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Entrepreneurial Profile: Big Bob’s BBQ

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“I’m Chris Lilly. I’m the Vice President and Pit Master at Big Bob Gibson’s Barbecue in Decatur, Ala., a restaurant that was started by my wife’s grandfather in 1925. I’m the fourth generation and I’ve got two sons in the business right now–Jacob and Andrew–one at each restaurant, so that is five generations of family-owned barbecue business.

I’ve been at Progress Bank since the very beginning, about nine or 10 years ago when they opened up. And the reason I went with Progress was because of the people. Some of my favorite people that I used to deal with went to Progress Bank and I followed along. For me, it’s more of a friendship, it’s a trust and you have to know them and they have to know you. The people at Progress know me personally. They know my restaurant. So I can make one phone call or one visit at Progress and they can take care of all my business needs and all my personal needs. And you know, that’s a luxury. I not only work here in Decatur, but I travel all over the country cooking barbecue in many different places and I’m not here all the time to go to the bank and take care of things. It’s nice to know that Progress is always there and knows me and my business so well. If something comes up and needs to be taken care of, I can do that over the phone. And that’s a luxury that I just don’t have with other banks.

I think Progress is good for entrepreneurs because they take the time to get to know the person and to know the business and they understand the business. They care about you and they care about what you’re doing and they want you to succeed. It’s not all about making money on their side. They want your business to succeed–they are there to back you every step of the way. Without a doubt, it would be my first choice if I was a young entrepreneur.”

The following is a transcript from a video testimonial for Progress Bank. For more about Big Bob’s BBQ, check out the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Tools for Success.

Ashley Rector

The author Ashley Rector