With high inflation and geopolitical headwinds, the economy is rebalancing, consumer spending has slowed, and business owners are getting more conservative. As rates go up, demand for loans has gone down, an intended consequence from the Fed’s efforts to slow economic activity. As a business owner, it is vital to have the right relationships in place as you navigate this environment. It can be helpful to focus on some basics such as doing business with people you trust and staying true to your values.
Do Business with People You Trust
Business and farm owners in the Central PA region have specific needs, but at the core, they’re seeking reliable bankers and lenders who are friendly, trustworthy and follow through on their commitments. Our Central PA banking team works hard to exemplify these values, always staying mindful of Univest’s 18 fundamentals which define our culture and how we do business. My team and I strive to invest in relationships with our customers, whether that’s hosting a gettogether or simply picking up the phone to chat through business decisions. Our guiding principle is to always do the right thing for our customers. We believe in building trust with our clients by being transparent and working hard to find solutions. One might say we have a “Pennsylvania Dutch” heritage of frugality and sensibility when tending to our customers’ needs. To best serve the business and farm owners of Central PA, we often take the “old-school” approach of meeting clients in person. We are thrilled that with the pandemic behind us we can travel to homes, businesses and farms to meet face-to-face.
This approach has allowed our team to welcome more than 3,000 new relationships throughout Central PA in the six-plus years Univest has been in this market. We’ve achieved the status of being the second-largest agricultural lender in the state and the 41st-largest nationwide, based on data from the second quarter of 2022. By taking a hands-on approach, staying true to the idea of delivering “business basics” and building genuine relationships with our customers, we’ve generated organic growth and earned our market share.
Stay True to Your Values
Friendliness is paramount to effective customer relations no matter your business. In addition, our customers have expressed their appreciation for the community-focused approach taken by Univest. Our team members live in the communities they serve and understand the needs of local businesspeople and farmers. Our open-door policy means that we are available anytime, whether they’re calling to address issues or just to chat. We make every effort to be a part of the community and integrated with the businesses we serve. Each year, we host a customer BBQ in Intercourse Community Park with local food favorites so we can spend quality time with our customers and get to know one another on a more human level.
Personally, I hold myself accountable to live out healthy values as much as I can. Beyond my role as Central PA Market President for Univest, I am dedicated to spending quality time with my family, supporting local organizations and training for cross-country biking. It is important to embrace passions and pursue goals outside the office. This allows us to stay connected to the community and energized which ultimately allows us to help our customers grow their businesses.
As you navigate current market conditions, see what’s possible when you work with a partner who is friendly, trustworthy, and follows through on their commitments. Learn more about Univest’s commercial banking and lending solutions on our website or call 877-723-5571 to get connected with a relationship manager.
Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC, Equal Opportunity and SBA Preferred Lender.