Pub 9 2021 Issue 1

“Buy local” is getting a lot of attention these days. And it should! Our main street businesses, vendors, and tradespeople continue to grind through unprecedented challenges — often without any safety net of cash to sustain them. Community bankers see the struggles of local businesses firsthand, and you have stepped up to help in many ways. From navigating the unpredictable waters of the Paycheck Protection Program to picking up the phone to do business with or make referrals to your small business customers, community bankers know what it means to tackle big challenges together.

During my early years as a Montana banker, my boss used to wax philosophical with phrases like, “Do business with those who do business with you, Larry.” “Help your customers succeed and the price of loyalty goes up.” “You’d better call on your customers because you know the competition is.”

As a young commercial lender, I took his advice to heart. When I needed my truck repaired, I took it to a repair shop that never missed a loan payment with my bank. When a customer asked me for the name of a good accountant, I referred her to Sandy, who came through the bank’s drive-through every Thursday at 3:45 PM sharp. You could set your watch by it. And each week, I set aside time to pay a visit to two or three of my business customers to say hello, have a cup of coffee, or, depending on the time of day, a bottle of beer.

The Community Bankers Webinar Network is a Helena-based business with a national network of expert speakers dedicated to providing community banks with the most up-to-date and relevant training available anywhere. We are fortunate to have a longstanding partnership with Montana Independent Bankers. When you choose to spend your training dollars with MIB, your money stays in Montana to support local banks, local businesses, and local families.

If you or anyone at your bank have questions, topic suggestions or would like to find out more about our webinar training, please call me at 406-442-2585 or drop me an email at And don’t forget to check out the inside back cover of any issue of the Community Banker magazine or head to to find relevant and reliable webinar training for your bank.

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