While mega-bank mergers are gobbling up banks all over the country, a small handful of “community banks” have been uniquely thriving in the San Fernando Valley, providing “old-school” service unique to community business. The Valley area has witnessed a virtual transformation and a dramatic shift in the nature of the banking industry. According to one bank President and CEO, Richard Taylor, the Valley has evolved in stages from an agriculture area, to a suburban alternative, and more recently, to a significant industrial community. “Growth and diversity has been a key theme of the San Fernando Valley history,” Taylor said. “The strong national economy has been further fueling local industry.” In fact the recent national boom-years has helped stimulate community banks, including Taylor’s Bank of Granada Hills, to achieve all time high for deposits as well as loans. “While rapid growth has been every exciting for many companies it has also created a cash-flow crunch for others,” Taylor explained. Local banks provide customers with an array of financial product solutions, including SBA guaranteed loans, accounts receivable financing and leasing. All of these approaches allow businesses to grow, or acquire needed equipment, without over-taxing their cash-flow. Taylor attributes much of his one institution’s success to their long history of personal service, and sensitivity to an individual business’ unique needs. “Community banks like our own provide a highly specialized service that the large network banks simply can’t offer,” he explained. For example, a local bank’s staff can approve a business lease in a matter of hours and fund a loan request without the bureaucracy that can slow the process at large banks. “We know our customers by first name and really take an interest in understanding their business needs,” he said. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve maintained banking relationships with a great many of our clients for over a decade,” Taylor said. “We’re also proud that many of our employees have been a part of our professional team since our inception,” he added. This article was provided by the Bank of Granada Hills.