Our Treasury Management Services are Secure, Responsive
You may assume a bigger bank with nationwide offices would provide the most sophisticated services and security for your business. But bigger is not always better.
Just ask any of the business owners who bank with Peach State. They’ll enthusiastically tell you that Peach State’s Treasury Management team delivers the best of both worlds: the most innovative online banking and cybersecurity combined with local, personal attention.
We focus on streamlining your business operations with an array of tools to better manage your cash flow and financial assets. In addition to the same banking products and level of technology offered by national banks, Peach State typically has lower fees, too. Most importantly, you get us – and our hands-on attention.
“You get responsive customer service with real people,” says Jessica Smith, who leads our Treasury Management team. “Our customers have my direct phone number and can contact any member of our team. They come to us directly.”
Abby Mynear and Dallas Holmes round out our Treasury Management team, helping customers set up business accounts personally tailored to their needs.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Smith says. “We speak with the customer about their business and then customize their account to fit their needs.”
Protecting our business customers from fraud is among our highest priorities. With our smaller size compared to national banks, we are more familiar with our customers — a big help in spotting fraud attempts. At the same time, our sophisticated Positive Pay service automatically detects suspicious check and ACH activity, strengthens internal business’ controls, and reinforces audit trails.
“Keeping our clients’ accounts secure is a key piece of Treasury Management,” Smith says.
LOCAL WINDOW ON THE ECONOMY
No recession coming to Gainesville-Hall County
I am going out on a very strong and broad limb to make a less-than-bold prediction: There will be no recession in Gainesville-Hall County in the foreseeable future.
Since the pandemic, you’ve been hearing the “R-word” in countless warnings from national economists, politicians, and bureaucrats. Their scientific spreadsheets point to numerous predictors of a pending slowdown, but the paper trail stops well before reaching Lake Lanier and our surrounding mountains.
As a community banker, I have a pretty good vantage point here on the ground – especially compared to someone in Washington D.C. or atop a high-rise in downtown Atlanta. And from my view, we’ve already weathered the worst here and hardly noticed.
The Federal Reserve just concluded its fastest round of interest hikes in four decades. A couple of bank failures far away led many to worry about the ripple effect. Back home, however, our banks stood strong, insulated by a very strong and diverse hometown economy.
In the last quarter of 2022, lending activity for area business expansions did slow down, but it turned out to be more of a mindset as companies eventually settled in and adjusted to higher interest rates. Loan volume at area banks like ours has since rebounded in brisk fashion, both in the commercial and business sectors.
Meanwhile, inflation seems to have leveled off at grocery stores and gas pumps around Northeast Georgia as the Fed’s interest rate hikes have slowed demand. At my favorite local restaurants, I’ve definitely had to digest higher prices, but most owners tell me they’ve likely reprinted their menus for the last time – for fear of losing any more of their loyal diners.
By the end of June, inflation had dropped from 9 percent over a year ago to just over 3 percent – a positive sign. However, until the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target is met, we likely will see a few more minor rate increases.
The residential market is another sector impacted by higher interest rates with mortgage activity off by at least half. Still, we are nowhere near the housing collapse experienced during the 2007-08 peak of the last big recession.
The flip side of that challenging period has been extremely low housing inventory with an average two-month supply to fill demand (nine to 10 months is considered normal). As a result, we’re all up in arms about higher tax assessments on our higher-valued homes and properties – that is, unless you’ve sold out for a tidy profit. At the same time, I believe we will begin to see housing prices level out soon in the same way that inflation in the retail sector has tamped down demand.
If you’re looking for an apartment, I’m sorry I can’t say the same for lease rates. With so many people moving to our area, apartments are commanding the highest rental rates ever as the most “affordable” housing option by default.
We’re not Atlanta
The closest rumblings of a recession are heard an hour away in Atlanta where pundits predict a meltdown of the commercial real estate market. I agree it’s very likely as lease agreements begin to mature at office buildings where tenants have either cut back staffing or pulled out due to remote-work flexibility since 2020.
Here in Gainesville, our commercial market has a much different complexion. We don’t have Atlanta’s huge office towers and big box retail spaces to fill. As a result, the reverse is true here with a shortage of commercial leasing space for service businesses, warehousing, and small manufacturers. It’s an even tighter commercial market in Braselton, where Peach State Bank is building its first branch bank in the heart of a bustling medical market.
There are many other reasons why we’re different. Tim Evans, economic development director for our Greater Hall Chamber, says the biggest driver is the mothership known as Northeast Georgia Health System, our largest employer by far with over 9,000 jobs and an expanding footprint across the region.
Now... throw in the coming inland port, the revitalization of our cities from Gainesville to Flowery Branch, Lake Lanier, tourism, and our favorable geography. That’s a delicious recipe for one of the fastest growing regions anywhere – with little chance of spoiling any time soon.
We Ate a Lot of BLTs This Year
First, we washed and sliced 350 pounds of locally grown, juicy tomatoes. Then, we slapped in 200 pounds of bacon and 150 heads of lettuce between slices of white bread. The result? More than 1,000 tomato-stained, happily fed friends and customers — our largest crowd ever — at this summer’s Jack McKibbon BLT Luncheon and Peach Bake Off in the parking lot of our proud new Gainesville headquarters.
WDUN Retuning Radio Dial Back to Downtown Gainesville
A lot of good ideas can come from breakfast at Waffle House. Add to that list a decision by Jacobs Media owners Jay and Anna Jacobs to move their twin local radio stations (WDUN-AM 550 and WDUN-FM 102.9) back to the company’s roots in downtown Gainesville.
