ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: COFS) ("ChoiceOne”), the parent company of ChoiceOne Bank and Lakestone Bank & Trust, announced the banks have processed over 250 Payroll Protection Program (PPP) applications with a value of over $80 million.
“In the midst of this pandemic, our two high-performing community banks, each over 120 years old, will become one – ChoiceOne Bank – in May,” said ChoiceOne Bank CEO and President Kelly Potes. “This merger has allowed us to leverage our new size and scale and work together during these tough times to process a great volume of PPP applications with experts in all fields.”
The newly enacted federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides a variety of additional emergency relief programs for consumers and businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
ChoiceOne Bank and Lakestone Bank & Trust are authorized lenders by the SBA to administer the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Both banks began accepting applications for small business and sole proprietorships on the opening date of April 3 and for independent contractors and self-employed individuals on the opening date of April 10.
The PPP authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses, nonprofits, veterans’ organizations and tribal concerns to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Sole proprietors and self-employed individuals are eligible as well. Loan terms are the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:
- The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8-week period after the loan is made
- Employee and compensation levels are maintained
- Laid off employees are brought back onto payroll
“While larger banks have struggled to gear up and process PPP applications, our staff across the state is able to work hand-in-hand with our small business customers nimbly and efficiently,” said Potes. We are also able to take care of our non-profit customers as well, which also pleases me.”
Travis Williams, CEO of ODC Network commented: “Their team did a fantastic job helping us navigate the Payroll Protection Program Loan. Within 24 hours of applying, we received a loan approval and the funds were in our account within 6 days of the program starting. Having key business experts like ChoiceOne Bank helps ensure that our organization has the resources to continue serving our West Michigan community during these challenging times.”
Ray Clemens Sr., Owner of Ray C’s Harley-Davidson and Ray C’s Extreme Store commented: “The personal relationship with my commercial banker, Pete Batistoni, is strong and present with the merger. My loan was approved in 48 hours. I am super impressed with the service I receive from Pete and Lakestone.”
“Naturally as community banks, our teams excel at customer relations,” said Lakestone Bank & Trust CEO and President Michael Burke. “Together our excellent lenders and support teams have leveraged the strengths of our organizations to meet the needs of our commercial customers during these tough times. Kelly and I want to thank all of our employees involved in this process as they are putting in countless hours over and above their normal work schedule to take care of our customers.”
Because of the tremendous volume of applications and the care needed with the PPP applications, ChoiceOne Bank and Lakestone Bank & Trust are accepting applications from customers at this time and are placing non-customers on a waiting list. For more information please see each bank’s respective website – ChoiceOne.com and LakestoneBank.com.
About ODC Network
The ODC Network is a registered 501 (c)(3)non-profit education and conservation organization founded in the year 2000. Our purpose is to connect people with nature through outdoor education for the benefit of wildlife and the conservation of the natural world. The Outdoor Discovery Center is a 155-acre nature preserve that is free and open to the public. It is located in Fillmore Township on the south side of Holland, Michigan in Allegan County. The staff offer a variety of programs to schools and the community that help foster the concepts of wildlife management and conservation.
About Ray C’s Harley-Davidson and Ray C’s Extreme Store
Ray and Janet Clemens started their business in 1981. Five years ago with the bank’s help, they opened a 30,000 square foot store on 10 acres at the 1-69 and M-24 corridor. Ray C’s Harley Davidson is a destination. People come from a 75-mile radius to visit and shop. In both Lapeer locations Clemens employs 47 people.