April 3, 2020 – Coronavirus Update – We are not currently accepting applications for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. Please check back.
Dear Essex Savings Bank Customers/Families,
For the health and well-being of our clients and staff, we are continuing to monitor the latest news about COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Due to the rapid progression of this virus, Essex Savings Bank is now operating expanded drive thru services and is available by phone, email and online. While our lobbies are closed, we are continuing to meet with customers requiring in person assistance, such as access to their safe deposit boxes, or on an appointment basis. To provide safety and separation as directed by the state, many of our staff have shifted to operating remotely while adhering to essential service needs. Additionally, Essex Trust and Essex Financial Services fall under the “critical infrastructure workers” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security and continue to operate.
Many of you are aware of the newly passed CARES Act for Small Businesses (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) whereby loans will be made available through banks and credit unions enrolled in Small Business Administration (SBA)-certified programs; Essex Savings Bank is an SBA certified lender; HOWEVER, WE CANNOT ACCEPT APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME DUE TO SBA SYSTEM CONSTRAINTS. Since its passing, we have received participation requests from businesses seeking relief through this SBA program. Information is still limited; we have still not received guidance on what process, requirements and specifications to be able to submit applications. If you are on the list we will be calling you to collect any additional information needed. In the meantime, you can follow the requirements to qualify that are posted at the SBA. (We are only offering this to our current loan and/or deposit customers. Non-customers should direct their inquiries to their bank for assistance with this program). We know there is a high demand for this program, and while we appreciate the urgency that businesses are feeling, there is only so much funding that the SBA is offering. We will do the best that we can within the parameters – we cannot guarantee anyone a fund allocation as there are no provisions that all banks receive their fair share of these funds to date. It would have been better if they reserved a proportional share based on asset size to all financial institutions.
Additionally, there has been some confusion with the two programs that offer forgiveness aspects and we would like to clarify the differences with these programs.
Paycheck Protection Program
The first is the Paycheck Protection Program, which you may review on the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program, which “prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and business expenses.” Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. Although we have not yet been provided complete details, we can share the following information provided thus far:
Under this program:
Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
- Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
- If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.”
Businesses can help expedite this application (PPP) process by gathering the following documentation:
- Employee wages for the last twelve months including paid time off, sick pay, and family medical pay. You can obtain this information from your payroll providers.
- Withholding for state and local taxes on employee compensation.
- 1099’s paid to independent contractors of the core business that provide employee type functions.
- Documentation regarding amounts paid for employee health insurance for the past 12 months.
- Documentation regarding the amounts paid for retirement plan funding for the past 12 months.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance
The second program is the “Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance” which is applied for directly through the SBA and their web site.
Per the SBA’s website, “small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.”
To apply for this COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, please visit https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/.
As an account holder, you have many alternative banking channels available to you if you do not wish to utilize the branch drive through. These services include online account viewing, bill pay, transfers, person to person payments, mobile check deposit and more.
- Online banking is available (To register, click here to go to our Online Banking page)
- Mobile banking is available (Visit our Electronic Banking page to download the free Essex Savings Bank app from Google or the App store)
- Apply for a Mortgage Online
- Call (844) 824-9387 for online banking assistance
- Call our 24-Hour Phone Link at (888) 767-0046 for up to date automated account information
- Call us at (860) 767-4414 if you have any other questions
- Contact your employer for your paycheck to be direct deposited
- For businesses, consider applying for remote deposit capture to transmit checks to the Bank from your office and ask us about online wire capabilities
Please continue to keep informed and follow the guidelines of the CDC to help prevent the spread of this illness – https://cdc.gov):
- Clean and disinfect often (in addition to typical cleansers, hydrogen peroxide is effective in combatting the virus)
- Wash your hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick (fever, dry cough and shortness of breath are signs of the coronavirus)
- Disinfect your phone and keyboard daily along with any shared devices
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wear a face-mask if you are sick
- You do not need to wear one if you are not sick, unless you are caring for someone who is sick
We appreciate your efforts in preventing the spread of this virus by recognizing the signs of your own health issues. Please call us with your financial needs and questions. We continue to stand ready to assist with your financial needs.
Please continue to visit our website for any updates.
Gregory R. Shook
President & CEO