Earlier this year, over a Waffle House cup of coffee near his office on Thompson Bridge Road, Jay Jacobs discussed plans with his team for their media company’s upcoming 75th anniversary in 2024. A thought began to percolate around the idea of a pop-up broadcast from the revitalized downtown Gainesville Square.
Jacobs, his General Manager Bill Maine, and Engineering Director Sandy Griffin zeroed in on the new downtown Renaissance building, knowing it likely would have available space for the promotion. They were correct, but Renaissance owner Doug Ivester took the idea even further, countering with a more permanent proposal: a 10-year lease.
“We felt like it was the thing to do,” Jay says. “All the energy is downtown. It’s the whole center of the Gainesville business district and we want to be a part of it for the long term.”
Relocating to the city’s busy downtown will allow WDUN to be more interactive with its radio and Internet media audience. The news center has already co-sponsored a recent contest with the Renaissance to name the building’s new outdoor sculpture. “Unity Flame” was the winning entry.
“We’ll have a live studio and our newsroom there,” says Jay’s wife and business partner, Anna Jacobs. “Our listeners will be able to peer inside our windows and be part of the show. We also envision sidewalk conversations with our listeners outside.”
In addition to housing WDUN and the AccessWDUN newsroom, there is a plan to offer a podcast recording studio for the station’s staff as well as others seeking quality production. Meanwhile, Jacobs Media will maintain its headquarters on Thompson Bridge Road for its administrative and sales teams.
“For me, this is a very emotional move,” Jay said. “Along with my son, John, we will be the third generation of my family working on the Square while watching this community grow and prosper from the best vantage point in Gainesville-Hall County.”
John Jacobs IV, a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, works in business development and as a digital news scheduler for AccessWDUN.
Jay’s father, John W. Jacobs, Jr., launched WDUN Radio on April 2, 1949. The station aired live from a studio where the Brenau University Downtown Center’s parking deck sits today – just a few steps from the new Renaissance building.
Jay’s grandfather, John W. Jacobs, Sr., also had downtown Gainesville ties, having owned and operated the Imperial Pharmacy at the corner of Washington and Bradford streets.
With its evolution back downtown, Jacobs Media remains a true family business and an asset to our community. It’s a natural fit with Peach State Bank & Trust as a customer and new neighbor of our downtown Gainesville headquarters.
“We love our association with Peach State,” Anna says. “And we especially appreciate their support through advertising and partnership in our promotional trips.”
Luncheon Spotlights the Newest Weapon in Fraud
Our annual Cybersecurity Luncheon drew 55 attendees – our largest crowd ever – to learn about the latest developments in the ever-evolving world of cyber fraud, particularly in the use of artificial intelligence.
The presentation was delivered by cyber expert Paige Berry with Defense Storm, our security partner.
With cyber attacks hitting our computers daily, Berry says “it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s fake.
You are always risking data loss when you are on your phone or computer. You have to be diligent and keep your guard up.”
Berry said recent advances in artificial intelligence have increased the sophistication of attacks. Sharing the story of a recent AI scam, she said scammers called a mom demanding ransom for her kidnapped daughter. To prove their claim, they used AI to recreate the daughter’s voice.
With this type of fraud, the scammers want to shock you into reacting emotionally without thinking. Fortunately, this mom kept her wits and hung up. She then immediately called her daughter for reassurance and verification of the scam attempt.
Stay tuned for our next cyber luncheon. We hope to see you there.
William M. House Community Room Available for Your Group
GME Graduate Begins Career in Gainesville
With the opening of our new Gainesville headquarters, we now have room to offer meeting space to our local non-profits and other groups.
We’ve reserved a special conference room fittingly named in honor of our founder, retired attorney William (Bill) M. House. “I was very surprised with this special recognition,” Bill said, “and I couldn’t be more honored that it will be put to such good use for the community.”
Bill, who began his Gainesville legal career in 1969, envisioned the need for a community bank in the early 2000s, leading him to approach a local team of well-known and experienced bankers with his same heart for our hometown region.
With their support, he began recruiting organizers and raising money through a stock offering. After a lot of hard work, Gainesville’s newest community bank – named after Bill’s dog Peaches – was chartered in 2005.
If you are interested in reserving the William House community room, contact Susan Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GME Graduate Begins Career in Gainesville
Dr. Aman Kapoor discovered Gainesville in 2019 as a member of the Graduate Medical Education program offered by the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Now, she’s here to stay.
Dr. Kapoor was among 19 resident physicians to graduate from the program last year — and one of five who chose to practice in Gainesville. She practices Inpatient Medicine with the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG) at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
“I considered several specialties,” she says. “With internal medicine, I get to see a little of everything. I like working with patients. I have a personality that works with inpatient practice.”
Dr. Kapoor’s original path to Gainesville began in Jacksonville, Fla., where her husband was working. After graduating from medical school at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla., she started looking for a residency placement within five to six hours of Jacksonville. For our community, Gainesville fortunately fell within that radius.
“I really liked the Northeast Georgia Medical Center and I matched well with them,” she says. “After working at their Braselton hospital for my residency, NGPG offered me a spot. I was honored that they wanted me. I’m a firm believer if someone wants you, it’s a good place to be.
You may have already seen Dr. Kapoor’s photo on Peach State’s billboards around Hall County. She is among several medical resident graduates whom we are featuring in our advertising to highlight our partnership with the GME program – our next generation of local healthcare.
Our investment is part of an effort to keep top physicians here after they complete their training. For example, we provide support for every medical resident’s membership in the hospital foundation’s Downey Society.
We recognize the importance of our role with the future of healthcare in our region... because a strong bank contributes to a healthy community.
325 Washington St SW | Gainesville, GA 30501 | Phone: (770) 536-1100 | Fax: (770) 536-2525