Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints and the Associated Press 2006 NFL Coach of the Year, appeared in Madison August 28 to headline the grand opening of a First Bank and Trust of Mississippi branch.
First Bank and Trust, with locations in Mississippi along the Gulf Coast and in Winona, is the official banking partner of the New Orleans Saints.
Asked about the partnership, Payton said, “We consider ourselves a Gulf South Team, with fans in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.”
He explained that First Bank and Trust has a similar approach and that the two share common interests in the region.
“It’s a beautiful marriage,” said Stephen Dickey, interim president and CEO of First Bank and Trust of Mississippi.
Dickey explained that the Saints’ training camp at Millsaps College and their presence in Jackson offered First Bank and Trust a perfect opportunity to expand into the area. The Madison location will allow the bank to capitalize on the commerce between the Gulf Coast and the Jackson area and take advantage of the continuing success of the city of Madison.
Branch manager Jimmy Worell noted that the economic picture in Madison is rosier than in other parts of the state and that projects like the planned town square will ensure that it remains an attractive area for business growth.
Ready to help
With this expansion, First Bank and Trust of Mississippi plans to aid small businesses that may be struggling to handle a tough economy.
Dickey stressed that a small business needs to partner with a bank it can trust as a financial advisor. Like other banks, First Bank and Trust offers a full range of services to small businesses, but the company brings a “more personal touch and local flair.”
He explained that they don’t bring in outside management, but instead employ locals with a connection to the community and empower them with the freedom to make decisions.
Worell noted that to thrive in the current economic downturn, small businesses will need to diversify, offer different products and services, and utilize all their resources to stay adaptable in an ever-changing climate. First Bank and Trust of Mississippi in Madison hopes that its small size, greater accessibility, and community-oriented staff will make it a valuable resource to small busi
Contact MBJ staff writer Will Morgan at will.morgan@ msbusiness.com .ness.