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The Secret to 2020 Business Success: Relationships

During challenging times, it’s especially important to reflect on the lessons learned to help prepare for the future. 2020 was a year like no other and as we look back at how we navigated the unexpected, what comes to light is how we were able to support our customers in new ways. This ability to adapt to the needs of our customers highlighted what matters most to our team – trusted relationships. Relationships were the foundation on which the bank was built in 1876 and our commitment was, is, and always will be building connections in the communities we…


Micro-Loan Recovery Program: How it Helped REC Philly Navigate 2020

Being a small business owner is challenging enough without the additional obstacles imposed by a pandemic and civil unrest. After opening in December 2019, REC Philly had to shut down its state-of-the-art creative facility only three months later due to the state mandates. The entrepreneurs had to act quickly to adapt. One thing that helped them sustain those changes was access to capital through the Micro-Loan Recovery Program.

During this time of unprecedented challenges, Univest, Bryn Mawr Trust, Customers Bank, OceanFirst Bank and WSFS committed $650,000 to fund the Micro-Loan Recovery Program with the goal of helping Philadelphia…


Joe Biden is President-Elect: What’s Next for Employers?

While the outcome of the Georgia Senate race could make much of what follows more impactful for employers, the preferences of President-elect Biden when it comes to the workplace are well-documented. Whether it’s the COVID-19 response, labor and workers’ rights, diversity or healthcare, there’s a lot of potential change in the wind for employers. Again, much of this could be tempered by the makeup of the Senate, however, business owners and HR policy owners should keep what follows on their radar.

Addressing COVID-19
Various sources suggest that addressing the pandemic will be the new Administration’s number one priority. Employers could see…


What You Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Believe it or not, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a staggering 33 million Americans lacked even a single day of paid time off to care for themselves or a sick family member. Most of us are familiar with the term FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) or we’ve heard of it before at some point in our life. When the pandemic hit, our government had to create a whole new kind of leave in addition to FMLA in order to help cover the gap for when individuals get COVID-19 or come in contact with someone who had COVID-19 and need…


Three Things Businesses Must Consider for 2021 Success

If a business experiences a fire, the progression afterward is usually to rebuild and return to normal. But what happens if “normal” no longer exists? To say 2020 has been a difficult year would be an understatement. Continued surges of the coronavirus pandemic have led to shutdowns and safety precautions. In addition, social unrest continues to cause turmoil. These areas of volatility mean many small businesses continue to face “fires” as 2020 comes to an end. Since the pre-pandemic normal might not return, here are three ways businesses can adapt for a new year and a new business environment.

Reimagine…


How Nonprofits Can Navigate the Challenges of COVID

At Univest, we firmly believe in giving back to the communities we serve. Even as the economy has faltered over the past months due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have continued to support nonprofit organizations in our service area through not just donations, but also by serving as a financial partner through lending, insurance and other banking solutions.

With many nonprofits seeing a dip in financial contributions due to the hardships people are facing in 2020, it is important for those organizations to consider how they can adapt and what steps they can take to weather the ongoing economic instability….


Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations? What Employers Should Consider

The FDA has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use and rollout has begun. While access to the vaccine is currently limited due to prioritization restrictions and logistical challenges, we can assume that the vaccine will become available to the general public at some point in 2021. How will you address vaccination with your workforce? Have you thought about mandating a COVID-19 vaccination for all employees? Have you wondered if it would be legal to do so? Whether there may be exceptions to consider?

Generally speaking, other than in the several states that permit philosophical objections to receiving vaccines, employers…


What to Consider When Choosing A Commercial Bank

The famous Irish poet, Oscar Wilde, once described a cynic as, “the man who knows the price of everything and value of nothing.” This quote is also an accurate description of the methodology some business owners use when choosing a commercial bank. Using a single parameter to choose your bank ignores the substantial benefits it can provide beyond a commercial loan. Unfortunately, many business owners only look for a commercial bank when they need a commercial loan which frequently leads to a comparison on only one basis.

However, the right bank can, and should, bring benefits well beyond the interest…


Cash Crop Potential: What to Know Before You Grow

Pennsylvania has a robust cash crop industry — from corn, soybeans and alfalfa to more niche products like produce, tobacco and hemp. While cash crops can prove to be relatively resilient, they can come with their own risks that could have a drastic impact on growers’ financial welfare. 2020 has proved to be a challenging year for many within the agriculture industry, so it is especially important for farmers thinking about the cash crop sector to consider three key factors that could impact their success.

Know the market. Perhaps the most important factor for farmers to consider is who will…


Hardening Market Trends for Commercial Insurance

The last thing a business owner or CFO wants to hear is that their commercial insurance rate is increasing at the time of renewal. Over that past 20 years, the insurance markets have been soft, however, due to the current state of affairs and impact of COVID-19, the insurance industry is shifting into a hardening market.

The trend can be seen when reviewing the August results of the IVANS Index™ which tracks premium renewal rates. Here are the changes versus the month prior:

  • Business Owners Policy: 5.00%, up from 4.38%
  • General Liability: 3.61%, up from 3.45%
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