After a prolonged absence, community-based banking has made a return to Kenosha with the recent June 2nd opening of Community State Bank’s (CSB) newest branch at 8304 75th St. in Kenosha.
“We’re excited to be bringing community banking back to Kenosha,” said Robert W. Pieroni, VP & Market President for Community State Bank. “We haven’t had a true community bank here in Kenosha for quite some time. Many of the previous community banks have closed or been absorbed by regional and national banks. It hasn’t just happened in Kenosha, but across the state.”
Based in Union Grove in neighboring Racine County, independently owned and operated Community State Bank has been serving southeastern Wisconsin, with a focus on Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties, since 1898. No stranger to Kenosha County, Community State Bank has been a western Kenosha County fixture for nearly two decades with its location at 25360 75th St. in Paddock Lake.
“Being a community bank means being available to your customers,” said Pieroni. “As an example, during the pandemic we’ve worked with countless local businesses to help guide them through the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP. Some of these business owners were ignored or turned away from their current big box banks. Those banks just decided it wasn’t worth their time to work with local businesses. So in their greatest time of need, they were ignored. We’ve seen a lot of customers switching to CSB because we’re there to answer questions and help guide customers through some difficult times.”
Pieroni also emphasized the importance of CSB’s ability to make decisions locally. “Another thing that’s become clear through the pandemic is that local decision making is crucial. Because we make all of our decisions locally, we’re able to operate with a flexibility that big banks just can’t touch. If your banking decisions are being made in another state or another country, you aren’t going to find that.”
Community State Bank’s Assistant Vice President, Laura Burnett Shoemaker, continued to expand on the differences customers could experience by banking locally.
“It’s all about building the relationships and making sure that we earn the trust and respect of our community,” she said. “When our customers succeed, our communities succeed, and that’s what community banking is all about.”
Burnett Shoemaker continued, “Our banking model is based on strong relationships. That’s why we offer no-fee account options to businesses, consumers, and non-profits. We’re not trying to nickel and dime our customers with hidden charges, or monthly maintenance fees. We want to be up front with them, and then provide them with the tools, local expertise, and technology to help them succeed. That’s how we build strong relationships at CSB.”
In a merged, consolidated era of statewide, regional, national and international banks, Community State Bank lives up to its name as a true community bank. While big enough to competitively offer a full suite of services and technology like the major national banks, Community State Bank is also flexible enough to offer its individual and business clients personalized service, with decisions made locally by an experienced team of bankers committed to supporting the communities in which it does business.
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