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Sustainability and its Importance to Community Banking

Posted Date: Thursday, May 01, 2014

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 Oakland 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 our town? 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 to your lexicon—it’s called economic sustainability.

What's This Really Mean?

You might be asking exactly what this means. As a community banker for Lotus Bank, this is a cause I’m dedicated to each and every day. By employing local residents and lending to local businesses and residents, Lotus Bank is building a more economically sustainable community right here—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 businesses and to local residents just like you. That’s why this past April, which was Community Banking Month, I encouraged all local residents and business owners to consider what it means to go local from an economic point of view and to support economic sustainability by banking with a community bank.

Making an Impact at Many Levels

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.

Feel free to stop by Lotus Bank to talk about your finances and how banking locally with a community bank could be the right decision for you, and your family. Remember—we’re all in this together. Community banks are only successful if our customers and communities are too. That’s why the community bank and its relationship business model have thrived for over 100 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!

By Neal Searle
President & CEO

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