Apr 27, 2020

It goes without saying that things can change fast. The reality you awake to can change within a matter of hours. The world has dramatically changed since the last issue of the Buckeye Beacon. We are witnessing the clear link between our local economy and the broader global marketplace. An incident affecting one part of the globe can easily cause unimaginable challenges for us.

At Buckeye Community Bank, the pandemic has caused us to marshal our efforts and do what we do best – serve our clients and our community. These may be difficult times, but we continue to find opportunities to serve you and the businesses in our market.

Numerous types of global forces can derail plans and progress. Additionally, government actions meant to prop up one sector of the national economy can have unanticipated consequences on the plans and goals in other areas. We are proud that Buckeye has remained nimble and fully equipped to meet the rapidly changing needs of its clients, staff, shareholders and community.

After a seemingly quiet start to the new year, events out of everyone’s control quickly reached a crescendo. At first, it was local companies showing concern that a fast-spreading virus on the other side of the globe was affecting materials in the global supply chain. Soon, the virus we now know as COVID-19 started having far-reaching effects as government orders were given to reduce business activities and anxious consumers started cutting interactions and socializing. Local businesses were forced to change the way they deliver services, and local employers enacted contingency plans to address employees who might be ill or forced to quarantine themselves.

Buckeye was impacted in the way we choose to do business, mainly in person with a handshake. However, with solid planning and practice, we adjusted to the guidance of health officials and have remained open and strong. Our dedicated team of community bankers will serve your banking needs safely and continue to be hard at work in this new reality.

The Federal Reserve Bank has been proactive in its attempts to keep the American economy on a growth path during this tumultuous time. However, while rate cuts from the Federal Reserve may decrease borrowing costs for consumers and businesses, they come at a cost to savers. For community banks, success is achieved by competitively balancing interest rates for both loans and deposits, while keeping a keen eye on expenses. Low interest rates can impact the net interest margin, so an efficiently run bank like Buckeye will continue to thrive by remaining true to its commitment of keeping expenses under control.

Several out-of-cycle cuts by the Federal Reserve in March as COVID-19 reached American shores came as a surprise. Since August, the Federal Reserve has cut its fed funds rates five times to combat global events. These rate cuts have impacted the bottom line of community banks.

Today, our sector, like many others, is facing unprecedented challenges and changes that require aggressive ideas and approaches to our continued progress. At Buckeye, we have long exceeded client expectations by providing competitive products and a locally rooted approach that values local businesses and their impact on the community. To stay ahead of the competition and to address the challenges of today and tomorrow, we must expand our client base and levels of deposits. Each dollar deposited at Buckeye stays here working to build the local companies that employ our neighbors and friends and contribute to making this a robust area.

One such local company that is making strides to keep our economy healthy is Schill Grounds Management. Today, because of the commitment to thorough planning and meticulous continual improvement led by Jerry and Jim Schill, the firm with a modest start is working on launching additional locations and expanding its employee count. By focusing on what Schill Grounds Management does most effectively and empowering its team – a philosophy that Buckeye also believes in – the company is well poised for future success.

John Kokai, featured as our First Mate in this issue, takes great pride in being part of a team that works to support the financial needs of local businesses. He is proud to serve the same companies he patronizes and learns about every day.

During challenging times, Buckeye has always been steadfast in its support of its clients, teammates and community. We have the plans and team in place to ensure that financial solutions are available to meet the needs of our clients. Daily, we reaffirm our commitment to our local businesses and our shareholders because we know the vital importance they play in making our community thrive.