Technology & Remote Work

In 2020, Zoom served as the communications line for United Bank amidst the chaos of COVID-19. We began using Zoom in July of 2019, though at the time, we did not yet realize the second half of 2019 was training us for web conferencing in 2020.

When we were first hit with the full force of COVID-19 in March 2020, we found that even if we were working remotely, participation and interactions were not disrupted due to the connectivity with Zoom. This was important as we rotated work schedules, especially as childcare needs changed during school closures. Additionally, we have actively extended communications beyond the confines of our bank walls to include Advisory Board meetings, the 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting and multiple Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Resource classes.

School Adjustments

United Bank created computer workstations in extra offices for Monroe County United Bank team members with children attending Monroe County schools to assist with distance learning for the first nine weeks of the 2020 – 2021 school year. Monroe County schools decided on virtual-only classes shortly before the school year began. Many areas of Monroe County have limited internet access, and virtual only school presented a hardship for several of our team members with school aged children. The impact of bringing their children to work with them to a dedicated area for school provided comfort and brought some team members to tears.

United Bank’s Team Members Continually Adapted To Challenges Of COVID-19

• To limit COVID-19 exposure, we spread team members out as much as possible, utilizing all locations and implementing an onsite team rotation schedule
• Encouraged team members to work remotely when possible
• Allowed for flexible work schedules when possible
• Implemented a casual dress code
• Provided and stocked supplies of hand sanitizer, gloves, masks (disposable and cloth), and additional cleaning supplies to all areas of United Bank
• Communicated bankwide via The Insider (the Bank’s Intranet), e-mail, Zoom, and Agility Recovery software

We were always available to serve our customers. Meeting and multiple Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Resource classes.

Internship Program

United Bank believes in encouraging and developing the banking talent of the future through our ongoing internship program. Over the past year, we had numerous interns who have made contributions to our organization while also preparing themselves for a rewarding professional career.

Employee Stock Option Program

The United Bank Employee Stock Option Program (ESOP) was established in 2017 and has grown to over $2 million in a few short years.

The program allows our employees to own stock in the company without any cash outlay. During their employment at United Bank, shares are distributed into employees’ retirement accounts. When an employee leaves or retires, they can cash out the stock. The longer an employee works at the Bank, the more stock they will accumulate. In many cases, ESOPs provide a significant financial retirement benefit for long-term employees.

All ESOPs are different, but United Bank’s program covers 100 percent of our employees — they don’t have to contribute to any specific retirement fund in order to receive stock.

Because of the success and growth of the Bank — which was made possible by the work and dedication of United Bank employees — our employees have benefitted tremendously from our ESOP program. When the program was started in 2017, the stock valuation was $12.50 a share. Last year, the stock was valued at $25 a share and currently is $27 per share.

With our positive financial outlook, ongoing growth and plans for the future, we predict our employees will continue to benefit greatly from our program.

Hurricanes Sally & Zeta Relief Efforts

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is only the second hurricane season on record requiring implementation of the Greek alphabet to name storms. Our area dealt with unwelcome hits by Hurricanes Sally and Zeta and many are still dealing with storm debris, damage to properties, and living under a blue tarped roof.

Hurricane relief distribution sites were set up by United Bank in Lillian and in Magnolia Springs. Each site disbursed 300 bags of ice and Pepsi Bottling of Atmore supplied 100 cases of bottled water.

Download our digital annual/impact report for more details.

Donated Library Transportation

To help the library better serve their customers, United Bank donated a Ford Transit to the Baldwin County Library Cooperative (BCLC). The vehicle is used to transport books and resources between libraries throughout the county as BCLC works to meet the needs of its patrons during the pandemic.

Donated Computers to UCP

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Foundation in Mobile was onsite Wednesday, January 29, 2020 to accept donations from United Bank following a systems upgrade, including 187 towers (ISD removed and destroyed the hard drives), two scanners, two battery backups, 157 keyboards and mice, three check scanners, and an assortment of cables and power cords.

Church Street Incubator

Church Street Incubator, sponsored by United Bank’s Charitable Foundation, provides an opportunity for small businesses to be based in the incubator and become established while further developing and growing in a stable business environment.

