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First Commercial Bank.

We'll Not Only Help You Get a Loan, We'll Help You Pay It Back

Today's small business entrepreneur has to wear a lot of hats. He or she must be the company CEO, treasurer, human resources manager, marketing director and sales agent in addition to maintaining financing.

The cold, hard statistics show that eight of ten new businesses fail - usually because the business owner lacked the tools and technology for proper financial management.

When we at First Commercial Bank created the Small Business Department in 1985, we were determined to offer our customers something just as valuable as the loan itself-information that can keep an entrepreneur in business.

THE BEGINNING OF A PARTNERSHIP

In today's competitive business climate, strategic planning and sound business decisions generally result in profits and well-managed cash flow.

That is why First Commercial has offered more than a dozen seminars to introduce the small business owner to financial management and control techniques. These seminars were created by Kirk Dixon, Senior Vice President and head of the Small Business Department. According to Joe Hatcher, Vice Chairman of First Commercial, Kirk has been recognized for his good work with small businesses by being awarded the 1992 William H. Bowen Sales Award by the bank.

The seminars present in simple, clear language what financial management is and why it can greatly improve profitability. The small business entrepreneur learns the importance of creating a business plan and a cash flow projection. First Commercial is the first financial institution in Central Arkansas to offer such a seminar. When we lend money to a small business owner, we consider it the beginning of a partnership. We at First Commercial have years of cumulative expertise in top quality financial management, and we are eager to share that knowledge with our customers. We don't say, "Here is your loan. Good luck." We say, "Here is your loan. We're going to help you stay in business."

The small business entrepreneur is primarily concerned about the company's product or service. We try to widen the focus to include all the financial aspects that mean the difference between success and failure in business. We ask questions. We cover all the bases.

MORE THAN JUST DOLLARS

Back in 1986, when Sam DeWitt was co-founding Brent and Sam's Cookies, DeWitt asked First Commercial for some help. He was surprised at what he received.

"The assistance was more than just dollars," DeWitt said. "It was the financial advice that enabled us to be successful. First Commercial has been with us since the day we bought our first oven, and they're one of the reasons we're still around today."

And First Commercial Bank's services to the small business owner even go beyond loans and financial counseling. Our small business entrepreneurs enjoy the full range of services, from Trust services such as managing employee benefits, to deposit products, investment capabilities and cash management services. We also have a successful and aggressive minority business lending program.

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH

When we at First Commercial Bank lend money to a customer, the last thing we want to see is the business fail. That's why we make sure the small business entrepreneur is focused on the financial aspect as well as the selling aspect.

We help the entrepreneur to forecast business growth problems, set a sustainable growth rate, predict financial needs and structure the servicing of debt. Our seminars show the small business owner how to prepare a budget and profit plan and how to understand cash flow.

Money is not the solution to every problem in small business. Entrepreneurs need access not only to loans, but to financial counseling as well. We at First Commercial are proud to offer both. It's what you would expect of a good partner.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Aug 16, 1993
Words:624
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