Banking Relationships Key to Building Minority Business

Last year looks like an inflection point for entrepreneurs of color, both in the Mahoning Valley and across the country. Several storylines of 2020 – the coronavirus pandemic, discussions about racial equity and new efforts to support small businesses – converged to create an environment that led to greater attention on minority-owned businesses and what help they need to succeed.

At a personal level, not having relationships with a bank can hamper business, says Premier Bank vice president and community development officer Lee Fields.

“Once you start talking to people about their issues – whether it’s financial education or anything else – you start to realize how many people don’t have checking accounts or saving accounts,” he says. “It’s a matter of trust. Once you start to build that, it helps with long-term success.”

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