NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Commercial Bank of Texas managed to get hundreds of millions-of-dollars-worth of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans processed and submitted in record time. Bankers say they did it by a ‘grass roots’ style, rather than shelling out dollars for a specific software program.
At Grogan Cleaners, owner Scott Diggs was overwhelmed at the onset of COVID-19, a year ago.
“We were just grasping. Just trying to hold on.”
Time was the essence to provide help. Still is, as the second round of PPP loans begin.
Commercial Bank of Texas chose to rely on staff experience, rather than expensive software which, at the time, was developed on the fly, according to Rusty Rust, CEO for Commercial Bank.
“They’re not cheap. And they were brand new and so they never work exactly like you think they will in the beginning.”
Commercial Bank executives acknowledge there are now some worthy software programs available. Even so, with a grip on the process, they will rely on their staff to get the job done.
Connections got loans out faster, according to Scott Boyer, Commercial’s chief lending officer.
“We had some experience as a SBA lender. We have a gentleman on staff whose done that his entire career. And we felt like we had a leg up to get started.”
It paid off for business owners.
“Out of our 20 branches we did 1126 our first round. That’s 1126 different businesses for about $85-million. And that touches a lot of people,” said Boyer.
SFA’s director of the Chadwick Banking Program, David Kaiser used it as case study when teaching future bankers.
And SFA banking intern Cam Shepherd learned something about banking he can’t find in the textbooks.
“Seeing restoration in these employees and the owners of these businesses was great. Seeing how banking truly ‘is community’,” said the student, who is also a Commercial Bank employee.
Diggs is accepted for PPP loans in the second round.
“Just doing everything in their power to be sure this community stayed in business. And I can’t thank them enough.”