U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs, urged President Barack Obama to carefully consider the concerns of community banks when naming a nominee for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
With 96 percent of North Dakota's businesses considered small businesses, community banks play a vital role in helping them grow, providing nearly half of small business loans and farm loans. Community banks are also about three times more likely than non-community banks to operate in rural areas. Small financial institutions, such as community banks, are often the only way rural families and small businesses can access the saving and lending markets.
"Community banks make it possible for North Dakotans living in rural or underserved areas to access lenders and financial services," said Heitkamp. "They enable small businesses to get financing to operate, help farmers get loans to support their farms, and allow families to buy homes. That's why I'm calling on the President to nominate someone to the Federal Reserve Board who understands the lifelines community banks provide in rural areas so our voices and needs are heard."