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Community Banking Month is coming to an end, but for the thousands of community financial institution locations nationwide, the spirit behind #BankLocally doesn’t stop there. The ICBA and community FIs nationwide have been celebrating all month long, tracking the fun on social media via hashtag #BankLocally.

At Banker’s Toolbox, working with community financial institutions is a part of our foundation. It’s where we started over 15 years ago. Today, we’re lucky to say we work with community financial institutions in all 50 states. These partnerships have given us the chance to see the impact of local banking unfold in communities right before our eyes.

Here are five reasons to support community financial institutions:

They create jobs. Local banks and credit unions employ 700,000 people nationwide. Furthermore, they play a huge role in funding small businesses, which employ more than half of the private US workforce, according to ICBA. Without community financial institutions, which make up 96% of all banks, these jobs would not be possible. 

They support the local economy. Through periods of good and bad economic times, local banks remain anchors of their communities. They provide loans for local businesses and individuals alike, helping each of us on our paths toward success. Furthermore, they often help keep money flowing locally – lending and funding in the communities where their customers live and work.

They’re involved in the community. Since they’re dedicated to their community, these local institutions often come together and support a special cause. Whether it’s monetary donations to a local non-profit, day of employee volunteering at a local shelter, or a special campaign to raise money for schools and scholarships, local banks often have a strong sense of commitment to the community.

They have the benefits and not the downfalls of big banks. With many community financial institutions now offering mobile apps, mobile capture, increased protection against fraud and more, they have the same capabilities as a large bank to deliver top-notch products and services. However, they also offer many benefits that large banks do not. The personal connection, jobs and local involvement mentioned above are just a few benefits. Unlike large banks, community institutions can often be more accessible, more transparent and more committed to their communities.

They appreciate their customers. Don’t be surprised if you walk into a local bank and hear an employee greet a customer by name. Community bankers typically go above and beyond to make sure their customers have a happy, comfortable banking experience. Because of that personal touch, the level of customer support offered by community financial institutions is unparalleled.

Like community financial institutions, Banker’s Toolbox knows the importance of treating customers right. In fact, we have over 100 of our community bank partners in town this week for BUG, our annual user group conference. Hearing industry experts speak about the hottest topics in BSA, AML, fraud, and law enforcement is the perfect way to wrap up Community Banking Month! You can view live sessions from BUG on our Facebook here.

What did you do to celebrate Community Banking Month? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.