Go Local Holidays


By Jack Hartings, Chairman of ICBA

As community bankers, supporting local small business is second nature for generations and will continue to work for generations to come. Even though we as community bankers support small businesses every day of the year, the holidays provide us with a unique opportunity to put small businesses and our communities front and center.

ICBA makes it easy for you to share the positive story of community banks and small businesses with the annual Go Local Holidays campaign. This campaign offers turnkey communications and marketing materials that can help your team spread the message in your community. With a local press release, op-ed, sample social media posts and marketing ideas, there’s no stopping the Go Local Holidays message from reaching small businesses, consumers and media from coast to coast.

Think of what we could do if every community bank in the country got into the Go Local Holidays spirit?

That’s why I encourage your bank to participate in Go Local Wednesday on Dec. 16. Throughout the day, ICBA employees, community bankers and consumers from across the nation will visit locally owned and operated businesses and restaurants to support community entrepreneurs this holiday season. ICBA continues to host Go Local Wednesday on the third Wednesday of every month, so the spirit of Go Local carries through all year long.

This rang true for me as I was talking with our marketing director about our plans for Go Local Holidays. Within minutes, she sent over pictures from past years where we encouraged our employees to visit small businesses throughout the area. We always post our Go Local Holidays photos on our Facebook page to showcase our support for small businesses during the season and also show area consumers that they can do the same. It’s a great way to engage with our customers and the community.

We have branches in six different communities. What’s so interesting about our bank’s footprint is that we have such a wide variance in community census from 500 to more than 10,000. While each area is unique, the small business presence is always there and thriving. As a community bank, we take great pride in that.

So to all my fellow community banks, enjoy the holidays and spread the cheer. As community bankers, we have so much to be thankful for, so let’s continue to give back to our customers and communities by spreading the Go Local message now and throughout 2016.

Jack Hartings is president and CEO of The People’s Bank Co. in Coldwater, Ohio.