Business has been good for Todd and Kristin Koens, owners of Blac-N-Bleu Bistro in Roseburg. The American/Cajun restaurant, which opened in 2013, is a spot where diners can enjoy a perfect ribeye, fish tacos or a tasty Blac-N-Bleu burger.
When 2020 began, they were adding employees and expanding their menu—until the pandemic started. “We shut down the doors, and it was scary, not knowing: Is it going to be a month, is it going to be two months?” Kristin says.
Their biggest concern was for their employees, Todd says. They looked into the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but their bank told them they couldn’t help. That’s when Todd’s friend made a suggestion.
“One of my close acquaintances mentioned to me, ‘Hey, you might want to try Oregon Pacific Bank and see what that have to offer, because they seem to be a little more flexible, a little more community-oriented,” he recalls.
Todd reached out and, he says, someone at Oregon Pacific Bank returned his call the same day and said, “Hey, we can make it happen for you.” Todd says he was blown away by the quick response.
Their business outlook quickly changed and, Todd says, they were put at ease. “They do things really smoothly for us, and that’s what we really appreciate,” he says. “We brought everyone back—it was a lot of weight off our shoulders.”
Jeff Benham, Commercial Relationship Manager at our Roseburg branch, was happy to help Todd and Kristin when they needed a local banking partner. “We were able to get it together in just a couple of days,” Jeff says. “I think they were all surprised at how quick and easy it was to make it happen for them.”
Oregon Pacific Bank believes customer relationships are the most important part of doing business. As Jeff says, “We do want to know our customers, and we do want to know about their business and their industry.”
In all, Oregon Pacific Bank has loaned more than $125.2 million to 752 businesses and nonprofits in Lane, Coos, Douglas and Jackson counties, as part of the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program, retaining more than 15,000 local jobs. Part of the CARES Act, these forgivable loans provide a direct incentive for businesses and nonprofits to keep workers employed during the crisis.