By Amber Mabe
Have you ever dreamed of starting or expanding your own business? Perhaps you are an expert on cupcakes, flowers or specialty fishing gear, but when it comes to the financial side of things, you simply do not know where to start? Wouldn’t it be great if someone would partner with you who already understood not only your personal finances but the financial climate of your community and target audience? Piedmont Federal Savings Bank has seen this need in the Kernersville community and is excited to bring business banking and lending services to their Kernersville branch.
Piedmont Federal Savings Bank was founded in 1903, and has been serving the Kernersville area since the 1960s. “We are a true local bank,” says Tammy Coulter, Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager for the Kernersville location. “It all takes place in our market.”
Piedmont Federal’s involvement in the local community spans far beyond banking. They have invested in the community by supporting dozens of local charities and organizations, whether financially or through volunteer work. Specifically, in the Kernersville area, they have been involved with several public schools, the Chamber of Commerce, the Kernersville Foundation, the Kernersville Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and Next Step Ministries.
Allen Suttle, Senior Vice President and Director of Business Banking, says he believes adding business services is the next step in helping Kernersville to thrive. “Small business is the lifeblood of a community,” he says, “we have helped a lot of people in this community with their home mortgages, which is one of the biggest purchases of their life. Now we’re excited to be able to help them with their business.”
The new services being offered in Kernersville are designed to help with every area of business banking. From credit cards and checking account services to capital or equipment financing, Piedmont Federal has listened to the needs of their customers and risen to the occasion. Whether you are looking to start a new business, expand your company, purchase a building, or even begin succession planning, Piedmont Federal is prepared to help.
So what sets Piedmont Federal apart from larger institutions? Allen says it is the continuity of service and good financial advice. “We can take a holistic approach to you as an individual, and your business, and see how that all ties together,” he says. Having an established relationship between bank and customer goes a long way in creating mutual understanding and paving the way to success. Commercial Relationship Manager Jon Shumate says it is important to realize that customers won’t always fit in a certain mold. “Being local, all our decisions are made locally,” says Jon, “and with that comes an understanding that every business is different.” Being a smaller institution gives advisors at Piedmont Federal the freedom to be flexible, and work with customers who might not otherwise fit the criteria for larger companies. “We have a concern for the community,” says Jon, “we want to see it prosper.”
Loan Officer Mark Frazier says being a smaller institution also allows for more face-to-face interaction and quicker response times. “It is a huge advantage in processing things more quickly,” says Mark. “You don’t put your customers through a lot of waiting time until the right person gets their hands on things.”
Don’t think that being small makes Piedmont Federal any less qualified. In the business services department alone, Allen and Jon have over 30 years of combined experience. In addition to being Branch Manager, Tammy owns and operates two local businesses, and has a deep understanding of the local business climate. So when it comes to partnering with local business owners, Piedmont Federal is a winning choice. “We are kind of like the quarterback for your team,” says Jon, “we like to get in front of our customers and get to know them, get to know their families, and get to know their business. That’s what we believe in and that’s how we do business.”
In a changing banking world, this personal touch can make all the difference for even an experienced business owner. Unlike larger institutions, the names and faces at Piedmont Federal are not constantly changing. Not only do customers have the advantage of all the modern conveniences that banking can afford, like remote deposit and online banking, but also the personal touch that comes from a local office, and the ability to know that they can talk to a real person at any time.
If you are still dreaming of opening that shop around the corner, Jon says the timing could not be better. “This is a great time for business, especially in the Kernersville area,” he says, “business is booming around here.” Allen says his favorite part of his job is being able to drive down the road to a local establishment and see it thriving. “We were there to help, and advise, and be a friend to that business owner,” he says with a smile, “that’s the fun part of our job.”
Consider taking the time to visit Piedmont Federal and talk to one of the trusted advisors who are waiting to help you with your small business needs. By building relationships that have lasted for generations, Piedmont Federal proves that they are not just looking to sell products. This new step forward is much more than adding a business division to the branch. “We are setting up a Relationship Division,” says Jon, “we’re helping friends and neighbors, and that is what’s important.”
If you would like to know more about all the services that Piedmont Federal Savings Bank offers in your area, stop by your local branch or visit their website at www.piedmontfederal.com.