Dear Friends and Clients,

To keep you apprised of the updates to the SBA Economic Impact Disaster Loans (EIDL) process that we shared with you earlier this week, the following supplemental information may help you to expedite the application process. Contact Platinum Bank to assist you along the way.

  • The SBA acknowledged that there are connectivity issues during the application process.  This is due to the heavy traffic currently going through those servers.  They stated that they are working to add more capacity to help with these issues.  In the meantime, they recommended:
    • Complete the PDF versions of the forms before beginning the electronic application.  This way you have all of information available and questions answered already, and can simply pull from the completed form.  This will reduce the amount of time you are in the electronic application and reduce the chances of losing connection mid-way through.  Access forms here:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms.
    • Save the application often during the process so if you do get kicked out, you can jump back in where you left off.
    • If possible, access the application during “off” hours, primarily evenings/nights.
    • Use Microsoft Edge, if available, as that is the preferred internet browser (yes, it makes a difference!).
  • There is no place on the application form for the applicant to request a dollar amount.  This is determined during the underwriting/approval process.
  • The Borrower’s name on the application must read exactly how it reads on the Corporate documents.  Individuals names must also be exactly correct on the application (William vs. Bill).
  • SBA will determine the loan amount based on the applicant’s monthly business expenses, a review of the applicant’s balance sheet and liquidity position, and the guarantor’s personal credit history.
    • This amount can be modified after approval if it is determined that the applicant business requires additional funds.
  • After approval, the first $25,000 disbursement will be made available right away.  Any additional funds would only become available once all required collateral has been pledged.
  • Loans will be for a term of either 15 years or 30 years, to be determined by the SBA based on repayment ability.  There is no pre-payment penalty.
  • A business owner can use proceeds of the disaster loan to pay payroll to all employees, including themselves.  Owner salary should be included in their list of expenses, and SBA will allow owner salary to continue at a level consistent with what they had been paying prior to the disaster, as long as it is not deemed to be “excessive”.
  • The SBA Disaster Loan center can be reached at:  disastercustomerservice@sba.gov (all one word) and the contact number is 1-800-659-2955.

As always, Platinum Bank is a resource for you and can assist you with questions and guidance during the application process. Contact us at 651.332.5200 or clientsupport@platinumbankmn.com.

 

Below is a link to the forms referenced above:

https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms

Additional questions can be directed to the SBA Disaster Assistance team at 800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

View this video for assistance in filling out the SBA form.

 

 

 

 

SUPPORTING AND MAINTAINING SEAMLESS BUSINESS OPERATIONS

As businesses continue to navigate through the effects of COVID-19, it is important to know that there are valuable tools available to decrease the level of adverse impact to your company. This is a time of flux. Making sound decisions today will keep your business thriving and, as needed, create seamless transitions in the day-to-day operations of your organization.

While many service organizations are wavering in this pandemic, Platinum Bank’s strength and commitment to your business go uncompromised. We continue to offer a full suite of remote cash management tools and services for your business’s continued productivity and security. As many of you will be working from home, our 24/7 online services are available when and where you need them. And, we will continue to provide secure options and advice to you over the phone during our normal business hours, Monday – Friday, 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM.

Platinum’s full line of cash management products and services include:

  • Online Banking
  • Remote Deposit
  • Mobile Banking
  • Mobile Remote Deposit
    • ACH origination
    • Positive Pay
    • Merchant Services

    To connect with the department for your specific needs, contact:

    • Cash Management Services: 332.5215; cashmanagement@platinumbankmn.com
    • eServices: 332.5275; eservices@platinumbankmn.com
    • Client Services: 332.5216; clientsupport@platinumbankmn.com

    Platinum Bank is here for you. Contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns regarding your specific cash management needs. Thank you.

    Zach Busch
    Vice President – Cash Management
    651.332.5215 (direct)
    651.231.9619 (cell)
    zbusch@platinumbankmn.com

    As of Friday evening, March 20th, both Minnesota and Wisconsin small businesses are eligible to receive Economic Impact Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the SBA.

