Business Insights

Why Bank Local? How Community Banks Can Enhance Business Banking

Is “Bank Local” the new “Shop Local"? In communities across the United States, local banks are beginning to garner a larger share of their neighbors’ businesses, from credit cards to small-business support. There are good reasons for this growing trend, especially for local business owners.

Whether opening a business checking account, applying for a business loan or seeking financial advice, working with a community bank for small-business banking has many benefits.

What is a Local Bank?

While there is no formal definition of a local bank, they are generally community institutions that provide financial services for local customers in a specific geographic region, such as Florida local banks like Seacoast Bank.

Even better, local banks have stronger ties to their communities and often consider the relationships they have built with individuals, families and local business owners when making lending decisions.

What are the Benefits of Community Banks?

There are several solid reasons for small-business owners to consider local banking for their robust business needs. To help streamline your decision, here are our top eight benefits of choosing a community bank for your business banking.

1. Personalized Customer Service

man and woman discussing business banking

You live and breathe your small business. It is the product of your passion and determination; you want to protect it to grow. This requires building a banking relationship through personalized attention from financial professionals who know your business, believe in your business and want to see it succeed.

Community banks focus on building solid customer relationships by providing personalized attention to each individual's needs. This is possible because they serve a smaller customer base. Tellers, advisers and loan officers learn their clients' names and remember their businesses' nature and unique needs.

Even in the business of numbers, you will feel more confident in your banking relationship if your local bank sees you as a name instead of just a number. This is especially true if you are growing your company or experiencing a vulnerable period in your business's evolution.

2. Get Quicker Decisions

At community banks, decisions are made locally. At a large bank, applications move slowly up a chain of command to critical decision-makers who likely live hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Because community banks are local, your request will likely be made by—or at least influenced by—someone you know and have worked with before, resulting in quicker decisions that equal big impacts for your business. You won't need to wait for an unknown individual to examine information in a document, make a judgment, or sanction a demand.

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3. Small-Business Support

Community banks get to know their customers' needs and financial histories to serve them better. A national bank may view you and your business as a number on a document, whereas local banks adopt a more personal method when dealing with loans and business credit lines.

From payment, processing and security services that allow you to focus on what truly matters—running your business—to business insights that offer expert guidance on how to protect and grow your business, a community bank is there to support you and your business in a personalized way that is unmatched in the banking industry.

4. Pay Fewer and Lower Fees

Yes, community banks still charge fees. However, when compared to larger banks, they generally cost less and charge fewer fees to small businesses. Community banks typically offer straightforward fee structures, making it easier for you to plan, budget and optimize your cash flow.

According to Bankrate, a business that banks with a community institution may get higher annual percentage yield (APY) rates on savings accounts and other investments.

5. Enjoy Better Rates

Many community banks frequently offer more attractive interest rates than their larger counterparts for lending products. By understanding the regional marketplace, local banks can use this centralized criterion when setting loan rates and attracting customers.

However, this may not always be the case. Local banks often rely on interest revenues to fund their operations, and their rates fluctuate based on those earnings. A best practice is to check your local bank’s rates or visit your local branch to discuss your business goals and how your bank can help you achieve them.

6. Stimulate the Local Economy

As discussed earlier, community banks service a specific geographical area. Consequently, they tend to support their local communities. If you bank with them, you will also be helping your community. Regardless of the economic climate, funneling money into the local market—and keeping it there—benefits everyone within a city, county or region.

7. Flexibility

localbank2A community-based institution always delivers the most flexible small-business banking experience if you want it. Because of their knowledge and convenient proximity to those they serve, local banks can contour their offerings to meet the client's specific needs in their communities.

Plus, you can schedule a face-to-face meeting with a banker to discuss your specific needs and solicit advice for achieving your goals. The banker will know your spending habits, loan history and other details needed to make informed decisions.

8. Local Networking

Because they are actively involved in the communities where they operate and support businesses, local banks are invaluable resources for small-business owners who want to network and create connections with other companies in the area.

Local banks focus on building relationships, and by leveraging the bank’s network and attending local events sponsored by the bank, you can expand your professional network of local service providers, suppliers, clients and more—all while fostering greater collaboration and development of your local community.

Seacoast Bank Makes Local Banking Easy

Deciding where to conduct your small-business banking requires careful consideration of the facts. What is best for your business? Establishing a relationship with a local bank can be a valuable investment for your business, yourself, and your community.

Explore our range of small-business solutions for a financial center conveniently located near you. Contact us today for personalized assistance over the phone or in person, or simply fill out the form below.


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