Columbia Bank

Wherever you are headed, Columbia Bank has the people and resources to help get you there. It starts with “Hello.” They never forget a name of a face. Real human beings answer their phones. Their commitment to providing all the services required to help the build strong Northwest communities is firmly rooted in their DNA.

Growth is vital to remaining a preferred option for customers. It advances the services and expertise they provide on their customers’ behalf. Columbia Bank has grown both organically and through acquisition, in cases where they recognized the benefits of a strong fiscal and cultural fit. In the process, they have leveraged their community-minded, locally committed way of doing business from a single branch to a 150+ branch regional footprint throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

They demonstrate this commitment through their comprehensive approach to community engagement, empowering employees to address the unique needs of their communities through four distinct pillars: fundraising, employee giving, volunteerism, and company giving. Providing support through these employee-driven pillars allows them to have the greatest impact in the communities they serve. Because of these efforts, they are deeply woven into the fabric of our communities.

People truly do make all of the difference.

https://www.columbiabank.com/

Columbia Bank

Wherever you are headed, Columbia Bank has the people and resources to help get you there. It starts with “Hello.” They never forget a name of a face. Real human beings answer their phones. Their commitment to providing all the services required to help the build strong Northwest communities is firmly rooted in their DNA.

Growth is vital to remaining a preferred option for customers. It advances the services and expertise they provide on their customers’ behalf. Columbia Bank has grown both organically and through acquisition, in cases where they recognized the benefits of a strong fiscal and cultural fit. In the process, they have leveraged their community-minded, locally committed way of doing business from a single branch to a 150+ branch regional footprint throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

They demonstrate this commitment through their comprehensive approach to community engagement, empowering employees to address the unique needs of their communities through four distinct pillars: fundraising, employee giving, volunteerism, and company giving. Providing support through these employee-driven pillars allows them to have the greatest impact in the communities they serve. Because of these efforts, they are deeply woven into the fabric of our communities.

People truly do make all of the difference.

Washington Federal Financial Literacy Programs

Save at School-This program for students is our biggest outreach currently. We partner alongside Faith Christian School and have worked in the past with Dallas Community School for this program. We visit the schools on a monthly basis to see the kids and collect deposits for their accounts, which we take back to the bank for them. We also have conducted small sessions for groups of kids at these levels to talk about saving and do fun activities about banking. We haven’t currently worked with any of the larger public elementary schools in Dallas, but would love the opportunity to work alongside classrooms and schools.

Seniors Financial Class-Currently we also host a monthly class with the Dallas Senior Center offering financial advice and information about scams to the local seniors. This has been a great opportunity for some of our older clients and Dallas residents to get a more personal look at some of their finances, keep them in the loop with some of the most pressing and popular scams that could be presented to them, and ask lots of questions about trusts; powers of attorneys; setting up accounts; and making sure they are financially set.

Financial Beginnings– We partner with a company called Financial Beginnings that works with local schools across Oregon to bring financial literacy to students of all ages. The Dallas branch are all certified volunteers and hosts through this program. Teachers can reach out and ask for specific classes, times, and curriculums and we fill the need or we can offer the courses to schools. The program covers lots of topics and is very flexible for the classes and what they need for their setting.

MoneySmart- MoneySmart is a program that our bank developed for different age levels. (elementary-adult) We have all the curriculum available in the branches and can customize it to certain groups or settings. I’ve used bits for some of our Save at School learning sessions and we’ve utilized some topics for our seniors, but we have yet to find a group we can actively use this with. This would be a great free financial program for a community class, schools, or groups. We haven’t currently been presented with a need for it, but should we get an interested party in presenting a financial class or group we would definitely be able to conduct something for our community.

FinStrong-This is a program still in the works that our bank is developing. One of our banks goals is not just offering typical banking services to our clients, but also recognizing that budgeting and banking can be tough and wanting to equip our clients with the right tools and expertise to thrive financially. Right now all employees are going through the program for a trial run to get a feel for the program and also make sure that we are equipped to guide our clients with the right resources they need.

Heartland Merchant Services/Payroll/POS Systems- Washington Federal partners with a company called Heartland to offer amazing value and prices with merchant services, payroll, HR services, and POS terminals for all business types. This is something that we are really passionate about trying to spread to our business community as we have been able to save many businesses money, bring more value, and get people out of long locked in contracts with their current providers. We have two local reps that work to have conversations with businesses at no obligation just to see if they could bring any extra value to a business. This would even be a great comparison tool for current businesses or people looking to start in the area. It is something we offer to everyone, not just clients of Washington Federal. I cannot rave enough about these services and how they’ve helped local businesses in Dallas. Businesses could just come into the branch of give us a call to have us personally get them in touch just to talk with someone to help understand their current situation and how they could possibly find better solutions through Heartland.

