Business Guidance

How Partner Loan Programs are Helping Firms Retain Talent

There is no denying that companies across the board are struggling to find and keep employees. The job-opening rate rose to 6.9% this July while the resignation rate was 2.7%, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic in September 2021. The labor shortage has most impacted the retail and unskilled labor market, but what has become known as the “Great Resignation” isn’t only affecting traditionally high-turnover jobs.

Leaders in professional and business services industries, from lawyers and engineers to bankers, accountants, financial advisors and medical professionals, are seeking ways to maintain their greatest assets — their people. Around 6% of professional business and financial services employees left their jobs in July alone and overall job separations were among the highest in this sector. In this environment, businesses need to continue to evolve and adapt their employee offerings to match the needs and desires of a changing workforce.

One of the ways professional and business services firms traditionally try to minimize employee turnover and invest in their people is by offering promising, young employees the opportunity to become a partner. However, if employees have limited liquidity and are saddled with student debt and mortgages, for example, they may not have the means to achieve the coveted “partner” status without a little financial help.

At Univest, we’re in constant communication with our customers. We want to know what issues they are facing so that we can try to craft financial solutions, services, or advice to help alleviate those issues. As we repeatedly heard this theme from our customers, we developed partner loan programs to help provide this opportunity. The employer sponsors a loan for the employee who is looking to become a partner rather than that individual having to blindly seek out a personal loan. For employees considering this opportunity, it’s still important to understand the loan terms, interest rate and how soon it must be paid back. We can help to educate through that process.

Being able to provide a commercial loan via these partner programs enables us to work cohesively with both the employer and the new partner. While such loans benefit the employee, they’re also a great vehicle for companies to promote growth and stability. In addition to acting as an incentive, the loans foster and maintain current relationships with employees and help carve a path forward for them. Employee turnover is thereby reduced as new partners feel a greater sense of loyalty and commitment to the company with a vested interest in its success. Providing capital to buy into the firm is a thoughtful way of aligning employee interests with those of the business while investing in the same talent that makes it a success.

There are many factors to consider when offering a partner loan program. Our experience in aiding professional and business services firms through the loan process has positioned us to help serve as a trusted partner. If you are interested in connecting about investing in the future of your company, contact us at 877-721-5571 or visit us at


Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC, SBA Preferred and Equal Opportunity Lender.