Grand Rapids, MN (April 3, 2019)—In honor of ICBA Community Banking Month in April, Grand Rapids State Bank and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) are shining a spotlight on community banks’ role in fostering economic prosperity through expansion and innovation to meet the needs of consumers and local communities.
“As a fourth-generation community banker, I can attest to the fact that we have a true stake in our customers’ success and in our communities' success,” says Noah W. Wilcox, Grand Rapids State Bank President, CEO and Chairman. “Our hearts are in this, and it is about relationships and lifting up our communities and helping people realize their dreams and leave a legacy of prosperity for future generations.”
Community banks take in local deposits and redistribute them back into the community—making roughly 60 percent of small-business loans and 80 percent of agriculture loans from the banking sector. They also contribute tax dollars that help maintain local municipalities and keep local neighborhoods viable and vibrant because serving the best interests of customers is fundamental to their business philosophy. Community banks:
- Are robust lenders. Community bank loan growth has outpaced that of noncommunity banks for six consecutive years.
- Offer high-touch, high-tech service. This gives consumers access to modern-day conveniences while maintaining the high-quality customer service for which community banks are known.
- Maintain a wide branch network. Community banks added 700 offices between June 2017 and June 2018 even as their larger counterparts continued their exodus from local communities.
- Understand and embrace local businesses. Small businesses that apply for loans with community banks are the most successful and most satisfied, according to a study from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. ICBA celebrates local entrepreneurship on the third Wednesday of every month with Go Local Wednesday by supporting and promoting local businesses on social media.
- Give back to their communities. Civic service is second nature to community banks as reflected in ICBA’s National Community Bank Service Awards.
“As local small businesses themselves, community banks only thrive when their customers and communities flourish,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Local market knowledge, relationship-based lending, and civic-minded service are community banking hallmarks and the cornerstone to our industry’s success and longevity. ICBA is proud to represent America’s favorite lenders and support their ongoing efforts to create stronger, more vibrant communities—one loan at a time.”
For more facts and statistics about community banks, click here. Follow the ICBA Community Banking Month conversation on social media with the #BankLocally hashtag.
About Grand Rapids State Bank
Grand Rapids State Bank is a locally-owned and -operated community bank that has served Grand Rapids and the surrounding communities for over 100 years. The Wilcox family maintains a commitment to affirming the bank’s mission: to be an industry-leading, independent financial institution that makes a positive difference in the financial lives of everyone it serves.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 52,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 760,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in five U.S. counties. Holding more than $4.9 trillion in assets, $3.9 trillion in deposits, and $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.