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Todd Hoien, Hawthorn Bank

Todd Hoien, Hawthorn Bank

Poised for Growth

1.      When you’re considering whether to loan to a business, what factors influence your decision? There are several factors to consider, and every business has its own unique set of circumstances. That said, I would say the business owner’s prior experience and track record are key considerations. The projected cash flow of the business is obviously important. Other top considerations would be local market conditions and the feasibility of the business plan.


 2.      Where do you think we will see the most commercial development happening in Columbia in the next few years? I think the most commercial development will occur to the east and south of Columbia, with new residential and commercial development around the new high school and also to the south along U.S. Highway 63.


 3.      How has Hawthorn Bank changed during your time there? We’ve experienced strong growth in the Columbia market. That growth has enabled us to hire some great people to continue building a stronger presence in the market.


4.      Columbia has experienced heavy — some have even called it explosive — growth in the past 10 years. Do you think development will continue at this rapid pace in the years to come? I think we will continue to see strong activity in both residential and commercial development. Our city is growing. Local builders are enjoying good demand for housing. Increased enrollment at the University of Missouri has sparked numerous student housing developments, and we are also seeing increased demand for rental property across the board. All of this will drive more residential development, and with the residential activity, commercial development is sure to follow.


 5.      You’ve been doing small business loans for years. In your experience, what makes the difference between a small business failing and succeeding? Active and engaged ownership. In my experience, absentee owners typically struggle. That’s not always the case, but it can lead to several challenges. The most successful business owners take an active role in the management of their companies.


 6.      What are the biggest challenges facing Hawthorn Bank right now? The increased regulatory burden concerns me, in particular for community banks that don’t have the resources to deal with all the new requirements. I’m also concerned about the unintended consequences of the increased regulation, in particular for home loans. The amount of paperwork required for a home loan today sometimes exceeds that of an SBA loan. And I’m told more changes are coming in 2014.


 7.      What’s your favorite thing to do around mid-Missouri when you aren’t working? I work pretty hard during the week, so when I find time to relax, I spend it with my family and close friends. Now that it’s summertime, that might include taking in a ballgame at Busch Stadium, enjoying the beauty of a Missouri spring-fed river or just hanging with the kids at the pool.


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