BankCherokee SVP of Commercial Loans Roger Hamilton
Roger Hamilton believes in doing right by others. In his work as Senior Vice President of Commercial Loans for BankCherokee, that translates to going above and beyond for his customers on a daily basis. And for Hamilton, it means much more than responding to phone calls and emails in a timely manner. “That’s customer service 101,” he noted. Hamilton is dedicated to providing his small business loan customers with a level of financial expertise they may not otherwise have access to—like regular reports that provide a visual of their company’s health. “I try to look at the bigger picture to make sure the business is using the right strategies to succeed.”
But even before a small business becomes a customer, Hamilton does everything in his power to ensure their success. A career banker for more than three decades, and an expert in Commercial and Industrial (C&I) loans, he considers every option available when it comes to financing a growing company’s equipment, real estate or working capital needs. Sometimes that means collaborating with other lenders and economic development agencies to make it happen, as was the case with Minnesota-based Aggressive Hydraulics.
A booming manufacturing business with three locations, Aggressive needed more space to accommodate growth and to increase efficiency. The company hit a snag when the property they hoped to build appraised for less than the project costs. BankCherokee and the Small Business Administration (SBA) were able to finance 90 percent of the appraised value and then Hamilton went to work figuring out a way to fill the appraisal gap. Thanks to BankCherokee’s advice and connections, Aggressive Hydraulics was able to increase their equity contribution and secure the remaining funds through partnerships with their local community for Tax Increment Financing (TIF), and a non-profit economic development lender.
Oftentimes, cultivating the right lending partnership is about being in the right place at the right time. Hamilton makes a point of participating in business networking and training events on a regular basis, to meet and build relationships with prospective lending partners, and to learn about potential solutions to the challenges small businesses are currently facing. “I’ve worked with many different types of small businesses over the years and I take the time to truly understand each one,” he explained. “Staying up-to-date on all of the different bank and non-bank loan products available enables me to customize lending solutions that fit the specific needs of each business.”
BankCherokee and Hamilton’s approach to customer service is not only good for business owners—it’s good for Minnesota business and contributes to a thriving economy. It also results in loyal customers and long-term partnerships. “We count on BankCherokee to be our banking experts and they’ve been there for us,” said Aggressive Hydraulics President Paul Johnson. “We plan on working with them for a long time, on an evergreen basis.”