Unity Bank: Partnering to Provide Community Solutions in Critical Times
'The Perfect Partner'
Having the right partner is critical – in good times, sure, but especially so during crises.
Financial institutions that make investments in technology know this even better than some other types of businesses, because technology can mean the difference between securing a loan that keeps a local business running and watching the business shut its door when cash runs out.
Unity Bank, which provides financial services to businesses and consumers at 19 branches throughout New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, recently reflected on the benefit of its strong partnership with Abrigo, a leading technology provider of compliance, credit risk, lending, and asset/liability management solutions.
“Abrigo has been the perfect partner for our team at Unity Bank, and that became quite obvious during the COVID-19 crisis,” says James Hughes, President and CEO of Unity Bank. “Last year, we decided to invest in the bank’s technology platform because we wanted to bring added value to our customers by expanding business funding options. At the same time, we did not want to sacrifice the personalized banking experience that made businesses choose Unity in the first place. Abrigo came to the table with both ideas and dynamic solutions that would help us achieve our goals.”
Partnering with Abrigo to Maximize PPP Impact
One of the solutions included in Unity’s arsenal is Abrigo’s SBA Lending solution, which was updated to automate the underwriting process for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and will also allow financial institutions to handle borrowers’ applications for PPP loan forgiveness and track reporting to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Community financial institution customers of Abrigo’s SBA Lending solution have handled over 100,000 loan applications through the Paycheck Protection Program since April 3. The automated solution has helped them capture funds in a fraction of the time as manual processing, and Abrigo’s PPP resources and the next phase of the solution will enable lenders to move forward.
“It is often said that business partners prove their value during times of crisis and Unity Bank’s recent experience with Abrigo is testament to that fact,” Hughes says. “Our employees worked day and night to get Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans into the hands of customers when they urgently needed funding, but these efforts would have been wasted without the right technology in place. With Abrigo’s help, we were able to secure $130 million in funding and nearly 1,000 loans for small businesses that desperately needed a lifeline.”
One such Unity customer was Thomas True, CEO, President and Founder of property-casualty insurance agency True & Associates, based in Westfield, New Jersey.
“We likely would have had to put in place drastic measures had we not received the PPP funds from the SBA through Unity Bank in a timely fashion,” True says. “Our Agency was very proactive reaching out to our insurance carriers for premium relief for our customers. Insurance coverage is one of the biggest expense items on a corporate income statement. This was very taxing on our staff, and negatively impacting our revenue. Unity was outstanding organizing the PPP process for us and they moved quickly. I know that has not been the case for many businesses with other banks, so we are thankful for that longstanding relationship with a community banking leader. I can’t say enough about Unity and their professionalism.”
Unity President and CEO Hughes points to businesses like True & Associates as one of the reasons the technology partnership with Abrigo made such a difference.
“We were able to come through for our customers, and Abrigo came through for Unity Bank,” Hughes says.