Money Matters: Ancora PPP Success

Photo Courtesy Oregon Pacific Bank

Businesses credit PPP loans for staying afloat through pandemic

Photo courtesy of Oregon Pacific Bank

By Kelli Warner & Paul Johnson

During the pandemic, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans became a lifeline for many small businesses, allowing them to pay their employees and survive the economic shutdown.

Today, many businesses credit those loans to their survival, and say knowing their banker when times were tough made all the difference.

At Ancora Publishing in Eugene, CEO Matt Sprick and his staff produce programs and resources dedicated to supporting education.

“Ancora Publishing and Safe and Civil Schools provide training to school staff across the country on more effective ways to improve behavior, school culture and climate,” Matt says.

But when the pandemic hit in early 2020 and schools closed, everything changed.

Worried about how he would pay his employees until conditions improved, Matt contacted Joe Carmichael, a Commercial Relationship Manager at Oregon Pacific Bank, to apply for a PPP loan. They got the help they needed right away.

“Oregon Pacific Bank was incredibly responsive, and I was grateful that we had made the decision to work with a local bank,” Matt says. “We weren’t just a number on a spreadsheet.”

Oregon community banks issued the largest share of PPP loans to small businesses, saving an estimated 223,000 jobs. Known for their relationship lending and personal connections to customers, community banks were able to make the funds available quickly and efficiently.

“For OPB, one of the things I was most proud of is we were very proactive in letting everyone know about it and doing everything we could to get them money,” Joe says. “That’s the way banking should be done and when times are hard and there is a need, we do everything that we can to make sure we’re there for them.”

Having that relationship with his banker made all the difference for Matt. Today, Ancora Publishing is back to business, offering its programs and services to schools nationwide.

“The fact that we had an individual that I knew I could reach out to does a lot to relieve the stress of a stressful situation,” Matt says. “They made us feel like we were the most valuable client in the world.”

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