Jan. 29, 2021  

PPP Approvals Flowing for Thousands of Georgia Businesses

SBA this week gave a snapshot of how the PPP program is going since its re-start Jan. 11 through Jan. 24. Georgia's banks and bankers are hard at work in supporting their customers as they apply for second-draw and new loan applications. Approvals of loans totaling about $530 million have been made to more than 7,700 Georgia small businesses. Here’s a breakdown.

  • 7,706 Georgia small businesses received approvals for loans totaling $529,681,257

  • Average Georgia loan size is $68,736

  • Georgia ranks 17th in the U.S. in number of loans approved

  • Georgia ranks 22nd in the U.S. in total loan dollars

  • Nationally, 400,580 loans had been approved

  • Nationally, accommodation and food services businesses account for 19% of the $35 billion in loans approved, with construction businesses at 14%.

GBA served as a resource for media reporting about the program in the past week. The Alpharetta Roswell Herald carried a story detailing what we’ve heard from members about demand for second-draw loans. Read the story here.


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Updated PPP Information Notices for Lenders Posted by SBA

Late Wednesday evening, SBA posted three new information notices of importance. Two of the notices address modifications of SBA’s 7(a) program and the elimination of certain 504 program fees. The third is a notice to lenders that SBA has informed eligible borrowers of assistance available under section 112 of the CARES Act.



We continue to send frequent updates and resources directly to CEOs and key contacts by email as they are made available. With questions, contact Joe Brannen, 404.420.2026.


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General Assembly Session Gets Momentum

Legislators were back in session this week following the usual early-session recess for budget hearings the prior week. There were committee hearings on bills we’re monitoring related to forestry torts and tax credits, and there were several new bills introduced that are of importance to members, including the annual DBF Housekeeping bill, HB 111 by Rep. Bruce Williamson (R-Monroe). We’ll share all the details in our Legislative Update email we’ll send out once the session adjourns for the week on Friday. You may follow all the legislation we’re monitoring at our State Issues page on gabankers.com.


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HR Quick Poll Results

Remote Work Levels Remain High, Many Extend Emergency Leave Provisions

About 84% of Georgia banks responding to a short poll by Pearl Meyer and GBA about pandemic effects on HR policies have continued to offer emergency paid sick leave and family leave even though FFCRA mandates expired Dec. 31. Almost 57% of the 58 banks responding said they continue to have more employees working from home than usual, and half have returned to having in-person board or internal meetings. The quick poll also measured the pandemic’s effects on merit pay, training programs and performance reviews. Full results were provided this week by email to CEOs and HR officers who participated. Thanks to GBA Associate Member Pearl Meyer, which produces GBA’s annual compensation survey, for doing the quick poll. Look for more polls throughout the year. With questions, contact GBA’s David Oliver, 404.420.2036, or Pearl Meyer’s Rhonda Snyder, rhonda.snyder@pearlmeyer.com.


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Fair Access, Disparate Impact Rules to Get Reviews

We noted two examples this week of how changes in administration can affect pending and proposed regulatory rules. The OCC said it has paused publication of its November 2020 proposed rule to ensure large banks provide all customers fair access to their services. Pausing publication of the rule in the Federal Register will allow the next confirmed Comptroller of the Currency to review the final rule and the public comments the OCC received, as part of an orderly transition, the agency said. Details here. And, President Biden this week directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to examine what the effects have been of a four-month-old rule revising standards for disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act. The September 2020 rule recognized that disparate impact analysis may be used to demonstrate discrimination claims, but it added key limitations to ensure plaintiffs carry the burden of proof in such cases. Read more here


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An Early Look at Covid’s Long Term Impact on Gen Z Customers

Even after the pandemic lifts, members of Gen Z may look back at 2020 as a watershed year that has changed their expectations for good and influenced their spending behavior for decades to come. What can a past economic crisis tell us to expect, and how can organizations engage with this generation of consumers if they maintain a bearish outlook on the economy? The good news is there are some effective tools banks can put to work. GBA Associate Member DataOceans weighs in here with some ideas for members.


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Just Two Weeks Away – State BankPAC Sporting Clays Tournament

We’ve got a great crowd coming to support the GBA State BankPAC* at the Sporting Clays Tournament on Feb. 11 at Old Hudson Plantation in Sparta. There’s still time to sign up to shoot with a team ($500) or as an individual ($150) - click here. Registration includes 100 targets, cart, and barbecue lunch. Stand Sponsorships are still available for $250. Click here for sponsorship details. Thanks to ATM Response; Bank of Madison; Citizens Bank of Americus; Community Banking Company of Fitzgerald; CSRA Business Lending; Fenimore, Kay, Harrison and Ford; FHLB of Atlanta; Guardian Bank; Haberfeld; Peach State Bank & Trust; Pinnacle Bank; Point to Point Environmental; Securitas Financial Services; United Bank; Waycross Bank & Trust; and WB&T Bankshares, Inc. for sponsoring!  We look forward to seeing you at the tournament! Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad with any questions.   


