COVID-19: Have you heard the news? Here’s what’s happening May 1st

To Our Valued Customers,

The month of April certainly flew by, and I’m sure you’re as anxious as we are for the return of warm weather and the end of the Stay-at-Home Executive Order.

We are reopening all but two of our branches May 1st for Drive-Up Banking service

While banks are identified as “Essential Businesses” under Governor Mills’ Executive Order, we opted to limit the number of branches we had open in order to balance the safety of our employees and customers . We recognize the inconvenience these branch closings have caused – including longer lines at the beginning of the month – and we also have heard from customers who have had to travel extra miles to conduct their banking transactions. We want you to know we listened!

Effective Friday, May 1, 2020 we are reopening all but two of our branches with limited hours and Drive-Up Banking service only – and we are also adjusting hours in other branch locations. Our Maine Street, Brunswick office does not have a Drive-Up and will remain closed, and we’ll consider opening the Exchange Street, Portland office once the businesses reopen in the Portland Downtown area.

While we are very pleased to be opening more branches with Drive-Up service, we miss seeing you, our customers, face to face.  Using federal and state guidelines, we are beginning to prepare for the phased reopening of our branch lobbies. Although we are unable to commit to a date at this time, please know we are actively planning and taking steps to ensure both customers and employees will enjoy a safe banking environment once our lobbies are reopened.

24/7 access to your accounts with ColorSuite online banking

To help cut down on the time you might spend waiting in a Drive-Up lane or on the phone with our Customer Care Center team, you may find utilizing our online banking tools more convenient for checking your balance, making transfers, paying bills, depositing checks, etc. If you are not yet enrolled in online or mobile banking, just visit norwaysavings.bank or call us at 888.725.2207, and we will be happy to help!

We’re here for you

Let’s face it: we can all use some free guidance and tips for dealing with financial setbacks, preparing for emergencies and how to manage your household and budget during crises. We hope you will take a moment to visit the Personal Banking Assistance page on our Covid-19 Support Center site. You will find articles, tools, calculators and a “coach” who can help you get through your financial challenges. There are other resources for parents with children for keeping them entertained while learning about money and finances. This is a great time to become super smart about managing money regardless of your age or stage in life!

Making a difference

While there is still great uncertainty for how we will reopen our State and our country for business, one thing is for certain: there is great need for support of nonprofits, small businesses and individuals/families. Recently, we had several opportunities to make a small difference in the lives of our fellow community members.

First, we have heard firsthand from food pantries that are challenged to meet the increasing needs due to the surge of individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. Knowing food insecurity is an issue in Maine even without a pandemic, we have donated $20,000 to twelve food pantries in our local communities. These food pantries are working tirelessly to serve meals and we know that our donation will help feed many families and individuals.

Second, we also know the incredible sacrifice and risk being taken daily by essential health care workers. As a regulated institution, we’ve always had a Pandemic Plan in place which called for maintaining certain types of medical supplies in the event of an emergency. Understanding the nationwide shortage of N95 masks, we decided to donate and deliver 2,000 of our N95 respiratory facemasks to 3 health care providers throughout Maine: Hospice of Southern Maine (HSM) in Scarborough, Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice (AHH) in Lewiston and Western Maine Health in Norway.  Notably, organizations such as HSM and AHH have been challenged to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) through normal supply chains because they are not considered top tier essential workers.  Understandably, the employees at HSM and AHH were, in some cases, brought to tears because they were so grateful for the masks.  We were pleased to see our N95 masks quickly put to good use in our communities.

Committed to providing support

Behind the scenes, our Business Loan Support Teams have been working extremely long hours processing more than 1000 Paycheck Protection Program loans for small businesses that desperately need the support to keep their employees paid and businesses running. To date, 95% of the approved loans have already been funded – supporting thousands of jobs throughout Maine.  With the additional $320 billion approved by Congress late last week, we look forward to helping more customers get the funding they need.

We’ve also processed close to 10,000 Economic Impact Payments (AKA Stimulus Checks) to families and individuals who in many cases, have been struggling to make ends meet. We know that this is not an easy time for anyone but together, we will get through this pandemic. It’s just going to take time!

Please reach out to us when you need us. I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. I will continue to update you as additional information is available and we make decisions going forward. Thank you for your loyalty to Norway Savings Bank!

Patricia Weigel
President & CEO