Business View Magazine | Volume 8, Issue 10

136 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 8, ISSUE 10 Administration (SBA) loans is a focus for First Bank moving forward, as well as constant investment in cash management and treasury management services for commercial customers. “We are investing a lot right now in terms of people and marketing of traditional SBA loans, not PPP, necessarily, but regular M&A and 504 loans, because we think that’s going to be a real growth area going forward,” says Ryan. Looking to the future, First Bank will see an ongoing investment in technology, which will increase the cost of doing business, meaning it will be necessary to place continued importance on size and scale as the bank moves forward. Ryan explains, “For a community bank, size, and scale means something different than it does for JP Morgan, or Bank of America, where there are trillions of dollars in assets. For us, if we can get to five or ten billion over the next several years, I think that is the sweet spot of community banking. We are big enough at that point to absorb the added cost to operate, we can generate a strong return for our shareholders, but also stay small enough to maintain the essence of what makes community banks great, which is that personal relationship with their banker, their ability to get things done quickly, and the ability to be creative, responsive and flexible.” Maintaining a focus on what they do best, the First Bank team has a healthy vision for continued growth and prosperity, while growing genuine relationships in their communities. things that the big banks do better than the community banks, and some of those things might matter to somebody in their 20s or early 30s. Over time, as their financial needs evolve, I think that’s where the community bank value proposition really resonates.” The recent acquisition of two branches of OceanFirst Bank offers an example of how First Bank continues to invest in the communities they serve, and the growth of the brand. Ryan reports, “We are constantly looking to build and grow that core deposit footprint. For us, our goal is not to try to be all things to all people, we want to be very, very targeted and focused on the commercial small business segment. We want to be able to provide great services on the depository side, as well as great loan products and services. Our primary goal is to find little niches within commercial and small business lending, where we haven’t done a lot historically.” Investment in traditional Small Business PREFERRED VENDOR/ PARTNER n First Bank