April is ICBA Community Banking Month. Consumers have the power to make change happen at the community level by aligning with their community bank and putting their money to work in the neighborhood that they call home.
Your choice of bank is your vote on where your money goes. Is it reinvested back into your own community, or is it sent off to a banking hub in another state or halfway around the world?
When you deposit funds in your community bank, that money is redistributed back into the community in the form of loans to residents and entrepreneurs and taxes paid in your own communities.
From local farms to craftsmen to startups, banking locally with a community bank connects you to your community and your neighbors and gives everyone a stake in its financial success. Here are a few reasons why:
• Community banks respect the communities they serve by doing right by their customers and community.
Community banks and local communities have symbiotic relationships—one cannot thrive without the other.
• Community banks are relationship lenders. They know their customers and understand their financial needs, unlike larger institutions that take a transaction-based approach to banking.
• Community banks understand and celebrate local economies. As small businesses themselves, community banks are an unequivocal resource for entrepreneurs looking to launch a local small business. A study from seven Federal Reserve Banks found that small businesses that apply for loans with community banks are the most successful and most satisfied. ICBA celebrates local entrepreneurship on the third Wednesday of every month with Go Local Wednesday, during which community bankers and consumers share stories about supporting local businesses via social media.
• Community banks give back. Serving local communities is second nature to community banks.