We know a lot about small businesses and have always admired their ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Those qualities have especially been evident since March, when many companies have had to modify their operations to remain viable. And as their partners, we’ve been checking in with them more frequently than usual to let them know we have services that can help them through this difficult time.
“Many of our customers have really flourished because they’ve been able to think outside the box and stay determined,” says Jim Whitton, Tompkins VIST Bank’s business market leader for the Philadelphia region. One standout customer is PD Home and Garden, an Oaks-based wholesaler that designs, imports and distributes a wide range of home décor items. Owned by Steve and Demi Parris, the company serves more than 500 customers. Unfortunately, one of its biggest clients closed its doors for three months because of the pandemic. In addition to that challenge, many of PD Homes’ products are imported from Asia, which has also suffered from a supply chain disruption.
Facing a potential crisis, Steve and Demi immediately went into proactive mode. “We knew we had to find workarounds and do them fast,” said Steve. They started by pushing their website out to customers through email blasts. They also became a business resource to their own clients by recommending safe ways to do business. They even went as far as helping their clients design systems for online orders, as well as curbside pickup and delivery. Steve admits they were lucky in one respect, “With more people staying at home, and with residential construction and home sales continuing despite the pandemic, people were shopping for home goods,” he said.
Their banker, Jim, says the Parrises epitomize small business initiative. “Because of their hard work over the last few months, PD Home and Garden’s summer figures look strong and their 2020 results may exceed that of the previous year,” he says. “They’re just one of the many business customers who were proactive in making it easy for their customers to purchase their products during a very difficult time.” He is also pleased that, because of Tompkins VIST Bank’s participation in the government’s small business stimulus program, the Parrises have been able to retain their employees.
For their part, the Parrises appreciate Tompkins VIST Bank’s ongoing support. “We switched over to Tompkins several years ago because we like their personal approach” says Steve. “They continue to demonstrate that they really care about their customers.”