* The GBA StatePAC contributes only to candidates running for state-level office such as the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor’s office and the Lieutenant Governor’s office.  Contributions can be made from an individual, from bank funds if you are a state-chartered bank or from a national bank holding company if the contribution is made from funds other than those resulting from the operations of the national bank.


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Statewide Economic Development Shows Strength

The last half of calendar year 2020 was productive for economic development projects in Georgia. Gov. Kemp recently reported that during that time, which is the first half of the state’s fiscal year, new jobs created by economic development projects were up by 40% compared to the same period the previous year. Much of the growth was outside of metro Atlanta, and the state’s food processing, manufacturing, and logistics and distribution industries created nearly 70% of new jobs generated. Read more here.


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How to Access/Update Your MyGBA Profile

Did you know you can see your history of involvement with GBA and update your contact information with just a few clicks? We want to make sure our member records are up to date, so please take a moment today to review and update your MyGBA profile. If you are unsure of your username or password, your username is your bank/company email address. Enter your username in the "Forgot my password" feature to reset your password. Contact Katina Prokos if you have any questions or need any help with the sign-in or updating process.



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Registration Opening Next Week for GBA Annual Meeting!

Planning is in full swing for GBA’s 129th Annual Meeting, June 20-22 at The Cloister at Sea Island, and we’re looking forward to welcoming our members this summer on the Georgia coast. Registration will open next week, so watch your email for a special announcement and we’ll also post it on the GBA website. Remember, meeting registration is required before you can reserve your room at The Cloister, and we will open the room block concurrent with opening registration. As a reminder, here is event pricing for your budget and planning purposes:

  • Member Banker/Associate Member: $765/pp; Spouse/Guest: $550

  • Exhibit Space: $750 (plus registration)

  • Sponsorship: Click here for details and contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad if your bank or company is interested in supporting the meeting in that way. 

A shout-out to these associate members who are showing their support of the annual meeting by sponsoring: CenterState Bank; CRS Data; Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford; FHLB of Atlanta; Haberfeld; Jack Henry; Mauldin & Jenkins; Safe Systems; and ServisFirst Bank. We can’t wait to gather in-person this summer and we’ll share planning updates in the e-Bulletin regularly over the coming weeks and months. If you have questions, contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


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HR Professionals Institute March 24-26

Culture, Remote Work, Legal Update and Communication All Covered

Registration is open for the GBA 2021 HR Professionals Institute. Among the highlighted sessions are:

  • How to Build a Culture of Employee Engagement, Rodney D. Bullard, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility, Executive Director, Chick-fil-A Foundation

  • Remote Work, Krisha Buehler, VP, Human Resources, BELAY

  • Legal Update, Steve Greene, Matthews & Greene, LLC

  • Employee Communication Essentials – How to Effectively Reach all the Troops, Ann-Stanton Cannarella, SVP, Corporate Communications Director, Ameris Bank 

Click here to sign up, see the agenda and hotel information. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau with questions, 404.420.2034.


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Is Your Bank’s Email Marketing Just Serving Up Spam?

Email marketing is a critical piece of a broader marketing strategy. How is your bank’s email marketing performing? Could it be more effective? Chances are, you’re already using a third-party email service like HubSpot, MailChimp, or Constant Contact. You’re frequently updating your mailing lists and building your messaging based on each customer’s stage in their client journey with you. And, hopefully, you’re continually testing your emails to make sure that you’re sending the right message to the right person at the right time. Take a deep dive here with Neal Reynolds from GBA partner BankMarketingCenter.com in this recent blog post about the benefits and value of comprehensive email testing. Contact Reynolds directly by phone at 678-528-6688 or email at nreynolds@bankmarketingcenter.com, for more information.


Special Offer: Join our partner BankMarketingCenter.com for a tour of its web-based marketing portal and receive a $10 Starbucks gift card. And if you like what you see and sign up for an annual subscription, they’ll arrange for you to get three months of BankMarketingCenter.com for free! Sign up for a demo here.


