According to the latest figures, there are 1.1 million small business employees in Tennessee, which account for 42.4% of the state’s workforce. Even more convincing are the number of small businesses (636,942) and the percent of total businesses they account for (99.5%) in our state1.
Since 99.5% of businesses in Tennessee classified as a ‘small business’, it’s very important to share the benefits of these businesses choosing a community bank (most of which are classified as a small business themselves).
Better, Faster Service
When you set up your business accounts at a community bank, you’re better preparing yourself for the future for several reasons, one of which is the level of service. When you call a community bank, you’re speaking to the same people you’ve most likely already met. Large institutions tend to use call centers in a different part of the country. Community bankers know you, your business, and your goals for it. It’s a relationship community banks take pride in building, not a name tied to an account number.
The service is often much faster, too. You won’t have to make five calls before finally getting to the right person, you won’t have to talk to a machine prior to getting a human being, and you won’t have to listen to the long list of options to select from. Community banks decision-making processes, especially as they relate to business relationships, are much more efficient. You get the answers you need when you need them.
Most community banks offer much lower administrative fees than their large institution counterparts. Community banks understand that every dollar saved is important for small businesses because they are small businesses themselves. Small savings eventually add up to large savings, and this can often be the difference of staying afloat or going under in times of economic uncertainty.
Level of Expertise
As I mentioned, most community banks are small businesses. Chances are, they have been through whatever challenges you may face. This creates the opportunity to offer first-hand knowledge on any issues that may arise in the future. In addition, community banks are very knowledgeable on many aspects of the local community (buying habits, consumer behaviors, popular locations, etc.). Having a partner with this knowledge and experience is invaluable to a small business owner.
In addition to providing loans and other services that benefit the residents in the town they serve, community banks are also very involved in local community service. They often support various organizations, events, or causes that benefit the local economy, helping both the businesses and residents in town. Ultimately, this can help attract new residents and businesses.
It’s simple really – large national banks aren’t as well-equipped, agile, or flexible as community banks are in supporting small businesses. To learn more about how community banks are directly supporting local small businesses, come see us here at Citizens Bank & Trust. We’ve been supporting local businesses in West Tennessee for nearly 100 years, and we’d be honored to support yours.