Community Bankers Urge Consumers to Shop Local

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With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has launched a campaign to encourage shoppers to buy locally. The “Go Local for the Holidays” campaign, which launched earlier this month, urges consumers to support small businesses by conducting at least 30 percent of their holiday shopping at small community businesses. The holiday campaign is part of a wider ICBA Go Local campaign launched in October 2011.

“By lending to local entrepreneurs and small businesses, community banks help their local economies thrive,” said Camden R. Fine, ICBA president and CEO. “American shoppers have that same power, and that’s why the holiday season is a great time to take on this 30 percent spending challenge and get to know your local small businesses and what they have to offer. I have no doubt that once shoppers see the great services and products that they can obtain locally, they’ll be back for more throughout the New Year.”

“It’s easy to spread holiday cheer this season by purchasing even just a few of those ‘wish list’ items from small businesses within your community,” said ICBA Chairman Jeffrey L. Gerhart, head of Bank of Newman Grove, Nebraska. “Not only will you be helping local entrepreneurs succeed, but you’ll also be making an investment in your community that you can be proud of throughout the holiday season and beyond.”

There are more than 7,000 community banks nationwide, according to ICBA, and those with under $10 billion in assets provide nearly 60 percent of small business loans between $100,000 and $1 million.

More information about ICBA’s Go Local initiative is available at and on Twitter @ICBA‘s hashtag #golocal.