No Tricks, Just Treats: Community Banks Win by Doing Good

The days of October are quickly moving past us, making Halloween costumes and trick-or-treaters less than a week away. However, at Stillman Bank, we are using this month to focus on the “treats” that set community banking apart and keep customers coming back for more. Community bank customers are more successful and satisfied than those of other institutions, outperforming megabanks and online lenders, according to a Federal Reserve small business credit survey.  We help in this by staying focused on our customers’ needs, not their transaction levels.

We will not jeopardize our hard-earned reputation by soliciting goods and services our customers will not benefit from. We bank the old-fashioned way—one customer, one loan at a time. It’s been our philosophy since the bank’s founding 136 years ago and it continues to help us serve the unique needs of our customers today. It is not just our proximity to customers that have allowed us to acquire repeat customers. Unlike credit unions and the Farm Credit System, community banks effectively serve individuals of modest means and agricultural borrowers without taxpayer-funded subsidies.

Stillman Bank employees can be found taking part in numerous events throughout our local communities.

We are proud to put our tax dollars to work right here in the Rock River Valley, helping to support local police and fire departments, schools and other municipal services. Community banks help fortify local neighborhoods in other ways through philanthropic outreach and civic service—providing much-needed resources and attention to worthwhile causes and events. As a local community bank, we are committed to supporting the communities we serve throughout Ogle, Winnebago, and Boone Counties. That is why you’ll see us getting involved and actively supporting a variety of area organizations, agencies, activities, and events. We strive both as a bank and as individuals to do our part to help make our communities better places to live and work—and that benefits all of us!

The treats don’t end there. Nearly one in five U.S. counties are only served by a community bank. And, community banks as a whole fund more than 60 percent of the nation’s small businesses, which account for two out of three new U.S. jobs annually.

A Minneapolis Federal Reserve fedgazette article also recognized the role of the nation’s community banks as first responders in serving the agriculture segment, noting that when the agricultural economy takes a downturn, as it has in recent years, it’s a call-to-action for banks that provide credit to businesses and households in their local communities.  In fact, community banks provide approximately $180 billion in agriculture loans.

Through it all, just know that as your local community bank, we will remain on your corner, in your corner—for the long haul. So, when playing “bobbing for apples” at your next Halloween event, consider where that apple originated and if a local community banker played a part in bringing it from farm to plate. Doesn’t it taste all the sweeter?