Posted 8/12/09 (Wed)
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
Starting a new business, especially a small business, is a process that not only takes a lot of time, it also takes a lot of resources. Fortunately for residents of McKenzie County, those resources exist and some of them are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help make small businesses a reality.
One of the most important pieces of getting a business going is securing financing, something that Dale Patten, Senior Vice President of McKenzie County Bank, knows a lot about.
At the 2009 Mon-Dak Ag Open, Patten was named the Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) Lender of the Year.
The SBDC’s mission is to provide high quality business assistance in the form of counseling, training, and research to existing and prospective small businesses which results in job creation or retention and economic wealth.
“The SBDC works with every group that the EDC or JDA assists,” says Gene Veeder, McKenzie County Job Development Authority executive director. “Dale has been instrumental in getting many of the EDC and JDA projects off the ground, from small businesses to million dollar corporations.”
Although there are a lot of steps in the process of opening a new business, securing financing is one step that must be completed before anything else. It can also be one of the most difficult steps because people don’t know what their options are, which is where Patten’s expertise comes in.
“When we look at potential new businesses, we are looking for people with good ideas and a plan,” says Patten. “After that, we work to secure the best loan package we can. Sometimes that is a quick thing to do, and sometimes it takes more time. I believe that when we have a customer who has been given the best opportunities to be successful, they will be a success. And when that happens, we are successful.”
“Patten really goes out of his way to find the best financing,” adds Veeder. “He is truly committed to the economic growth of our community and we are fortunate to have him working with the JDA and EDC.”
Patten works with state lenders like the Bank of North Dakota to find specialized programs that offer assistance to specific businesses in an effort to secure the best financing package for each project.
“It is a good feeling to help someone get their business off the ground and see it become a success,” adds Patten. “It’s always nice to be recognized, but there are many entities that help with each project and my job is also made much easier by the great staff here at McKenzie County Bank.