Do you know what your money is doing tonight? Community bank depositors can be pretty sure theirs is supporting local businesses on their respective Main Streets. Unlike their Wall Street counterparts, community banks are often owned and operated by members of the local community who understand the needs of their neighbors and are well-equipped to make lending decisions that benefit local consumers and producers. Put simply, big banks remove capital from communities while community banks circulate it, invigorating the local economy.
Community Banks like Lee Bank, Salisbury Bank and Trust, and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank are almost like bond investors in the local community. But this is what we should be doing because the capital we’re leveraging was built up over years and years from deposit (funding) and lending (interest income) activity here in the Berkshires. All of us also take this a step further and invest tremendously in our employees so they feel good about their employer and their employment situation and in turn have the confidence to spend some of their discretionary or non-discretionary income locally.
Chuck Leach, President and CEO of Lee Bank
On Thursday, February 11th at 2 PM EST, the Schumacher Center for a New Economics and BerkShares, Inc. will host a virtual Community Banking Roundtable with presidents Jay Anderson of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, Rick Cantele of Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, and Chuck Leach of Lee Bank to highlight the role and defining characteristics of community banks. The speakers represent the three banks that partner with BerkShares Inc. to distribute the local currency throughout the Berkshire region. These banks’ scale and focus encourage and facilitate the partnership.
This conversation will be moderated by Alice Maggio, former director of BerkShares, Inc., a corporator of Lee Bank, and member of the Schumacher Center’s Board of Directors. This free webinar will take place from 2:00 to 3:30 PM EST via Zoom. Register here.