Looking for the best lending options for small businesses can be a challenge, particularly if this is your first time taking out a commercial loan. You have unique needs that a larger corporation may not have and small business owners around the country are starting to notice that working with a bigger bank doesn’t always mean more benefits and better service.
In fact, local banks can usually offer the same, if not more, banking and lending opportunities to help small businesses succeed. It’s important to understand exactly what your options are when thinking about the best bank for your businesses, and the benefits of local banks are hard to overlook.
Local Expertise and Personalized Service
Financial institutions are often the cornerstone of your community, and it’s not unusual to be greeted by a familiar face when you walk through the door. Not only do they know you by name, they probably shop at the same stores as you, root for the same local teams, and their children might even play in the same neighborhood as yours.
When considering your options for commercial loans, it is wise to take into account the differences in personalized service that a local bank can provide in comparison to a larger, nationwide financial institution. Because the team knows you and your business personally, any red flags in your financial history that would result in an immediate rejection by a national bank can be discussed and potentially worked around with a community bank.
The team at your local bank wants to build a long-lasting relationship with you, their neighbor, and you’ll never be seen as simply another account number. In a world where so much of our lives is digitized and lacks face-to-face communication, having that personal attention can really make a big difference.
You won’t be the only business owner in the area that your local bank is familiar with and, because of that, they’ll have insight into the community and market that you can’t find anywhere else. They’ll be able to make decisions and approve loans faster thanks to their inside information, a luxury that bigger banks likely won’t be able to support. Not only will this save you time, but you’ll be able to get answers to questions that relate specifically to your business and the location you’re based in.
Local community banks will work to understand exactly what your business needs are and can offer you specific products or services accordingly, rather than leaving you to choose between endless options that might not be appropriate for the type of business you manage. Banks with a nationwide presence tend to focus their attention on bigger corporations, leaving few options for small enterprises. Working with a local bank means that you’ll feel like a valued customer and partner, no matter how big or small your business is.
If your small business is also in need of a Merchant Services Provider, it is best to have local expertise in that regard as well. To learn more about what to look out for, explore our Guide to Choosing a Merchant Services Provider in Vermont and New Hampshire.
When you’re wondering “how to choose a bank for my business,” community banks should be high on your list. Don’t forget, they’re a small business too, so making use of their expertise and knowledge can be incredibly beneficial for both new and experienced business owners.
Supporting the Local Community
We all love to see our communities grow and thrive, and local banks often help this to happen in several ways. By investing in your business and others in your area, local banks are reinvesting in the community to create better opportunities for everyone. They help small businesses to startup and grow, which in turn allows for more employment in the area, as well as improving resources for the community as a whole. They may even sponsor the local little league team or scout troop, or donate to charitable organizations in your area.
Local banks are just as committed to your community as you are because their success is ultimately tied to yours in a way that large banks are not. If every business in your town prospers, you’re all helping to strengthen your local economy together.
If you’re still asking yourself, “should I bank locally for small business lending needs,” we hope that some of these benefits will convince you that community banking can be the best solution for your small business. Because when you choose a local bank for your small business financing needs, you have access to flexibility, regional expertise, and local decision-making that big banks can’t often provide.
Union Bank is proud to support local industry and community reinvestment throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, with 18 local branch offices and 3 loan centers. Our staff of friendly and experienced commercial lenders is ready to help you identify the right financial solutions for your small business, whether you’re just getting started or have been in operation for decades. Stop by or contact a member of our Commercial Lending Team to learn how we can help you and your business prosper.