Ever feel like the world’s economy continues to drag to the point the Earth has started revolving slower? There is no doubt the issues that caused this extraordinary recession have affected business. And it begins with the industry that businesses have relied upon since the Great Depression: my industry, community banking.
Let me start out by saying I’m proud to be a community banker. Notice I said “community,” not “Wall Street.” There is a distinction there. It was the Wall Street banks that thought they could syndicate anything and reduce risk. The problem is they were so prolific at it with none of the regulatory oversight of banks like mine that they almost caused the world as we know it to stop turning. It has consistently been the community banks that provide capital for local businesses, leadership for community organizations, and financial support for charities that make Arizona a better place to live. Not only were we chartered to lend money, we need to lend money to reward our shareholders. The current regulatory environment and economic climate affects the banks and businesses throughout the country, but especially in Arizona.
Because many businesses have been touched by the lack and perceived lack of capital, In Business Magazine editor RaeAnne Marsh has written a cover story that explains where the money is — and isn’t — and how banks and other lenders are working with business. Banks are lending and businesses are looking for money. The disconnect between the needs on both sides seem to come from a lack of confidence due to a questionable economic future. Ms. Marsh’s story explores the different sources of funding and, by working with the people behind the banks, gives businesspeople insight as to who to see about what amount of funding.
As part of this financial issue of In Business Magazine, the publisher has included the first Valley-wide guide to financial institutions. The Business Lending Guide is a listing of major banks, community banks, credit unions and other lending institutions. The guide includes the contacts and types of loans that each entity provides. It is a quick reference that will connect business owners to local sources.
Lila Nordstrom has taken on the merchant service companies and the credit card companies to look at what it is costing business to accept “plastic.” Fees are escalating for business because of the rising cost of fraud and the rewards and other perks associated with the use of credit cards and debit cards. However, these high fees may cause us to think about the cost of that convenience.
The business educational series by both Kathy Heasley of Heasley & Partners and Mike Toney of Conquest Training have continued to gain great attention by readers. Heasley’s work on Heart & Mind Branding is energizing businesses that are looking to better understand what makes them tick. Toney’s series on building revenue and managing salespeople is resonating as readers are working hard to wrangle their sales teams and improve the bottom line.
I have been a longtime fan of In Business Magazine since it began exactly one year ago. It is giving business owners and executives a powerful connection to our business community and continues to engage and inform readers on important business practices and issues as we move to improve our economic picture.
Candace D. Wiest
President & CEO
West Valley National Bank
Candace D. Wiest was the first woman ever elected a Class A Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, serving a three-year term beginning in 2003. She was re-elected for a second term in 2006. Wiest served on the FRBSF Audit Committee from 2003 to 2006, and has also served on the Fed’s Bank Performance Committee and chaired the Public Information Committee.