June 13, 2020 — Banner Bank in Florence has joined the exclusive rank of corporate underwriter in the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce with a contribution of $10,000. Banner Bank joins fellow corporate underwriters Driftwood Shores Resort and Conference Center, Three Rivers Casino Resort and TR Hunter Real Estate.
The funds are designated to help other member businesses pay their annual dues that renew in July.
Tess Yahyazadeh, AVP-Branch Manager at Banner Bank in Florence, jointly announced the program with Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Watching our business community struggle through COVID-19 restrictions, I wanted to find a way to help our local business owners and the Chamber,” said Yahyazadeh. “Being involved with the Cares Act Payroll Protection Program and hearing the stories of how this crisis has affected our local business community really motivated me to find a way for Banner Bank to help.”
At-risk members at the Business Partner level can pay the first $125 toward their dues for the 2020-21 fiscal year and leverage $100 from Banner Bank’s membership match contribution. The program is available for member renewals due July 1 on a first-come-first-served process until funds run out.
People can access this by contacting Hannigan at [email protected]
“This is a huge act of support,” said Hannigan. “Banner Bank just proved, in a very tangible way, that they value the Chamber and care about small businesses in our area. This is a tremendous testimony to their community involvement and how they deliver on their company values.”
With local events that draw visitors to the Florence community being cancelled, both leaders sought a way help the business community and replace some of the Chamber’s lost income. Banner Bank re-allocated its event sponsorship funds to fund the contribution.
“I strongly encourage other financial institutions to follow suit and find a way to help local communities while supporting their chambers, as we all know cancelled events and social distancing has truly impacted our chambers throughout Oregon,” Yahyazadeh said. “When you have a little bit of help from several different sources, it all adds up and becomes significant help. I am certain that, moving forward, our community is and will continue to support our businesses and non-profits to keep Florence stronger than ever.”
The Chamber advocates for businesses with local, state, and national elected officials to promote solutions for businesses; provides exclusive referrals to members from those who ask which businesses to buy from; hosts free seminars on business operations, security, leadership training, and marketing; and connects members through networking events.
According to Hannigan, “Banner Bank’s very generous contribution provides important financial relief for up to 100 Business Partner level members to maintain their very valuable memberships, and guarantees $10,000 in dues revenue to the Chamber. Members who are feeling the greatest impacts of these economic times are the same local small businesses that define us as a community. Tess and I are very aware of the overwhelmingly difficult decisions and financial burdens many of them are facing. This keeps the many benefits of membership flowing their way.”
Yahyazadeh added, “Bettina and I had several conversations regarding helping our local businesses maintain their memberships during these hard times. I want to see businesses flourish and be able to walk away from this knowing Banner Bank cares about them, whether they are clients or not. A collaboration like this aligns with our mission to be connected, knowledgeable, and responsive.”
Benefits of being a member of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce include mailing lists, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and instant credibility. A Business Partner receives an estimated $800-plus per year in direct benefits. As membership levels increase, so does the value of the membership up to an estimated $18,000 in benefits.
“Some join the chamber to support business in Florence even if they don’t avail themselves of all the membership benefits,” Hannigan said. “In Florence, the Chamber is a powerful catalyst for business growth, convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a stronger community. Those are good things for all residents, and that’s why memberships for individuals are available too. Why every business in town is not a member is a mystery.”
Florence Area Chamber of Commerce released a special “Power of the Chamber” publication through Siuslaw News this June. This can be found at issuu.com/siuslawnews/docs/chamber_2020.
For more information on joining the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, the membership dues matching program, or to volunteer, contact Hannigan at 541-997-3128 or [email protected]