By Chris Caldwell
SVP, Commercial/Business Banking
I work for a community bank, and for the last 30 years, I’ve only worked for community banks. You may ask me why that is so important. I contend that we are a critical tool for small businesses across our country. We help these businesses every day through a variety of different avenues:
1. We help small businesses expand & grow.
We help small businesses by providing the needed capital for them to expand and grow. We work with these companies daily to help them acquire the necessary equipment for their production of goods or services. We help them purchase a building in which they can house literally millions of people who are employed by these companies. We help them convert their cash flow cycle from start to finish. We are their financial partner.
2. We help small businesses protect their assets.
In this era of data security, we help companies protect their hard-earned cash. We offer financial tools that allow them to ACH funds, transact business instantly, all while providing an environment that secures their information.
3. We partner with small businesses in the truest sense of the word.
We strive to serve as more than a source of security and capital, though. We also pair our clients with client-focused bankers. These bankers are continually trying to find ways to add value to their customers. Sometimes this is through networking them with other clients and vendors, sometimes through providing some information that may allow them to be better informed, and often through insightful questions that challenge our clients’ thinking and the way they look at their own business.
The difference is in the story...
So . . . how is this different from larger banks or other financial organizations that offer some of these products? Because in our community bank, our bankers are listening to more than just the numbers. We are continually listening to the story. What is the “rest of the information” that may help us understand the company in a way that simple ratios and financial analysis may not see? We are combining our ability to provide flexible capital, secure cash management, and sound advice every day for our customers. During Small Business Week, I want to say “thank you” to all the clients that give us the honor of letting us be their financial partner. We are fortunate to get to work with our clients.