With the current structure of Church Street Incubator, the estimated overall savings to the five businesses based in the incubator and not having to incur overhead and certain other expenses on an annual basis is $84,660, collectively. The five businesses currently based at the Church Street Incubator include We Are Family Home Care Services, Brinda’s Beauty and Wellness, Creek Clean, Urgent Tech Care and Main Street Atmore.

2020 Farm To Table Initiative

United Bank sponsored a farm to table event with food prepared by Chef Chris Rainosek with The Noble South at Watson Farms in Wilmer, Alabama.
10 Volunteers
341 Hours Given
123 Attendees
16 Local Business Supported
12 Small Businesses Connected

Vita Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

For Tax Year 2019 – United Bank’s 10 volunteers prepared 135 Federally Accepted Tax returns during our abbreviated tax season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

10 Volunteers
135 Tax Returns
$23,085 average adjusted gross Income of tax payers

Financial Education

In collaboration with United Way of Baldwin County and Bank on South Alabama, United Bank visited Ruff Wilson Youth Center in Daphne on March 9, 2020. United Bank CDFI Program Coordinator Laura Puchner led the interactive conversation with the children’s parents. The discussions included addressing everyday financial challenges, positive solutions for monthly money management, savings, vehicle purchases and personally extending an invitation for the parents and students to drop by any of our local branches.


Zoom Stats

United Bank hosted 1,927 meetings involving 24,682 participants, encompassing 1,033,655 meeting minutes (or 17,227.6 hours). We truly realized the value of Zoom when the Paycheck Protection Program launched in April and our team was working around the clock. We would have multiple Zoom sessions simultaneously in progress, with United Bank team members moving seamlessly from one meeting to another to get the job done and disburse PPP loan funds to our customers as quickly as possible.

Cares Act, COVID-19 Time

As of April 1, 2020, through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (CARES), our team members could be paid up to eighty hours of sick leave for eligible COVID-19 reasons including childcare. Extended Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time was also available for COVID-19 reasons. United Bank advanced 2020 – 2021 vacation time first, followed by sick time, if the need arose.

Teledoc, $500 One Time Grant

To assist United Bank team members and their families, United Bank provided 6 months of Telehealth for each employee and their families at an expense of over $10,000 to the Bank. Seventy-nine employees requested the “no questions asked” $500 donation from United Bank, totaling $39,500, while 21 requested the $500 technology supplement from the Bank to be applied toward the purchase of a computer, printer or increasing residential internet speed as a means to help us better work from home. With both programs wrapping up at the end of May, United Bank’s investment totaled $50,000, and recipients expressed gratitude to the Bank as the funds provided a welcomed financial infusion.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

United Bank’s participation originated 952 PPP loans totaling $50 million, with 676 loans, or 71.01% of the loans for businesses in Alabama, 244 loans or 25.63% of loans for businesses in Florida, and 32 loans, or 3.36% of the loans for businesses in other states. Loans ranged from $447.37 to $2 million. 301 of the loans, or 31.62% of the loans, are less than $10,000.00, 492 of the loans, or 51.68% of the loans, are less than $20,000.00, 662 of the loans, or 69.54% of the loans are less than $35,000.00, while 846 of the loans, or 88.87% of the loans, are less than $100,000.00. Six of the loans are greater than $1 million.

Small Business Resource Webinars

In April, United Bank launched Small Business Resource Webinars via Zoom on the Paycheck Protection Program. The webinars enhanced customer understanding of the workings of the PPP process, from the initial phase of applications for loan funds to the current status of application for loan forgiveness. These webinars continue to be hosted today by United Bank’s PPP experts.


#81 American Banker Magazine 2020
Best Banks to Work For

#9 Business Alabama Magazine 2020
Best Companies to Work For in Alabama

American Banker Magazine Top Banks
Publicly Held Banks with Assets Less Than $2 Billion

The Atmore Advance Best of the Best:
Best Bank
Best Banker – Patrick Woods

Big Beautiful Baldwin’s Best
Best Mortgage / Home Loan Provider

Best Auto Loan Provider
Best Loan Officer