Sheboygan bank following customers south

Sheboygan-based Community Bank and Trust, a Small Business Administration (SBA) lender that has gained a foothold in the Milwaukee market by offering loans of roughly $1 million to customers, intends to open an office in Glendale.
The bank has filed an application with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions to open a new branch at 5380 N. Port Washington Rd..
The bank has retained engineers Kapur and Associates, Mequon, to handle site work, and Jim Pankow, Inc., Plymouth, to design and build the 10,000-square-foot building, which will cost between $2.5 million and $3 million.
The new Glendale bank, which would include five drive-through lanes, would occupy 5,000 square feet on the first floor and lease the second floor to a professional service tenant.
According to Community Bank and Trust president Tony Jovanovich, the bank’s SBA Preferred Lending Partner (PLP) status and the resulting ability to approve most SBA loans in-house, coupled with word-of-mouth advertising in Milwaukee’s minority communities, has helped build a thriving business for the bank in the state’s largest metro area.
"We do the lending, and they tell their friends," Jovanovich said. "We haven’t had to make calls."
The bank’s lack of facilities in the Milwaukee area has limited the level of involvement it can have with its SBA customers, he said.
"They can’t bank with us because of logistics," Jovanovich said. "By us opening up that office right near the interchange with I-43, that will make it a lot more possible for them to bank with us. With the reconstruction of the Bay Shore Mall, that area is going to be very strong for us."
Apart from a desire to expand relationships with SBA clients, Jovanovich said the bank commissioned a market study that identified enormous potential in the area of the new office.
"That particular area – within a one-mile radius – has about $1.6 billion in business deposits," Jovanovich said. "The whole Sheboygan area has about $1.6 billion."
Jovanovich acknowledged that some SBA clients are already asking the bank for an office on the south side of the metropolitan area.
"Already, we have been asked by some medical clinics to move down there," Jovanovich said. "We have done some lending for medical equipment, and they would like us to be able to handle their other banking needs."

Dec. 20, 2002 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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