One of the first victims of the financial crisis that brought on the Great Recession was the region’s small businesses, which suddenly found their access to capital severely constrained when large banks were forced to readjust their risk profiles.
Thankfully, the region’s community banks have stepped forward as this economic opportunity presented itself, with the result that local businesses today for the most part have the credit they need.
Just as important is the positive effect that growing their business-loan portfolios has had on the region’s banks.
Improving profits at a number of the financial institutions paying attention to small and medium-sized businesses are the obvious payoff for making more commercial loans. But the long-term effect of creating new banking relationships can only be a good thing for the region as a whole.
With the money being loaned by local institutions, the downstream effects are larger and more long-lasting, as more local bankers and support staff spend their paychecks locally, rather than in a national bank headquarters in another part of the country. •