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“Mike, we submitted our application for the Payroll Protection Program, then heard nothing back from our bank,” my friend said with frustration. “We work with one of the larger banks, and apparently we were not big enough for them. The funds are now depleted, and my business has missed out.”

That same story has been surfaced by a significant number of “small business” owners across the country. The great news is that a second round of funding appears to have a clear path to approval. This time, specific provisions have been put in place for the smaller guys.

The not-so-great news is that my friend’s situation just reinforces that the “little fish in a big pond” idiom is alive and well. We prefer to counter that mindset, which is why we are proud to work with so many community bank partners that view the world differently. They share our values.

Little Fish / Big Pond Applies to Payments

In much the same way, the little fish/big pond scenario applies in the payment world as well. I have had many conversations with businesses whose payment processor is a mega-company. All was fine until their business needed something. Then, their little fish status kicked-in and solving their problem became a lower priority.

Putting “We’re Here to Help” to the test

Media outlets are now flooded with “here for you” messages, which can be very reassuring during a pandemic. Payments are paramount, and your payment partner should be at the front of the line offering to help, regardless of size.

Below are a few key questions to determine if your payment provider is truly “here for you.”

1. Did your payment partner reach out to you to see what you need? A true sign of being there is proactive outreaches and genuine offers to help.

2. Did your partner share alternative ways to help continue processing or to save money? Many businesses had to shift to online and phone sales. It is important to enable those channels quickly and to know how to minimize the added expense that card not present processing brings.

3. Did your partner provide other tips to help your business? Many businesses are still open to the public, which means their front-line employees are at a greater COVID-19 risk. Being reminded of simple steps to alleviate unnecessary interaction at POS can impact the health of your employees.

Any “no” answer should give you pause. It’s one thing to say “we’re here for you.” It’s an entirely different thing to show that “we’re here for you.”

Actions (and lack of actions) speak volumes

My friend has already moved his business to a community bank. His business is way too important to not be a priority. The same is true for you. If you’re not a priority, it may be time to take your business elsewhere.