‘With Us, You’re Family’
For nearly 16 years, Lori Worthington has run her business with one simple motto in mind: “With us, you’re family.”
Her Bensalem shop, A Fashionable Flower Boutique, is a family-owned, family-run business; her parents, brother, and cousins all help out. She treats her customers with the same friendly warmth.
So when she began evaluating her relationship with her bank, she found it lacking. The massive, national bank had seen so much turnover at her local branch that no one there even knew who she was any longer. That’s not what she wanted from her bank.
“My whole family pitches in to make this business run smoothly. I wanted to work with a bank that cares just as much about our success as we do,” Worthington said. “That’s why I moved over to Penn Community Bank. They know me by name and go above and beyond to help me out. They make me feel like a friend.”
Worthington wanted a bank that focuses on building relationships, and that’s what she found in Penn Community Bank. Relationship managers guide customers through each major financial milestone in life, from maximizing a business’s cash management procedures to taking out a business loan to fuel further growth. This is the concept of “Greater Good Banking”, and it is our promise to customers: to offer values-driven banking based on mutually beneficial relationships that help every customer recognize and reach their financial growth potential.
Since moving to Penn Community Bank in 2016, Worthington built a close relationship with Bensalem branch manager Terri Reif and her team. That close relationship became even more important when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Pandemic measures squeeze small business
On March 19, 2020, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19. In an instant, small business owners across the state were faced with the unthinkable: the doors on their businesses closed, their revenue slowed or stopped, their futures uncertain.
Worthington was stunned. Foot traffic to her shop stopped, and as the weeks went on, business nosedived. Normally, she will design flowers for an average of 125 weddings in a year. As the pandemic rolled on, she ended up having to postpone more than 60 of those brides. “It was really scary. We had to lock our doors.”
So, Worthington pivoted. She began creating floral arrangements celebrating the doctors, nurses and other healthcare heroes on the front lines of the pandemic. Soon, she was able to offer curbside pickup or delivery, and special occasions like Administrative Professionals’ Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, and graduation kept the shop afloat.
After banking at the Bensalem branch of Penn Community Bank for nearly four years, Worthington knew who to call on for financial guidance during the unprecedented challenges the pandemic presented: Reif and her team.
“Lori is one of those business owners that every town wants to have,” said Reif. “She works day and night to give her customers the best service possible, and she gives back to the community in so many ways. It’s an honor being able to help support Lori and her business.”
Reif and the team at Penn Community Bank helped walk Worthington through the process of applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan. Established by the CARES Act, the program run by the Small Business Administration gives small businesses funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs or other approved expenses.
Support while fighting cancer
Worthington relies on Reif and the team at Penn Community Bank as she faces another formidable challenge, this one personal: a fight against breast cancer.
As Worthington underwent treatment for cancer – she still is undergoing radiation treatments – she continued to run her business. Particularly on the days when her energy or her spirits flagged, she was buoyed by messages of goodwill and offers of assistance from Reif and her team.
“Terri would shoot me personal messages and ask me how I was doing and if there was anything anyone at the bank could do for me. They really were super,” Worthington said. “If I felt like I was too tired, they would offer to come and pick up a deposit, that’s how accommodating they are. They are just really super nice and caring.”
‘Makes you feel like family’
Running a small business raises any number of challenges. To be successful, business owners benefit from having a team of supporters on their side. Worthington found that in Reif and her team.
“They let me come in and set up a table in the branch to promote my business, and they will often refer people who are looking for flowers to me,” Worthington said. “They really go out of their way to support local businesses.”
Worthington visits the Bensalem branch of Penn Community Bank several times a week to do her business banking. Oftentimes, she will show up with a flower arrangement for the branch team. It’s one way she shows her appreciation for all they do.
“If I ever have a problem or a question, I can go to them and ask them anything. They really go above and beyond,” Worthington said. “It’s a great feeling, doing business with someone who knows you by name. It makes you feel like you belong, makes you feel like family.”