbies.

 

We plan to open our lobbies on Tuesday, May 26th.

 

Here’s what we’re doing:

 

Lobby visit policies.  To maintain adequate social distancing, we are limiting lobby traffic.

 

Germ prevention precautions.  We thoroughly clean and sanitize all countertops, waiting and seating, and other lobby areas according to the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

 

Mask precautions.  We appreciate our customers and visitors who are following CDC recommendations by wearing masks when out in public spaces.  However, for the security of our tellers please note that if you enter our lobby to complete a transaction or open an account, we will ask you to remove your mask and smile.  We understand that some may feel uncomfortable doing so, and in that case, we ask that you use our drive-thru services or online/mobile banking to complete your transaction.

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Your experience will be different when conducting business in our lobbies.  We’ve installed germ shields at our teller line.

 

Social distancing.  All branch staff, customers, and visitors are asked to adhere to social distancing guidelines.  You may notice floor decals throughout the branch to help everyone remember to keep a safe distance.  We ask that you please follow these guides.

 

Appointments.  If you would like to meet with a banker at one of our branches, we ask that you make an appointment by calling the phone numbers listed below.

 

More options to stay connected:

 

Online/mobile banking can be used for many common transactions, such as checking your balance, making payments, depositing a check, transferring funds, and much more.  Another 24/7 access option is Telephone Banking where you can check balances, account history, and get information on interest paid.  In addition, we’re available by phone at the numbers below Monday-Friday during normal operating hours.

 

Our management team is consistently evaluating our procedures to ensure they are aligned with CDC, FDIC, Alabama State Banking Department, and Alabama Public Health guidelines and best practices.  Now, more than ever, we are committed to providing you with a safe and secure banking experience.

 

Slocomb 334-886-2367

Dothan 334-792-2550

Geneva 334-248-7005

Hartford 334-588-3802

Newton 334-299-3144

 

 

COVID-19, Update 5/8/20

 

Survey says: Community bankers come through.  #BankingTrueToYou #Since1905 #CommunityFriend


https://www.icba.org/news/blog-details/main-street-matters---advocacy/2020/05/07/survey-says-community-bankers-come-through

 

 

COVID-19, Update 5/6/20

 

If your business needs help, contact Friend today! We have processed 100% of eligible applications and funded within 9 days. As long as funds are available, we are here to help.


Call Now: 1-800-435-2074


SBA Express Lender | Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

 

 

COVID-19, Update 5/5/20

 

If your business is still struggling, come see us about a PPP loan! To date, we’ve helped 223 small businesses, saving thousands of jobs and funding $13 million.


Call Now: 1-800-435-2074


SBA Express Lender | Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

 

 

COVID-19, Update 4/15/20

 

Economic Impact Payment Update. The IRS now has a helpful section on their website dedicated to Economic Impact Payments - including info for filers, info for non-filers, as well as general information about eligibility, payment amounts, what to expect, when to expect it, and more.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

 

 

COVID-19, Update 4/2/20

 

Looking for your government relief check? Scammers are too. Find out more at the following FTC link:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/want-get-your-coronavirus-releif-check-scammers-do-too

 

 

COVID-19, Update #2 3/30/20


Read comments below by Hope Johnson, Friend Bank CEO and Alabama Bankers Association Treasurer. Find out how Alabama banks will play an important role in getting much-needed capital into the hands of small businesses across the state.

https://yellowhammernews.com/alabama-banks-preparing-to-assist-small-businesses-with-recovery-call-your-banker/

 

 

COVID-19, Update #1 3/30/20


To help small business owners better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship created a comprehensive guide including many of the small business provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress. These programs and initiatives are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. 
When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available. 
To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your Friend Banker. 
 https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9/7/97ac840c-28b7-4e49-b872-d30a995d8dae/F2CF1DD78E6D6C8C8C3BF58C6D1DDB2B.small-business-owner-s-guide-to-the-cares-act-final-.pdf

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/27/20

 

Small business friends, more help is on the way!  Today, the CARES Act passed in the US House and has now been signed by President Trump.  The CARES act created the Paycheck Protection Program – a program which provides loans to small businesses through local banks. These loans can be used to support payroll and other expenses during this time of uncertainty. And the best part, these loans may be forgiven. We expect the details of the program to be released next week. As a local SBA approved lender, Friend Bank anxiously awaits the final details, regulations, and start date!

 

Sending a big thank you to our friends at the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, and Community Development Bankers Association for their tireless work on this legislation.

