COVID-19 Stories: Blue Sky Bank is doing whatever they can to help small businesses stay open

When Dr. Sean Riley, owner of Tulsa Spine and Rehab, got a call from his Blue Sky Bank lender letting him know the bank was deferring principal payments for all commercial loan customers in light of COVID-19, he was relieved. ‘I can’t tell you how that made me feel. It really settled me.’

Tulsa Spine and Rehab is currently open and seeing patients, but in a way that looks entirely different from “normal” operations.

A multidisciplinary chiropractic rehabilitation facility, Tulsa Spine and Rehab offers everything from physical therapy to yoga to acupuncture. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the clinic has scheduled patients in a way that limits the number of people in the clinic at one time and spaces the appointments further out to allow staff to sanitize as needed based on CDC guidelines.

“Our motto here is, ‘Keep Moving.’ We want our patients to keep moving,” explains Dr. Sean Riley, owner of Tulsa Spine and Rehab. “We’re here to do what we can for people.”

Dr. Riley is determined to keep his focus squarely on providing care for his clinic’s patients. That’s been difficult in such an uncertain and unpredictable landscape, he says, but Blue Sky Bank has gifted him and other Oklahoma business owners with some relief.

Dr. Riley received a call from lender Barry Gibson in mid-March, letting him know Blue Sky Bank would be deferring principal loan payments for all business loan customers to help soften the impact of coronavirus on businesses.

Dr. Riley is one of about 1,200 Blue Sky Bank commercial loan customers who will benefit from this initiative.

“They’re doing whatever they can to help small businesses stay open, and I think that speaks volumes to the type of bank they are,” Dr. Riley says. “They were one of the first to say, ‘Here are some ideas we have to maybe give you a little more working capital over the next few months. Let’s defer some of these loan payments, let’s work with you a little bit.’”

The loan deferment initiative is just the latest gesture that demonstrates Blue Sky Bank’s commitment to serving Tulsa-area business owners.

Since he began working with Blue Sky Bank in 2012, Dr. Riley says he’s felt this kind of homegrown, personal support.

Over the years, Dr. Riley has worked with Blue Sky Bank to obtain different types of business loans, such as Business Lines of Credit, and most recently, a Business Equipment Loan.

As he’s grown his business to expand its range of services and ways to care for patients, Dr. Riley has relied on Blue Sky Bank each time to educate him on his options.

“I just feel like they’re always looking out for me,” he explains. “It always feels good when someone’s looking out for you — especially as a business owner, because typically we’re an island, we’re by ourselves, we’re making tough decisions daily.”

Dr. Riley says he hopes to explore opportunities to open more clinics in Oklahoma City and Broken Arrow in the future.

Until then, he’ll focus on caring for his patients as well as his staff, and maintaining the business he built from the ground up.

“We’re going to continue to evolve throughout this, just like the bank is evolving,” Dr. Riley says. “It’s a moving target. Each day is a different day.”

Blue Sky Bank is currently deferring principal loan payments for qualified commercial borrowers.

This includes new qualified customers. If you are an Oklahoma business owner who would like to take advantage of this initiative and become a Blue Sky Bank commercial loan customer, fill out the form below.

If you’re interested in working with Blue Sky Bank’s cannabis banking program, fill out the form below or connect with Deborah on LinkedIn.

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