COVID-19 Stories: “We’ve become accustomed to Blue Sky Bank taking care of us.”

Brian Plummer has a staff of 28 at his fastener manufacturing company, Tri-States Sales. He says trying to continue normal operations during this global pandemic has been one of the hardest things his business has ever done. But Blue Sky Bank’s plan to defer principal loan payments for commercial loan holders like Brian has made a huge difference in keeping day-to-day operations moving.

Brian Plummer and his Blue Sky Bank lender took all the health and safety precautions before meeting up in-person one evening after working hours.

“We kept everybody healthy,” Brian reassures.

Brian, owner of Tri-States Sales in Claremore, Okla., had just finished the paperwork to apply for COVID-19 Relief through the Small Business Administration.

As soon as he was done with the SBA loan application, he called his banker, Barry Gibson. They met right away.

“Barry met us halfway — we’re in Claremore, he’s in Verdigris,” Brian explains. “It was after 5 o’clock. It wasn’t even working hours.”

But the fact that his banker was willing to go out of his way to meet, after-hours, and pick up paperwork from him wasn’t at all surprising to Brian. In fact, Brian says he’s been in constant contact with the bank. Everyone has gone out of their way to help him and his company.

A few weeks ago, he received a personal phone call from Chris Wilson, Chief Credit Officer and President of Blue Sky Bank, letting him know the bank would defer his principal loan payments due to the economic hardships caused by COVID-19.

“Chris called and said, ‘Hey, this COVID-19 stuff is going to get bad. We just want you guys to know that whatever happens down the road, we’re here for you,’” Brian says. “We didn’t have to reach out or anything — they called us.”

This meant a lot to Brian, who has built his fastener manufacturing company from the ground up since the nineties. It began as a distribution and supply company, then expanded into custom manufacturing over a decade ago.

Over the years, Brian has worked with Blue Sky Bank to get the small business loans necessary to purchase several buildings, buy new machinery, and even acquire another company.

Blue Sky Bank has helped Tri-States Sales grow from just two employees to a full staff of 28, Brian explains, guiding it through every stage of growth.

So while the bank’s principal loan deferment program for business customers was well appreciated and brought a sense of relief, it didn’t come as a surprise.

“We’ve just become accustomed to them just taking care of us,” Brian says.

Tri-States Sales is still continuing with normal operations, running two shifts, 20 hours a day — while also taking precautions to adhere to safety and health regulations. 

The company hasn’t felt the full force of COVID-19 impact as some businesses have, thanks in part to Blue Sky Bank’s small business loan deferment plan.

“It will help keep our day-to-day business in line, going forward like nothing’s happened, continuing to work with our customers,” Brian explains. “It will help keep everything going at the same volume.”

It’s an uncertain and scary time for business owners, Brian says, but his relationship with Blue Sky Bank has helped him stay calm and reassured.

“Like everybody else, we don’t know what’s coming,” he says. “But it’s a big relief, just knowing that [Blue Sky Bank] is going to help you with whatever comes down the road. That’s just what we’ve become accustomed to knowing from them.”

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.

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