When Frank Rosenberg starts a business, he always looks to make a positive impact on his community. His latest venture, the LBW Training Center, fits right in with his mission to accomplish good. The training center is a healthcare education facility known for its unique style, and top-notch teachers. “We focus on providing high quality healthcare education and a fun learning environment,” said Frank.
In his first year of running the center, Frank and his team tripled the number of people taking courses, and maintained the center’s reputation for teaching the best courses in the valley. In addition to training approximately 3,000 professionals in the valley, Frank and his staff are very dedicated to giving back to our community. Of course, that’s where our two paths intersected.
Personal connections make running a business easier
Frank was introduced to Gateway bank through one of our employees, Scott Morris, at the Mesa West Rotary Club, where both men volunteer. Before banking with us, Frank was working with a large national bank. “Nobody there knew who I was. They just took my deposit and waved goodbye.” Now that he’s with Gateway, Frank says, “Things are more about relationships. The people at Gateway know who I am, and I know they’ll take care of me.”
Why we love our staff
“The people at Gateway are the best professionals in the area. I no longer feel stressed out about anything related to banking. They gave us a business line of credit when most banks weren’t offering that. They just have less hoops to jump through.” In addition to all that, Frank says what he really likes about us is our people. “The people at Gateway are really the best part about banking there.”
Thanks, Frank. We appreciate your support and the opportunity to tell your story. We can’t wait to see what you do next. Whatever it is, we know our community will be grateful for it.
Local First Arizona put on a speed dating event to help local businesses get hooked up with local banks. We sent a group of our team members, including our president, James Christensen, out to the event to see what it was all about, and we were really happy with the spirit of local self-reliance.
The big bank blues
Lots of local businesses start banking with one of the big guys, only to find that they’re seen as small potatoes. James said he heard many small business owners talking about similar problems. “People were telling me they experienced very slow responses, or no responses at all. They were frustrated with not having a specific person for their account who they could call.”
Our team makes the difference
We’re fortunate to have amazing team members who are in this for the long haul. When James was talking to people at the speed dating event, he found that business owners really just want to find a reliable partner. “They wanted to find a connection. I told everybody when they came up that what makes Gateway better than everyone else is our team, and the amount of experience we have. Between myself and our COO and CFO we have almost 100 years of experience.”
This is how local starts
Right now, even though small and mid-sized banks like us control less than one-quarter of all bank assets, we account for more than half of all small business lending. The problem? Arizonans have deposited 96% of their money into banks with out-of-state ownership, leaving us with only 4%. One of the goals of events like these are to raise that percentage from 4% to 10%. Think of how much more good we’d be able to do for local businesses if got even close! With events like this one popping up, we know the only place to go from here is up.
When we started the Local Love campaign, we weren’t really sure what to expect. We hoped that by giving away part of our marketing budget to a small, local business, we’d be able to make a real difference for someone local, and meet people who truly cared about our community. As it turned out, we heard from quite a few passionate people about the many different businesses who were all well-deserving of the award. However, we could only pick one business to receive our award.
Congratulations to our winner, Antrim Air
After reviewing all of the submissions, we decided Antrim Air, a locally owned and operated HVAC repair company, would receive the award. Talitha and Anthony Gilmore founded Antrim AIr about three years ago and have dedicated themselves to providing high quality, honest repair work for people in our community ever since. They are true ambassadors of the spirit of the Local Love campaign and we couldn’t be happier to be helping them out.
True customer appreciation
When we contacted Antrim Air to let them know they had been selected, they didn’t even know they had been nominated. Their customers were the ones who had submitted a nomination, which helped validate Talitha and Anthony’s style of doing business. “For a customer to take the time to write why they love us is amazing,” said Talitha. “It’s very humbling, and a reminder of why we do business the way we do, because it does come back to you. Karma is real.”
As we got to know Talitha and Anthony, we grew even happier that they were selected for the award because of how much they value community. “I go to great lengths to shop local. I think that’s paying back. I’d rather help put your daughter through college than line the pockets of billionaires.”
We think Anthony and Talitha summed up all of our feelings about this campaign when they said, “This has been really awesome.”
After falling in love with the atmosphere and food, we recently sponsored Food Truck Friday at the Gilbert Food Truck Food Court by paying the vendor fees for all of the trucks for a night. After the event, we spoke with our client, Casey Stechnij from Udder Delights, who shared some insights about food truck events, and why they’ve chosen us for their banking needs.
The food truck scene is thriving because they’ve built something special. The food is excellent, but it’s really about creating connections between people. There’s local entertainment, and the seating is set up community style to encourage conversation. Casey said that people have thanked him for setting up the tables like that, saying things like, “I met my neighbor of 15 years who I never met before, we shared a conversation over a hotdog.” Casey chose to bank at Gateway for many of the same reasons we wanted to sponsor the food truck event. “We team up and work with people who believe what we believe and who care about family, I believe Gateway is that kind of a bank. I wanted to support a bank who supports me and my community.”
We’re all in this together
Things like being able to eat sinfully good, locally produced ice cream and attend fun events like food truck friday are part of what makes our community special. We’re proud to be part of making these events possible in whatever way we can. Because as Casey points out, small businesses need a thriving, supportive community to succeed. “One thing I’ve learned after having been a dairy farmer my whole life, and especially since we started the Gilbert food truck events, is that as a small business you need response from the community. You can’t go at it alone.”
We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves.
