Banking on Small Business

by | Jun 1, 2022 | Investor Features | 0 comments

Falcon National Bank began as a small community bank with just one location in Foley, MN in 2003; born out of a void in the market for a locally owned bank that provided personalized service. Its assets portfolio was in the $4.5M range. Today, the brand operates six locations including its newest in Maple Grove representing an asset offering honing in on the 1 billion dollar mark. That’s impressive growth in less than 20 years. 

A History of Rallying around Small Business

“It’s why we exist,” says Rebecca Kempenich, Falcon National Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer. “For so many, a bank is a bank is a bank. It’s a place to borrow or store your money. But we see it differently,” says Kempenich.  “We are not all things to everyone. We really hone in on being a trusted advisor to our small business customers.”

Falcon’s niche products are designed for small businesses. “As a preferred SBA Lender, we can help secure fast, flexible, and competitive financing,” says Kempenich. “Unique to many community banks, Falcon’s Equipment Finance division provides financing alternatives to small businesses who have equipment needs. To support the day-to-day cash flow, Falcon offers cash management and digital tools that are affordable, easy to use, and provide efficiencies for a small business owner.”

Our business bankers are geared differently too. “We have a saying at Falcon: Let’s think of a few reasons why it can be done,” says John Herges, CEO of Falcon National Bank. “This means we are able to take things into consideration when working a deal that other financial institutions don’t.” 

Falcon’s mission is to create a banking experience that develops into a life-long relationship focused on customer growth. It is that growth that creates a win-win for both the bank and the customer.

Founding Member of the GSDC – it just made sense!

Herges isn’t just the CEO, he’s a board member, shareholder, and one of the original directors of the bank when it was founded in 2003. “Falcon National Bank is a founding member, and it just makes sense!” says Herges. “The mission of the GSDC is something we believe in ourselves,” says Herges. “GSDC’s efforts to bring in new business to the community, to help existing businesses expand and thrive is something that not only helps our business but strengthens the community making Central MN a great place to live”, says Herges

“There are parallel values at play here between the GSDC, St. Cloud Shines, and Falcon National Bank missions. It’s about offering businesses and individuals the opportunity to lay down some roots and grow. It creates a vibrant community for people to live, work, and raise their family in,” says Kempenich.

“St. Cloud has a lot to offer,” says Herges. “The St. Cloud Shines efforts promote community and we have a lot to be proud of in the Central Minnesota area,” Herges continues. “The crime rate is low and that speaks well to the greater area’s law enforcement. We have a great educational system, kindergarten through college, and vocational school. We have great institutions here—SCSU, St. John’s, St. Ben’s, and the St. Cloud Technical and Community College—that offer high-caliber education. The St. Cloud area is also a great medical hub and retail hub. We have a great culture and work ethic within the region.” says Herges.

The Focus for the Future

“Like many businesses, recruiting and retaining quality employees is critical,” says Herges. “We have approximately 150 employees and we are growing. As a business, we will continue to focus on recruiting and retention. We understand the importance of workplace environment and culture.” 

“Falcon has a strong, good culture. During interviews, one of the first questions candidates ask is: what is the culture like at Falcon? It’s become very important. We want to understand their values and determine that it’s a fit for our organization.” He continued.

When asked about the future of Central Minnesota, Herges concluded by sharing, “I think Central Minnesota is going to continue to grow. Geographically, our location is convenient within the Highway 10 and I-94 corridor. With bank locations in both Maple Grove and Ham Lake, I commute often and it’s all filling in, this area of ours. Businesses and brands are gravitating out of the metro area and heading towards St. Cloud. The future looks very bright for our region. Small business owners and families alike recognize the potential here, with the community, schools, healthcare, infrastructure, resources, and employers. I am very optimistic. We have a great community, and I am proud to be a part of it.

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