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As we finish up celebrating Community Banking month for one more year, we're focusing on the best reasons to love community banks – from local reinvestment of funds to local community involvement. But what exactly makes a community bank different from a “big bank”?

The Independent Community Bankers Association lays out 6 reasons to choose Main Street over Wall Street.

1. Focused, Personal Attention
Community bankers focus attention on the needs of local families, businesses and farmers. Community bankers are your neighbors – working and living right next door. They are invested in the success of their local communities – just like you are.

2. Community Banks Promote Community Growth
Unlike banks that may take deposits in one state and lend in others, community banks channel most of their loans to the neighborhoods where their depositors live and work, helping to keep local communities vibrant and growing.

3. Emotional & Physical Community Attachment
Community bankers are typically deeply involved in local community affairs. At Horicon Bank, for example, bankers coach Little League, they serve on the United Way board and build homes for Habitat for Humanity. We are involved in our communities because we are committed to our communities.

4. Personal Qualification
Many community banks are willing to consider character, family history and discretionary spending in making loans. Big banks are often tied to a stricter loan policy, applying impersonal qualification criteria to all loan decisions without regard to individual circumstances.

5. Local Decision Making
Community bankers offer nimble decision-making on business loans because decisions are made locally.

6. Small Business Savvy
Because community banks are themselves small businesses, they understand the needs of small-business owners. Their core concern is lending to small businesses and farms.

To learn more ways community banks stand out among their big bank neighbors, check out: http://www.icba.org/go-local/why-go-local/stats-facts

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