Notary Services- We offer FREE notary services to clients and non-clients. Jana Peckham is our branch notary and is happy to assist anyone with notarizing and witnessing documents, no appointment necessary.

Mortgage and Business Loans-Washington Federal offers mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, construction and remodeling loans, refinancing, and lot loans for people. We also offer business lines of credit, commercial real estate loans, and term loans for expansions and improvements. Debbie our branch manager has been working with the company for over thirty years and is well skilled in finding the best loan options for anybody who walks in through the door.

https://www.washingtonfederal.com/locations/oregon/dallas

How Tourism Affects the Local Economy

Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest industries. It “surpasses that of oil exports, ‎food products or automobiles,” according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Inbound tourism boosts the economic growth of a region’s economy while providing high potential to support job creation. Outbound tourism promotes cross-cultural understanding and goodwill. In the words of Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…”

Job creation is paramount to any discussion about tourism’s positive economic effects. The 2017 Economic Impact Report by the World Travel & Tourism Council indicates that the industry generates one out of 10 jobs worldwide, growing at a pace that outperforms employment in the global economy for the sixth consecutive year. The report also indicates that among new jobs, the sector accounts for one in five.

Tourism has long been cited by world leaders as a driver of peace and security through understanding. In the 21st century, tourism is closely linked to development, embracing a growing number ‎of new destinations – hence new jobs. Tourism can create civic pride by encouraging cultivation and sharing of local customs, food, traditions and festivals. Personal exchanges between hosts and guests goes a long way toward fostering better cultural understanding. Tour operators are focusing on the experiential travel trend, providing more authentic and immersive experiences for their guests. Open spaces and national parks in countries around the world are good for replenishing both body and soul, but traffic jams are not a good look.

Wells Fargo

The name Wells Fargo is forever linked with the image of a six-horse stagecoach thundering across the American West, loaded with gold. The full story, over more than 160 years ago, is rich in detail with great events in America’s history. From the Gold Rush to the early 20th Century, through prosperity, depression and war, Wells Fargo earned the reputation of trust due to its attention and loyalty to customers.

The Vision, Values and Goals of Wells Fargo details the enduring principles that guide all Wells Fargo team members in the work they do every day – in serving customers and helping each other.

Wells Fargo wants to satisfy their customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. This unites them around a simple premise: Customers can be better served when they have a relationship with a trusted provider that knows them well, provides reliable guidance, and can serve their full range of financial needs.

Five Primary values guide every action that Wells Fargo takes:

  1. Do what is right for the customers. They place customers at the center of everything they do. They want to exceed customer expectations and build relationships that last a lifetime.
  2. People as a competitive advantage. Wells Fargo strives to attract, develop, motivate, and retain the best team members – and collaborate across businesses and functions to serve customers
  3. They are committed to the highest standard of integrity, transparency, and principled performance. They do the right thing, in the right way, and hold themselves accountable.
  4. Diversity and inclusion. They value and promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of business and at all levels. Success comes from inviting and incorporating diverse perspectives.
  5. Wells Fargo is called to be a leader. They want their staff to lead themselves, lead the team, and lead the business – in service to customers, communities, team members, and shareholders.

Wells Fargo is committed to being the best they can be – for each other, their customers, their communities, and for their shareholders. They have the will and the drive to build a better Wells Fargo, every day.

https://www.wellsfargo.com/

Why Join the Chamber? Reason # 23,563

At this point, you’ve built a stellar website, and got your local rankings in place. Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back because you’ve taken the most important steps to get your internet marketing on the right track.

So what now? You sit back and wait for the calls to roll in? Yes… and no. While your phone will start ringing a lot more, there are still steps you can take to boost your SEO and get more high-quality calls.

One way you can bolster your online presence is to join your local Chamber of Commerce. If you’re not familiar, a Chamber of Commerce is a group dedicated to protecting and promoting the local business community.

Keep reading to find out specifics on how joining your local Chamber of Commerce can impact your Google rankings on local searches. This ultimately helps potential customers find you through organic searches.

Gain credibility with customers and Google. Most customers don’t just want a low price. Discerning homeowners are searching for a company that has a strong reputation. By joining a local Chamber of Commerce, you can better attract the attention of quality customers. While you’re gaining credibility within your area, you’re also gaining credibility on search engines like Google. These search engines look at Chamber memberships as a sign that you are operating as a real business, involved with the local community.

Build valuable links. As a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, you also get to be listed on their website, which provides a valuable backlink to your website. Backlinks from credible organizations help boost your ranking on Google, ultimately helping more people in the area find your business through organic search. So now the decision is up to you.

