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Making Connections that Count

This story was sent to us at our request by Distinguished Business Member Marc Horner of Fairhaven Wealth Management


Two weeks ago, I was picking up takeout at Mi Casa restaurant on Main Street. As I was waiting for my delicious Mexican food, I started chatting with a gentleman sitting at their counter. He turned out to be the owner, Jose. I asked about business and how they were handling the ever-changing pandemic conditions. He responded by saying they are doing the best they can, and their customers continue to support them.


However, he went on to say it is getting increasingly difficult coming up on one year of restrictions. I asked about their participation in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Jose shared with me they had considered it, but their accountant was going to charge them too much for the application and “other people are in worse shape than us.” I was stunned.


We continued our conversation and I strongly encouraged him to reconsider and apply for the current round of PPP letting him know our firm would be happy to help him complete the application. We talked about where he banked (a big global bank) and I shared with him he might be better served by a local, community-oriented bank and that I would be happy to make an introduction. We exchanged phone numbers and I left with my tacos al pastor, steak quesadillas and tasty chips and guacamole.


The next morning, I called our bankers at Wheaton Bank & Trust: Vanessa Stang, Branch Manager; Lina Valdez, Assistant Branch Manager; and Jennifer Bara, Commercial Lender. I shared with them my conversation with Jose. They told me they would be happy to help but their PPP window was opening the next day so Jose would have to move fast. They asked for his phone number and told me they would reach out. Later that day, they thanked me for the referral and shared with me they had just returned from Mi Casa where they met with Jose and his wife (she struggles a bit with English so Lina speaking Spanish was a huge help). They walked them through the necessary paperwork and went right to work on their PPP application.


A first-generation immigrant family working hard to achieve the American dream. An all-female team of multi-lingual bankers jumping into action…same day. What a story! But, in my experience, this is just business as usual for the team at Wheaton Bank. When they greet their customers by name and then back it up with fabulous service – we are clients, so I speak from experience. This is an absolutely amazing story, but at the same time, I am not surprised. The group at Wheaton Bank on Wheaton Avenue in the heart of downtown Wheaton are rock stars.


Marc Horner

Fairhaven Wealth Management

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