Blackhawk Bank Blog

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Community Banks Are ‘Financial First Responders’ for Local Small Businesses

Posted by blackhawkbank on April 6, 2012

As the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and Blackhawk Bank recognize April asCommunity Banking Month, we want to remind everyone about the critical role community banks serve in supporting local small businesses.  Community banks are able to serve as financial first responders to small businesses because we operate locally, which puts local deposits back to work in the community through loans to local residents and small businesses. 

“Small business lending has always been the bread and butter of community banking, and because community banks are small businesses themselves that operate in the same community as their small business customers, they understand the needs of small businesses and the challenges they face better than anyone else in the marketplace,” said Jeff Gerhart, ICBA chairman and chairman of Bank of Newman Grove, Neb.  “Plus, community banks are able to take on an even bigger role as local job creators by fueling so many of the small businesses within their community—driving economic growth and prosperity on Main Street.”

Gerhart went on to say that because many community banks have been around for more than a hundred years (Blackhawk Bank has served the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin region for over 130 years) they’ve played a pivotal role in helping to establish and grow their local economies.

For their size, community banks are prolific small business lenders—providing a substantial number of small business loans across the country, including Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.  In fact, community banks under $10 billion in assets provide nearly 60 percent of small business loans between $100,000 and $1 million. By driving local economies and creating local jobs, community banks are an integral part of our nation’s financial system. Representing more than 24,000 locations nationwide and employing nearly 300,000 Americans, ICBA members hold more than $1.2 trillion in assets, $1 trillion in deposits, and nearly $750 billion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community.

“We encourage local small businesses to go local with a community bank if they haven’t already,” said Rick Bastian President & CEO of Blackhawk Bank.  “I have no doubt that they’ll be satisfied with the superior customer service, market knowledge and common-sense products that come with banking locally at a community bank.  Here at Blackhawk, we have MANY business clients that switched to us because when times got tough, they quickly learned that their ‘big bank’ didn’t have their back.”

If you’d like to follow the conversation on Community Banking Month, follow the hashtag #golocal on Twitter.  To learn more about community banks, please click on the following links or visit


Jan Barth-Huff, Vice President Marketing

2 Responses to “Community Banks Are ‘Financial First Responders’ for Local Small Businesses”

  1. meredithawood said

    It’s to hear someone stepping up to the plate for small businesses!


  2. meredithawood said

    It’s nice to see someone stepping up to the plate for small businesses!


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