This week on “Talking Top Gun” we’re featuring our fantastic sponsor First National Bank! Most of you probably don’t know that the majority of our Top Gun Accelerator is funded by sponsors to ensure that the program is affordable for our participants, and we seek sponsors who are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs as much as we are.
What Sets First National Bank Apart from Other Banks
When I was researching First National Bank and talking to their employees for this blog post, they wanted me to understand that they’re a community bank first and foremost. Their commitment to grassroots lending, lending to people in their communities who are trying to grow their businesses and pursue their dreams, is what sets them apart from their competitors. They believe that when the businesses in a community are strong and growing, “it’s like a rising tide that lifts all boats.” From their investment in the Bangor Angels Fund and CEI Venture Funds to loans to lobstermen and maple syrup producers, they’re all about supporting people who are trying build things in their community.
In fact, Top Gun was able to utilize a benefit that the bank offers community members, their new event space in their downtown Bangor location. Any group in the community can use their conference room or event space to host meetings, at no charge. We were lucky enough to hold many of our weekly workshops and our “Wine Night Out” event in that very space.
First National Bank’s Commitment to Entrepreneurs
Beyond being a sponsor, First National Bank has another connection to Top Gun; it has become the bank of choice and cheerleader for former Top Gunner Loyal Biscuit. Loyal Biscuit is a dog and cat supply boutique with locations in Waterville, Belfast, Camden, and Rockland, Maine. When Heidi Neal and her husband first purchased the Loyal Biscuit location in Rockland and expanded into Belfast, they weren't banking with First National Bank. While the couple was trying to buy an existing store in Camden, however, their bank couldn’t approve the loan, based on their guidelines. The two called all of the other local banks, but no one else would approve them, either. Their last phone call was to First National Bank, and fortunately their loan officer, Todd Savage, saw the potential in their plans for growth!
Since then, they have used First National to open their 4th store in Waterville, as well as purchase two properties in Rockland and Rockport. Their Rockland property was an SBA 504 purchase, which is a LONG process and a lot of paperwork, and Todd was with them and helped every step of the way. Loyal Biscuit is just one example of how First National Bank is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in their communities.
If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.
Thank you to our Top Gun sponsors!