Rural Community Partner of the Year

Morton Community Bank (MCB) was established in 1960 as a locally-owned, hometown community bank. It has since grown to more than 500 local employee-owners in 40 locations. The majority of its branches are in rural communities, including Arthur, Elmwood, Fairbury, Hanna City, Macomb, Minonk, Roseville and Speer. With total assets of $3.6 billion, MCB provides the full range of banking solutions for personal, business and agriculture needs.

“Our strength is in our community vision,” notes Gordon Honegger, Hometown Community Bancorp co-chairman. “We strive to be seen as a member of not only central Illinois, but of all the many communities in which we work. Our second strength is our size. We are large enough to offer the technology and products to compete with larger banks, and small enough to stay true to our vision to be a member of our local communities. Finally, our employees… As we are an ESOP company, our employees are also owners of the bank.”

MCB has a long history with the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship at Bradley University, and in particular, the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC). It is a member of the Turner Center Advisory Board and a longtime sponsor of the SBDC’s workshop, “Starting a Business in Illinois,” which is held twice a month and provides information on the range of questions individuals may ask prior to starting a business—such as how to register, how to seek funding, understanding business ownership structures, business liabilities, tax issues and more.

At least one MCB banker attends all of the workshops, and the bank also hosts one of the two monthly workshops at its Fondulac Bank location in East Peoria’s Levee District. In addition, MCB has started working with the SBDC’s rural business development manager, Cameron Horn, as his priorities match the bank’s rural footprint. PM