Welcome to Volume 9, Issue 2

By Chris Schneiderman - Greetings State Bank Customers and Friends,

Welcome to our Fall 2018 Newsletter! We have a variety of articles to share with you, including an update on National Farm Safety & Health Week, scams affecting small businesses, an update on our State Bank Foundation, and some information related to Beneficial Ownership that has impacted most all of you by this time.   
In addition, I’d like to welcome Travis Howell to the State Bank Commercial Banking Team. Travis was one of our Foresight Financial Group interns this past summer and joined us on a full-time basis in early August. Travis is originally from Morrison, IL and currently resides in Cherry Valley. He spent the past 8 years at Chrysler and will complete his Business Degree from Northern Illinois University next spring. At State Bank, Travis works as a credit analyst and a Relationship Manager. If you have not yet met Travis, we hope to introduce him to many of our commercial clients within the next year.  

As always, thank you for your business and relationship with State Bank, and let us know if there is anything we can do to enhance your banking experience.    
IN THIS ISSUE

Ag Update: Farm Safety & Health Week

Protecting Your Small Business From Fraud

The State Bank Foundation:
More Than Just a Fundraiser

Beneficial Ownership and Your Business
ECONOMIC DATA

Stephenson County Home Sales

Stephenson County Median Home Sale Price

Freeport Sales Tax Revenue

Stephenson County & Freeport Employment/Unemployment
Ag Update: National Farm Safety & Health Week

By Shawn Cox - Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. Governor Rauner once again proclaimed September 16-22, 2018 as National Farm Safety and Health Week in Illinois with the theme, “Cultivating the Seeds of Safety."

National Farm Safety & Health Week is a reminder to think about the health and safety of our agriculture professionals. They are reminded to use caution while working with equipment and to take care of their physical and mental health as the long hours of harvest begin. With the harvest season already underway, remember to take occasional breaks and to stay connected to friends and family to combat your frustrations and stresses that happen during this season. This week serves as a reminder even to those who don't work in agriculture to drive slowly on rural roads as this busy season begins.

This annual observance focuses on the importance of cultivating a safe and healthy lifestyle. The Illinois Department of Agriculture will highlight emerging issues and important topics on Facebook * and Twitter (@ILAgriculture*) each day during National Farm Safety and Health Week:

• Monday, Sept. 17: Rural Roadway Safety
• Tuesday, Sept. 18: Health and Stress Management
• Wednesday, Sept. 19: Youth Ag Safety
• Thursday, Sept. 20: Safety in Confined Spaces 
• Friday, Sept. 21: Tractor Safety

State Bank wants to remind all farm workers to stay safe, not only during the beginning of a new harvest season, but year-round.

Acknowledgement: Illinois Department of Agriculture- Sept. 16-22 is National Farm Safety & Health Week, 2018

* State Bank is not responsible for the content of external websites linked to or referenced from the State Bank newsletter. State Bank neither
endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these external websites.
By selecting the link you will be leaving the State Bank newsletter and will be taken to a third party site that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party vendor/partner is responsible for website content and system availability. 
Home Sales Data
Stephenson County Single Family/Condominium Sales  Acknowledgement: IllinoisRealtor.org
Protecting Your Small Business From Fraud

By Derrick Schubert - The media has brought significant attention to the growing number of financial scams and the seemingly endless methods in which fraudsters attempt to obtain your personal information. A March 2018 market study done by the Better Business Bureau focused on the growing number of scams affecting small businesses and the considerable overlap between scams targeting individual consumers and those targeting small businesses. While most are aware of the possibility of scams, of the 1,200 businesses surveyed, 82% responded that someone other than themselves are more likely to be scammed. 

The BBB market study lists five of the most common business scams. They are as follows:

  • Tech Support Scams start with a call or an alarming pop-up message. Scammers pretend to be from a well-known company. The goal is to collect money, gain access to the computer, or both. They may ask the employee to pay them to fix a problem the business doesn’t really have or enroll the business in a non-existent or useless computer maintenance program. 

  • Government Agency Impostor Scams start with scammers who impersonate government agents and threaten to suspend business licenses, impose fines, or even take legal action if the business doesn’t pay taxes, renew government licenses or registrations, or pay other fees. Sometimes they trick businesses into buying workplace compliance posters that are available for free or they may pressure them to pay upfront fees for a nonexistent business grant. 

  • Directory Listing and Advertising Scams fool businesses into paying for nonexistent advertising or a listing in a nonexistent directory or “Yellow Pages.” In some cases, the directory will technically exist, but will not be widely distributed and the listing will be of little or no value. 

  • Fake Check Scams start with scammers asking the business to deposit a fake check and wire some of the money to a third party. The scammers always have a good story to explain the over payment; they need the business to cover taxes or fees, purchase supplies, or something else. By the time the bank discovers the business has deposited a bad check, the scammer already has the money. 

  • Bank/Credit Card Company Imposter Scams typically involve impersonation of a bank or other credit card issuer. Under the guise of verifying account information, scammers try to fool their targets into sharing credit card or banking information. 

Being proactive is important in risk management. The most effective preventative measures throughout the market study were perceived to be: 

  • Training on how to detect and avoid scams 
  • Limiting the number of people authorized to pay invoices or place orders 
  • Talking about scams and sharing information in employee meetings
  • Having clear procedures in place to make sure invoices are legitimate 

If you’d like more information on how to protect your business, you can read the full Better Business Bureau report here* . Protecting your small business is important to us at State Bank and we encourage you to contact us if you would like further guidance or resources as to how to protect your business from potential scams. 

