April is Community Banking Month and as such, it’s an ideal time to show support and patronage of your local community. Shopping and banking locally have personal and economic benefits. In many towns throughout the country, once-thriving main streets have been replaced by strip malls and retail outlets. The quaint subtleties of shopping “in town” have been exchanged for trips to behemoth shopping centers that clutter the sides of nearby interstate highways. However, the movement of the past decade towards a “bigger is better” mindset in doing business has been challenged by the recent economic downturn. Now, more and more consumers are looking to ditch the big guys and go back to local businesses that more directly impact their community. So, what are the benefits of buying and banking locally?
Invest Here, Multiply Here
Every dollar spent locally has a multiplier effect on your local community. According to The 3/50 Project, a small business group, $68 dollars of every $100 spent at local businesses return to the community versus $43 at national chains. Generally, none of what is spent online stays at home, providing no benefit to your community.
When you spend money at your local community businesses, you generate tax revenue for your city and county. Furthermore, you support the local business person who puts money into the community through civic activity. You also help these business people pay back their loans to the local community bank, which make the majority of small business loans and also reinvest in a variety of ways. Simply put—the little decisions we all make can amount to a great deal of prosperity in our communities.
Lost in our desire for the bigger and, supposedly, better is the banking relationship. This has resulted in less financially literate citizens who, too often, pass along their bad financial habits to the next generation of consumers. By finding a local community bank, you have the opportunity to begin a banking relationship with someone whose livelihood depends on connecting to the financial health of the community. Additionally, local community banks in your neighborhood exist and thrive because of relationships with consumers just like you. They want to create lifelong customers who share a stake in the community. They can be your best asset in helping to teach your children about establishing savings goals, balancing their bank accounts and using credit and debit wisely. These bankers want to help you and all you need to do is walk in their bank.
There are endless ways to support your community and Community Banking Month is a perfect time to shop, bank and do everything else you can local.
This information is provided with the understanding that the association is not engaged in rendering specific legal, accounting, or other professional services. If specific expert assistance is required, the services of a competent, professional person should be sought.
Provided as a public service by the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers.
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"To promote the ideals of community banking by addressing the educational, legislative and networking needs of our members."