Small businesses are the heartbeat of communities, and many have been especially challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regions is proud to serve small-business owners across its footprint – and share their stories of resilience and strength.
Many businesses struggled during the pandemic.
However, when Regions’ Mark Nix connected with business prospect Victor Comastro, he found a thriving restaurant looking to expand.
Comastro is the proprietor of VJC Hospitality of Smyrna Inc. (operating as Chicago Pizza), a successful pizza restaurant in Georgia. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he never closed his doors as many restaurants were forced to do. Instead, he set up outdoor dining and created a tailgate-like atmosphere, complete with live music to keep the patrons coming – and his staff employed.
Within six weeks of shutdowns across the country, his business was back to pre-pandemic levels. And just last month, he saw record-breaking revenues.
“When COVID started, the restaurants were closing down,” said Comastro. “In Georgia, we were lucky we were allowed to stay open with the pick-up option. We’d take call-in orders and bring the food to customers waiting in their vehicles, and then it evolved into a tailgate, with customers enjoying their meals in an outdoor atmosphere. By June 2020, our business had doubled what it had been even before the pandemic.”
By June 2020, our business had doubled what it had been even before the pandemic.
Along with his business, his banking needs were expanding, and he needed a banking relationship that could grow with him. Comastro has his eyes on expansion and plans to open his second location in Snellville, Georgia in the fall of 2022.
Nix is a Commercial Banking Solutions Business Development relationship manager at Regions. After he initially met Comastro, he invited him to an introductory conversation with Lina Rozier, Commercial Banking Solutions relationship manager. The goal was to learn more about Comastro’s company and his personal and business banking needs. Through the course of the conversation, Rozier identified the need for a purchasing card and operating accounts for the business.
“Lina really listened,” Comastro said. “She got to know me, my business, and the complex financial needs around inventory, cash flow and capital in my industry.”
Comastro shared what he views as the Regions’ difference.
“Working with Regions has been great. Lina looked at my business in real life and gave us the opportunity and flexibility to get the products we need,” Comastro said.
It is about connection and building relationships throughout the bank, ensuring each client knows their business is important to us – they as individual business owners are important to us.
Jordan Baxter, Commercial Banking Solutions Manager
That is the goal of a new Commercial Banking Solutions Business Development team at Regions. To really get to know the individual business owners and their unique financial needs to provide customized solutions and a best-in-class client experience.
Under the leadership of Jordan Baxter, the dynamic team hit the ground running, onboarding new clients who are taking advantage of Regions’ products and services to grow their businesses.
“We are offering businesses a true relationship,” said Baxter. “It is about connection and building relationships throughout the bank, ensuring each client knows their business is important to us – they as individual business owners are important to us.”
Among the recent new clients like Comastro are wholesalers, manufacturers, restaurants and more with many located in Florida, Georgia and Texas – key growth markets for Regions. From depository accounts, treasury, and lines of credit, Regions is helping these small businesses reach their potential through efficiency, capital and merchant services.
“What I really like about Regions is that they are a local team and part of our community, with the capabilities of a large financial institution,” Comastro said.