MX pivoted to process $5 billion in small business loans
Late in May 1940, more than 300,000 Allied soldiers were pressed together on a small stretch of shoreline in northern France. They were hunkered down and waiting―all anticipating death but hoping for escape.
In recent months the world has been brought to its knees by an enemy far less malevolent than Hitler and his Nazi regime, yet still devastatingly potent in terms of global fear, financial impact, and even death. COVID-19 has cemented itself in the annals of history as a formidable invisible threat capable of wide-sweeping devastation.
In the last six months MX, like most other companies, has found itself facing the challenges of the COVID chaos. As we experienced that chaos and its accompanying fear, we witnessed uncertainty, doubt, and social fracturing.
During this time, it has become even clearer to me how absolutely critical it is to belong to a genuinely purpose-driven organization, where the “why” of what you are doing is tangible and genuine to members of your team, and where they can directly see how their work contributes to an outcome that can change the arc of humanity for the better.
Nietzsche wrote: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” At MX our “why” is to empower the world to be financially strong. The devastating economic impact of COVID has made the importance of this mission even more evident. Since the days of moving to a remote workforce, it has been incredible to watch the “small boats” of individual MX team members launch forth of their own accord to advance the mission of MX.
Most days, this has played out in small ways. Team members go out of their way to connect through meaningful gestures like virtual baby showers and care packages that arrive at the doorstep of a team member experiencing extra turmoil. It too has been evident in organized efforts, like more expansive transparency and openness, encouragement, and support of a healthy work-life blend.
We also have initiatives to keep purchases through local vendors going despite the office being closed. Those purchases are then provided to support frontline workers at hospitals as well as other first-response workers. Lastly, there have been major initiatives that were kicked off by individual team members who recognized major challenges to the economy as a whole and who set forth to help MX be part of the solution.
MX’s PPP Loan portal solution was one of these great orchestrations. It started after a single team member started reflecting on how MX could help lessen the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. In a call with a client later that day, this team member learned about the massive deluge of PPP loan applications that would soon be flooding many of our clients who were totally unprepared to manage them and he took immediate action.
Since MX’s culture empowers team members to be bold, this team member reached out directly to MX’s chief technology officer and chief product officer and communicated the challenge that financial institutions were about to experience and recommended MX build a solution. After a handful of conversations with other clients, the magnitude of the problem was confirmed, and team members across the organization launched into action, volunteering their time 24/7 through the weekend in order to have a solution in place by Monday that could be open sourced.
When the dust settled from the two rounds of PPP loan relief, MX had processed over $5 billion in small business loans, helping save thousands of small businesses and keep thousands of people working. Making that happen served to galvanize the organization as a whole, breathing euphoric sentiment across MX despite the mounting COVID-related challenges.
This article is part of a month-long work from innovation series where executives and entrepreneurs discuss how their companies have innovated as a result of COVID-19. Read more here.