Why Supporting Local Businesses Matters

Editor’s note: This is the third post in an 8-part series on the Fight to Keep “Community” in Banking

If you’ve had a chance to read my white paper David Vs. Goliath: The Fight to Keep ‘Community’ in Banking, you already know I am passionate about the importance of supporting local businesses. And, you know that I absolutely believe that where you bank matters.  Let me share two stories:

Story 1: Mike wants a bike—his first impulse is to order from Goliath, headquartered on the Coast, where he can buy anything and everything on-line. His order gets routed to someone at a fulfillment center somewhere, who boxes it up, ships it half way across the country to arrive at Mike’s doorstep within the next day or two. He assembles it and a few hours of frustration and a couple of bloody knuckles later, he’s off for a ride. End of story.

Story 2: Jessica is also shopping for a bike. She shops locally when she can.  David’s Bike Shop has just opened in her neighborhood. She picks the red one and a friend of hers, who just landed a job there, makes sure the bike is road worthy and safe. He adjusts the saddle height, aligns and tightens the derailleur, spins the wheels and ensures the brakes are not rubbing.  She is off for a ride.

So now both Mike and Jessica have a bike.  But that’s not where Jessica’s story ends; it’s really just the beginning.   

David’s dream of owning a bike shop was only possible because of another local business…his bank. The big national banks didn’t want to take a chance on him, but his local community banker did.

At Midwest BankCentre, we believe in the Davids. We believe that everyone should have access to opportunity and to capital to achieve their dreams.  We believe that opportunity is for the many, not the few.

At Midwest BankCentre, $95 of every $100 dollars deposited locally is returned to the local community in the form of loans. And, that money circulates through the community six times, on average.

Here’s how the second story unfolds.  David’s dream of owning a business is being realized. He has hired three people from the neighborhood who now have jobs. The word spreads about a new local bike shop that has a great selection and friendly, helpful service. Folks from surrounding neighborhoods come to check it out and shop there. Increased traffic to the neighborhood creates another opportunity. Julie’s Coffee Shop opens up next door and not long after that Chris’s Donuts and Bakery opens for business. Many more jobs are created.

So what’s my point? There’s a reason you should support local businesses. There is reason why the fight to keep community in banking is real and important.

Community banks like Midwest BankCentre are economic engines in neighborhoods that have been overlooked for far too long. So many of our larger institutions are satisfied with taking your local deposits and not making loans to local people. There is absolutely no way that communities will thrive if they don’t have access to capital.

Our bank creates the conditions for all to dream big and rise together.  When you bank your values by moving your checking and savings to Midwest BankCentre, we are in a position to make more loans to help others in our St. Louis area communities.

The ripple effect of banking your values with Midwest BankCentre means:

Local home builders and food service companies who are vital to the economic prospects of our  region will prosper and hire more people.

Home ownership is possible to many for the first time in low and moderate neighborhoods through affordable home loans. Neighborhoods are stabilized and as a result are safer and more vibrant.

Small business owners have access to capital allowing them to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Local youth find employment opportunities with these businesses and not only gain valuable work experience, but also see that saving for secondary education is possible. 

Local Midwest BankCentre employees engage in robust ways in formerly unserved communities giving people access to capital, financial education and a hand up when life happens. Many of the bank employees live in the neighborhoods and understand the unique needs of its customers. As the ripple grows wider more services and investments are drawn to these communities and they continue to prosper.

While there may not be a David’s Bike Shop or a Chris’s Bakery in your neighborhood today, (not yet anyway!) when you shop and bank locally you are making a meaningful investment in our community. You are making big dreams possible. Put your money where your heart is and shop and bank local.

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