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Citizens State Bank

Citizens Helps Businesses Foster New Ideas Every Day!

By Jason Winter, CSB President

Dan Traxler Citizens State Bank CEO Perry Forst was recognized as the 2020-21 Amplio 504 Lender of the Year May 12 during the organization’s annual meeting in St. Paul. The picture includes Citizens State Bank Norwood Young America Senior Vice President Dan Traxler, Forst, Amplio Business Development Officer Scott Hoeschen, and Citizens State Bank President Jason Winter.

At an economic development meeting at city hall I attended recently, the topic of food trucks came up. Several in the meeting were interested in attracting more food trucks to the area. The discussion changed to how someone starts a food truck business and eventually morphed into what resources are available to guide people starting a food truck business.

I listened intently, curious what people would say. As others brainstormed how the city could help, the person sitting next to me tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, “isn’t that what you do every day?” I nodded. Citizens State Bank has in fact helped multiple local food truck startups over the last several years.

Loan officers at Citizens State Bank can and do provide a lot more than just financing options. Every day we have someone enter the bank with an idea to either start a new business or expand an existing business. Our loan team has the expertise to help them explore their potential opportunity. That may involve helping with a business plan, cash flow projections, or simply asking questions they haven’t thought of yet.

While I realize all banks may not have the local, knowledgeable staff that takes the time to work through these things with customers, I feel our customers are in good hands at Citizens State Bank.

Through the years, we have set up strategic partners to make Citizens State Bank the place where businesses can find expertise and resources others don’t bother to offer.

One of those resources is Amplio, who recently recognized Citizens CEO Perry Forst as its SBA 504 Lender of the Year. While he isn’t the only one at the bank who handles U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, Perry was recognized as the lender who closed the most SBA 504 loans with AMPLIO in the state last year.

So what is Amplio?

Amplio is a non-profit whose mission is to help small businesses obtain financing for job creation, to fund business expansion and to promote economic development. They are certified by the SBA to provide fixed rate, low interest loans for the purchase of real estate and machinery/equipment. Amplio helps prepare government loan applications, pre-screens loans for the government, prepares the paperwork at no charge to the borrower, and services the loan on behalf of the government.

Citizens State Bank provides a business loan secured by a first mortgage. Amplio originates a second mortgage loan with an SBA guaranty that has low fixed rates with a term up to 25 years. This combination financing package is designed to help the business retain and create jobs. It is one of the great resources we have for our customers.

Our lending decisions are made right here in Norwood Young America. We feel it is a distinct advantage for businesses when they collaborate directly with our loan officers. Most of our competitors ship loan information off to an impersonal committee in a different city, county or state. Personal understanding and insight is lost when lending decisions are made “out-of-town.”

Citizens State Bank and its knowledgeable loan staff are the community’s top resource for all things business. We are dedicated to creating experiences that inspire our customers to recommend Citizens State Bank to their friends and neighbors. And it happens every day!