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‘Go local’ and support your community bank

Dear Editor,

The word “sustainability” can be linked to a lot of our local activities these days – whether it’s reusing or recycling products that otherwise might be tossed out, shopping locally at our farmers’ markets and area small businesses right here in Russellville and Franklin County, or making a commitment to buy American-made products. Needless to say, there are a lot of ways to go local and build a more sustainable world.

While all of this is great, have you thought about what these activities mean for our local economy, right here in Russellville? Have you also thought about how your banking activities might also help our local economy? If not, I’m hoping to add yet another buzzword called “economic sustainability.”

You might be asking exactly what this means. As community bankers for Community Spirit Bank, this is a cause we are dedicated to each and every day. By employing local residents and lending to local small businesses, farmers, ranchers and residents, Community Spirit Bank is building a more economically sustainable community right here in and around Russellville – and community banks nationwide are doing the same.

It’s all part of a symbiotic relationship that community banks have with their communities – they take in local deposits and put them to productive use by lending that money back into the local economic ecosystem to local small businesses and local residents just like you.

That’s why April is known as Community Banking Month. I encourage all local residents and small business owners to consider what it means to “go local” from an economic point of view and how to support economic sustainability by banking with a community bank, such as Community Spirit Bank.

Banking locally makes an impact both at the micro and macro levels. Take for instance the fact that there are almost 7,000 community banks with more than 50,000 locations throughout the United States. Community banks, which are locally operated—and many of them locally owned—constitute 96.8 percent of all banks with assets that may range from less than $10 million to $10 billion or more. Community banks with less than $10 billion in assets provide nearly 60 percent of all small business loans under $1 million and more than 75 percent of all commercial bank agricultural loans. That’s no small potatoes when it comes to lending.

Community Spirit Bank’s commitment to see our communities grow is evident by the volume of loans we have to small businesses. As of the most recent quarter end, our bank is proud to have some 600 loans to small businesses and small farms constituting over $29 million dollars, which is 32 percent of our loan portfolio! As you can see, we are committed to assisting our small farms and small businesses, and we encourage you to help support these small businesses by shopping locally!

It is the small business that supports your local school projects, little league and school ball teams and other volunteer organizations! Join us in supporting them and “go local.”

Feel free to stop by Community Spirit Bank to talk about your finances and how banking locally with a community bank could be the right decision for you, and perhaps your family. Remember – we’re all in this together. Community banks are only successful if our customers and communities are too. That’s why OUR COMMUNITY BANK and its relationship business model have thrived for over 105 years. We know what it takes to create successful local economies – join us in helping to build a more sustainable, vibrant economy here at home!

You can follow the “Go Local” conversation by following us on twitter: @CommSpiritBank and Facebook: www.facebook.com/communityspiritbank.


Brad M. Bolton

President/CEO/Sr. Lender

Community Spirit Bank

Member FDIC/Equal Housing Lender