In a state where the economy is struggling and many jobs are lost, many are wondering if the extension of Stoughston’s cooperative bank to Jackson Electric Cooperative will boost the state’s economy.
Stoughton Cooperative Bank has been operating as a cooperative since 1933 and is the only one in Alabama with a separate account in the state.
The bank’s chairman said the extension to Jackson will help the bank become more efficient, with the help of a state-mandated expansion of its credit lines.
“This is one of the reasons we are moving forward,” Stoughson said.
“We have been waiting for the right time to do this for a long time.”
Stoughson, who has lived in the city for 25 years, said he expects the bank to have more money in its accounts this year than it has in the past, thanks to the expansion.
“I’m not going to lie, we were a little nervous, and we were going to need more money to do the expansion,” Stoutson said.
Jackson Electric Cooperative is a partnership of Jackson Electric Co., the owners of the Stoughsons’ businesses.
It was established in 1935, when the Staughton family ran a coal-mining operation in the Stroughtons’ backyard.
The Stoughsesons bought the cooperative and later expanded it into a branch bank in Birmingham.
Today, the bank serves about 300 businesses, including restaurants, businesses that use electrical energy and a number of non-profit organizations.
Stoutsons said the bank’s credit lines are now stretched across several counties, including parts of Jefferson and Montgomery counties.
Jackson is now in the process of creating its own credit lines, but Stoughssons hopes the bank will be able to expand the bank by extending its existing credit lines to Jackson.
StOUTSON: We just got word that the state has extended the bank credit lines for the next 30 days.
We’re working on the extension, but the extensions will be temporary.
They’re going to be phased in over time.
If it’s a good idea to extend credit, then we will.
If not, then it won’t be a big deal.
It’s really a no-brainer to get the extension.
You just need to have the patience to wait and see what happens.
The extension also allows Stoughtsons to extend the bank into the future.
“We have an extension in place for 30 more years, so the bank has been around since 1934,” he said.
“So there is nothing left to do with the bank, and I can say that with certainty.”
StouTSON has been in the business of providing the state with credit for nearly 40 years.
Stoughons said he is confident the extension will boost business in the town.
The expansion of the bank would bring the number of branches to more than 900, and the bank already has a line of credit with the city of St. Charles, he said, adding that the expansion would also bring the bank closer to customers.
The state’s credit card processing company, S&P Capital IQ, estimates that the extension would bring $2.5 million to the state, about $500,000 more than the bank is able to borrow, and could bring about $2 billion to the bank.
The extended credit lines could also allow the bank and other financial institutions to consolidate their accounts, which would help Stoughtons businesses, he added.
Stougtsons business, the Stuff Box, has operated at its current location in Stoughland for more than 60 years, but in 2015 the bank filed for bankruptcy.
Stroughson said that the bankruptcy filing was “a little scary” for him and his family.
He said he thought he had a chance of keeping the business, but that the bank was unable to secure a loan.
Stuff Box owners Dave Stoughns and Joe Stoughmans said they are optimistic the bank can continue to operate in the future, but have also worried about the bank expanding credit lines and the expansion of credit cards.
Stoultsons son, Mark, said the expansion could be bad news for the Stufferys’ business.
“You can’t get out of that business unless you can come up with a business plan,” he told ABC News affiliate WAGA.
“Stoughston is a town of 5,000, so there is no way around it.
They don’t have enough money to continue to make the kind of business they do.”
StuffBox owner Mark Stoughes said he would like to see the extension extended.
“What I think is more important is to keep this community alive,” he added, “and I want to see this community thrive and thrive again.”
For more information about the Stoustsons, visit their website at http://www.stoughsonfamily.com/