According to the Small Business Administration 2018 Small Business Profile, there are 30.2 million small businesses nationwide accounting for 99.9 percent of U.S. businesses, collectively employing 58.9 million workers or 47.5 percent of U.S. employees. The expression that “small business is the backbone of the nation’s economy” could not be truer. But building a great business doesn’t just happen. It takes focus, determination, patience, and time to build, along with passion, know-how and an entrepreneurial inclination. It also takes a bevy of trusted resources to help navigate the finer details of running a business. For entrepreneurs, the responsibilities of running a business often pull the owner away from the enjoyment of fulfilling their passion. No longer is it just about offering the best and most innovative product or service. Suddenly owners need to become an expert in financing, leasing, accounting, human resources, etc. This list goes on. When it comes to choosing a banking partner, today’s business owners and managers are looking beyond the transactional side of what is offered. Woven into that relationship, businesses seek a bank that demonstrates a techno-savvy, client-focused, community-minded, and relationship- driven approach. When looking to enter a banking relationship, entrepreneurs should seek out banks that have shifted from the traditional product focus to a more client-centric strategy, which tends to be more relevant and engaging while delivering solutions. In return, banks should be willing to cultivate an even deeper knowledge and understanding of their customers so they can tailor offers and services based on a customer’s account activity, needs and preferences. Lastly, to achieve trust, banks must demonstrate their dedication to a broader purpose. They need to prove they are not just driven by quick profits, but also by shared values. There is tremendous value in working with a client-focused, relationship-driven banker that will invest the time necessary to truly get to know a business and understand its unique needs. The path to long-term success is for businesses to develop long-term relationships with bankers who demonstrate expertise, experience and dedication to their success. As part of an ongoing effort to be a resource for both new and established business owners and decision makers, Mission Valley Bank is hosting a complimentary California Employment Law update breakfast seminar on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 at the Angeles National Golf Course in Sunland/Tujunga. Brian E. Koegle, partner with Poole & Shaffery, LLP, specializes in employment law representing business interests and will be the featured presenter. Steve Nuñez is vice president, relationship manager for Mission Valley Bank. Phone: ( 661) 753-5681.