Local Bankers Support Local Businesses

When times are tough, expert advice makes a difference, Bill Mullins, of Crystal Lake Bank & Trust, explains how the staff at a community bank makes a difference for local customers.

As we all know, we’re in a challenging economic environment right now. Businesses in our community, and all around the country, are looking for ways to acquire new customers, deepen relationships with existing customers and manage costs more effectively.

The only certainty in the market today is that things are uncertain. There’s no guarantee where the market will go as we enter 2013, and for business owners, that uncertainty can be scary.

When times are tough, the professionals at your banking institution should be able to provide the advice, tools and services to keep your company moving forward. Talk to your banker, explain how your business is changing and ask what he or she can do to help.

A business owner is always evaluating his or her business. Your banker should also be evaluating opportunities for you, offering advice, making recommendations and providing solutions. It’s important to recognize the areas in which your business could use support, because the more resources you have, the better off you are. Whether you need to improve your cash flow, or you’re ready to purchase new equipment, your banker should be able to offer financial solutions that fit your needs. A business may want to consider loan opportunities like the programs offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans, usually referred to as SBA loans, can help to provide working capital, help with equipment or real estate purchases, or even provide funds for a partner buyout.

Working with a banker one-on-one, face-to-face, is one of the many benefits of community banking. The outcome should be customized financial solutions that will help make your life easier, so that you can focus on what you do best: running your business. By making you aware of the features and benefits of services like online banking, information reporting, remote capture deposit, payroll, online lockbox and merchant services, you will have, at your fingertips, all of the tools necessary to run your business effectively and efficiently.

It is the mission of all community banks to provide sound financial advice and guidance to businesses within the communities in which they live and work. No matter where you bank, you should be able to count on your banker through these trying times. Earlier this year, we took a hard look at our entire business product line and decided to simplify our solutions. We wanted to make sure that business owners would have account options with clear choices that are simple and straightforward, and which provide value they would benefit from. The hallmark of community banks is to focus on business owners, with this goal: Save them money, save them time and provide them with more for less.

Local businesses are the heart of our communities – when they do well, we as community banks also do well. With so much uncertainty, your banker should be someone you can turn to and rely on. We work hard every day to be a partner dedicated to your success, providing the tools and resources to help your business through this challenging time. Reach out to your local community banker today and see how we can help.

Bill Mullins is Retail Banking Market Manager at Crystal Lake Bank & Trust, a Wintrust Community Bank. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.