    Applications for these funds are being done directly through the SBA, and not through individual banks.  While Platinum Bank has no control over the timing, decision, terms, etc., we will be here for our small business clients to assist with the application or to answer any other questions during the application process.

    Eligibility

    The applicant must be a small business or non-profit that has been directly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak.  The business and its owners must have satisfactory credit and must be able to demonstrate the ability to repay the loan based on normalized operations.

    The small business applicant does not need to be a current SBA borrower in order to apply.  The funding is open to all eligible small businesses.

    Religious organizations, casinos, racetracks or other gambling facilities, or charitable organizations which would not be eligible for other forms of SBA financing are also not eligible for SBA disaster loans.

    Terms

    • Loans are available up to $2,000,000
    • Interest Rate of 3.75% for small businesses, and 2.75% for non-profits
    • No fees for application or for the loan. Fees limited to any required fees for collateral perfection
    • Payments are deferred for the first 11 months. First payment is due 12 months from the Note date
    • Loan term of up to 30 years.

    Collateral

    For loans up to $25,000, there is no collateral requirement.  For loans over $25,000, the SBA will take the available collateral, including the company’s fixed assets, and personal real estate of owners/guarantors, in the best available position.

    Personal guarantees will be required of 20% or more owners.

    Use of Proceeds

    The proceeds must be used to keep the business operating through the disaster period.  This includes paying payroll, making rent and debt payments, paying vendors, etc.

    The goal of the program is to provide the necessary working capital for the business to pay expenses that would otherwise be paid through business operations had the disaster not occurred.

    Timing

    SBA estimates that the total time needed is about 21 days, assuming a complete application package, under normal circumstances.  However, due to the anticipated increase in volume over the next weeks and months, that time estimate has been increased to 45 days.

    SBA stated that they are committed to streamlining the process as much as possible, and will be increasing staffing in the Disaster Loans area in hopes of speeding up the process.

    Application

    This is a direct loan from the Small Business Administration, and the application is made directly to the Small Business Administration.  Small businesses can apply at https://disasterloan.sba.gov.  The application is made online, and must also include the following forms/documents:

    • SBA Form 5 (legal entity applicant) or 5C (sole proprietor applicant)
    • SBA Form 4506T for applicant, guarantors, and affiliates
    • SBA Form 2202 (schedule of liabilities)
    • SBA Form 1368 (monthly sales history)
    • SBA Form 413 (personal financial statement) for all 20% or more owners
    • Current financial information, including most recent Business Tax Return, most recent fiscal year end financials, current financial statements (within 90 days), and most recent Personal Tax Return of all 20% or more owners.

    Information and tips on filling out the SBA application can be found here.

    The Platinum Bank team stands ready to answer any questions and to provide assistance with this and other needs your business may have.  Contact information for our entire business banking team can be found at www.platinumbankmn.com

     

    We are all dealing with the dynamic and challenging events triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.  As a friend so very eloquently stated, “This is a defining life moment, and when you look back years from now, you’ll remember how you responded.  How you contributed to solutions”.

    When we look back, we want Platinum to be remembered as the resourceful, creative, collaborative and candid bank when businesses needed it most.  We understand there will be stress in all businesses and there is no playbook for what we are all dealing with.  Here is what we do know:

    • The 30 million small businesses in the USA are the backbone of our economy and employ nearly 60 million people.
    • Relationships matter and some of the strongest relationships are forged in times of stress.  Platinum is in a strong position to help.
    • In tough times, new opportunities present themselves that may not otherwise be seen.
    • We will get through these times together with stronger, more agile and smarter organizations.

    We look forward to servicing the needs of small businesses in 2020 and beyond.

    Sincerely,

    David Faust, CEO

    As things rapidly evolve and more preventative measures are being taken against COVID-19, we are making some changes to our operations. These decisions were done in accordance with social-distancing recommendations and our commitment to ensure the safety of our employees, clients and communities.

    In-Bank Deposits and Transactions
    As of Wednesday, March 18, our office lobby in Oakdale will be closed to foot traffic.  Our drive-up and night drop will remain open. Our Plymouth office lobby will remain open, but clients are strongly encouraged to use the Oakdale facility for depository needs to adhere to the recommended social distancing guidance provided by the Department of Health. Loan closing and client appointments that are best served through an in-person meeting will be made by appointment only.  Please contact your Relationship Manager to make those appointments as needed.