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Women in Banking Series: Don’t Miss ‘The Girl Banker’ Session Feb. 1

Register now for final session Feb. 1, and access to all others

Our Women in Banking series of virtual conversations for members of GBA and the North Carolina Bankers Association wraps up on Feb. 1. We’re so excited to welcome Natalie Bartholomew, better known to many women bankers as “The Girl Banker,” for our final session. Natalie will discuss “It’s Up to Us: Why It’s Essential for Women in Banking to Support and Advocate for Each Other.” Natalie, a career banker, is the chief administrative officer and vice president of Grand Savings Bank, a community bank in northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma. Natalie has a passion for philanthropy and sits on various boards and committees in her area. She launched the Girl Banker blog three years ago in hopes of creating a voice for women in banking and working moms, and now has thousands of followers! Natalie recently relaunched her Girl Banker podcast, which can be heard on Apple Podcasts. Don’t miss this final inspiring and energizing session! Register here for that session and access to recordings of the entire series. Questions? Contact GBA’s Kathy Friestad.


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How Can Your Bank Support a Diverse Industry and Workplace? BankTalentHQ Can Help

BankTalentHQ is dedicated to connecting talent in the banking industry, and putting diversity and inclusion at the forefront of the recruiting process. In today’s business landscape it is essential to support a diverse workplace. Banks large and small need to place a focus on diversity within their recruitment activity. But, where do you begin? When you post an available position on www.banktalenthq.com, that job is automatically disseminated into a network of 15,500+ community-based organizations. Don’t waste another minute – head to www.banktalenthq.com to post your available positions and reach 15,500+ community-based organizations automatically. With questions, please contact Brian Hoffman at bhoffman@banktalenthq.com or 217.789.9340.


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Op-Tech Conference - In-Person and Virtual Options Available

King of the Hill Mobile App Edition

Join us in person or virtually at our Operations and Technology Conference Feb. 24-26. We are excited to have Dave DeFazio, partner, StrategyCorps, talk to us about the hottest mobile banking apps. The secret to improving your future deposit growth lies in understanding the changing role of banking products in the financial lives of today’s consumers. In this session, DeFazio will dive into ongoing research that explains these trends — including which mobile features matter most to each generation, from millennials to baby boomers. Click here to review the full agenda. There are two registration options, in-person or virtual. Click here to register. The conference will be at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, 201 Arnold Rd., St. Simons, GA 912.638.3631. To reserve a room, call 800.342.0212 and mention that you are with the Georgia Bankers Association to receive GBA’s special nightly rates. See the King and Prince's COVID-19 Health and Safety Updates here. Contact GBA’s Alison Moreau, 404.420.2034, with questions.


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Free GBA Partner Webinar - Feb. 3, 2-3 p.m.

Modernize Your Mortgage Business with Better Technology, Scalable Operations & Increased Profitability

Community banks of all sizes can strengthen their franchise in 2021 by leveraging an advanced network to streamline operations, improve the customer experience, and optimize their balance sheets. Join GBA partner Promontory MortgagePath for an upcoming webinar to learn how to offer best-in-class mortgage solutions that can help banks increase profitability while introducing digital lending technology, improving overall efficiency and creating scalability in managing their mortgage operations. Register now for this free webinar.


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Register by Feb. 1, save $50! "Red Book" included

The IRA Merry-Go-Round is Back Feb. 9-10, 2021

Join Patrice Konarik, Sunwest Training Corp., on Feb. 9 and 10 for this popular training in a webinar format. This intensive 1.5-day format will teach you all you need to know about IRAs, including the latest updates! Each paid participant will receive the latest 275-page, 2020-2021 IRA Training and Reference Manual (“The Red Book”) in an electronic format. Click here for all the details and to register. 


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Webinar: Analyzing Personal Cash Flow & Tax Returns - March 9-11

Back by popular demand, Mike Allen of Cadence Bank, a faculty member of the Georgia Banking School with more than 40 years of industry experience, will cover the A-Zs of how to analyze personal cash flow and personal tax returns. This program is designed for consumer lenders, commercial lenders, and credit analyst/underwriters. The webinar will assist those bankers who originate consumer loans as well as commercial bankers and underwriters who want to get a clear picture of a guarantor's cash flow to aid in identifying the availability of excess personal cash flow that could be available to provide additional support to related borrowing requests. Through a combination of lecture and casework, participants will learn how to calculate sources and uses of personal cash flow and any remaining cash flow to support additional debt. For all the details and to register click here. 


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Upcoming Webinar Hot Topics in 2021

OnCourse Subscription Credits May be used for these programs

We appreciate members choosing the programs we offer for your ongoing needs. Check out these upcoming virtual offerings available from our partner OnCourse Learning. View the full calendar here for dates, times and more programs. With questions, email events@gabankers.com.


