Ameris combines the advantages of big banks with the community-mindedness of hometown lenders to better serve the needs of local entrepreneurs
Small businesses in Coastal South Carolina know who their financial partner is. Ameris Bank, a small, regional, $11.7 billion operation in four states, has prioritized its support of small businesses to help them grow, profit and create employment.
Occupying the middle ground between smaller community banks and multinational big-box institutions, Ameris has the strength to offer all the cutting-edge, high-tech services but agile enough to customize services that meet individual clients’ needs. It’s a full-service financial institution with a community bank feel.
Businesses working with Ameris can access treasury services, mobile and online banking tools, fraud prevention and multilayered security, just as they would with the global banks. But Ameris keeps its decision-making close to customers and forms partnerships with the businesses it serves. Ameris avoids canned lending formulas and long loan approval processes characteristic of big banks.
How has Ameris Bank helped local business?
One local customer learned about the hometown feel of Ameris when she was headed out of the country but needed to move money into her business account immediately. The market president personally assisted with her transaction and made sure she had funds in the right account so that she could seamlessly continue with her plans.
Ameris provides creative solutions to small businesses to optimize their opportunities for success. For a manufacturing company that needed to invest in equipment that wouldn’t generate cash flow until later, Ameris structured a loan with interest-only payments. That allowed the customer to make the purchases and delay principal payments until it began producing revenue.
For another business similarly situated, Ameris structured repayments on a semi-annual schedule to match cash flow, rather than demand payment every month. A lack of bureaucracy allows Ameris to respond to customer needs with individualized solutions.
World Package Co. shares a testament to banking local
When Ameris says it is a partner for small business, Ken Damon of Summerville-based World Packaging Co. knows what they mean. Left $2 million in debt after foreign customers reneged on a deal, World Packaging couldn’t get a lifeline from area banks. Ameris reviewed their five-year plan to emerge from debt and came to the rescue. In the three years since, the company has thrived.
“Today we’re debt-free because of Ameris,” Damon said. World Packaging is now a $5 million, global company.
As a trusted business partner, Ameris bankers build relational, not transactional relationships. They meet with business owners regularly and work with their accountants to ensure success in the marketplace. On those occasions when problems arise, ongoing communication facilitates collaborative solutions.
“Ameris has treated World Packaging as a family member and has always been at our side,” said Damon.