April is traditionally Move Your Money Month in the shop local community. Bank Local and Invest Local are the financial parts of the shop local movement.
In 2023, the timing couldn’t be more noticeable. High profile bank failures, lots of talk about other banks in trouble, and a serious debate about the financial system (AGAIN!) make Moving Your Money to a local bank more attractive than ever.
Local banks still exist in many small towns, and some of you have multiple local bank choices. If you don’t have a locally owned bank, regional banks may be a better bet than the giant banks.
If you have concerns, talk to your local or regional bankers. Some like Jill Castilla of Citizens Bank in Edmond, Oklahoma, (admittedly in a suburb, but still a great role model) go to great lengths to be accessible to their community.
Find your bankers online or at community events. Ask questions about how they manage the kind of risks that brought down big banks recently. See what you think of the answers. (Hint: they’re much more careful.)
Move Your Money
Really, it’s not that hard to move your money to a local bank. You’ll likely get all the important services you’ve come to rely on like mobile deposit and online bill pay. Even the bank in my tiny community of 30 people is online-savvy. (Shout out to Hopeton State Bank: Shaped by the past, Focused on the future.)
Need the how-to-move list? Search or ask your favorite AI for a list of steps to move to a new bank.
Run a Move Your Money campaign in your community
Get inspired by the resources page from The Local Crowd in Monadnock, NH: Move Your Money
Advocate for change with the policy-level info from the ILSR on Community Banking.
Discover more about local banking and local investing
Small Town banks know lots that big banks don’t, Small Town Rules, 2013
Community banking is critical to small towns, audio, more from Jill Castilla (mentioned above), 2014
Will you run a Move Your Money campaign? Send us your small town business stories, and let us know what questions you have.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.