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A Message from Ed Wehmer, Founder and CEO of Wintrust

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A Message from Ed Wehmer, Founder and CEO of Wintrust

Many of us have been sheltering in place for more than two months now. For a lot of us, especially those who are managing while wearing a few different hats, it probably feels like much longer. I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy—both physically and mentally—during these difficult times. 

Although things have been challenging, I’ve found comfort in seeing so many people step up and come together to support one another. At Wintrust, we’ve been proud to help in a few ways, especially, by supporting our local businesses as they navigate the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

Our employees have been working—at all hours of the day and night—since we received word about the PPP funding. More than 100 members of our technology team spent more than 8,600 hours in the week leading up to the PPP launch building an online system to collect submissions. Our commercial, middle market, and small business bankers immediately started reaching out to clients to help as many as possible navigate submission. Customer support staff worked all hours to process applications, and even non-bank employees from across our organization jumped in to help. 

It was well worth all the effort. After the first and second round of approved funding, we’ve loaned approximately $3.3 billion in PPP funding to more than 11,200 businesses. A rough estimate from businesses who self-reported, indicated that those funds impacted more than 114,000 jobs, and countless families are more financially secure because of them. I could not be more proud of that. 

We also did our best to ensure we were serving those who needed it most. The median PPP loan was just about $75,000, and more than half of the total loans were for less than $100,000, showing our commitment to small businesses in our area. More than 500 nonprofit partners also received PPP funding.

In our banks across our area, frontline employees have been offering our services, safely, through our drive-ups and by appointment. They’ve been helping with our customers’ day-to-day banking needs and providing specialty solutions, like our MaxSafe account, which extends Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance coverage. 

Our mortgage division has been working hard to support clients with refinance services to help lower monthly payments. We’ve also waived late charges on all consumer loans, offered loan deferment options, and have been working on an individualized basis to support our customers’ current circumstances.  

Right now, we all just want to do our part. At Wintrust, whether it’s the effort that went into securing PPP loans, our frontline staff delivering the banking services our communities depend on, or the support in navigating current financial uncertainty, we’re doing our best to make sure you feel our contribution. 

In the coming months, we’re looking forward to getting back to normal. We’ll take our guidance from the experts on when the time is right, but we’ve already been working on plans to ensure that, when it is, we’re ready and can continue to take every precaution to put employee, customer, and community safety front and center. 

I believe in staying connected, especially during this time. That’s why I want to offer up an easy way to reach me. Feel free to email AskEd@wintrust.com with questions or concerns during this time. 

In good health,

Edward J. Wehmer

Wintrust Founder & CEO