At the start of this year, none of us had any idea how much our lives were about to change. The novel coronavirus has reshaped our society, our economy, and our families. In South Texas, we’re learning to live without our big carne asadas, our hugs and kisses on the cheek, church on the weekends and quick, crowded weekday lunches at Chick-fil-A or Whataburger. We’re learning to recognize smiles through masks. Parents have had to balance their work and their children’s educations, attending Zoom meetings in between teaching math and science. Many in our communities have lost jobs, counting on government assistance to feed their families. We’ve all made adjustments, but some are struggling to survive. And with cases of COVID-19 rising in Texas this summer, and predicted to increase in the fall, I fear we may be in for the long haul.
Falcon is committed to helping our staff and customers through this time. Our drive-thru banking is available for all teller operations, and we are sanitizing canisters after each transaction. In our open lobbies, you’ll find hand sanitizers widely available, floor decals encouraging social distance, and all of our staff wearing masks, which we also ask customers to do. We’ve even purchased cash sanitizing machines—who knew such things existed?! And if any of our staff members feel ill, we encourage them to stay home.
We understand that customers who own small businesses or who have lost their jobs are struggling more than most. We have participated heavily in SBA’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP), helping hundreds of customers so that, in turn, they could help thousands of their fellow employees. We will continue to accept and process PPP applications until the program ends, and we are so proud of our staff for the support they’ve lent to our communities. I encourage you to reach out to us and see how we can help you.
So much may feel out of control, but there is one important thing we can do—and it can change everything: we can take care of each other. We can stay home as much as possible, especially if we’re feeling sick; we can support our local economy by taking advantage of curbside service or free delivery; and if we need to go out, we can socially distance and wear our masks. As my father said during difficult times, “Si cada quien cuidamos de nuestra familia, no habrá necesidad de soluncionar nada más.”
It’s our privilege to serve you during this difficult time.
God bless you and keep you safe,
Adolfo E. Gutierrez