I wanted to check in with you to let you know what we are up to here at Great Basin since the World Health Organization officially announced the COVID-19 as a pandemic earlier this month.
Immediately upon learning of the announcement, Great Basin took measures to ensure our staff was equipped and educated on ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 through practicing proper sanitation and social distancing. We canceled all in-person meetings and restricted employee travel between branches as a measure to limit any potential exposure amongst staff. If a position can work from home, we issued them the technology necessary to do so. We owe it to our members and our team to stay healthy and be ready to serve you through this time.
Great Basin is proud of our decisions to invest in top notch technology to serve you. By taking these steps over the last few years we are in a strong position to help members with their needs in times of disruption. One week ago we made the decision to close our lobbies in an effort to protect our staff and our members from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. We made this decision with confidence because we know that we can still serve each one of you. We continue to make loans and send disclosures to be signed electronically. You can deposit your checks from the comfort of your home. Your debit and credit cards continue to work to buy your needed essentials. Online banking provides you with access to balances and the ability to move money easily 24 hours a day. Feel free to send us a secure chat or email with any questions you have. You can rest easy knowing that your money is safe and accessible to you when you need it.
The minute our governor announced business shutdowns, we immediately thought of you. If you have a loan at the credit union, you are able to defer a payment at no charge, no questions asked. We are waiving all late fees for March and April payments. If you have an Overdraft Line of Credit, we likely increased your credit limit this week and if you have a checking account, we sent you an invitation to open an Overdraft line of credit so you can have a financial cushion if needed. If you are financially strong, we are financially strong. That is the beauty of a financial cooperative, we are all in this together.
Can we just talk about the Great Basin staff for a moment? They are the most dedicated, passionate and invested team I have ever worked with. I know that they were uneasy being in such close contact with members and they were conflicted with their desire to help you and keep healthy for their own families. Like many of you, they have children who lost their daycare, spouses who are laid off and now must navigate supporting online schooling with their own children at home until schools reopen. Without our amazing staff, we cannot support you with the level of service you deserve. We made the immediate decision to ensure our team that we would be flexible with schedules and most importantly we continue to pay each and every employee their full wages and benefits. If we lose them, we lose the heart of who we are, and that is not an option.
Even with the lobbies closed, we are busy answering calls, emails and chat conversations. We are taking the opportunity to train front line staff remotely so that when our doors open again, they have more knowledge and confidence to help you better than ever. When times get tough, we seem to come together as a community and as a company. Great Basin is proud to join our staff in supporting local restaurants by ordering curbside takeout for lunch a couple of times a week.
I have been accused of being an eternal optimist my entire life. I own that and I am proud of it! As a community and as a credit union we will be okay. We are experiencing change and disruption at a very high level. Our schedules are different, our social lives are disrupted. We worry about our jobs and economy and our concern for our loved ones is weighing heavily. This is grief in its own way, and it is okay to feel that loss of what we knew life to be just over a month ago. I encourage you to keep optimistic though, we are proven to be resilient and together, we will get through this.
If you have any questions at all, you can #JustAskJennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally get back to you just as soon as I can.