by Ines Marino, Director of Small Business Lending
We think British economist E. F Schumacher makes a great point: Small is beautiful. Small, however, is contrary to what our MBA programs teach us about growing our businesses; the opposite of what it means to achieve the American dream. The pressure to grow, expand, do more, build higher is persistent. As a community bank we understand this pressure. We’ve learned, however, the beauty of being small, means we see the tangible impact of our investment in New York City.
You know this all too well: like beauty, the strength of the smaller player is objective. But we know you. We’ve seen what you’re capable of, have witnessed your hard work and commitment to your customers. And we see where you are going. In fact, dare we say that your community bank will help you achieve your goals faster than a larger financial institution. Here are three reasons why banking with a local, community bank is the best choice for the success of your small business:
- Values-Alignment: The criteria you use to choose a bank is the same as choosing new friends or potential business partners. It starts with values. Can I trust this bank? Will they be honest and transparent? Are they a good communicator? Can I rely on them during hard times? The answer for most community banks is yes. Develop a relationship with a financial institution that wants you as client. Why? Because you both gain from your mutual success. Community banks like Spring Bank and other smaller institutions want to work with small businesses, making less than $10MM a year and have fewer than 10 employees. We bet on your success, and we hope to accompany you as you grow.
- Innovation and Flexibility: Since businesses like yours are an ideal client for a small institution, we have designed products to fit your needs and acknowledge the challenges you face. Larger banks create off-the-shelf products for mid-sized to large companies and expect all clients to conform to the parameters of those products; if a client’s loan application doesn’t tick all the boxes, their loan is simply declined. You will have an easier experience being approved by a smaller lender. For example, in realizing that many entrepreneurs were using their personal credit lines to launch their businesses, Spring Bank launched a small line of credit for up to $10,000. The only eligibility requirements are that the business has been operating and selling for at least one year; the credit score of the owner is at least 600 and the business can submit six months of bank statements. This product has been designed to meet the needs of small businesses with little or no assets, often home-based, whose owners’ credit scores are low or lack a steady track record.
- Personal Friendships: Every bank boasts about having a “personal” relationship with each client. However, only small banks can deliver on this promise and be more flexible and responsive because of the lack of bureaucracy. As the Director of Small Business Lending at Spring Bank, I work in a small team and take on many roles. Part of my job is to present small business lending opportunities to the Chief Lending Officer who works across the hall from me. I can effectively advocate for my client with decision makers. At big banks, the people with the decision-making power will not be the people you meet in person at your branch or who manage your process. In fact, it’s likely you may never meet the decision-maker of your loan application. A community bank, however, will advocate for you as a friend would. It’s our commitment to honor the story and potential of every applicant.
Banking small, banking locally assures you that you won’t be a number. At Spring Bank, we view our small business customers as integral to creating a more inclusive economy. We choose to invest into values-aligned businesses who also want to make a big impact in their community. Why? Because we believe in your success and we are in it with you for the long haul. When you’re successful, our community thrives. And that’s our priority, most of all.
To apply for your small business loan online today, click here. For more information about our small business loans or lines of credit, feel free to call or email me any time: firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-879-5022.