Needless to say, 2020 was a year like no other, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed life — and business — as we knew it. I am proud to say, however, even faced with these unprecedented challenges, the United team pulled together and accomplished much on behalf of our customers, our company and our community.
In fact, I could not have been more proud of the way our team responded. It was with great pleasure and pride that I watched them work together — albeit remotely — overcome challenges, share information and find creative solutions to even the most daunting problems.
In addition to finding new and innovative ways to meet our customers’ needs during this time, we also decided to support our local businesses by enthusiastically participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). During 2020, we made 950 PPP loans that ranged from $400 to $2 million, which helped many businesses in our communities keep their doors open and employees on the payroll.
Assuming the pandemic might cause significant credit problems, we increased our reserves by $1.6 million. Normally we put $50,000 to $70,000 a month into reserves to allow for loan losses.
Ultimately, the diversity of our income sources gave us the ability to offset trends, weather disruption, and maintain stability. We’re confident this same diversity of income will sustain and propel us forward.