Whether you're opening up a business checking account, applying for a loan, or seeking financial advice, a community bank offers several advantages over larger institutions. When it comes to small business banking, consider these important benefits of staying local.
1. Gaining Personalized Attention
Community bank employees learn their customers' names and serve them on a personal level.
You live and breathe your small business. It's the product of your sweat and anxiety and passion, and you want to protect it so it can grow. This requires personalized attention from financial professionals who believe in your business and want to see it succeed.
Since community banks serve a smaller pool of customers, they can tend personally to the needs of each client. Tellers, advisers, and loan officers learn their clients' names and remember the nature of their businesses.
You'll feel more confident in your banking relationship if you know your bank sees you as a name instead of a number. This is especially true if you're expanding your company or experiencing a vulnerable period in your business's evolution.
2. Building a Working Relationship
Building on the previous benefit, community banks get to know their customers' needs and financial histories so they can serve them more accurately. A larger bank might only consider data on a form, but community banks take a more holistic approach to issues like loans and business lines of credit.
If you want the most flexible small business banking experience, a community institution delivers. You can schedule a meeting with a banker to discuss your specific needs, then solicit advice for achieving your goals. Your banker will know your corporate spending habits, your loan history, and other details needed to make informed decisions.
3. Paying Fewer Fees
Some of the larger banks charge numerous small business banking fees. You might get charged every time you swipe your business debit card, for example, or each time you transfer cash from your savings account to your checking account.
Community banks charge fees, too, but they generally cost less than national banks, according to Bankrate. You might also get higher interest rates on savings accounts and other investments if your business banks with a community institution.
4. Supporting the Local Economy
Community banks serve a specific geographical area; consequently, they tend to support their local areas, and if you bank with them, you also support your community. Regardless of the economic climate, funneling money into the local market benefits everyone in a city, county, or region.
5. Keeping Your Money Local
You work hard to earn every penny in your small business banking account. Keeping your money local provides you with easy access to it whenever you need it, and it provides you with peace of mind. Since you know the people who handle your money, you feel safer.
6. Getting Faster Decisions
In a large bank, decisions move up a chain of command to professionals who might live across the country. At community banks, on the other hand, decisions are made locally. You don't have to wait for someone you've never met to review data in a file and render a decision or approve a request.
Deciding where to conduct your small business banking requires careful consideration of the facts. If you need a financial home for your business, check out our business checking solutions and other financial products today.