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Top Tips from Your Banker - Tips to Support Growth of Commercial Businesses

Top Tips from Your Banker - Tips to Support Growth of Commercial Businesses

To get some timely tips regarding business management for Birmingham-area companies, we spoke with Brian Heslop, Executive Vice President and C&I Executive Group Manager for Cadence Bank.

Q: Several studies show that businesses are feeling more optimistic today than they have in the past few years. How would you characterize the current business and economic climate in Birmingham?

A: Birmingham has a history of slow and steady growth. Over the past 12 to 18 months, there has been a definite uptick in business and economic activity, with more commercial development and capital being deployed. This is the best business and economic climate I’ve seen over the past decade.

Q: To what do you attribute this positive environment?

A: There is a great deal of new development in downtown proper that feeds on itself, and Downtown Birmingham is starting to reverse the downward trend of the past couple of decades. Many business owners and developers believe we are going to see significant tax and regulatory relief, so this is also driving a lot of the activity.

It’s worth noting that while the recession was almost a decade ago, it’s still on many business owners’ minds, so they’re not taking extraordinary risks. But they are taking moderate risks and stepping out a little bit more in their expansion efforts.

Q: What specific kinds of expansion are you seeing among Birmingham businesses?

A: Businesses are hiring more, buying more inventory, adding more shifts and expanding business lines. There’s also a lot of merger and acquisition activity, on both the buy and sell sides. Scale provides competitive advantage and reduces shareholder risk so companies are making acquisitions in order to drive scale and secure their position in the marketplace. M&A is definitely the prevailing growth strategy right now.

Q: The Federal Reserve has embarked on a campaign to raise interest rates while the Trump administration is reducing regulations. How might rising rates and less regulation impact business and economic growth in Birmingham?

A: Rising interest rates could possibly dampen commercial growth. Many commercial clients borrow money on a floating rate basis so higher interest expense could lower potential available cash flow and the ability to invest in growth.

On the flip side, less business regulation could have a very positive effect on growth. I’ve heard many clients talk about how the costs associated with excessive regulatory oversight have inhibited them from growing their companies. There’s a great deal of upside potential for business and economic growth depending on what kind of regulatory relief materializes.

So while one factor might hinder growth, the other factor might help growth. We will have to wait and see which of these opposing forces has the most impact on business and economic growth.

Q: How do Cadence’s capabilities and bankers’ expertise support the growth of commercial businesses?

A: The Cadence team is made up of seasoned bankers across our footprint who have an abundance of experience in most situations that clients or potential clients might be facing. We couple that expertise and experience with a toolbox of Cadence Bank products and services to deliver advice and solutions of the same caliber as our larger competitors, but with the nimbleness of a smaller institution.


More Top Tips From Your Banker


Read more helpful tips and advice for managing your business at Cadence Bank’s Fresh Insights Portal.


This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.


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