Save 10-30% with an OnCourse subscription package


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Recruit, Retain and Develop the Best Bankers with GBA Career Solutions


GBA Job Bank - GBA will post open positions, free of charge, for GBA members. See the open positions in Georgia here. We will also post professional summaries for bank-job seekers on our Bankers Available page. To make the process easy and answer any questions, we've developed this Q & A. Please contact Katina Prokos, 404.420.2021.


GBA Strategic Partner BankTalentHQ - The central feature of BankTalentHQ is its national bank-job board. Other key benefits include: resume search access, regional and national reach for your open positions, frequent special offers and custom sales/coaching programs. Visit BankTalentHQ to learn more. See the open positions in Georgia here, or search regionally or nationally here.


GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ - GBA’s Career Paths for Bankers™ is the most unique, organized and easy-to-use career development resource available for bankers and banks. GBA’s pioneering career development resource is unlike any other in the banking industry. Click here to start mapping your banking career today.


Why do people choose careers in banking? Whatever their talents, interests and educational background, there is a career in banking for them. Here are few good reasons to share with folks you know.


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GBA Community Connections

We want to share all the good work GBA member banks, bankers, Associate Members and Bank Counsel Section members do to support their communities. Read all about the Community Connections our banks and members have below. Share your Community Connections by sending a brief paragraph and any photos of activities you have to us and we'll publish them at our earliest opportunity. Send information to Katina Prokos and David Oliver, or if your company would like to sponsor this content, let us know. Here's our latest installment:


Dublin - Morris Bank

The bank recently donated $100,000 to Dodge County Hospital as part of the Georgia HEART Hospital Program, which helps support the rural community and their healthcare needs.


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Athens - First American Bank and Trust

Senior Vice President and Commercial Lender Susan Chatham Bogardus was recently honored by Athens Area Home Builders Association with a Lifetime Membership Award. Read more here.


Atlanta - Ameris Bank and former Cherokee Bank, N.A.

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of former Cherokee Bank Chairman Don Stevens, who died this week.


Cartersville - Century Bank of Georgia

Laurel Ferguson has been promoted to deposit operations officer.


Donalsonville - Georgia Community Bank

Alton Harrison has joined the bank as market president in Donalsonville.


Dublin - Morris Bank

Our sympathies to family, friends and colleagues of Melton Tyson, former president and director emeritus of the bank, who died this week.


Edison - The Bank of Edison

At the bank’s annual shareholders meeting, Dan Hammack was honored for 54 years of service on the bank’s board of directors, Richard West was honored for 19 years of service, and the Toal Family received a plaque in memory of Rob Toal for 22 years of service.


Elberton - Pinnacle Bank

Robin Partee-Smith has been promoted to banking officer.


Fitzgerald - Colony Bank

John Roberts, formerly market president for Columbus, has been promoted to regional market president for the West Georgia region, including Columbus and LaGrange. Mike Welch, formerly senior vice president and commercial banker, has been promoted to fill Roberts’ position of market president. Read more here. Jennifer Parks and Robin McCormick, both formerly vice presidents-banking center managers, have each been promoted to the newly created positions of Regional Retail Coordinator. Read more here.


Greenville, SC - United Community Bank

John Thompson has been promoted to middle market and asset-based lending division manager, effective this month. Read more here. Jack Morris has joined the bank’s Atlanta team as senior vice president, middle market relationship manager. Read more here. Britt Lothridge has joined the bank’s Renewable Energy Lending team. Read more here.


Loganville - Legacy State Bank

Our sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Compliance Officer/HR Manager Carol Capell, who died this week. Read more here.


McDonough - Heritage Southeast Bank

Pamela Perdue has joined the bank team as senior vice president, Chief Compliance Officer. Read more here.


Thomasville - TC Federal Bank

Nat Higdon has been promoted to executive vice president and senior lending officer. Read more here. Laquan Brunner has joined the bank as Chief Information Officer.


Valdosta - Commercial Banking Company

Christie Zeth has been promoted to Senior Loan Processor. Susan Gray has been promoted to Senior Lending Assistant.



Bogardus Ferguson


Partee-Smith Roberts Welch



















Bank of Edison Chairman Conner Collins presents plaques to retiring directors Dan
and Richard West and to Carla Toal, wife of late bank director Rob Toal.


Read All About It: Send Us Your News

Please remember to include the Georgia Bankers Association on the list of recipients for announcements about promotions, new employees and special recognition your bank has received. We want to share your news with your colleagues across the state. Please forward your announcements and photos to GBA's Katina Prokos.

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