By: Jill Castilla, President and CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmond
The benefits of banking local have been incredibly evident recently in Edmond, Oklahoma. Just ask the owners of one of the many local businesses who were “mobbed” by the employees of Citizens Bank of Edmond, and there is no doubt they will agree that banking local has its perks! The heart and soul of the vibrant community of Edmond, the locally owned businesses, are wholeheartedly embracing the Citizens Bank of Edmond Cash Mobs that are taking the business community by storm.
In an effort to bring in more business and awareness to their neighbors and friends, the 70 employees of Citizens Bank of Edmond go on one big shopping spree at one local business on a predetermined day, and blast the news out via social media outlets, as well as through the local newspapers. The cash mobs were initiated at the bank in honor of Small Business Saturday, and the success of the mobs, along with the merchants request for more, have elevated this program into a highly anticipated, ongoing celebration for our amazing community. In the recent weeks, Citizens has bombarded many local businesses, including The Best of Books, Café Evoke, Chirps and Cheers, Edmond Summit Co., Cupcakes to Go Go and A Flower Place, and the positive feedback and exposure (not to mention the true appreciation) by these business owners is priceless!
The cash mobs illustrate the importance of banking local; demonstrating how deeply involved community banks are with their customers and the community. When the officers and employees of a bank are in touch with the community, they are much more accessible to their customers and in tune to the needs of business owners and individuals. Since decisions are made locally, community banks have the advantage of being nimble when dealing with their customers. In addition, community banks have a key advantage over large banks, which is the fact that community banks are indeed small businesses themselves. This gives the bank a tremendous advantage when it comes to connecting with the local businesses, from not only a bottom line perspective, but from an emotional standpoint as well.
Citizens Bank of Edmond was founded in 1901, celebrating its 113th year in the community of Edmond, Oklahoma. The population of Edmond is over 80,000 people and not only are the 70 employees of Citizens serving the community in a banking capacity, but also are serving on local boards, attending the local schools, and simply being neighbors! The bank currently has $250 million in assets and continually strives to provide leading edge services, constantly pushing the envelope in technology upgrades. The bank’s keen awareness to the importance of social media is demonstrated by Citizens being named to the ICBA’s Top 50 Community Bank Leaders in Social Media. In addition, Jill Castilla, President and CEO, was named to the Top 20 Community Banker Influencers on Twitter.
Citizens Bank of Edmond is a member of Independent Community Bankers of America.