As our communities across the state experience unprecedented economic challenges related to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Utah’s oldest bank is making efforts to assist adversely impacted clients and to support its employees. Zions Bank is reaching out to clients and inviting those with concerns to visit with their bankers to discuss possible alternative payment options, when conditions permit.

“Over the last week I have had many conversations with business owners — including local restaurateurs, tourism-based companies and arts nonprofits — experiencing the immediate effects their customers’ changing behaviors and short-term spending as a result of the virus,” said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO. “What I’m saying to them is: these are extraordinary times, and I have confidence through it all that efforts by banks like Zions Bank, coupled with emergency efforts though the federal stimulus bill, will help buoy the businesses that keep our communities vibrant.”

Additional Support for Small Businesses and Private Nonprofits
Anderson notes that Zions Bank has been Utah’s top lender of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans for the past 26 consecutive years. The SBA has provided lenders of 7(a) and 504 business loans authority to assist borrowers experiencing temporary cash flow issues by deferring payments. Among the SBA’s expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response to coronavirus is its Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. These loans provide small businesses and private nonprofits with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response. Late last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a massive $2.2 trillion coronavirus spending bill aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the outbreak. The bill now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval, and then to the president to be signed into law. Zions Bank is monitoring these developments closely and will share with local businesses the provisions of the stimulus package that may further benefit them as the bill has been finalized.

Zions Bank’s Support for its Essential Workforce
Recognizing that its workforce is essential in this economy, Zions Bank is supporting the health and safety of its employees. Employee who feel unwell are asked to stay home and self-quarantine. They will be paid for their time through emergency personal leave, which will not be deducted from their regular sick leave accruals. Emergency personal leave will also be available for those who need to attend to family members who may be sick. Branch staff with reduced hours as a result of changes in drive-up or lobby service hours will continue to be paid for the full amount of time for which they were originally scheduled. Many Zions Bank employees have the technology to work remotely to continue to serve clients and manage the bank’s operations while helping slow the spread of coronavirus.

A Reminder to Beware of Fraud and Scams
Scammers may attempt to use public concerns related to COVID-19 to get personal information from individuals or to gain access to their accounts. Anderson encourages everyone to beware of fraudulent websites, phone calls, emails, and text messages. People should only provide information such as their Social Security number or credit card number if they initiate a phone call to their financial institution. Banks will never ask clients for their personal information or log-in credentials in an email or text message.