Summit Bank: A Local Business Bank Headquartered In Eugene

article by Jenny Bennett, CFMP | Eugene/Springfield Market President, Summit Bank

For a small business owner or a nonprofit executive, the choice of bank is one of the most important decisions for your operations. It’s a choice that can make your work significantly easier or harder. As the only bank headquartered in Eugene, the mission of Summit Bank is to serve our clients and communities by helping them grow. In that role, we consistently exceed expectations, provide innovative solutions, and have fun in the process

Our focus is on building personal relationships with our clients through specialized knowledge of the local community. As a longtime member of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, we have been involved in several community initiatives: Title Sponsors of the Celebration of Business for the past five years, sponsors of the Women Business Leaders program, the YP Summit and the Economic Forecast, and more!

Community and corporate responsibility is a point of emphasis for Summit Bank. We’ve been a Top 100 Place to Work, as ranked by the Oregon Business Journal and have been a finalist for the Mayor’s “Bold Steps” award three times – including in 2020.  This year, we also were awarded the Register-Guard’s Reader’s Choice for Favorite Bank or Credit Union. Almost all of our 70 Eugene-based colleagues volunteer for local non-profits, and many of us are on the board of directors of local arts and nonprofit organizations. As a community bank, we place a stronger emphasis on giving back to the communities we serve.

All of our decisions are made locally, another aspect that differentiates community banks like Summit from other financial institutions. We provide more responsive turnaround times for loan requests and offer more flexible solutions. All of the deposits collected in our downtown Eugene location are invested in the small businesses we serve in Eugene/Springfield.

Many businesses had to pivot to respond to COVID-19; many struggled to retain employees and keep their doors open. Through our local Small Business Administration Division, Summit Bank made 440 Paycheck Protection Program loans to Oregon-based small businesses and nonprofits. These loans totaled more than $114 million to help maintain local workforces during the crisis. The majority of these loans were to business owners and nonprofits in Eugene.

While the injection of cash was important to Eugene/Springfield, Summit Bank wanted to do more. We announced a commitment to donate $150,000 of the CARES Act PPP SBA loan income reimbursements to make microloans to underserved members of the community.

To roll out these microloans, we are partnering with CommunityLendingWorks, a Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) to create a microloan program that will launch in January 2021. The program will be made available, in alignment with both the Sense of the Senate and Community Lending Works’ mission as a CDFI, to minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, emerging small businesses, and those out of low-income areas in Oregon.

If these values match your goals, give us a call. We continue to be here, locally, to help your business or non-profit organization grow.

Published On: November 30, 2020
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