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Economic Data
Chris SchneidermanThe Year in Review
By Chris Schneiderman

Dear State Bank Customers and Friends,
Thank you for your relationship and business with State Bank. It's been another successful year due primarily to you and your loyal relationships with State Bank. Because of your support, we once again retained the top spot for local loan volume; which also helped increase our stock price to an all-time high. When comparing the five community banks with a physical presence in Freeport as of September 30, we ranked first in commercial real estate loan volume, first in commercial & industrial loan volume, and third in farm loan volume. When totaling the above three categories we outranked the second place bank by over 17%. Much of our success is based on our employees' dedication to excellent customer service, our corporate credit commitment to the farmers and businesses throughout our community, and to you, our loyal customers. For that, we are thankful.
In regards to our stock, as most of you are aware State Bank's stock is owned by Foresight Financial Group, a multi-bank holding company based in Rockford. Our "sister" banks include German American State Bank, Lena State Bank, State Bank of Davis, and Northwest Bank of Rockford. In addition, Foresight recently acquired State Bank of Herscher in Herscher, IL. The acquisition resulted in Foresight's asset base increasing to over $1 billion. Thanks to our customers and employees, Foresight continues to grow the balance sheet, report record profits, and, most importantly, build a solid capital base. Foresight stock recently traded at $24.50 per share, which is a 20% increase over last year. If you'd like more information about Foresight and its stock, please don't hesitate to call us.
In 2016 we will continue to strive for employee pride, customer loyalty, and shareholder value, all while supporting the well being of our community. Again, we sincerely appreciate your business and are grateful to serve you each and every day.
Please don't hesitate to contact me at 815-297-0900 or with any
questions or concerns regarding our products and service.
Sales Tax Revenue   
Ag Update
By Andrew Garnhart -   As 2015 comes to a close, we take time to reflect and give thanks for many blessings. We thank our veterans and those in the armed services for their sacrifice and commitment to our great country. We thank our State Bank customers who are so incredibly important to us. We are thankful for friends, family, health, and well-being. In the agricultural community, we are especially thankful for an excellent harvest that generated yields far greater than originally anticipated. In my summer column, I talked about the uncertainty created by a recording-setting wet June; however, those worries were generally unfounded as most of the farming community in our region reports above average corn and soybean production. The price being offered for those commodities...well, that's a different story, and one that reflects strong production on a national level.
It feels as if we've been talking about interest rates and their potential for growth for an eternity. The last time the Federal Reserve Bank adjusted the rate at which banks borrow money was December of 2008! Since then, the Prime Rate (the rate most are familiar with and one that we use with the majority of our borrowers) has stayed flat and borrowers have been able to enjoy low-cost funding for an unusually long period of time. It appears those days will be coming to an end soon as recently released economic data on jobs and the economy is bullish toward a rate hike. We have already seen proof of this as the Fed raised rates on December 16.
So, how does a rate hike influence your operation? The most immediate effect will be felt on variable rate loans, which, for most of our agricultural customers, would mean their operating line of credit. For the average customer, a .25% interest rate increase would approximately equate to an extra $1.25 of interest expense per acre. If the Fed gets excited and increases the rate by .50%, then you can double the interest expense increase to $2.50 per acre. The expectations are for the Fed to slowly increase the rate over time, but it never hurts to prepare your operation for "worst-case" scenarios.
Could you absorb an additional $10 per acre expense if rates increased by 1.00%? Efficiency and superior management skills will be necessary as we navigate through 2016. Prepare now, and contact me at
815-297-0900 or if you have questions. Thank you, as always, 
for your business!
        Median Home Sale Price MedianHome 
      Home Sales HomeSale
Shawn Cox     
As A Commercial Banker  
By Shawn Cox -  As a commercial banker, we sometimes get asked our opinion about an individual's ability to start a new business and how to manage it successfully. Many variables determine whether or not a business is successful. There is no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a new business; however, there are many programs and agencies that are focused on mitigating those risks.
One such agency is the U.S. Small Business Administration or SBA. The SBA can help you start, market, and/or manage your business. Whether you are trying to put a business plan together for a start up or plan to expand your existing business, the SBA may have a program to help guide you.
The SBA has a number of resource partners that include, but are not limited to, their district offices, their on-line Learning Center, SCORE chapters, and Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Their partner network is nationwide with more than 13,000 business counselors, mentors, and trainers available. These professionals can help with writing a formal business plan, locating sources of financial assistance, managing and expanding your business, and finding opportunities to sell your goods or services.
SBA's Learning Center is a virtual campus complete with free online courses, workshops, podcasts, and learning tools. Some key features include training available anytime and anywhere - all you need is a computer or mobile device with Internet access. The learning center has nearly forty free, online, and interactive courses and workshops. It has templates and samples to get your business planning started. Some course topics include how to write a business plan, financing strategies that include SBA lending programs, what to look for when looking to export to new markets, and special material for veterans and women entrepreneurs.
SCORE is a national network of more than 11,000 entrepreneurs, business leaders, and executives who volunteer as mentors to America's small businesses. SCORE leverages decades of experience from seasoned business professionals to help entrepreneurs to start and grow companies and to create jobs in local communities. SCORE does this by matching your specific needs with a business mentor, traveling to your place of business for an on-site evaluation, and by providing local business educational workshops and seminars ranging in topic and scope.
The Small Business Development Center's mission is to build, sustain, and grow small businesses. They also promote small business development and enhance local economies by helping create businesses and jobs. SBDCs offer free one-on-one expert business counseling and low-cost training by business professionals. Along with its main services, they offer special focus areas such as regulatory compliance, technology transfer, veteran's assistance, international trade and export assistance, green business technology, and disaster recovery and preparedness.
These are just a handful of programs offered by the SBA. There are many other agencies that provide a wide range of programs that can help you start or grow a business. If you have any questions or an idea to start a business please feel free to contact me at 815-297-0900 or .
Acknowledgement: 2014-2015 Resource Guide for Small Business by U.S. Small Business Administration.
Business Credit Cards Amanda Jacobs  
By Amanda Jacobs -  State Bank offers several business credit card products. Understanding the features and benefits will help you choose the right type of card for your business.  
Choosing the right card depends on how you will use your card. If you plan to carry a balance from month to month, you may want to focus primarily on the card's interest rate. If you plan to pay your balance off each month, a rewards card could be the answer for you. If you are concerned about an annual fee, make sure you take some time to estimate if your rewards will offset the fee. If not, a card with no annual fee is probably the best fit.
At State Bank, we offer three different options to fit your specific needs:
Visa Business Platinum Card
  • Designed to help you pay down other credit card balances faster
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles.
  • No annual fee
Visa Business Bonus Rewards Card
  • Earn 1.25 points for every net $1 you spend
  • No caps or limits on the points you can earn
  • Earn 2,500 points that can be redeemed for $25 cash back after your first purchase
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles
  • No annual fee
Visa Business Bonus Rewards PLUS Card
  • Earn 1.5 points for every net $1 you spend
  • No caps or limits on the points you can earn
  • Earn 5,000 points that can be redeemed for $50 cash back after your first purchase
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 6 billing cycles
  • $50 annual fee 
Another benefit includes the ability to track your spending using the online account management tool. You can also authorize multiple employees on the account and establish separate credit limits for these users. If you are interested or would like to learn more about our business credit card products, please stop by or contact me at 815-297-0900 or
This advertisement is brought to you by:
State Bank
1718 S. Dirck Drive
Freeport, IL 61032