107 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 9, ISSUE 9 NORTH CAROL INA BANKERS ASSOC I AT ION which is where we are today. Because you can be doing business with a cannabis-related entity and not know it. “Cannabis is not legal in any fashion here in North Carolina, but we’re supporting the legislation and lobbying for the bill because it’s good for the country and good for the banking system. That’s how state bankers associations work, both at the state and national level – we coordinate, we talk, we communicate, and we work together to push legislation that’s good for the industry, not necessarily just what’s good for our state.” BVM: How did NCBA help out the banks when COVID hit? Gwaltney: “As COVID hit in March of 2020, we were communicating with our members to help them know what was happening around the country and around the state. What best practices were for who was closing and when. How they were handling families who worked for the bank and had school age children when schools were closing. How to do business and manage a bank in a very tricky health environment, while still serving the public and protecting employees at the same time. “We communicated by email all the information from state government, the CDC, and anything new that came out – all hours of the day and night and weekends. We learned all that we could from the CARES Act as it was going through the process for the SBA program. We had to wait for the Treasury to publish the rules for the Paycheck Protection Program and when the document finally came out, we had to send it that night with some analysis to our members – knowing that bankers would be up most of the night reading and preparing for customers and small business owners to come into their banks the next day to apply for a loan that the banks didn’t know much about.