As we reflect on 2020 and the continuing effects of the pandemic during 2021, we can’t help but marvel over the uncommon valor showed by our employees and the entire community banking industry in the face of this overwhelming adversity. Upon being classified as an essential business by the federal government in the early stages of the pandemic, our employees rose to the challenge of continuing to serve our customers and played a key role in helping numerous small businesses, and something we celebrate with this report.
Upon the onset of the pandemic, our employees worked feverishly to adapt to the difficult environment with which we were faced. Be it our front-line employees adapting to safely serving our customers or the back-office staff who quickly mobilized to work from home, it was an effort that was nothing short of extraordinary. An effort that showed extreme resiliency in the face of rough and unchartered waters.
We were there for our commercial customers providing $68 Million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to keep their businesses open and their workers employed. We were there for our customers who were struggling financially to make their loan payments. As community bankers, we answered these calls for help. We supported numerous nonprofits in the communities we serve with donations as demand for their services reached record highs. We were there as a pillar in the community as we have been for the past 160-plus years.
As community bankers, we thank our employees for being “economic first responders” and for the role they played being a critical part of the solution during this difficult moment in our history. We would also like to recognize and thank the healthcare workers and first responders for the difficult work they faced and their herculean efforts in saving so many lives.
During this feat of navigating the pandemic throughout 2020, we also diligently laid the foundation for our Bank consolidation plans as we entered into a new and exciting era for our organization in 2021. Effective January 4, 2021, we successfully consolidated our three state banking charters under Northwest Community Bank, with Collinsville Bank and Litchfield Bancorp as operating divisions. Under this structure, our banks maintain their brand identities and provide us with operational efficiencies that will allow us to compete as a thriving community bank for generations to come. Importantly, no employees lost their job and no branches were closed as a result of this consolidation, which served to solidify our historical commitment to mutuality.
As we are now fully immersed in 2021, we remain cautiously optimistic that the pandemic will be behind us soon as the light at the end of the tunnel continues to brighten. We continue to operate in a very strong financial position with healthy earnings and a strong balance sheet with exceptional asset (loan) quality and a strong capital position. We continue to experience robust growth in the form of loans and deposits, and look forward to welcoming customers into our two newest branch locations in Farmington and Simsbury.
In closing, we feel this is not a period in time to forget. Rather, it is a time to remember. A time to remember how we as a vibrant community and local bank came together to address the biggest challenge of our lifetimes. We are proud of what we accomplished in serving our customers and thank you for the trust you have bestowed in us and for your continued support. As we look forward to the bright rays of hope on the horizon, we hope you remain safe and healthy, and that a world of normalcy returns for all of you very soon.
|Stephen P. Reilly
President & CEO
|William J. Shea II