The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce depends on its members to operate, and we work with our members to help the Jefferson County community grow. One member that has been especially active in the Jefferson County Chamber over the years is First Peoples Bank. First Peoples Bank is one of our Executive Partners, and they have both benefited from their Chamber membership and provided benefits to the Chamber. We spoke with Jeff Pratt at First Peoples Bank to find out more about the bank and its role in the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.
The History of First Peoples Bank
First Peoples Bank is the oldest bank in Jefferson County. The bank was organized in 1974 and opened for business in 1975. When the bank first got its start, it was
given the name First Peoples Bank of Jefferson County. Back then, banks could only open branches in the county in which they were started. New branches had to apply and get a charter from the bank and could not cross county boundaries. First Peoples Bank added new branches in Jefferson County and, after the rule changed in the 1980s, added branches in Hamblen and Knox counties as well. First Peoples Bank of Jefferson County changed its name to First Peoples Bank of Tennessee to show its growth from a single location with six employees to a bank with seven branches in three East Tennessee counties.
The Growth of First Peoples Bank Over the Years
First Peoples bank was founded because there was a need for a consumer-based hometown bank. The main purpose of the bank was for consumers, and the services were mostly limited to savings accounts, checking accounts, and CDs. As banking has changed, First Peoples Bank has adapted to keep up with the growing needs of the people and the industry. In addition to growing in size by adding branches and hiring more employees, First Peoples Bank has also grown in the number of services and products it offers. The bank now offers more products, financial advising, and electronic banking to both consumers and businesses. Because of the growth of other consumer banking options such as credit unions, First Peoples Bank now focuses more on providing banking for commercial businesses in Jefferson County.
What Makes First Peoples Bank Different from Other Banks?
First Peoples Bank is a locally owned bank, which means they do not have to go anywhere else for decisions on loans. This allows people to receive answers to loan requests much more quickly, which is especially beneficial for small businesses. Because First Peoples Bank is a small local bank, it is very relationship focused. The bank and its employees strive to develop relationships with all of their customers, and they take every opportunity to get to know new customers. Large banks typically have more on their plate and are not able to place as much emphasis on building these types of relationships. This is one of the biggest benefits of First Peoples Bank that sets it apart from other banks. For more information about First Peoples Bank and the services they offer, you can visit their website.
First Peoples Bank and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce
First Peoples Bank first joined the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce in 1983 and has been a member ever since. According to Mr. Pratt at First Peoples Bank, the Chamber is a vital part of Jefferson County because it helps bring in new people and new businesses, which in turn helps everyone in Jefferson County, including the banks. First Peoples Bank regularly participates in a number of Chamber and community activities and events for a similar reason—to help keep people and businesses in the county. The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is in the relationship business just like First Peoples Bank, and they both care about Jefferson County and do what they can to help it grow.
As an Executive Partner of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, First Peoples Bank helps support most of their programs. The bank has also had people on the Chamber’s Board of Directors at different times over the years. Every year, First Peoples Bank supports the Chamber’s annual meeting and for the past several years has provided the reception prior to the meeting. When the Jefferson County Chamber has companies that are considering coming to Jefferson County, they will give the prospects the names of all the banks in the county, including First Peoples Bank, so that they can all try to help those new companies as best they can. First Peoples Bank does not take its position as an Executive Partner lightly and does whatever it can to help out the Chamber and the county.
Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Membership
One of our favorite sayings here at the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is that it’s more than a membership—it’s a partnership. Our relationship with First Peoples Bank shows that firsthand. Not only do our members benefit from what we have to offer, but we also benefit from their support. The Chamber works together with all of its members to help all business in Jefferson County thrive. Just like our members, we will do what it takes to see our beautiful county grow.
In addition to giving back to the Jefferson County community, members of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce also have opportunities for gaining information, making connections with potential clients and industry professionals, increasing advertising options, and more. If you would like to reap the many benefits of membership and help our county grow, become a member of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce today. For more information about membership, reach out to us at 865-397-9642 or online.
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