A PPP Partnership: How Affinity Federal Credit Union Lends a Hand to Small Businesses By: Jacquie Maggio, Managing Partner, Think3 Marketing Countless small businesses across the nation have faced many obstacles since the pandemic began in March 2020. Many of these businesses not only struggled to make ends meet but also dealt with the arduous task of applying for federal assistance. Affinity Federal Credit Union has been supporting many entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the pandemic, most notably with the process of applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans from the Small Business Administration. To mark the Small Business Week Virtual Summit (Sept. 13-15), Affinity is highlighting our relationship with a business client who has persevered through these tough times. Jacquie Maggio is the managing partner of Think3 Marketing. Maggio discussed her personal interactions with team members at Affinity and her company’s goals going forward. Tell us a little about your business and the customers you serve. Think3 Marketing is a full-service agency dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes achieve their marketing goals. Our approach is very personal and based on a foundation of true partnership. With core values that include transparency, creating value, process and passion, we seek client partners who share our belief in the power of marketing and hold similar perspectives. For us, being “all in” creates the most successful, long-term partnerships and we love to dive deep into our partners’ businesses to see how we can best add value. Our current client partners span a range of industries including technology, agriculture, automotive, therapy, hazardous waste treatment and food production. Most of our clients actively practice sustainability, which is a passion of ours. How was your business impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic? How has the pandemic shifted your business strategy? Having a virtual business model, we (thankfully) experienced little disruption to our operations and were easily able to keep our team members safe and connected. Like everyone, we did a lot of creative problem-solving, especially around the cancelation of live events. That sector required some quick pivots to virtual events and online learning management systems, which were both challenging and fun to develop. Our business strategy has always been to maintain a model that is flexible and nimble, which has enabled us to put people first, both colleagues and clients. That’s something that won’t ever change. Why was Affinity Federal Credit Union the right choice for your business in guiding it through the PPP loan process? Affinity has always been a great partner to us, with user-friendly, up-to-date tools and excellent customer service. But never were we more grateful to have them as our banking partner than during the Paycheck Protection Program loan process. While we were hearing that larger banks were running out of funds, Affinity was walking us through the application, processing our forms quickly and getting us funding within a few short weeks so we could ensure there would be no disruption in payment to our team members. We felt confident that they were looking out for us. This was true for both PPP rounds, as well as the forgiveness process. What challenges did you face in the PPP loan process and how was Affinity Federal Credit Union able to assist you? With Affinity as our trusted partner, the process was simple and straightforward for us without any issues. How has Affinity Federal Credit Union helped your business succeed? What we appreciate most about Affinity is their tools and service. You can literally do anything you need directly from the mobile app. Their customer service teams are knowledgeable, personable, accessible and reliable. What are the future goals for your business? We plan to continue to build our brand from the inside out, adding to our core team of talented, amazing colleagues as well as client partners. Most of our clients are referrals, which makes us so proud of our team, which is growing our agency simply by being who they are. Affinity Federal Credit Union is here to help small businesses with a variety of needs, whether it’s opening a checking account, line of credit or taking out a loan. To learn more about the services we offer small businesses and the benefits that come with it, visit our website.