Ashley Lawson

Ashley Lawson

ROGERSVILLE — In honor of ICBA Community Banking Month in April, First Community Bank of East Tennessee and the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) are shining a spotlight on community banks’ role in fostering economic prosperity through expansion and innovation to meet the needs of consumers and local communities.

“First Community Bank is proud to have served the citizens of Hawkins County and beyond for more than 26 years,” said Ashley Lawson, FCB AVP & Lender. “As a local lender, we have a stake in our customers’ success and invite them to stop by to see how we can help them achieve their financial goals and build a legacy of prosperity for future generations.”

Community banks take in local deposits and redistribute them back into the community — making roughly 60 percent of small-business loans and 80 percent of agriculture loans from the banking sector. They also contribute tax dollars that help maintain local municipalities and keep local neighborhoods viable and vibrant because serving the best interests of customers is fundamental to their business philosophy. Community banks:

• Are robust lenders. Community bank loan growth has outpaced that of non-community banks for six consecutive years.

• Offer high-touch, high-tech service. This gives consumers access to modern-day conveniences while maintaining the high-quality customer service for which community banks are known.

• Maintain a wide branch network. Community banks added 700 offices between June 2017 and June 2018 even as their larger counterparts continued their exodus from local communities.

• Understand and embrace local businesses. Small businesses that apply for loans with community banks are the most successful and most satisfied, according to a study from the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. ICBA celebrates local entrepreneurship on the third Wednesday of every month with Go Local Wednesday by supporting and promoting local businesses on social media.

• Give back to their communities. Civic service is second nature to community banks as reflected in ICBA’s National Community Bank Service Awards.

“As local small businesses themselves, community banks only thrive when their customers and communities flourish,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Local market knowledge, relationship-based lending, and civic-minded service are community banking hallmarks and the cornerstone to our industry’s success and longevity. ICBA is proud to represent America’s favorite lenders and support their ongoing efforts to create stronger, more vibrant communities—one loan at a time.”

About First Community Bank of East Tennessee

With more than $175 million in assets, First Community Bank offers a complete range of financial services including savings, checking, CDs, investment services, consumer, mortgage, and commercial lending, business services, and much more. The philosophy of local bank decision-making and personalized service is the driving force of First Community Bank. Founded in 1993, First Community Bank currently has seven locations in Rogersville, Surgoinsville, Church Hill, Kingsport and Colonial Heights. Check us out on Facebook at or Instagram at For more information, visit or stop by a branch location near you.