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Sea Lion Caves, OPB forge strong community relationship

Since 1932, Sea Lion Caves has been a beloved public attraction at the Oregon Coast, not only for the wild Steller sea lions that make America’s largest sea cave their home, but also for the numerous sea birds, rugged nature and amazing ocean views found at this quintessential coastal location just north of Florence.

“We are noted for nature on the Oregon Coast,” says Steve Saubert, co-owner of Sea Lion Caves, which is a privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary that is part of the Oregon/Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve.

In March 2020, Sea Lion Caves had to temporarily close its doors to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We needed help. And Oregon Pacific Bank was right there to help us,” Steve says.

Mike Webb, Commercial Relationship Manager at OPB’s Florence Branch, walked Steve through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan process. The federal program provided cash-flow assistance to small businesses through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintained their payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a community banker, you get to know the people in the community,” Mike says. “And when you see an opportunity to help them, and you know you have access to the resources that can get them where they need to be, the PPP program was the perfect example of allowing a community bank to do that.”

With the loan secured, Sea Lion Caves employees never missed a day of pay throughout the 2020 pandemic closure.

Steve values the strong relationship he has built with OPB.

“We moved our banking to OPB because of the way we were treated,” he says.

With high hopes for the future of Sea Lion Caves, Steve knows that Oregon Pacific Bank understands his business. “That’s the job of a community bank. They’re there to make us successful, and they did!”

Banker Spotlight

Mike Webb

Mike Webb

VP, Commercial Relationship Manager
Florence Branch

“We’re truly a community bank, where we make decisions locally. We work with our clients to find an answer to their problems.”

Mike Webb has spent much of his career helping to ensure a good quality of life in Florence, the community he’s grown to love. Raised in Corvallis and with a degree from Oregon State University, Mike moved to Florence in 1988 to take a job in retail management before switching to a sales position at Oregon Pacific Bank. He worked his way up to become a Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager.

Mike loves Florence’s small-town feel, especially his five-minute commute—he jokes that when the coastal getaway gets busy with summer tourists, his drive to work can stretch to 6 minutes.

“You get to know everyone in the community,” he says. “It’s a nice place to raise your kids.”

Mike is involved with several civic and service organizations, including serving since 2005 on the board of the Western Lane Ambulance District, which provides emergency medical services across 1,000 square miles of Lane County.

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