Magazine : Archives : 4th Quarter 2021

The Gift to Small Banks Everywhere

Early on in 2020 after the launch of the Paycheck Protection Program — the federal government’s massive response to support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic — Southwestern National Bank in Houston scrambled to provide the loans.  “Nobody knew what was going on,” says Jody Lee, chairwoman of the $779 million, family-owned bank. “No one had done PPP loans before. The government was saying, ‘Banks, we need you to pitch in and help us distribute this money.’”  For Southwestern and many other banks, it meant all-hands-on-deck, late nights and work that lasted all weekend. Bankers helped their customers, the nation and...