    Business Change Order Requests
    Businesses in need of change orders can contact our Oakdale or Plymouth locations at 651-332-5200 to place an order and schedule a pick-up.

    Besides our Oakdale lobby being closed, all other operations continue as normal. Platinum Bank is open for business and all on-line, electronic and mobile services will continue uninterrupted.

    Dave Faust

    Undoubtedly, you’ve heard about how a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been affecting communities, countries, and markets across the globe. As COVID-19 gains a foothold in the United States, we’re reaching out to reassure you that Platinum Bank’s primary concern is for everyone’s personal and business health and safety.

    Platinum Bank is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments locally and nationally, and is implementing recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control. We will continue to keep you and our employees informed and prepared if the virus disrupts normal business activities.

    In the meantime, here are a few ways you can continue to do business while keeping your team and greater community safe:

    1. Take advantage of our online and mobile banking technologies, which allow you to make deposits, transfers, and payments remotely, from the convenience of your business or home.
    2. Consider using our ACH services to make and accept payments without delay.
    3. Contact us for assistance with ACH services, mobile banking, debit cards or to update your contact information while working remotely at (651) 332-5200.
    4. Utilize our broad network of surcharge-free MoneyPass® ATMs.
    5. Use your debit card or mobile payments app instead of cash to reduce the chance of exposure to COVID-19.
    6. Practice common-sense hygiene, such as handwashing, to protect yourself and those in your community who are most at-risk from complications from COVID-19, including the elderly, immunocompromised, and those with chronic health conditions. If you’re feeling ill, stay home.
    7. Keep an eye on our www.platinumbankmn.com website for further updates.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding Platinum Bank’s attentiveness to this matter. Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    David Faust, CEO

     

    Most business leaders can identify with the feeling of panic that sets in when an employee unexpectedly quits, is out sick for an extended period of time, or misses work because of a family emergency. These situations can create risk for an organization when a proper succession plan is not in place. Preparing a succession plan today can ease the stress of dealing with these business disruptions when they arise.

    What Is Succession Planning?

    Simply put, succession planning is a people planning strategy to ensure operations run smoothly and without interruption when a key employee or leader has a temporary absence or permanently leaves the company. Succession planning does not have to be complicated; however, it should include various scenarios to circumvent the negative effects of both long and short term disruptions.

    A strong succession plan should answer the following questions:

    1. What are the critical tasks at the company and who is responsible for them?

    Sales, client servicing, accounting, processing payroll, taking client calls and safety.

    2. Who will take over these tasks in the event of a temporary or permanent absence?

    Do we have the staff with the time and knowledge to do the work? Do they want to do that work? Can the work be outsourced?

    3. Who needs to be involved with creating the plan and who needs to know the plan?

    How Does Succession Planning Mitigate Risk?

    Benjamin Franklin is credited with the saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Many business leaders are too focused on running the business operations to consider the “what ifs”. They rationalize that they will figure it out on the fly. Other leaders may have a plan in their head but have not written it down or communicated it to the people who will need to execute it. Without a solid succession plan in place, leaders are forced to make decisions in moments of crisis, and most people do not do their best thinking in emergencies. A succession plan ensures that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, is ready to implement the plan, and allows the leaders to keep their focus on the business.

    How Can Your Bank Help?

    As a true business partner, your banker should be a strong resource for attorneys, accountants and other professionals who have a broad range of experience dealing with personnel situations. They should also be able to connect you with the right professionals to help you create a succession plan that is right for your company.

    In our next succession planning article, we will share with you how a plan can help you build a stronger and more flexible business banking relationship, along with real life lessons learned from being unprepared for challenging business disruptions.

     

    Authored by David Faust, President and CEO of Platinum Bank. You may reach David at dfaust@platinumbankmn.com / 651-332-5214. Platinum Bank operates two locations in the metro area. Contact us to discuss the daily and complex matters that impact your business. Visit us at www.platinumbankmn.com.

