Beyond the immediate changes required by social distancing, the COVID-19 pandemic has “accelerated things that were in progress for a long time,” says Frank Sorrentino, chairman and CEO of ConnectOne Bank. The economic and social changes being wrought by the coronavirus make it “incumbent on us as bankers to have those conversations . . . to bring that advice to your clients.”
For example, Sorrentino had a restaurant owner who came in panicked about the future. When ConnectOne Bank staff helped him look at the numbers, the owner realized his business was doing similar volumes of business as before with takeout but with 30% fewer employees. The bank helped the restaurant get financing for tech upgrades to handle the takeout business and move forward, “and yet he was incredibly fearful coming into this conversation.”
On the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Sorrentino discusses how bankers can help their business clients understand the post-COVID landscape and plot a financial path forward. He also offers advice about moving beyond coronavirus-related “political football” to have reasoned dialogue about what’s ahead and how businesses can help proactively.
If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode.