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Helping Small Businesses Succeed: Interview with Shane Jenkins


By: Mary McHugh, Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

Helping Small Businesses Succeed: Interview with Shane Jenkins

Small businesses confront many challenges over their lifetime. Finding the right bank — and personal banker — to help business owners navigate this journey is critical.

At First Federal Bank , new and existing small businesses are offered a comprehensive array of incentives, perks and services that help owners make the right choices, especially to help them survive in these economic times. Their personal bankers provide customized financial solutions and guidance to ensure continued success, no matter the business or situation.

And needs vary. Sure, a small-business bank account is a given, but there’s so much more to consider. Depending on the size, nature and complexity of the business itself, needs can look tremendously different. Is it a startup company? A long-term organization looking for a cash infusion? What type of loan is needed? Is the loan filling a temporary gap or is it for a specific piece of manufacturing equipment?

Shane Jenkins is in the business of helping local businesses succeed. As senior Vice President of Commercial Loans at First Federal for the last 14 years — and in the industry for the last 30 — Jenkins has seen business trends come and go in terms of how to succeed and maintain that success over time. However, the one constant that has remained a crucial component of a successful business, he said, is having a solid business plan that will provide the capital and wherewithal to navigate any economic downturns.

In addition to a well thought out business plan, the appropriate financial support is critical. Jenkins said First Federal offers various term loans, revolving lines of credit — including their Fast Track application for loans under $50,000 — and financing solutions to fit commercial investment property. SBA loans are available for most business purposes including real estate purchase, equipment, business acquisition, refinancing and working capital.

“Some businesses don’t plan ahead far enough. That’s why it’s important to have a personal banker to help you look to the future in terms of planning,” he said. “And personal bankers do so much more than approve loans. We advise and help these businesses survive in the long-term. Why? Because small businesses are the lifeblood of our community.”

The business owners are friends, neighbors, and families who are helping support the community. They are the ones sponsoring the charities, programs, and events that occur year-round. Supporting them and helping them succeed results in a stronger and more viable community for everyone.

Cybersecurity success

According to Jenkins, fraud and cybersecurity issues are another major concern small-business owners are grappling with these days. “We’ve seen a lot of it out there, on a daily basis,” Jenkins said. “Protecting their clients’ information, as well as their own business, from fraud and hacking is a legitimate fear for these owners.”

To address these concerns and help small businesses understand the nuances of information safety, First Federal, along with its security team, hosts an annual seminar for its members. During this workshop, First Federal provides attendees with information on the latest security topics and ways to protect their businesses. Again, for Jenkins, servicing and supporting First Federal members on all fronts is the end goal.

The viability of the community depends on it.

Interview with:
Shane Jenkins
Senior Vice President
Commercial Loan Administrator