While you will have to invest a couple hundred dollars on an annual membership, it is money well spent in the long run. Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce to join if you haven’t already… it’s time to start reaping the benefits.

Itemizer-Observer

The Polk County Itemizer-Observer is your local news source. We print Wednesdays to a circulation of roughly 4,000, and daily online, reaching more than 10,000 unique readers each week on our website. Our Classifieds are mailed out across the county to nearly 9,000 additional homes.

Back by popular demand, we will publish the Eagle Directories, updated with current listings for both business and residential. Call us to find out how to spotlight your business in this annual publication mailed to about 19,000 Polk County customers. Want to include your cellphone in the phone book? Let us know by emailing iosales@polkio.com.

Also coming up is our annual, award-winning Explore Polk County, with about 10,000 distribution in print. The publication also is linked on Travel Salem’s website, as well as found on our website. Don’t miss this opportunity to get your message out!

Got a story tip or want to submit a photo to Explore Polk County? Send it to ionews@polkio.com. We’re still searching for our cover shot – do you have a Polk County photo that could make the cut?

Deadlines on both of these publications is early May, but that will be here before you know it. Don’t delay, call today! 503-623-2373.

http://www.polkio.com

Funding Available for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Through Pacific Power Grant Program

Up to $300,000 available to applicant projects that show innovation and creativity around promoting sustainable transportation

Pacific Power is helping to make its business customers’ electric transportation goals a reality through an electric vehicle charging station grant program. The program will help fund up to 100 percent of the eligible costs of installing electric vehicle charging stations for selected non-residential applicants.

The application cycle opens on April 15, 2019. Up to $300,000 in grants will be available during this cycle with a total of $1.45 million in Oregon awarded in quarterly cycles through the end of 2019.

“As an active member in the communities we serve, Pacific Power wants to help our customers achieve their sustainable energy goals,” said Cory Scott, director of customer solutions. “The electric vehicle charging station grant program is one of the ways we’re empowering local businesses, non-profits and governments to pick up speed toward more charging options for electric vehicle owners.”

Oregon businesses of all sizes installing chargers as an amenity for customers and employees are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted up to May 15, 2019 at 5:00 PM. Recipients will be announced June 2019.

For detailed eligibility requirements, project qualifications and application forms, please visit pacificpower.net/ev-grants.

Materials may be submitted to plugin@pacificpower.net.

To learn more about the benefits of electric vehicles, visit pacificpower.net/ev.

Columbia Bank

Wherever you are headed, Columbia Bank has the people and resources to help get you there. It starts with “Hello.” They never forget a name of a face. Real human beings answer their phones. Their commitment to providing all the services required to help the build strong northwest communities is firmly rooted in their DNA.

They started in 1993 as a community bank. While their community has grown and their computers have shrunk, they are still the same bank that puts people first. Columbia Bank is a Northwest community bank headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, with comprehensive solutions and expertise to meet the evolving needs of businesses and individuals.

Today they employ a wide range of extraordinarily smart and devoted people, delivering relationship-based customer service. Most important, they have maintained their dedication to being THE community bank in each and every community they serve.

They demonstrate this commitment through their comprehensive approach to community engagement, empowering employees to address the unique needs of their communities through four distinct pillars: fundraising, employee giving, volunteerism, and company giving. Providing support through these employee-driven pillars allows them to have the greatest impact in the communities they serve. Because of these efforts, they are deeply woven into the fabric of our communities.

People truly do make the difference.

https://www.columbiabank.com/about-us

Citizens Bank

More than 60 years have now passed since a small group of community and business leaders met in April 1957 and voted to establish a home-owned bank in Corvallis. The organizers said they intended to “fill a need for a friendly banking service dedicated to all of the community and to the building of a thriving local economy,” according to an early newspaper report.

From those humble beginnings, Citizens Bank has blossomed to become one of the most successful and stable community banks in the country. Today, Citizens Bank is home to more than 160 customer-focused employees, and their 15 branches provide comprehensive banking services to individuals and businesses in 13 Willamette Valley communities spanning seven Oregon counties.

At Citizens Bank, they believe that their success is directly linked to the overall health of the region they serve. Since 1957, they have committed themselves to improving the communities in which we live, work, and play. They honor that commitment daily by providing a full range of banking services with a personal, hometown touch; by supporting the continued prosperity of local businesses; and by emphasizing honesty, integrity and fairness in their relationships with customers, co-workers, and neighbors. If they cannot offer you the best rates, or loans for you then they will refer you to who can. They believe that their customers come before numbers.

Citizens Banks motto: Good Business. Good Friends.

https://www.citizensebank.com/