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Utilizing Asset-Based Lending to Support Business Growth

Challenging business conditions over the past eighteen months serve as a reminder that businesses often encounter economic adversity. Sometimes that adversity is associated with a specific industry and sometimes it is widespread due to impossible to predict events such as a pandemic. Understanding the specific financial needs of businesses through both plentiful and lean times is vital to determining appropriate financing that enables the business to run smooth operations without interruption.

A well-known financing solution for businesses that experience economic adversity or operate with a typically higher risk profile is asset-based lending (ABL). Factors that could make ABL a viable…


Is Your Small Business Accounting for Inflation?

Inflation is top-of-mind for many Americans, including business owners. Small or privately-held businesses currently make up more than 99% of companies in the U.S. and inflation can have a large impact on these organizations if not properly planned for and addressed. Getting ahead of inflation is even more challenging for smaller businesses because they don’t usually have a dedicated, in-house finance and accounting team constantly reviewing financial statements, monitoring expenses and calculating profitability.

When inflation occurs, each dollar spent doesn’t go as far as it did before which ultimately decreases buying power. For example, consider a construction business….


Tips to Protect your Business from a Fire-Related Emergency

October is National Fire Safety Month. Although the prevention of residential fires is the focal point of the month, employers should also spend some time reviewing workplace fire safety and prevention as it pertains to employees, equipment and property. In 2019, there were 99 occupational fatalities involving fire according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Here are some steps to help prevent or prepare for a fire-related emergency at your facility:

  1. Practice good housekeeping throughout your facility to eliminate potential fuel sources as well as trip hazards when evacuating the premises.
  2. Maintain the proper…

What Businesses Need to Know About Preventing a Cyber-Attack

October is Cybersecurity Awareness month, and it’s imperative that insurance brokers do our part to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity for individuals and businesses. Cyber insurance is a component of a healthy cybersecurity strategy yet many businesses, both small and large, continue to operate without proper coverage. I recently sat down with Travis Whitmill, Vice President of Evolve, a nationally recognized cybersecurity insurance specialist, to discuss everything cyber insurance.  Evolve was named “Advisen Cyber MGA of the Year” in 2020 and 2021.

1. Cyber insurance is still foreign to many businesses. How would you describe it in 30 seconds to a…


Dear HR – ADA Implications of Extended Medical Leaves

Prolonged medical absences with indefinite timelines and lack of clear justification can be paralyzing to business leaders and HR managers, particularly in smaller work environments. Although employers may feel entitled to more information than the employee is providing, they may not be entirely clear about the implications of asking for medical documentation.

Employers with less than 50 employees not subject to the Family & Medical Leave Act in particular, may adopt less rigorous procedures when dealing with medical leaves. And, in what I’ve seen become more of the norm, employers in this space are not requiring documentation from employees to…


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…


Why the Pandemic Didn’t Stop Our Ability to Lend

Earlier this year, many of the largest banks in the U.S. reported a “lending slump.” With lending at the core of any bank’s business, this notable decline from bigger players calls attention to the differences between banks and how the pandemic impacted customers. The pandemic caused many banks, including Univest, to tighten lending guidelines and adopt a more cautious approach. That said, our size and approach allowed us to be nimble in our decision making compared to larger banks and we were able to continue lending, albeit with more conservative underwriting, and maintain our loan growth momentum.

While national…


OSHA Guidance on Preventing Falls

As we shift towards a post-pandemic normal with more people returning to the office and construction and seasonal job markets increasing their workforces, it is important to remember that employers must prioritize safe work practices. You should revisit the policies that your company has implemented to ensure the safety of your workforce, remind your employees of required practices and consider if anything needs to be updated.

One of the most common risks on the job is falls. While we commonly think falls occur at height, falls also occur at ground level. To reduce or eliminate the potential for a slip and fall…


Relationship Spotlight: Acts Management Services

Acts Management Services (AMS) is the management company for Acts Retirement-Life Communities (Acts), which is the nation’s largest not-for-profit owner, operator, and developer of senior living continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). Acts provides comprehensive life care services to seniors including independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and primary care services through a network of 26 campuses in nine states serving more than 10,000 residents.

Acts and Univest have a long-standing partnership and, even in the midst of the challenges presented by COVID-19, Acts is growing and Univest is proud to support its mission. Tom Cassidy, Vice President and…


Shift Your Company Culture by Investing in Relationships

What is your company’s culture and engagement strategy? Employers who embrace the power of cultural fundamentals and have strategies in place to communicate their culture and promote employee engagement are in a position to accomplish more. By incorporating your company’s principles into daily business practices, you can cultivate a high-performing culture that drives performance and encourages employees to work together to serve their customers and communities. When an engaged workforce follows a common set of fundamental behaviors, it results in success.

At Univest, we highly value our culture and truly believe it drives performance. We also realize that culture isn’t…

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