Wallowa Lake in Joseph, OR.

From the President's Desk




March 2022

If you are a small business owner, you’ve had quite the wild ride over the last couple years. What began with COVID-specific challenges, cascaded into persistent supply chain struggles, widespread labor disruptions, and inflation – the degree of which hasn’t been seen in nearly 40 years. I could spill plenty of ink trying to tackle all these issues at once, but I’d have to quit my day job. Plus, I can’t really add anything to the COVID-19 discussion that hasn’t already been written or debated ad nauseam. However, I will take a poke at what is going on in the disjointed labor market, and touch on a few areas where Community Bank can help our small businesses navigate through some of these challenges. So, lets jump into it.  


To use technical terms, the labor market has gone insane. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, at the end of 2021 there were around 160 million people employed, and about 16 million open jobs. Counting on all my toes and fingers, that means about one out of 10 positions in a US company was unfilled. With the unemployment rate now back down to around 4%, competition between employers to fill that seat is fierce. At the same time, the number of folks voluntarily leaving their jobs has never been higher, with a record 4.5 million workers quitting in November 2021 alone. Possible reasons for what is now commonly known as the Great Resignation are many. A desire for more flexible working conditions, better salary and benefits, or simply poor treatment by their employer during the pandemic, are just a few of the frequently cited explanations. This is a local phenomenon as much as a national one, as there are plenty of storefront windows along our main streets wallpapered with ‘Help Wanted’ signs. Confronted with these staffing dilemmas, employers are forced to do more with less.  


Do more with less. Not necessarily a foreign concept for most small business owners. But also not ideal, as it typically imposes some strain on existing resources and employees. Those same employees that all the other businesses are trying to steal away, remember? Doing more with less also implies that time management becomes a much more critical component to the operation of the business. Here’s where Community Bank can help. We have continued to enhance our suite of small business solutions. Our cash management and remote deposit capture solutions help customers process transactions whenever it is convenient, in the comfort of their own office. Our digital banking solutions assist customers with managing their business on the fly. Our recent integration with Autobooks provide customers with automated bookkeeping capabilities, digital invoicing, and enhanced vendor management solutions. These are just a few examples of products and services that Community Bank can provide that help keep your business running smoothly. Too busy to learn more? That pesky time management thing again, huh? Don’t worry, your Community Bankers are always ready to assist, and will be here when you’re ready to move forward. Just say the word, and we’ll get to work.    



As always good luck and happy hunting,


Headshot of Tom Moran, CEO and PresidentTom Moran

CEO/President


Welcome to the first ever all-digital President’s Message! While these memos were previously published on the Community Bank website, they were more of a component of the Community Bank newsletter that was printed and distributed quarterly. This created the challenge (at least it was for me) of trying to keep the content fresh and relevant, knowing that it would likely be 20-30 days from the time of writing to the time of reading. The swift pace at which world events seem to occur now further complicated matters. Additionally, because of the space limitations inherent in a newsletter format, I would have to whittle down the subject matter to around 300 words to make it fit just right. Tricky, although some readers might argue that’s still about 295 words too many coming from me. Either way, it was a quarterly exercise working within a specific set of constraints.

Constraints play an important role in our daily lives. Some are unique to the individual (ex. financial or physical), but many are common enough to be shared by all. In that vein, time constraints are the worst – time passes quickly, and there never seems to be enough of it to go around. Looking back over the last 15 months, it’s painfully apparent that certain limitations can be necessary, but also exceedingly frustrating. Like many businesses across our region, your Community Bank was forced to make operational adjustments in order to adapt to an entirely new constraint: social distancing. A phrase that few folks had even heard of prior to 2020, suddenly governed how people conducted business and interacted with each other. Obligatory avoidance compelled people to seek alternative means of contact. Here at Community Bank, that meant educating our customers on the available banking options that may have been previously unfamiliar to them. Sure, most folks have used the drive-thru lane at a branch and know what an ATM is. But 2020 was an inflection point for a wide swath of our customers who were unaccustomed to accessing their bank via digital channels. The number of customers we introduced to our mobile banking and online platforms quickly grew in 2020. That growth hasn’t slowed down in 2021. In fact, if you’re reading this right now, you’ve likely noticed the upgrades we’ve made to both our online, and our mobile banking platforms. I invite you to explore further; we’re pretty excited about the new look and feel, as well as the new banking capabilities now available to our customers. As always, if you need assistance getting situated, let us know.

Time will tell, but a prevalent shift in how our customers engage with the Bank is well underway. Heavily influenced by events that have recently transpired, some of these changes in service expectations are likely to be permanent, and that’s okay. Change is not right, and it is not wrong. It just happens. Constantly. It would only be wrong to ignore it. Your Community Bankers will continue to work hard at providing the banking services you deserve, through the channels of your choosing. You will frequently be faced with constraints in life but accessing your Bank and your bankers shouldn’t be one of them.                            


Good luck in the second half,


Headshot of Tom Moran, CEO and President


Tom Moran

President/CEO