Statement from Justine Zinkin, CEO of Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, on Neighborhood Trust’s COVID-19 Response

For so many of us, the past week has been disorienting, with news of the COVID-19 changing rapidly every day. We are concerned about our small business customers and all of the workers we serve; and all of the families and businesses that are likely to be hit hard, with lasting repercussions on both health and on local economies. Click here for Spanish version.

The coronavirus is already causing pain for small businesses and their workers. Given that the 30.2 million small businesses make up 99.9% of businesses in the U.S. and employ nearly half of all workers across the country (47.3%), we will all feel these effects.

We need a concerted effort to ensure that working families are protected at this time. We need to prioritize putting money into people’s pockets and ensure that families don’t go hungry, don’t lose their homes, and don’t get mired in debt when this crisis is over.

TrustPlus’ tools and services were designed for this purpose: to provide financial coaching via phone or Skype—supported by digital tools—to workers experiencing shocks, navigating cash flow challenges, and deciding which bills to pay.

And we’re committed to help.

That’s why we’re:

  • Extending our services to more businesses and workers in need, shifting our resources so we expand our reach and ensure our role is right for this moment of such uncertainty and adversity. We will ensure cost isn’t a barrier to anyone who needs our help.
  • Collaborating with employers, financial services providers, businesses, and peer nonprofits on initiatives that put the financial health and wellbeing of workers first, including making cash readily available to ensure food and housing security; and supporting small businesses so jobs are protected as much as possible.

Neighborhood Trust is, candidly, working hard and fast to both ensure our own team is safe and taken care of, while quickly problem-solving in the face of an ever-changing reality. We are open to ideas about where our expertise and resources are best deployed, the best channels to reach small businesses and their workers and link them to the right products and resources, especially as innovative new solutions are designed for this difficult moment.

It will take a large, coordinated effort, guided by generosity and tenacity, to get through these unprecedented times, but we’ll get through it together.