 

Learn more at: 
https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/023595_comm_corona_virus_smallbiz_loan_final.pdf 

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/23/20

 

Rumor or fact?  Visit the FEMA Coronavirus Rumor Control page for answers.  And always go to trusted sources of information for instructions and information.

 

https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/23/20

 

For 115 years, Friend Bank has valued every relationship with our customers; the individual customer, the business customer, and our farming customer. We have celebrated with you when times have been good; and when times have been tough, we have all worked together.  We are grateful for the generations that have come before us and set the example of teamwork and helping our neighbor.

 

Now it is our turn.  COVID-19 is starting to have an effect on some of our friends.  It will also begin having an effect on some of our businesses.  If you find yourself having financial struggles as an individual or business as a result of COVID-19, we want you to contact your Friend Bank loan officer.  We’ll find the best solution to help, and work through this side by side.

 

This is our time to set the example of how caring communities work together.  Remember, this too shall pass.

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/21/20

 

Gov. Ivey:  Alabama small businesses can seek SBA COVID-19 disaster loans.
https://governor.alabama.gov/newsroom/2020/03/gov-ivey-alabama-small-businesses-can-seek-sba-covid-19-disaster-loans/

 

Small Business Friends,

 

I strongly recommend that any small business hurt by the Corona Disaster apply for a SBA EIDL (Emergency Injury Disaster Loan) this weekend.   Small business owners in Alabama are eligible TODAY, thanks to Governor Ivy’s request last week.

 

There will most likely be additional small business federal aid, but for now to our knowledge, this is the only program that has been formally announced.  According to the SBA, these working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.

 

In my humble opinion, there is absolutely no reason not to apply.  Worse case scenario, you’re denied.  If you’re approved, and end up not needing the cash, simply pay the loan back. Think of it as an insurance policy.  If you’re approved, and receive other federal aid later, simply pay the loan back.   To me, there’s no harm in getting in line, and quickly.  As more and more states are accepted, demand will increase.

 

If you need a second opinion or an amen, Mark Cuban tweeted earlier this week:  “I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that any small business hurt by the Corona Disaster, based in Texas, apply for a small business disaster loan Right Now!  As in immediately!”

Let me be clear, this is NOT a bank loan.  It is a loan directly through SBA.  And to be honest, we’re hearing the online application process can take several hours, and the SBA system crashes periodically.  Plus, we’re hearing the application process can take 2-3 weeks, and total time to close can take 30-45 days.  After participating in a SBDC webinar last week, we developed some Tips for our customers who plan to apply.  If you would like us to send those Tips to you, please email Lawrence at lhjohnson@friendbank.net.

 

Be encouraged.  This too shall pass,

 

Hope H. Johnson
CEO

 

https://governor.alabama.gov/newsroom/2020/03/gov-ivey-alabama-small-businesses-can-seek-sba-covid-19-disaster-loans/

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/21/20

 

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus.  Find tips to keep the scammers at bay at the following link:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/19/20

 

Important message from Alabama SBDC: 

 

Please make your local small businesses aware of the webinar this afternoon, where they can learn about the forthcoming SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

 

When: Mar 19, 2020 02:00 PM Central Time

Topic: Preparing to Apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

 

Register in advance for this webinar: https://uasystem.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uOOgQxyEQ3Oz6iKwSqRL_w   

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Space is limited; this webinar will be repeated for anyone that is unable to attend.

Additional COVID-19 Resources and Notices for Small Businesses:  http://asbdc.org/covid19

 

Updates on the status of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program in Alabama:  http://asbdc.org/sba-disaster-loans-for-covid-19/

 

Many have been asking about the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Loan Program.

 

Here is what we know: The Federal Emergency Declaration last week activated the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL). We expect the program to cover the entire state, and not just counties where individual have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

 

Governor Kay Ivey and her team at the AL Department of Commerce, in coordination with SBA’s District Office (in Birmingham), submitted the information required to request an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance declaration on Tuesday evening.

Upon receipt of the request from the Governor, SBA will issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. It can take 24-48 hours for SBA to process that application and activate the online application form for residents of Alabama. Until that happens, companies in Alabama cannot apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

 

Please note: the EIDL is a loan – and is not a grant. You should discuss the EIDL and other recovery strategies with your SBDC Business Advisor to ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to secure the viability of your business through the economic and social disruption caused by this disease and actions taken to prevent its spread.

 

Learn more about the EIDL application process, and other steps that you can take to address the disruption caused by COVID-19. Free Webinar, Thursday, 3/19 at 2pm.

