Tags: Coronavirus | mark cuban | vista bank | small business | covid 19 | shutdown

Mark Cuban, Vista Bank Save Small Business Amid COVID-19 Shutdown

Mark Cuban, Vista Bank Save Small Business Amid COVID-19 Shutdown
Mark Cuban (Kobby Dagan/Dreamstime)

By Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:48 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The coronavirus pandemic is ravaging businesses large and small across the country. More than 32 million Americans have filed for unemployment so far, shattering previous records.

The wave of economic pain has left no small business unaffected, and entrepreneurs are looking for ways to save their companies and keep their staff paid. The bankruptcy headlines include some of the nation’s most well-known companies and make for grim reading.

Laura Stewart was looking for clarity and help last week. Stewart is the founder and CEO of The Stewart Group, a small insurance claims business in Dallas. Like so many self-starters, Stewart averages 60-80 hour work weeks to make sure her business thrives. Her company was not immune from the crisis, with COVID-19 slicing her revenues. She had been waiting on the promised cash infusion from the Paycheck Protection Program for weeks. At her wit’s end, she reached out to a famous businessman she did not personally know, but who has a reputation for making things happen.

Mark Cuban is known for decisive, successful business leadership, and more recently for being outspoken about what he believes government and banks must do to help businesses survive the ravages of the pandemic. In an interview with CNBC, Cuban called on the nation’s banks to stop “playing” and start loaning, to get money where it is needed most: in the hands of small business owners.

"Until we get through that friction, there's going to be a lot of issues, and there's going to be a lot of people laid off and a lot of companies that go out of business,” Cuban said.

Dallas-based Vista Bank has been in business since 1912. A few days prior to Congress and President Donald Trump approving the Paycheck Protection Program in March, Vista moved quickly to help Texas small businesses, where it has its footprint, to access the much-needed relief funding. That program’s purpose is to get money to small business owners so they can continue paying their staff despite the coronavirus shutdown. But with unclear rules and an unprecedented volume of applications, the program struggled to get off the ground. Vista Bank submitted its first coronavirus-related loan application at 3:30 am on the first day the SBA PPP e-tran portal opened.

Stewart knew her play, and it included a key assist. She needed a loan to rescue her business and keep her employees paid. She needed a strategic teammate, so she reached out to Cuban despite now knowing him personally. The Dallas Mavericks owner and "Shark Tank" star acted quickly, and referred her to Vista Bank.

Stewart says she went online and applied for a loan after business hours.

“We’ve been working around the clock,” Vista Bank CEO and President John Steinmetz told CNBC during an interview in April. “These are real people trying their very best to make things work. At Vista Bank, our board of directors and our stakeholders deemed it to be extremely necessary to help the communities we serve. Community banks are willing to step up and help Main Street.”

Cuban’s referral plus Vista Bank’s dedication made the play, where her big bank had failed. Stewart received an email from her Vista loan officer later the same night she applied for her loan, notifying her that she was approved. Her total wait time, start to finish, was about three hours.

“I am so glad that I reached out to Mark Cuban and couldn’t be more grateful that he took time out of his hectic schedule to help a person he has never met,” said Stewart. “It would be great if all Americans possessed this type of work ethic, attitude, and character, and I’m so thankful that he knew just who to send me to that could rescue my business – Vista Bank. I look forward to meeting the team that stayed up with me that night, making sure my application got funded, and maybe one day, I’ll get to thank Mr. Cuban personally.”

Dan Perkins is an author of both thrillers and children’s books. He appears on over 1,100 radio stations. Mr. Perkins appears regularly on international TV talk shows, he is current events commentator for seven blogs, and a philanthropist with his foundation for American veterans, Songs and Stories for Soldiers, Inc. More information about him, his writings, and other works are available on his website, DanPerkins.guru. To read more of his reportsClick Here Now.

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Mark Cuban is known for decisive, successful business leadership, and more recently for being outspoken about what he believes government and banks must do to help businesses survive the ravages of the pandemic
mark cuban, vista bank, small business, covid 19, shutdown
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2020-48-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:48 AM
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