By Rose Klein
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Community banks make up to 96.6 percent of all banks in the U.S. and are recognized nationally every April by The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), where they are celebrated for their many contributions they make to their customers, as well as to their communities.
Small town community banks have advantages over larger banks. They are deeply involved in local community affairs. Through giving back to the community by supporting local organizations, they help ensure the growth of the community and success of its town’s people.
Madison County Community Bank (MCCB) opened their doors in May of 1999, almost 15 years ago on Hwy. 53 South. With the bank’s growth, they moved in 2007 to their existing building at 301 E. Base St., where they continue to serve and help grow, the Madison County community and its residents.
Community banks such as MCCB help local economies thrive by helping to put local deposits back to work in their communities through loans to local residents and small businesses. “Community banks serve a vital role in maintaining the lending flow to fellow small businesses in their neighborhoods,” says ICBA Chairman John H. Buhrmaster.
Lending to small businesses and farmers is the core of community banks, but these local institutions also focus their attention on the needs of families within the community and unlike larger banks, are willing to consider family history and character when making loans to customers.
When it comes to lending, community banks understand the needs of other small businesses, as they are a small business themselves. Additionally, community banks’ boards of directors are made up of local citizens who have a common interest in advancing the towns and cities where they live. Edward Meggs, President of MCCB states, “By driving our local economy and creating jobs in Madison County through lending to small businesses and residents, Madison County Community Bank can help build a more sustainable community.
Janet Maier, the Residential Mortgage Lending Specialist at MCCB, states that another positive aspect of community banking is personalized service. Bank personnel and generally the bank’s officers, are accessible to customers on-site. Says Maier, “When you call (MCCB) you can still talk to a real person.”
“Taking care of our customers is ingrained in the way we conduct business,” says Meggs. “By helping our customers succeed, we help our community succeed. Making people’s lives better, that’s the business of community bankers.”