 

When approved, Alabama’s Small Businesses will be able to go to SBA.gov and make a request for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) online. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/16/2020

 

Our highest priority continues to be the health and safety of our customers and employees. As we navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19 on our community, we are temporarily modifying teller operations to Drive-Thru Only to help limit person-to-person contact. If you need access to the lobby for other banking services, please simply call the main number and a Friend Banker will let you in. Thanks for your patience.

 

The main numbers are:
Slocomb: 334-886-2367
Dothan: 334-792-2550
Geneva: 334-248-7005
Hartford: 334-588-3802
Newton: 334-299-3144

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/16/2020

 

We wanted to update you on how Friend Bank is responding to the growing threat of the Coronavirus (COVID -19). The health and safety of our employees and customers are top of mind amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. We are here to serve you and we want to share information with you about how we continue to operate safely and effectively.

 

We strongly encourage you to use Friend Bank’s electronic banking options and other resources for self-service banking and 24/7 account access. You can access your accounts online  or by using the Friend Bank Mobile App at your convenience. From there, you can deposit checks, make payments, view transactions, check balances, find an ATM and more. It’s easy and fast to manage your account digitally.

 

We appreciate your understanding that, as a customer, your experience may look different as we navigate through this time together. While we are currently maintaining regular operations, our offices are prepared to modify operations with options that still allow us to serve you. This means that as we navigate this dynamic situation office-by-office, we may adapt the experience. Options such as serving customers through the drive-thru only or as a last resort, we will close an office if we feel it is in the best interest of our employees and customers, or if we are directed to do so by government authorities. In any such situation, we expect office disruption to be temporary.

 

Steps we’re taking

  • All work-related travel that is not critical to business has been cancelled until further notice in an effort to avoid exposure to the virus. Employee trainings and large meetings are being conducted by phone or video calls whenever possible.
  • Employees have been encouraged to practice rigorous hygiene routines per  CDC and  WHO guidelines. This includes additional sanitation of workspaces and branch lobby areas throughout the day.
  • Employees have been encouraged to stay home if they are ill and to notify their manager if they or a household member is diagnosed with influenza or COVID-19.

 

Steps you can take

  • Stay up to date. For more information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
  • Learn more about our online and mobile banking features, so you can bank from anywhere 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Download our mobile app to deposit checks, pay bills, transfer money, and set and receive alerts.
  • Beware of scams. Look out for suspicious email and text messages, medical supply scams, and fraudulent donation sites that may impersonate a company, charity, or government agency. The intent is to convince you to share sensitive information such as usernames and passwords, make purchases or donations on spoof websites, or download malware onto your device by opening a malicious attachment. If you receive a suspicious email or text message, don’t respond, click on any links, or open attachments. Verify the authenticity of any website before making a purchase or donation.

 

The senior management team and Board of Directors of Friend Bank take the COVID-19 threat seriously and we are taking all reasonable measures to prepare for and mitigate the risk. We will provide additional updates as the situation warrants.

 

If you need assistance with any of our Online or Mobile Banking tools or if you need to conduct additional banking transactions, contact any of our five offices.

 

Thank you for your continued support of Friend Bank.

 

 

COVID-19, Update 3/13/2020

 

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to have an increased impact on our community, I feel it’s important to connect directly with you and share the steps we are taking across our branches to help keep you, our employees, and our community safe and healthy.

 

Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected.  The health and safety of our customers and employees has always been our top priority.  This is a rapidly evolving situation that we will continue to monitor.  Last week, we attended an ARCFS meeting in Clanton at the Alabama EMA headquarters, and were briefed on the most recent information available regarding COVID-19. This week, we have activated our Pandemic Policy and taken early steps to keep the workplace safe by discontinuing employee business travel, encouraging employees to practice good hygiene, and encouraging employees to stay home if feeling sick.  All of these practices and our business decisions are informed by guidance from the CDC, WHO, FDIC, Alabama State Banking Department, and Alabama Department of Public Health. 

 

As always, our goal is to make it easy for you to bank when and how you would like.  In addition to our Friend Bank branches, we are ready to serve you online at friendbank.net or through our mobile app. 

 

Finally, I’d like to thank our Friend Bank Pandemic Committee for their diligent work over the years to prepare for such an event.  That committee includes:  Judson Brooks, Shawn Hawthorne, Tory Hargrave, Melinda Ballard, Carolyn Crawford, and Amy VanHoose.

 

Thank you for being a loyal customer,

 

Hope H. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer


Equal Housing Lendor. Member FDIC. © Copyright 2008 Friend Bank. (334) 886-2367   .