From The President's Desk
The weather is cooler; trees are changing color; kids are back to school; and hunting season is in full swing. Fall is officially here. For almost a century, interest rates changed at a similar pace as the seasons, fluctuating throughout the year. Then 2008 happened.
Beginning in 2008, short term rates plummeted, then remained near zero for almost a decade. Low interest rates are a boon for folks looking to borrow money, however there is a downside. When borrowing is cheap, savers will suffer. Earning a greater-than-zero return over the past decade typically meant turning to the equity markets. This strategy is not right or wrong, but it does present a fresh set of risks that should always be considered before investing. For now, let’s circle back to our bank customers.
To our savers out there, particularly those in or nearing retirement, here are some best practices for this economic cycle and those yet to occur.
Contact Your Banker. We are entering a dynamic rate environment for the first time in a decade. It may be beneficial to revisit the terms and structures of time deposits, or review balances in purely liquid accounts (checking/savings). Talk with us. Our bankers will listen, and offer the best solutions we can identify based on your specific situation.
Create a Personal Financial Statement. If you’ve not created one, a Personal Financial Statement (PFS) may prove helpful. Simply put, net worth is what is owned minus what is owed (assets minus liabilities). Knowing where you stand financially provides tremendous value when planning for the future. Calculate your net worth here. If you need an assist, we’re here for you.
Protect Yourself. A Community Bank newsletter wouldn’t be complete without a warning about financial scams. There are a countless number of miscreants and wrongdoers out there eager to help you part ways with your money. You’ve worked too hard to earn it just to give it away to scammers. If you run into a financial situation that makes you uncomfortable or doesn’t feel right, call us. Our bankers are really good at sniffing out scams. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a lot of them. Nothing makes us happier than helping protect our customers’ hard earned savings.
As always, we’re here to help if you need it. Have a great remainder of 2018 and thank you for banking with us.
Holiday Design Contest Deadline Nov. 5th
Attention K-4th Grade students: Design our next holiday poster and win big! We’re looking for simple, creative, and festive Christmas theme drawings or paintings in our 9th Annual Holiday Design Contest.
You could win:
- A $100 VISA gift card!
- A roll of gold dollar coins ($25)
- Recognition on our posters and in the newspapers as the fabulous artist/designer
- 20 cards with winning design to send out to friends and family
- And a 22" x 28" poster of the design!
Entry forms can be picked up at your branch or found here.
If you're a teacher and would like to do a design activity as a class (we suggest encouraging each student to use a unique idea), we'd be happy to provide copies of the entry form for you, just contact your local branch. Pictured here is last year's contest winner, Karli Kretschmer of La Grande.
Candy For The Troops
We had great success in our Candy Buy-Back event last year so we’re going to collect treats for troops and First Responders in the week following Halloween once again. Individually wrapped Halloween candy can be brought to any branch of the bank during normal business hours from November 1st through November 7th.
We’ll pay kids $1 per pound of candy, up to 5 pounds. Or, as many did last year, you can donate your extra candy that wasn’t given out on Halloween and we will ship it to Operation Gratitude who coordinates care packages for troops. Operation Gratitude encourages kids to draw pictures or write letters of gratitude to service members, and we’ll include those with the shipment.
Cash For The Critters
Our Clarkston branch is hosting their 5th Annual Christmas Cash for the Critters fundraiser on Saturday, December 1st. Community Bank will match donations raised at $0.50 on each dollar donated with a max match of $500. Stop by between 9 am and 2 pm to get a free portrait of your pet (by Kali Photography) with the opportunity to purchase prints or holiday cards at the event through Wasems Photo. No cost for portrait sitting, donations raised will support Helping Hands Rescue in the Lewis-Clark Valley.
Complimentary drinks will be provided by Kenzies Coffee and treats by Orange Hippo Bakery. Event coverage by Big Country KZBG 97.7 FM. Thank you to all the co-sponsors who make this event possible.
Charity Drive Nov. 1st
Our numbers raised each year for local charities keep growing in our annual Community Bank Charity Drive. Over $27,000 was raised last year (including the match we provide at $0.50 on every dollar donated, up to a max match of $500 per branch location).
Over the past eight years the Charity Drive has provided over $170,000 to charities in the region.
Watch for flyers at your local branch in November to see what charity we’re collecting for in your area. All donated funds and matches stay right in the local town or county where it was collected.
Our goal is to beat last year’s record of $27,465 distributed to our local charities. Help us reach our goal by donating between November 1 and December 19.
Perfect Time For Trial
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a Benefits Plus® member, the fall is a great time to give it a try. We have a 90-Day Free Trial* which, at this time of year, encompasses the holidays when many of the Benefits Plus® perks are at their highest.
1) First and foremost, the main part of the program, ID Theft Restoration Rescue®, is helpful during the holidays when more new cases of identity theft are reported than any other time of the year.
2) Holiday Travel! Save money and get cash back on any of the holiday plane tickets and hotels you book through the program.
3) Gift card savings can really add up, both for plastic cards to be given as gifts or for e-gift cards to be used immediately for online shopping.
4) Many of us will be hosting a dinner or gathering and the Benefits Plus® program has multiple ways to save on groceries, from printable coupons, to Grocery Savers Coupon Club, that is so valuable, non-members pay $99 annually to be a part of it.
Start your 90 Day Free Trial* soon to get all the holiday perks. Sign up here or next time you visit your local branch.
*After the trial, a monthly fee of $5.99 applies and this fee covers the ID Theft Restoration Rescue for both owners on the account in addition to all the other discounts and benefits of the program for the one low monthly price.
Local Business Happenings
Browse these local business news briefs from throughout our footprint. If you are a business customer owner or manager with some exciting new change to your business, please send info to email@example.com to have your news considered for our next newsletter.
Congratulations are in order for Dennis Cross and Robert Wiles as they prepare for retirement and close the doors at WC Construction Inc. in Elgin. As much as the community will miss them after 32 years in business, the vacating of their complex has created a whirlwind of excitement. The City Council approved the purchase of the office and shop for their new office and public works facility. Other exciting news about the City move is that they will allow the Elgin Historical Society to move into their current facility. This will create a hub of activity in the vicinity including the Elgin Opera House, Elgin Train Depot and the Elgin Historical Society Museum.
Becky’s Burger Wagon in La Grande is open every Sunday from 11 - 4, located at Life’s Little Treasures at 2203 Adams Avenue.
Joseph Little Store, a very well known and established business located at 106 N Main Street in Joseph, is now under new ownership. Tim Harrison has purchased the store and plans to maintain the products currently offered as well as adding hot and cold deli foods and pizzas.
Market Place Fresh Foods is Joseph’s local grocery store. It reopened this summer under the new ownership of Dave Yount, Marc Duncan and Marco Rennie. They are featuring a made “by scratch” bakery called Vanilla Stag owned by Bode and Paula Austin.
Baker City Grocery Outlet is open at 295 Campbell Street (just to the east of I-84). Owner, Cody Miller, invites you to stop in. The grand opening celebration was on October 11th.