Community Banking: The Treat That Keeps on Giving

Anita Drentlaw

Every now and then, a trick can draw a bit of glee (especially during Halloween). But no one likes to have the wool pulled over their eyes, especially when it’s a wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing. That’s why New Market Bank focuses on the “treats” that distinguish us as trusted lenders and keep our customers coming back for more.

We won’t jeopardize our hard-earned reputation by peddling goods and services our customers don’t want or need. We don’t rely on impersonal credit scores, and we don’t lend by committee. We bank the old-fashioned way—one customer, one loan at a time. It’s been our philosophy since the bank’s founding 115 years ago, and it continues to help us serve the unique needs of our customers today. 

Community banks’ relationship-based focus has made them America’s favorite lenders, with approval ratings from borrowers that exceed those of megabanks and online lenders, according to a Federal Reserve small business credit survey.

It’s not just proximity that wins repeat business, however. Unlike credit unions, New Market Bank effectively serves both individuals of modest means and local small businesses.

We put our tax dollars to work right here in Lakeville, Prior Lake and Elko New Market, helping to support local schools, police and fire departments and other municipal services. And New Market Bank helps fortify our community through philanthropic outreach and civic service.

One of the many ways New Market Bank supports the communities of Lakeville, Prior Lake and Elko New Market is through volunteering and giving back to the community. Each year, we donate thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours to local organizations. During the Minnesota Bankers Association Community Impact Month in September, our team helped provide hundreds of meals to area residents by volunteering for both Hope for the Community and Open Door Pantry food shelves.

The treats don’t end there. Nearly one in three U.S. counties are only served by a community bank, and community banks focus a relatively large share of their resources on low- and moderate-income tracts. It’s the community banking way.

Community banks are also a lifeline to small businesses. In fact, community banks fund more than 60 percent of the nation’s small businesses, which account for two out of three new U.S. jobs annually. When the pandemic shutdown many of our small businesses, New Market Bank stepped up to help them – and our communities – remain as economically strong as possible. We helped any eligible business in our area access relief programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We helped 360 small businesses in the south metro tap into the PPP – many of which were not existing New Market Bank customers. Those loans infused more than $25 million into small businesses and our communities.