It can be argued that small businesses are the most important part of our economy.
Max Mitts is certainly on board to make that argument.
“Small businesses offer a robust labor force, tax revenue for communities, provide for families and succession planning. They all have valuable benefits to the community — from mom-and-pops run out of their home, to businesses employing 50 people, to businesses with $50 million in revenue,” he shares.
Small businesses are defined as those with less than $100 million in revenue. Small businesses make up 99.9% of businesses in the United States, with 30 million+ small businesses currently open, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Max, NMLS# 1161411, is a commercial lending officer at INB in Chesterfield, Mo., focuses on small business lending in his role for INB.
It started after he became credit analyst for another bank, which led to conversations with small businesses in the St. Louis area and learning about the SBA. In 2005, Max became a commercial lender.
“Over the years, I had heard about INB and was really attracted to the culture they were cultivating,” he shares. In 2020, he joined INB’s Chesterfield team.
“I love the atmosphere. It’s great to come to work and know there are individuals on your side. Navigating larger financial organizations can cause a lot of stress,” he says. “But anyone at INB will pick up the phone and help me get my job done, from the top down.”
Offering Financial Solutions for Small Businesses
Max values the ability to give advice to small business owners and collaborate with them to figure out financial solutions.
“Working with small businesses means everything. They’re under a lot of stress: ‘Can I get my business what it needs to operate – working capital, building, equipment?’ The business owner puts their life’s stake in this,” Max says. “I have to respect their expertise but also be their advisor. And I need to protect the bank, so I wear many hats.”
Partnering with the SBA means that specific small business loans are subsidized by the government, which provides a different tool for financing that might not otherwise happen with a conventional bank loan.
Having a diligent SBA loan officer is crucial. Knowledge of SBA lending starts with general policies, but during an uncertain period like COVID presented in 2020, policies can change rapidly.
Check out our videos:
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Not Just a Loan at INB
One of INB’s key differentiators is that every client is a priority. From Max’s firsthand experience, he’s seen that other banks view smaller businesses as just a number.
“None of our clients are more important than the next. We employ resources at every level – from treasury to deposit operations to loan production – to every client and treat them with a great deal of respect,” he says.
SBA lending isn’t just signing documents and providing loans. Without a strong client relationship, “there’s not a reward for doing the work,” Max says.
“Holding the customer’s hand and making sure they understand everything through the entire SBA process builds trust. We strive to be transparent and helpful, having early conversations with customers about what we can and can’t do,” he says.
“We work with clients who run the gamut of having basic needs to sophisticated needs – and we’re doing it all on a local basis at INB. We don’t have to call up to a corporate office somewhere else and get permission. We know what we can get done with great speed, and we’re very nimble, which benefits our clients tremendously.”