Independent Banker featuring our Chief Marketing Officer, Melissa Beltrame.
Use your spotlight
In Garden City, MO., $357 million-asset Lead Bank's purpose is roght there in its mission statement: "To be at the heart of the success of our communities."
"We take our charter seriously, being financially responsible to lead the economic development of the communities we serve," says Melissa Beltrame, senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer at Lead Bank. "Unfortunately, the public perception of the banking industry is not as positive as what we would like, so we've tried to shine a light on the good things happening within the community that we've supported."
Lead Bank used a program called the Spotlight, which showcased a small business each quarter in its downtown Kansas City, MO., branch, a predominately commercial office. Each business would set up a display and products, such as sweets from the Bizz & Weezy chocolate shop, which gives these businesses more exposure.
"To be at the heart of the success of our community, we want to shine a spotlight on the good things that businesses are doing and the other things that businesses are doing and the other things that are happening in the community," Beltrame says. "The feedback we've received from other customers has been great. It introduces then to a business that they might not have been on their radar."
Another program Lead Bank offers for local businesses is its civic contractor funding program. Through the program, construction companies that are certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Minority Business Enterprises or Women Business Enterprises are offered special financing when they bid on city government projects.
"They might not have the best credit history, but we give them the opportunity to help their businesses grow, which also enables us to make our community better," Beltrame says. "This is really a concrete example of not just our mission statement, but also the way Lead Bank is responsible for moving our community forward."
For customers, Lead Bank has partnered with Self Inc., a fintech in Austin, Texas, to provide an online credit builder savings program for consumers trying to build or reestablish their credit score, Beltrame says. The program enables them to borrow money to invest in a Lead Bank certificate of deposit, or CD. After the loan is paid off, the customer owns the CD, and the year-long payment process helps create a positive credit history.
When Lead Bank communicates its purpose, "it's all about relationships," Beltrame says.
"It's not really about communicating the lowest and best CD rates. It's more about the intangible benefits that clients can have when they bank with us."
Original article here.