In today’s competitive business landscape, having a trusted banking partner is crucial for small business owners. Long gone are the days when business owners were content to be just mere numbers and figures in the eyes of financial institutions. Now, business owners seek financial organizations that will go above and beyond for their business, selecting banks offering specific financial services they may need to thrive. They’re looking for financial partners to provide the technology they need for operation at little to no additional cost, small business expertise, and friendly customer service representatives that care just as much as they do about seeing their business grow.
One such organization here in Marion County is Bank of the Pacific. With dedicated staff members like Lesa Goff, it is easy to see why community members choose them for commercial and business banking needs.
Lesa Goff: A Passionate Advocate for Business Success with Years of Expertise
Goff joined the commercial banking team for Bank of the Pacific in 2019, bringing over 25 years’ worth of experience in commercial lending with her. With her new role as VP Regional Business Development Officer, she routinely works with small to mid-size businesses, ensuring their continued success as they embark on the epic journey of business ownership.
“Helping businesses succeed is my passion,” says Goff, who has been in commercial lending since the start of her banking career. She’s assisted in managing a wide range of companies over the last 30 years, from small businesses to complex public companies and everything in between. Initially, she started with small business clients but has since worked her way up by acquiring experience and developing a skill set that allows her to manage middle-market and public companies.
“In hindsight, I was so very blessed to be hired into commercial lending,” remarks Goff regarding her career, whose passion for supporting businesses and contributing to their growth has been a driving force throughout her professional journey.
How Lesa Goff Helps Businesses Daily at Bank of the Pacific as a Commercial Lending Expert
A typical day of work at Bank of the Pacific for Goff involves understanding the financial needs and concerns of the business clients she assists.
“It’s a day spent listening,” says Goff. “It’s through listening to our clients that I, and my team, can provide the solutions they need for their businesses to flourish.”
Goff and her fellow dedicated team members spend the other parts of the day monitoring the checking side of business accounts to ensure clients can access online banking to make their day-to-day operations run more efficiently. On the lending side, the team analyzes financials to determine how to structure credit facilities to meet their clients’ growing needs.
They’re fulfilling days, and Goff understands firsthand how important finding the right banking institution is for business clients.
“Unfortunately, most customers look at pricing. However, having a trusted banker with whom you can build a long-term relationship is so important,” explains Goff. “Bankers are an extension of your finance department supporting CFOs, controllers and accountants to collaborate together on strategic plans to help these clients grow and profit.”
Whether these clients want to finance real estate for their business, buy equipment, provide working capital support to run their companies, or even buy a brand-new business altogether, the knowledgeable staff at Bank of the Pacific is here to help. They are confident they can fit clients with the small business loans they need.
Bank of the Pacific Works with Clients on Interest Rates for Small Business Loans
In today’s world of rising interest rates, small business loans, or SBA loans, can seem daunting. This significantly impacts SBA loans tied to prime rates, as prime rates are most targeted for higher interests.
“The majority of the SBA loans are a variable rate tied to prime,” explains Goff. “The current rate on their term SBA loan is significantly higher than when we initially obtained it several years ago.”
But small business owners need not worry, this is where Goff and team can assist.
“I have been refinancing SBA loans into traditional bank loans,” Goff shares. “In the process, I’m passing on substantial savings, and not to mention peace of mind, to our clients.”
Bank of the Pacific Makes Loan Applications Easy for Business Owners
Those interested in refinancing or applying for a first business loan with Bank of the Pacific concerned about the possibility of extensive red tape or the hassle of paperwork can rest assured Goff and her team make the application process seamless and personalized to fit individual needs.
“Generally, the lending process begins with an honest conversation with one of our Commercial Bank Officers,” explains Goff. “We discuss the client’s goals and plans, then the client completes an official application and provides the necessary financials to analyze the request.”
The team can identify suitable loan options by understanding the client’s goals. Sometimes the solution isn’t what the client initially asked for. Other options are always available, and commercial bankers like Goff are happy to help clients navigate the possibilities.
“It’s our job to find a good fit for our client,” she says. “We don’t stop until we have something the client can work with and benefit from.”
And while credit is a factor before any business can obtain financing, it’s not the only thing Bank of the Pacific considers for those applying.
“There are many factors to be considered in assessing loan qualification in the commercial world,” assures Goff.
For instance, cash flow is a key component, with historical performance playing a significant factor. Other factors include the company’s leverage and liquidity position, which plays a part in assessing a business’ financial strength, along with collateral that is very important and functions as a secondary source of repayment if the need should arise.
Bank of the Pacific Wants Small Businesses to Grow and Succeed
While it may seem like a lot, business owners can rest assured that they’re in capable hands with the Bank of the Pacific’s commercial lending team. Since the bank focuses on building relationships, Goff and her team can get to know their clients and understand their unique needs and goals in detail. This approach has led to many success stories where small businesses have grown and expanded thanks to the financing and other financial services the bank was able to provide for them.
“One recently that stood out was a refinance that took a client out of the unreasonably high SBA floating rate and termed the loan out with a more reasonable rate so the business owner could sleep at night,” reflected Goff, who knows all too well that the higher adjustable rates coupled with inflation in today’s environment are debilitating for small businesses.
This is merely one of many happy endings Lesa Goff has had the privilege of being part of during her 30 years in commercial banking, and she looks forward to many more as she continues her career at Bank of the Pacific. Her extensive experience and passion for helping business clients succeed make her a valuable asset to the bank and the small business community.
Goff is always happy to assist business owners in person, via phone, or by email because, as she says, “Communication is key!” For this reason, Goff is constantly staying in contact with her clients, something that can be expected from all Commercial Lending Officers at the bank.
By working closely with clients and understanding their ever-growing and changing needs, Goff and her team can empower local businesses in Marion County to achieve their goals, drive growth, and contribute to the overall economic well-being of the region and communities like it.
Those interested in learning more about what Bank of the Pacific offers regarding business loans can stop by the Salem Commercial Banking office anytime Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Their friendly staff is waiting to answer all your potential banking questions.
Bank of the Pacific
1255 Lee Street SE, Suite 130, Salem