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Crisp County News & Events

The Watermelon Capital of the World is home to much more than just melons. Crisp County is known for it's abundance of agricultural crops like cotton, peanuts and pecans. South Georgia Banking Company is proud to partner with the community, individuals, area farmers and businesses to make Cordele GREAT!

The Importance of Credit Worthiness for Your Small Business

What many people don’t realize when starting a business is that it has its own credit score with a unique algorithm that determines your company’s creditworthiness. Unlike a personal score, a business credit score typically ranges from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best possible outcome. South Georgia Banking Company would like to take the opportunity to share some information on small business credit worthiness and how you can establish it with your own company.

Why do you need a business credit score? 

Separating your business and personal assets is critical. One of the key benefits that corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) provide is the protection of your personal assets. To keep this protection, it is critical that you consistently show a clear separation between yourself and your business. Establishing your small business’s credit can help you do this.

What makes up a business credit score? 

Most of the credit bureaus are secretive about the formulas they use to create a business credit score, and some even admit that there can be more than 800 different data points that are taken into consideration. That can make it feel daunting to build up your business credit. Luckily, we can look to consumer credit scores to give us a good sense of the factors that are likely to be the most important, namely:

• Payment History
• Credit Utilization
• Credit History
• Credit Inquiries
Now that we know the key factors that make up a business credit score, let’s take a look at how you can establish your business credit. Specifically, you should: 

1. Incorporate your business as an LLC to protect your personal assets.

2. Obtain a federal taxpayer identification number (TIN/EIN).

3. Open a business bank account. It’s important to note you can’t open a business bank account without first obtaining an EIN.

4. Obtain a business credit card. This can be as simple as opening up a business credit card and making a number of small purchases that are easy for you to pay off quickly over the coming weeks. Assuming you already have money set aside and earmarked for this, you will be able to quickly pay off your business credit card and thus establish your company’s credit.

5. Open a business credit file. This can be done with all three of the reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Additionally, you can apply for a D‑U‑N‑S Number at Dun & Bradstreet. D&B and other credit bureaus can use this nine-digit number to identify your business and its credit file.

How can you continue monitoring your business credit?

By law, each of the three major credit bureaus is required to give you free access to your personal credit score once per year. That is not the case with your business credit score. Despite that, it is worth monitoring your company’s credit score one or two times per year so you can correct any errors and make sure your file is up-to-date. This can help ensure you continue to receive favorable loan terms and are able to better negotiate with suppliers and vendors.

When you’re just starting off, establishing your business credit score may not be your top priority. But, if you plan it right, growing and expanding your company can become much simpler and less expensive if you’ve taken the time to establish good business credit up front.

South Georgia Banking Company would love to help your small business establish a great credit score – please call us or come by today to get started!
Source: Forbes

Avoiding Scams for Your Small Business

If you own a small business or are part of a non-profit organization, you spend a lot of time and effort making sure the organization works well.  But when scammers go after your organization, it can hurt your reputation and your bottom line.  Your best protection?  Learn the signs of scams that target businesses.  Then tell your employees and colleagues what to look for so they can avoid scams.  Read more here.

Faye Leary: Commitment to Connections at SGBC

Customer Service Representative (CSR) Faye Leary has been with South Georgia Banking Company – in the Cordele branch – for 18 years and takes to heart the term “connection” which defines the way SGBC relates to customers and the community.

Faye gets a lot of satisfaction out of being a CSR, “I am a people person so I enjoy the day-to-day interaction with our customers and helping them any way I can,” says Faye. She added, “Across all our bank locations, we are one big family. We genuinely care about each other and it makes the work experience that much more enjoyable.”

In addition to the relationships Faye has built with her customers and coworkers, she is also invested in the community. Faye and her husband, Earl, are actively involved in their church, Beulah Land Baptist Church. They thoroughly enjoy being grandparents and participating in their grandchildren’s activities. Faye and her SGBC “family” take pride in their participation of Relay for Life as well as the support given to community schools and law enforcement.

“I know personally how it feels when I don’t get quality customer service,” Faye continued, “whether it is on the telephone or in person. I always keep that in mind when dealing with customers, because I know they deserve the very best!” Faye strives to offer the kind of customer service that makes SGBC stand out from the competition. South Georgia Banking Company is proud to have representatives like Faye who demonstrate the heart of our business every day.

October means pink and pink means Breast Cancer Awareness. South Georgia Banking Company is proud to sponsor and support local events like the Pink Out Walk in Cordele hosted by the Impact Sports and Fitness. Pictured (l-r) are Paula Green, Kathy Campbell, Heather Barefoot and Kayla Yawn. Little cuties at the bottom are Aly Barefoot and Hollie Yawn.
The Cordele Kiwanis Club recently distributed books for preschoolers at the local pre-school. The Kiwanis Club strongly encourages young kids to read and enrich their minds. Pictured is Paula Green with South Georgia Banking Company proudly supporting new readers and community endeavors.

South Georgia Banking Company’s Peanut Butter Drive resulted in exactly 100 jars of peanut butter to benefit Cordele’s local food pantry, Hand of Hope. Thank you to our customers and community for helping us spread hope to those in need! Each jar will be used to fill tables and improve lives. Pictured are Beverly Helms with South Georgia Banking Company and Donna Stripling with Hand of Hope.

SGBC Cordele took the opportunity this week to show appreciation to local law enforcement and emergency personnel in Crisp County by taking cases of water to each location. Places visited include the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office, Cordele Fire Department, Crisp County Fire Department, Cordele Police Department, and Crisp County EMS. We are thankful for these local agencies and we should all be grateful for the services they provide to us in our homes and at work to keep us all safe.

County fire department employee and Cordele branch employees standing in front of fire truck, accepting donation of water.

City Fire department and Cordele branch employees standing in front of fire truck, accepting donation of water.

County EMS employees and Cordele Branch employees standing in front of an ambulance, accepting donation of water.

SGBC Cordele hosted a Customer Appreciation Day on July 15. Heather Barefoot, Kayla Yawn, and Heather Cobb were in charge of decorations and as you can see, they set the “summer” mood for everyone!! Customers enjoyed watermelon, fruit kabobs, and lemonade on this hot summer day. A drawing for a gift basket filled with summer goodies was given away to one lucky customer!
Brad Christian recently spoke to the Business Education class at Turner County High School. The students have been learning about the need for having a good checking account and maintaining a good credit score. Brad spoke about those topics and other topics with banking, including identity theft and online banking. He also stressed the importance of education after high school and that there are scholarship opportunities for students to further their education. The students asked questions about the process of opening an account and other areas involved in banking.
Brad Christian recently read to a group of first graders at Turner County Elementary School in Ashburn. Brad read “What Pet Should I Get” by Dr. Seuss. February 29-March 4 is Dr. Seuss Week and Turner County Elementary has asked various members of the community to read to each class. After the reading, the class went outside to release balloons into the sky and sing “Happy Birthday” to Dr. Seuss.