    Updated 2-24-20

    With a new year under way, the 2020 business trends look promising for great business growth. The real estate market is booming, which means businesses are looking for banking relationships to assist with growth plans and initiatives. Here is a closer look at how commercial banks will be important to maximizing business profits in this year’s trending economy.

    Federal Rates Will Remain Stable into the Presidential Election Cycle

    Historically, it is uncommon for the Feds to fluctuate rates during a presidential election year, so it is unlikely we will see large rate hikes in 2020. This is good news for Twin Cities businesses, as stable rates encourage growth. Consider 2020 to be a year to invest in new equipment, acquire a company, or pass your business on to the next generation.

    More Business Owners Will Put Their Succession Plans in Motion

    Anticipating rates to hold steady, business owners should look at updating or implementing a strong succession plan. Succession plans are complex and often involve multiple professionals, including bankers, CPAs, attorneys, and brokers. Beyond these professionals, businesses should connect with their commercial banker for important advice and guidance when incorporating a successful succession plan. A business banker can be a valuable and trusted resource and ally, helping to keep your succession plan up-to-date, financially sound and executable.

    Continued Prioritization on Cyber Security and Fraud Prevention

    As we covered last month, cyber security and fraud prevention are top priorities in today’s business world. Financial information has always been a target for crime, and cyber criminals are only getting more sophisticated about how they target financial data. It is important that businesses know their business bank is on the leading edge of fraud prevention services, ensuring network and mobile banking services are up-to-date, tight and secure.

    Commercial Real Estate Loans Will Support Owners in a Tight Market

    Commercial real estate is on track for another banner year of growth. Keeping focus of the types of credit available to your business can mean the difference between 2020 being a mediocre year or 2020 being a large profitable year. Based on your business plan, this may be the year to take advantage of one or more of the many loan opportunities available to help you achieve your 2020 business goals: real estate loans; working capital loans; and tenant improvement loans.

    Capital Lines of Credit Will Help Seasonal Businesses Succeed

    Stable rates may also make working capital lines of credit more attractive. In 2020, it is expected that employers across the region, from seasonal businesses to large manufacturers, will apply for capital lines of credit. Among other benefits, these funds allow owners to help fund and support short term gaps in daily cash flow, invest in key new hires, and purchase new pieces of equipment for continued growth.

    Business Clients Will Ask for More Remote Banking Services

    More and more businesses are choosing to take advantage of remote and mobile banking services. Remote scanners, online deposit, and bill pay are just a few of the many tools banks may offer to clients to ensure that funds are received and/or paid in an efficient manner. Many banking clients appreciate the ability to monitor their accounts and move money without traveling to their bank. With the conveniences growing, it is expected that more business clients will embrace remote banking services in 2020.

    Clients Still Choose to See Their Bankers in Person

    While remote banking will grow in 2020, banking clients will often choose to visit their banker in person. Working with a bank that has more than one location offers convenience and flexibility for businesses to manage their daily banking needs in person. Also, your banker should be flexible and willing to meet with you in your time and at your location. This added convenience allows you to maintain your business schedule while taking care of important financial matters that impact your business and your future.

    Authored by Tony Jenkins, Vice President with Platinum Bank. Tony is a seasoned commercial banker/relationship manager tjenkins@platinumbankmn.com / 651-332-5217. For the convenience of our clients, Platinum Bank operates two locations in the metro area. Contact us to schedule an in-person meeting to discuss the daily and complex financial matters that impact your business. Visit our website at www.platinumbankmn.com.

    Identifying and Preventing Bank Fraud at Work

    If you receive an email from your CEO asking you to wire money, beware. It could be a phishing email from a criminal trying to steal money from your business. Email phishing scams and business identity theft are on the rise.

    This year, JP Morgan took a survey of businesses across the country to find out how prevalent bank fraud was in 2018. The results were sobering. The survey found that 82 percent of companies were targets of payments fraud last year.

    Small business owners are often under the misconception that their businesses are too small to be the target of payments and bank fraud. Unfortunately, this attitude makes smaller businesses a great target for criminals, as owners are unsuspecting and may not have taken proper security precautions. Whether your business is large or small, bank fraud is a serious threat to your company. Here are two common types of fraud and what you can do to prevent them.

