David Gregory’s father started Southern Oregon Diesel in 1954, and David and his brothers have been a part of the Roseburg company for 44 years. With decades of service behind them, they know how to keep customers satisfied. “Because we’ve been here so long, we have a very loyal customer base,” says David.
Despite the company’s long history, Southern Oregon Diesel faced a major challenge when the pandemic began earlier this year. “There was just a shock and awe point there, where nobody knew what was going to happen next,” he says.
Their biggest concern was keeping their highly trained employees on payroll. Their engine expertise is what makes the company a leader in their field. “You just can’t replace those people,” David says.
He reached out to the bank they had been with for more than a quarter century to learn more about the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but his bank was of little help. “Basically, I was in worse shape than when I started,” David says.
That’s when he decided it was time for a change. “I immediately called Charley up at Oregon Pacific Bank. He said, ‘No problem. We’ve got this, we’ve got this handled.”
Charley Thompson, Team Leader at our Roseburg branch, was glad to help. “Your banker should know your business,” he says. “When the chips are down or it’s really tough, that’s when it’s really important.”
David was convinced. “Switching our business to Oregon Pacific Bank was such a tremendous experience. We should have done it a long time ago.”
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.