Business + BECU
Business isn't “just business” at BECU, but a relationship that nurtures small business growth and innovative ideas to benefit our community's financial health at large. We added over 9,600 new business members last year, growing our network to over 62,000 business members. Here are a few highlights from the past year.
Business Member COVID-19 Support
Businesses were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether closing temporarily to comply with state mandates, challenged by disrupted supply chains, or facing sharply reduced customer traffic. BECU took several steps to help our business members navigate this difficult time.
Real-Time Relief. BECU modified more than 390 business and commercial real estate loans, including skip payments for credit cards, vehicle loans, unsecured term loans and lines of credit.
Creative Campaign. Recognizing the pandemic’s heavy impact on local small businesses, we partnered with BECU’s ad agency to create a marketing campaign featuring small business members. We highlight businesses through TV spots, social media promotion, prints ads and window displays in our local Neighborhood Financial Centers. The campaign encouraged people to “Shop Local,” showcasing local products and services, including a bridal shop, winery and homemade goods retailer.
PPP Loans. We funded over 2,560 loans totaling $95.9 million via the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Each PPP loan was around $37,450 on average and helped keep more than 11,000 workers on the job. A few of our grateful PPP recipients include:
Several years ago, CEO Yoram Bernet showed interest in a BECU line of credit for his sustainability software business, Scope 5, and met BECU employee Andrey. “Each time, Andrey has been prompt to respond, eager to help, and professional and clear in his advice,” Bernet says.
In 2020, the business owner reached out to complete PPP loan paperwork. Despite the crush of applicants, Andrey found time to shepherd Scope 5 through the PPP process. “It's this kind of relationship and care demonstrated by Andrey that makes me choose BECU as Scope 5's financial institution, over any other [financial institution],” Bernet says.
Hanford Challenge, a nonprofit helping to ensure cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site, applied for a PPP loan in 2020. Executive Director Tom Carpenter knew that other nonprofits were finding it difficult to get timely assistance from the bigger banks—and some missed out on PPP funding altogether.
BECU's approach stayed with Carpenter. “I feel our small nonprofit was given a lot of personal attention and guidance, and you really helped save our bacon,” he said in a thank you note. “I know you are working long hours. I know because you were answering my email on a Sunday! That is above and beyond. My entire staff and board, and the folks we serve, are grateful to you and BECU.”
Pace Pendleton, the CEO of online recruiting company Recruita, first spoke with BECU employee, Seth, when considering a business line of credit. “It can be hard for me to get good customer service as I am deaf and cannot hear on the phone. But Seth went out of his way to help me several times and made sure I was taken care of,” Pendleton says.
After the pandemic struck, Pendleton asked about PPP loans and Seth emailed to tell Pendleton when BECU started accepting new applications. “We ended up receiving the PPP loan through BECU and [it] saved my business," he said. "Just wanted to thank you and make sure you knew how much I appreciate the help.”
Continue to the next section:
Read other sections of the 2020 Annual Report:
III. BECU + CREW
IV. BECU By the Numbers
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