As you know, we’re big fans of local business, but we’re also fans of things that make our taste buds happy. So, we decided to combine two of our loves by sponsoring all of the food trucks at the food court on Friday September 20th. We’ll have staff there all night to talk about Gateway or point you in the direction of a tasty snack, so make sure you stop by our table to say hello.
Find your new favorite
If you haven’t tasted any of the food that’s coming from our locally owned and operated food trucks, you’re missing out. There’s some seriously gourmet stuff coming out of the creative kitchens on wheels that meet up every Friday evening at the Gilbert Food Truck Food Court at 344 N. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert AZ, 85233.
It’s all about our community
We think that one-of-a-kind, local businesses like food trucks are a big part of what makes our community special. They give us something to enjoy and be proud of, as well as drive our local economy. Sponsoring the food trucks for a night seemed like a natural way for us to celebrate our community and support local business at the same time. Hope to see you there!
Sharing a small space with six other practices may seem like a tough proposition for a small business, but Melissa Riensche from Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists knew that she could make it work. In fact, not only would it work, but it would be an advantage for her patients and their owners. Now, everyone who brought their animal to her could get total care in one convenient spot. No more driving all over town to get different treatments, just a group of amazing businesses working together to make life more convenient.
Trying to get a big bank loan turned out to be a big headache
The problem was, Melissa couldn’t find anyone that was willing to give her a loan to get her practice started. Many of the big banks were unwilling to even consider lending to her because of the open concept of the building, or wanted her to use her home as collateral. After meeting with several larger banks and getting the same result, Melissa scheduled a meeting with the loan team here at Gateway.
The personalized approach got them approval
After getting to know more about Melissa, her business, and her needs, we were able to help her with a loan that everybody felt comfortable with. Melissa noted a big difference between dealing with the larger banks, and dealing with Gateway.
“We are amazed that the president of the bank would take the time to come and meet with us, help us obtain a loan for our business, and continue to watch over us and provide positive support for our business. Everyone there really cares about us and it shows whenever we have a question, it is answered right away. We feel like part of the family at Gateway, not just another account.”
Flourishing with the right financing
Since receiving their loan, Melissa and her partners have found that being small business owners is incredibly rewarding. Melissa says, “We really enjoy getting to lead discussions and make decisions that positively affect our employees, give back to the community, and grow our business.”
In fact, they’ve experienced growth each year since receiving the loan that allowed them to purchase the business, which has allowed them to make generous donations to organizations such as the Phoenix Zoo and the American College of Veterinary Internal medicine Foundation Memorial Program.
More than just banking, it’s building stronger communities
We couldn’t be more happier for Melissa and Desert Veterinary Medical Specialists. And we are very proud to be their banking partner. Helping small businesses become successful is one of the best parts about being a local bank, because each time it happens, our community becomes stronger.
Whether it’s helping out a small business with a loan, or helping our customers with their personal finances, we’re always looking for ways to help out our community. So, when we were planning what to do with our marketing budget this year, we thought, why not just give part of it away to a small business who could use it more than us? Since it’s our mission to make a difference in our community, we decided that’s exactly what we were going to do.
How does this work?
Because we’re looking to help out a business that’s small and local, to be considered, the business must be based in the greater Phoenix area, and have less than 20 employees. But we can’t choose a business all on our own—we need your help.
Please let us know about a small local business that’s near and dear to your heart by filling out our short nomination form.
All you need to do is:
- Tell us about yourself
- Tell us a little bit about the business
- Write a few words about why you think they deserve a helping hand
That’s it! We’ll read all of the submissions and determine who will receive the award. As an added bonus, our partners at Forty will match our donation with $2500 worth of design and marketing services.
Helping out a small business in need is easy. Just tell us about your favorite small business here.
Why are we doing this?
We’re a small local business, and we understand that all local businesses are connected. When people bank with us, they’re making a decision to keep their money in our community. We try to return this favor by investing back into our community in as many ways as we can. Helping out a local business just makes sense.
We are still small, but we were once even smaller. Getting a little extra boost could be just the thing a small business needs to become a huge success, and we want to everything we can to help create as many local successes as possible.
April 2014: Gateway Commercial Bank, Mesa, Arizona is proud to announce it has once again earned a 5-Star Superior rating from BauerFinancial, Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s bank rating firm. This latest rating is based on December 31, 2013 financial data and signifies that Gateway Commercial Bank is one of the strongest banks in the nation. Gateway Commercial Bank has earned and maintained a 5-star rating for the latest 15 consecutive quarters.
“While the national economy saw modest growth in 2013″, reflects Karen L. Dorway, president of the rating firm, “through its strength and commitment, Gateway Commercial Bank has been able to shine. The people who work at Gateway Commercial Bank know that its well-being and that of the community are inextricably tied to one another. By supporting an promoting their customers, employees of Gateway Commercial Bank are making a positive difference right where they live.”
Gateway Commercial Bank has been working to earn customers’ trust since 2007. its commitment ot the community has not faltered in those seven years. Gateway Commerical Bank currently operates through a conveniently located branch office on East Warner Road in Mesa. Gateway Commercial Bank (www.gcbaz.com) is a member of the FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender.
Gateway Commercial Bank: “Your 5-Star Community Bank.”
BauerFinancial, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank and credit union rating and research firm, has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution pays BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can any choose to be excluded. Consumers may obtain free star-ratings by visiting www.bauerfinancial.com.
BauerFinancial, Inc. P.O. Box 143520, Coral Gables, FL 33114.