Pub 9 2021 Issue 1

10 The Community Banker Flourish FLOURISH By Rebeca Romero Rainey, President and CEO, ICBA “Unlike our credit union counterparts, we pay taxes, and those tax dollars are spent at home to ensure our communities grow.” T he more things change, the more they remain the same. As we kick off Community Banking Month, I can’t help but reflect on that statement and the changes of this past year. While we have been challenged far beyond our wildest dreams, community banks have stayed the course in keeping the focus on our com- munities. We ensured that when the ground beneath us shifted, we remained firmly rooted in our foundation as pillars of our communities, committed to helping the local environment flourish. Yet, what it means to “go local” has shifted. We now are buying online from local retailers, ordering delivery or takeout from neigh- borhood restaurants, and corresponding more digitally. What used to be an initiative centered on physical proximity has now become a movement toward a greater sense of community. This newfound focus on commitment to the common good aligns with the very essence of community banking. While the delivery channel may look different, the underlying concept of going local means that the money spent is reinvested in the community. By focusing on our communities, we are creating a brighter future for them, bridging the gap so that businesses thrive, jobs remain and the community prospers. Going local means that