Choosing a bank for your mid-size business? Think local

Why is partnering with a locally owned bank beneficial to your business?

Your company is typically one of your most valuable assets, and having a close relationship with your bank is critical when it comes to making important financial decisions and driving growth.

Community banking is incredibly relevant and valuable in helping American small- and mid-sized businesses, as recently discussed by House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, a Minnesota Republican, at the American Bankers Association summit in Washington, D.C., on March 19.

“I … went into all of these businesses that started in a garage with some startup capital from a local banker. That is still alive and well with a lot of you and what you are doing,” Emmer said.

A unique strength of the U.S. economy is the distribution system anchored by local community banks. So, when choosing a banking partner, consider the benefits of working with a mid-size local bank:

A local perspective

A mid-size community bank takes a unique interest in the people and businesses it serves.

A local banking adviser has firsthand familiarity with the local business climate and usually lives in the community and is your neighbor. They want to see residents and their businesses succeed and offer that perspective when considering small business loans, financial services, and financial advice.

For example, Signature Bank continues to work closely with its first client, Chicago-based Unforgettable Edibles, and recently helped the catering company secure a $25,000 grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank.

“Signature Bank has been a valuable partner since 2006 and the team has continued to be an advocate for our success,” said Mary O’Connor, president of Unforgettable Edibles. “As an added benefit, the bank is also a long-standing and valued customer, demonstrating the perfect example of a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Highly personalized and customized service

When banking locally, you have the advantage of knowing your banker personally and have the ability to connect in-person and establish a high level of trust and service 24/7.

You have the confidence of knowing your banking team is local and that you have access to an efficient, live response versus having to work through the automated system of a megabank. And because your banker knows you and your business, they can operate as a trusted adviser, customizing and suggesting products and services that can help your business grow.

And all of this comes with concierge-level service for establishing new accounts and products, making faster decisions, and creating a banking strategy that works best for you.

Lower fees, higher deposit rates

Community banks tend to have less overhead, and they can therefore pass savings along to clients all while delivering higher levels of service.

This can sometimes include lower loan fees and — of particular interest to individuals — higher yields on savings.

Your investment benefits your community

When you choose a community bank for your mid-size business, you are making an investment in your community.

Not only are you partnering with another local business, but your partnership with a local bank directly impacts the community in which your business operates.

Many community banks are deeply involved with local causes and charities through sponsorships, donations, and volunteering. In fact, Signature Bank supports more than three dozen local organizations, including Misericordia, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“Signature Bank has supported Misericordia in many ways including donations, employees offering their time and effort for our annual Candy Days event, and purchasing from Misericordia’s Hearts and Flour Bakery. Signature Bank has made our bakery gift boxes a staple for customer gifts,” said Kevin Connelly, assistant executive director of Misericordia “We really value the bank’s commitment to the Chicago community and its willingness to share in achieving Misericordia’s mission.”

Having a banking partner you can trust and communicate with easily is critical and this is where community banks excel. When selecting a bank that will help meet your business goals, consider the benefits of banking locally and how it can provide a uniquely strong connection not just with your banker, but with your community.

Signature Bank is Chicago’s business bank, focused exclusively on serving the needs of privately owned businesses and their owners. Learn more at or contact Mick O’Rourke at (773) 467-5602 or

• Michael G. O’Rourke has served as president and CEO of Signature Bank in Chicago since 2006. O’Rourke has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry, including serving as executive vice president of Associated Bank and previous positions at LaSalle Bank N.A. and American National Bank.

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