    Internet Phishing Attacks on Businesses

    Internet phishing is the attempt to illegally acquire sensitive information from an individual or business. Sensitive information includes bank information, credit card details, and even account usernames and passwords. A phishing scam often begins with a threatening email that claims your account is somehow compromised. To resolve the issue, the email urges you to click on a fraudulent link and enter sensitive information.

    Approximately 80 percent of companies experienced an attempted Business Email Compromise, or BEC, phishing scam in 2018. Seventy percent of these schemes involved check fraud. Phishing scams are increasingly sophisticated, especially when they target business executives.

    A common tactic is for fraudsters to send a spoof email from a CEO or president to a company’s financial director with an urgent request to wire funds. The email may include the CEO’s real email, email signature, and possibly a headshot. However, the email contains fraudulent wire instructions. Believing the email to be legitimate, the financial director may complete the instructions. Since it’s a wire, funds are pulled immediately and irrevocably.

    To prevent your company from becoming a victim of a BEC scam, consider creating a dual-control wire procedure. This requires multiple employees to authenticate and fulfill a wire request. Also consider requiring employees to call the CEO or sender of the email to confirm wire and other banking requests.

    Business Identity Theft

    Identity theft has been a hot topic for years. Individuals are common targets for identity theft, but businesses can become targets, too. Business identity theft may occur when a criminal gains access to your business’s credit card or banking information. This may happen during a physical burglary or over the internet if your network is not adequately protected. Identity theft may also occur if a fraudster uses your company name and information to open credit cards in your name.

    To prevent business identity theft, maintain strong network security policies and procedures and protect all of the data your company stores, including customer data. Always shred credit card statements, bank statements, and ATM receipts. Don’t give your credit card number out over email or to someone who’s called you. Ask your bookkeeper to reconcile your bank statement monthly, and run your business’s credit report every year to look for potential fraud.

    Platinum Bank’s Measures to Protect Business Customers from Fraud

    Platinum Bank protects customer accounts and data on all fronts. We operate in a secure environment to maintain a safeguard on your account, from our team of tellers to the CEO. Platinum Bank is committed to educating customers on the payments fraud threats their businesses face, including BEC scams and business identity theft. We help our customers set up dual-control procedures to approve wire transfers and conduct annual reviews of customers’ accounts payable systems to prevent future fraud.

    The bank also offers Positive Pay, a check matching and ACH debit-matching service. Enrolled customers provide us with a file when they complete check runs that allows us to match check or ACH debit information with the information provided in the file. If the dollar amounts differ, we alert our customers, giving them a chance to stop check fraud attempts before they post to their account.

    Platinum Bank is committed to your security and privacy. For more information on bank fraud and how we prevent it, or if you believe suspicious activity has occurred on your account, email Vice President of Cash Management Zach Busch or call him at (651) 332-5215.

     

    As industry competition rises, more and more SME businesses are turning to the global markets, contributing vast resources and efforts to implementing strong export business plans.  Is your business keeping up with these forward thinking companies?  After dabbling in the export market arena via unsolicited export orders, many manufacturing firms are evaluating their global market potential and are creating small- and large-scale business plans to take advantage of their export business growth.

    Why export?

    Manufacturing companies are looking to broaden their scope of business, create new avenues for profits, and gain market share in their given trades.  Executed intentionally and tactically, a business plan that includes a development plan for exporting goods can augment corporate sales, create more jobs, and increase the overall profits of the organization.  This not only contributes to internal business growth, but also helps national economies grow and expand.

    Is Exporting included in your 2019 Strategic Plan?

    Considering commercial expansion through a strategic product exportation plan can prove to be an invaluable move to a company’s future.  That being said, deciding to secure export working capital can be a daunting undertaking, even to the most seasoned business professional.  By partnering with a credible, SBA-savvy lender, however, business owners can feel at ease with the process of securing capital for their company’s development.  Teaming with the ‘right’ bank will facilitate the acquisition of funds and create a seamless portal for companies to manage and mitigate their risk.