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What Employers Must Consider as Remote Work Continues

The scope and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused employers to rethink the traditional workplace model. Having had time to test the waters with remote work arrangements, many employers are now exploring ways to more permanently incorporate working from home as either an option, or as a mandate where feasible. Many employees remain fearful of close working conditions, and some employers remain concerned about taking responsibility for the elevated level of cleanliness and hygiene required to meet CDC and OSHA guidelines. The rising level of COVID-19 related litigation is also a contributing factor in employers’ reopening decision-making.

Employers permitting or…


In Times of Crisis a Relationship with your Lender is Key

The pandemic has left many businesses facing financial hardships. Stay-at-home orders, capacity limitations and other guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 have negatively impacted our economy. Many businesses have had their revenues substantially reduced and have struggled to remain current with their expenses, including rent, which is causing landlords to fall short on commercial mortgage payments.

According to a survey taken by The Main Street Alliance at the end of June, approximately 60 percent of its members had delayed or reduced their rent payments in the past four months. The coronavirus outbreak has caused a chain reaction…


NOW is the Time to Consider Your Business Succession Plan

Given the recent economic uncertainty, many business owners need to consider their financial and succession plans. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced business owners to rethink how they can safely and successfully navigate through unchartered economic waters. Business owners nearing their retirement years may not be interested in going through an economic recovery period that could potentially span many years. This makes it even more timely to assess the succession plan for your business.

Older business owners are at higher risk in more ways than one. More than half of America’s small business owners are older than 50. Not only…


Workplace Assessments: What you Don’t Know CAN Hurt You!

Much like in assessing our own physical health through an annual checkup, businesses need to monitor their health, too. Particularly in matters pertaining to their employees. Whether you have a dedicated HR function or not, your company’s HR practices and procedures play a significant role in your ability to manage workplace related risk and attract and retain talent. Are your policies and practices in compliance with statutory regulations? Do you know? When was the last time you pressed “pause,” and took the time to review them?

In today’s environment of a more self-educated workforce, employees’ sensitivity to their rights, and…


Building Culture Through Servant Leadership

What is your company’s culture and engagement strategy? The employers who embrace the power of servant leadership and have strategies in place to communicate their culture and promote employee engagement will be in the best position going forward. At Univest, we highly value our culture and truly believe it drives performance. We also realize that culture isn’t something that just happens – it has to be defined and cultivated.

The Univest Way consists of 18 fundamentals that describe the daily principles and practices that make our five core values come to life and truly serves as the foundation of our…


How the ‘Convenience Economy’ Impacts Commercial Real Estate

In today’s economy, everything is about convenience, from food delivery apps to the ability to shop for just about anything online to the growing trend of living, working and recreating in the same complex. This need for convenience has been exacerbated as the coronavirus pandemic has many working from home and ordering everything from groceries to cleaning supplies to retail items online. The desire and need for convenience is impacting every industry, including commercial real estate.

Two key areas seeing increased demand during this unique time as Americans continue the shift towards a convenience economy are industrial warehousing and mixed-use…


Keeping Communities Strong: How Next Generation Farmers Can Grow Their Business

For next generation farmers, starting new farming operations or growing the family farm can come with multiple financial challenges. Most equipment and livestock purchases or land acquisitions require large sums of money to complete. Therefore, working with a team of agricultural lending professionals to finance growth and transitions can provide families with the security they need to carry on their farming tradition.

Finding a lender that understands the unique needs of farmers is especially important in areas like Lancaster County, Pa., where the total value of all crops produced exceeds $1 billion annually and 12% of the total county workforce…


Liquidity Equals Flexibility

At a recent seminar, the topic of liquidity, or cash on hand, came up as an important tool that a business should have at their disposal. It may be true in other regions, but specifically in Lancaster County, there is a culture of paying debt off quickly, at the expense of having liquidity available. The debate goes, “Why pay interest expense on debt while earning a lower rate than that on our deposits.” This argument doesn’t take into the account the importance of the flexibility that having cash on hand provides. It is easy to lose sight of that…


Customized Financial Solutions for Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate, commonly known as CRE, is a commercial lending practice where the source of repayment for the loan is derived from the rental income of an investment property. With a team of dedicated, ‘boots on the ground’ lenders, Univest has extensive experience in CRE lending. This can range from a 5-unit apartment building to a several hundred-unit multi-family complex, or a single tenant retail location to a large regional power center. Market segments we work with include multi-family apartments, retail, industrial, office, mixed use and residential sub-divisions.

Univest offers financing for the acquisition of new investment properties or…


Is Your Business Prepared for the Next Downturn?

With lots of thriving, small businesses here in the mid-Atlantic, we have plenty of reasons to be thankful and celebrate what is happening with today’s economy. We experienced a steady recovery and a bolstering of the overall business community since the significant challenges of the ‘great recession.’ While it feels as if there is finally some hope, release of pressure and confidence in the market again, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider there may be tough times ahead. It is never too soon to start preparing. The sooner we begin to prepare, the less impact the next downturn will…

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