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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…


Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment Strategies

Workers’ compensation is a required benefit that all employers must provide for their employees. By 1949, it was adopted by all 50 states and it used to pay for lost wages and medical bills when an employee is injured on the job. Some employers look at workers’ comp as a sunk cost or a cost of doing business. These businesses typically spend more for workers’ comp than businesses that work to proactively improve their safety culture and minimize on-the-job accidents. The rate in Pennsylvania for a carpenter can range from $5.91 per $100 of payroll to as much as…


Relationship Spotlight: WSMT Insurance Agency

Like any business, insurance firms need capital to grow. However, the complexities related to insurance agency business models can often steer lenders away from this type of client. Many times, if an owner of an insurance agency walks into a bank, they will be met with challenges since their business does not have traditional collateral for a loan. This makes it vital to work with a lender who understands how insurance agencies operate and can assess the ability to provide financing accordingly.

There are two main reasons that insurance agencies seek out loans: 1) expansions/acquisitions and 2) succession planning. Our…


Dear HR – Employees with Valid Medical Marijuana Credentials

The ongoing emotional stress, isolation and uncertainty of COVID-19 has, unfortunately, led to dramatic increases in substance abuse and overdoses. According to a CDC study conducted in June 2020, 13% of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use as a way of coping with stress or emotions related to COVID-19. Another grim statistic from the CDC is the number of people who died from drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending last June. The total number was more than 81,000, a 20% increase year-over-year, and the highest number of fatal overdoses ever recorded in the U.S. in a single…


Post-Pandemic Tips for Small Business Owners

It has been more than a year since the pandemic significantly impacted our lives and brought many businesses and industries to a halt. As we continue the recovery process and slowly return to pre-COVID standards, businesses need to learn from the ways they have been impacted and take steps to ensure their long-term survival. Here are a few things that small business owners should consider as they work towards getting back to a “new normal.”

  • Accounts Receivable – What is your current receivable aging trend and how have you positioned your business to adapt and ensure you…

Is Your Business Protected from Cyber Threats?

Businesses were already becoming more and more digital, then the pandemic hit and that transition increased significantly. Even businesses that may not have considered online solutions before. With even more business happening online, there are new threats that business owners need to be prepared for – computer viruses, data breaches, malicious hacking, and other cyber-crimes. To help cover the cost related to these potential exposures, the insurance industry has policies tailored to cover the loss and damages.

What is Cyber Liability Insurance?
Cyber liability insurance is a newer coverage that has evolved from the digitization of business in the 21st


Dear HR – How to Handle an Employee’s Positive COVID Test

As restrictions continue to be lifted and “COVID fatigue” accelerates, it is important for employers to continue to manage the challenges presented by the pandemic. Here is some insight on current quarantine guidelines that may help you navigate the ongoing pandemic.

For those who may have been exposed – if they have not been vaccinated or have not had COVID-19 within the past three months and were in “close contact” with the employee, they’ll need to get tested and wait until a negative test result is confirmed before returning to their work location. If the test result is positive, they’ll…

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