MURRAY — For months now, every facet of “normal” life has been upended by COVID-19. 

Where and how people work, learn, shop, socialize and even bank, have all been affected. Yet, the bright spot amid this sea of change has been Murray and Calloway County’s enduring spirit as friends and neighbors work together to stay safe, remain connected and support one another.

An example of coming together for the greater good is how the nation’s 5,000 community banks, including The Murray Bank, rallied around small businesses, which account for roughly 48% of the American workforce and serve as the backbone of the nation’s economy.

When stay-at-home orders forced millions of small businesses to curtail or close their operations, The Murray Bank stepped in to lend support. 

When the Small Business Administration (SBA) turned on the spigot for its Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)—which backstops emergency small-business loans from financial institutions to help cover payroll and related costs—The Murray Bank mobilized every available resource at its disposal to process these loans.

“I could not be more proud of our staff, many of whom worked nights and weekends or assumed new roles to get the job done and ensure critical funds were delivered to those who needed it most,” said Bob Hargrove, president and CEO at The Murray Bank. “We processed over 270 loans, totaling over 13 million, which helped save hundreds of jobs within Murray and Calloway County.”

FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams recently referred to community banks as “the small engines that could and did and delivered big,” and the numbers certainly seem to support that description. According to the SBA summary of loan approvals through June 6, lenders with less than $50 billion in assets have accounted for more than 65% of the 4.5 million approved PPP loans and more than 63% of the $511 billion in funds approved since the program’s launch. Nationwide, community banks have received hundreds of loan applications through the program ranging in size from less than $50,000 to more than $500,000, according to a recent ICBA survey.  


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