Acknowledgement: BBB.org - Scams and Your Small Business Research Report, 2018

* State Bank is not responsible for the content of external websites linked to or referenced from the State Bank newsletter. State Bank neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these external websites. By selecting the link you will be leaving the State Bank newsletter and will be taken to a third party site that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party vendor/partner is responsible for website content and system availability. 
Home Sale Price Data
Acknowledgement: IllinoisRealtor.org
The State Bank Foundation: More Than Just a Fundraiser

By Andrea Moring & Amanda Jacobs –  Many of you have heard about the State Bank Foundation as you played the course at our Annual Golf Outing, or maybe donated to or bought from our Silent Auction. At these events, we tell you a little bit about the Foundation, but today, we would like to tell you more. From our history to our current fundraisers, read on for more information about something of which we State Bankers are very proud! 

The State Bank Foundation was established in 2011 by the employees of State Bank. At State Bank, giving back to the communities we serve is a fundamental part of who we are as an organization, and we were looking for a new way to make a difference in our community.

With the State Bank spirit of volunteerism in mind, the Foundation was created. It was our hope that building a Foundation fueled by employee dedication, perseverance, and caring would provide a significant impact in strengthening our communities for future generations. 

A mission statement was created to guide our goals for the Foundation. It reads as follows: The State Bank Foundation will support art, health, youth, and educational programs that make a positive difference and encourage meaningful and sustainable change within the communities we serve. State Bank employees have been dedicated to this statement since its inception, which led to the honor of being named "Not-For-Profit of the Year" by the Freeport Chamber of Commerce in 2018. 
 
Fundraising for the State Bank Foundation is all organized by State Bank employees. Since 2011, State Bank employees have raised a principal fund balance of $101,367 as a base from which to grant funds into the future. The three main fundraisers that you may have supported in the past include the Golf Outing, held annually in May; the Silent Auction, held annually in October; and Koeze Nut sales, held annually in November.
 
The 7th annual State Bank Foundation golf outing was held May 18th at the Freeport Club. A group of golfers enjoyed a fun filled day of golf, fellowship, food, and prizes. The golf outing is the largest fundraiser supporting the Foundation. This year’s Silent Auction will be held in the State Bank lobby October 1st through October 12th from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and employees are already working very hard to gather items for the auction. Koeze Nut Sales will be held in November with delivery just in time for Christmas. If your business is looking for a great, quality gift to give your clients for the holidays, just ask a State Bank employee for information or a catalog. 
 
So where do all these dollars go? Right back into our community through our grant process. In July of each year, the Foundation invites all 501(c)(3) organizations located in Freeport and Stephenson County to apply for a grant. The focus of the grant requests are the four pillars of our mission statement: youth, education, health, and arts. Grant requests received are reviewed by the grant committee and approved by the State Bank Foundation Board of Directors. Through seven grant cycles, the State Bank Foundation has awarded a total of $45,532 to not-for-profit organizations in our community. 
 
The success of the State Bank Foundation was not achieved by our employees alone; we could not have done it without YOUR generous support. It is because of you that we are able to make an impact in our community. We thank you all for your support of The State Bank Foundation; you are truly appreciated!
Sales Tax Data
Acknowledgement: Illinois Department of Revenue
Beneficial Ownership and Your Business

By Salina Loescher - The buzz words in banking for the past few months have been Beneficial Ownership. You’ve probably heard these words as well, but do you know the rule or why it was established? In short, the Beneficial Ownership Rule requires banks to identify and document the beneficial owners of a legal entity before opening a new business account or making changes to an existing business account. A beneficial owner is defined as a person owning 25% or more in a LLC, corporation, or partnership. Read on to learn more about the history of the rule and how it affects you.

Beneficial Ownership Background
The Beneficial Ownership Rule has been established as another way to prevent criminal banking activity. Legal entities can be used to hide involvement in fraud, terrorist activity, money laundering, tax evasion, or other financial crimes. To help the government fight financial crime, federal regulation now requires all banks to obtain and document information about the beneficial owners of corporations, LLC’s, and partnerships. This Rule follows two previously established anti-criminal regulations: the Bank Secrecy Act and the U.S. Patriot Act. The Bank Secrecy Act was established in 1970 to track funds in and out of the U.S. and financial institutions. In 2001, the U.S. Patriot Act was passed and placed even more pressure on banks to help monitor the money trail and help law enforcement. Fast forward to this year when the Beneficial Ownership Rule took effect and completed this regulatory trifecta. By adhering to these rules in tandem, banks can help law enforcement monitor and convict anyone committing financial crimes. 

Am I A Beneficial Owner?
To identify the beneficial owners of your business, we first need to define the two prongs, or types, of beneficial owners. The first is the ownership prong, or the individual who owns 25% or more of the entity. The second is the control prong, or an individual that is responsible for controlling or managing a legal entity customer, such as a CFO, CEO, or president. If you fall into one or both of these categories, you are a beneficial owner.

As with any regulation, there are exclusions and exemptions. Not-for-profits are exempt from the ownership prong and need only identify a controlling owner. If your commercial banking account belongs to a trust or government agency you may also be excluded from the ownership rule. 

How Does the Beneficial Ownership Rule Affect My Banking?
The Beneficial Ownership Rule just ensures that the bank truly knows the business and its owners. We learn more about you and your business by using a worksheet that helps you identify your beneficial owners. Once this is complete, we obtain identification information (ID, SSN, birthday, address) from each beneficial owner and your legal entity documents. Once all of this information is compiled, your business account can be opened.

Learn More
At State Bank, we hope to make this new procedure as smooth as possible. If you have any questions about the Beneficial Ownership Rule, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at salina.loescher@statebankfreeport.com .  

Acknowledgement: Young and Associates, Inc. - New CDD Rules, 2018
Employment Graph
Unemployment Graph
Acknowledgement: Illinois Department of Employment Security
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