George Ure had a link to this Huffington Post story on his Urban Survival blog today:
What a great idea! Sometimes, you just can't see the forest for the trees -- why didn't I think of this?
You can check out your local bank or look for a "safe and sound" bank here:
Our town has a population of around 450 people. The people at our 4-star bank know most all their customers by name. When you walk through the door you always get a smile and, "How are you doing?"
A couple of years ago there was a rash of bank robberies in Wisconsin, and wouldn't you know it, our little bank thwarted the bank robbers. The story made newspapers all over the state, and there were plenty of local laughs to go around about "country folk" besting "city slickers". (Not to mention the fact that it's a BIG mistake to try and steal money from people of German and Eastern European background.) Think about it: People in small towns (especially if they're like us) don't take money from the Government; don't borrow money unless you really need to; only lend money to people you know; and should worse come to worse, you know where the banker lives. Your small community bank has LOTS of incentive to treat you -- and your money -- right.
I'll give you an example. I happen to be interested in developing a local food network in our area, and earlier this year I was doing research to see if publishing a local food atlas for the 12 northern counties not currently represented in any local food atlas was worth the effort. I called our bank to see if it would be interested in being a sponsor for the atlas, and I received an enthusiastic, "yes". Unfortunately, my data showed the project was not feasible for a number of reasons, but the fact that the bank was instantly willing to entertain sponsorship just goes to show how willing local banks are to encourage economic growth in their respective communities. I think the video posted above clearly highlights this point. It also makes me think of the study done in Minnesota a few years back that showed how $1 spent locally increased in value four times as it circulated. So, yes! Keep your money local and strengthen your community; don't give it to the big banks.