Local First Arizona is hosting a “speed dating” event to enable businesses to meet with eight of Arizona’s local banks and credit unions at one time. The organization’s goal is to help businesses find the right match for their business banking needs and move their money into Arizona-based financial institutions.
The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E Main Street in Scottsdale, AZ 85251, in the former Trader Vic’s restaurant, located on the northeast corner of the property.
Local First Arizona is a statewide nonprofit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting at celebrating local businesses. Representatives from the following banks and credit unions will be in attendance: West Valley National Bank Gateway Bank, Arizona Central Credit Union, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Meridian Bank, MariSol Federal Credit Union, Alliance Bank of Arizona, and Pinnacle Bank.
Attendance is free, but businesses must RSVP to Helene@LocalFirstAZ.com and state the four banks and/or credit unions they are most interested in meeting.
Arizonans have deposited 96% of their money into banks with out-of-state ownership. Of that money, about 75 percent ($65.5 billion) is in three big banks that have no local decision-making regarding lending. In contrast, small and mid-sized banks control less than one-quarter of all bank assets, yet they account for more than half of all small business lending. In order to stimulate our economy, we need ample access to small business loans from bankers who care about the long-term health of the business and community. By encouraging businesses to move their money into Arizona-based financial institutions, businesses will make their money work for them by investing in locally-based institutions that are more likely to lend to other small businesses. The more these banks have in deposits, the more they can lend back into our communities, creating a cycle of economic development and job creation.