Buy Local

Buy Local

by: Larry Williams, President & CEO, Community Bankers Webinar Network, an ICBSD Preferred Partner

“Buy local” is getting a lot of attention these days. And it should! Our main street businesses, vendors, and tradespeople endured some serious challenges through the pandemic, including labor shortages, higher costs, and supply-chain issues– often without any safety net of cash to sustain them. Today’s challenges include a changing marketplace, social and economic volatility, and rising interest rates. Community bankers see the struggles of local businesses firsthand, and you have stepped up to help in a myriad of ways. From navigating the largely uncharted waters of rising rates to picking up the phone to do business with or make referrals to your small business customers, community bankers know what it means to lock arms and tackle big challenges together.

During my early years as a banker, my boss used to wax philosophical with phrases like:

“Do business with those who do business with you, Larry.”

“Help your customers succeed and they’ll stay with you forever.”

“You’d better call on your customers because the competition is.”

As a young commercial lender in the late 90s, I took his advice to heart. When I needed my truck repaired, I took it to a repair shop who never missed a loan payment with my bank. When a customer asked me for the name of a good accountant, I referred her to Paul, who came through the bank’s drive-through every Thursday afternoon at 3:45 PM sharp. You could set your watch by it. And each week I set aside time to go see two or three of my business customers just to say hello, have a cup of coffee, or depending on the time of day, a bottle of beer.

Do business with those who do business with you, as my first boss used to say. While you’re at it, make sure you continue to support those who support your bank. And nobody works harder at that than the team at Independent Community Bankers of South Dakota. Your membership dollars, as well as the dollars you choose to spend on the services ICBSD offers, help strengthen community banking across South Dakota. As our small business community perseveres through continuing uncertain economic times, it’s more important than ever to keep buying local.

Larry Williams is the President and CEO of the Community Bankers Webinar Network.

The Community Bankers Webinar Network partners with ICBSD to bring the most up-to-date, relevant, and impactful web-based training to South Dakota bankers. Learn more at