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Why Does Murray Have So Many Banks?


Murray’s main thoroughfare, 12th street, appears to be receiving a facelift with some demolition and construction of new businesses.  Many of them are banks.  

“We’ve had a surge of banks entering into the community, particularly in the last few years,” said Mark Manning, President of Murray Calloway Economic Development.

“Quite frankly, it’s a very interesting phenomenon to me, and I’m not sure what that means for the community but I can understand why the banks are following the money.” Manning said.


According to the Murray Planning Commission, 8 banks have submitted permits to build in Murray in the last 10 years.  Three of those permits were allocated in 2014, with as many as 3 more brick and mortar banks looking to build in the next year. Currently Murray is home to 9 different banks with multiple branches. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Murray’s population is just above 18,000 which is just under half of its county population of more than 37,000.

President of the Murray Chamber of Commerce Aaron Dail says Murray sees one new business every three days. In other words, “Murray is hot at the moment.” Dail said.

Heidi Shultz, Independence Bank Murray Branch President says their recent build in Murray was due to the economic growth, low unemployment, city friendliness and university presence.

“There isn’t an X factor here, there is no one thing to attribute the increase in banking development,” Manning said.

He is sure however, that their increased presence is a positive sign for the local economy.

The growth is somewhat unique in the area. Christian County saw a bit of a bank surge in 2005 but it hasn’t seen comparable activity to Murray since. The Paducah area has permitted 7 banks to build in the last 10 years, with one new development since January 2014.

Nicole Erwin is a Murray native and started working at WKMS during her time at Murray State University as a Psychology undergraduate student. Nicole left her job as a PTL dispatcher to join the newsroom after she was hired by former News Director Bryan Bartlett. Since, Nicole has completed a Masters in Sustainable Development from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia where she lived for 2 1/2 years.
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