President's Blog

by Kerry Wahlen, President/CEO

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

May 18, 2020

I have never been prouder of Goldenwest as I have in recent weeks. Our employees have banded together as financial heroes, championing Utah businesses during an astonishingly fast economic downturn driven by the COVID-19 virus.

In early April, the U.S. Federal Government launched the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan. Goldenwest responded to the urgent calls of local small business owners, answering their supplications to protect their companies and the livelihoods of their employees.

We quickly assembled a PPP Loan task force that temporarily increased the Commercial Lending Department from 12 to 67 staff members. Our team worked around the clock, reviewing and processing a deep pile of applications and documents for loan amounts ranging from as little as one thousand dollars to several million dollars. We submitted just under $80 million in PPP Loans during the first round of funding in a period of less than two weeks. When round two started in early May, we submitted the remainder of the completed PPP Loan application packets we had received.

It was an honor for Goldenwest to provide 1,044 businesses with PPP Loans totaling nearly $100 million. We estimate that 12,000 workers have continued to receive paychecks because of the PPP Loans that Goldenwest processed and submitted to the SBA.

Goldenwest’s heroic efforts to protect Utah businesses and preserve Utah jobs continues to move forward at a brisk pace. Our commercial insurance agents are vigorously analyzing policies and providing quotes on liability and workers compensation insurance with the goal of reducing premiums. With interest rates at historic lows, our commercial loan officers are hard-at-work assisting business owners with debt consolidation loans to boost cash flows. The business development team is switching companies to our new Business Reward Yourself Checking, with options to earn higher dividends on balances. If you would like our commercial accounts experts to contact you with options for sustaining your business during the economic downturn, send me an email at

After several weeks of providing branch services at drive-up windows only, we are happy to welcome members back into branch lobbies with additional safety precautions in place. As always, you can conduct transactions, open accounts, and apply for loans from the comfort and safety of your home with the online branch, mobile banking app, and by calling the Member Contact Center.

With these fast-moving changes in today’s world, one thing that has remained the same is our commitment to serving our members. Thank you for being loyal, and working with us to make our communities stronger. We look forward to seeing you soon.


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