Community Building through Community Banking at Ephrata National Bank

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Community Building through Community Banking at Ephrata National Bank

Posted on March 11, 2024 by Christine Myers

When most people think of community banks, they envision smiling tellers who know every customer by name. While this is true at Ephrata National Bank (ENB), the 143 year old institution represents much more. It actively strengthens the Ephrata area through a variety of initiatives that support residents, spur business growth, and invest in the future. In short, ENB is a community bank that builds community.

ENB sees its role in Ephrata as part of a symbiotic circle – when the community thrives, everyone benefits. They support downtown revitalization efforts through organizations like Mainspring of Ephrata, where they are a valued Community Partner. Understanding that their current and future success is directly affected by local economic health, their contributions help to fund solution-based efforts to improve and resolve community challenges, as well as strategies and activities that:

  • Grow and attract business;
  • Create a safe and clean town;
  • Build a better quality of life for families.

ENB helps customers achieve their financial goals, whatever they may be, by taking a holistic approach and asking questions to understand each customer’s unique aspirations. This fosters open communication and enables ENB to provide tailored solutions, leading to satisfied, loyal customers who feel secure in their financial endeavors.

As a community leader, ENB consistently looks for ways to spur growth and prosperity. Its partnership with the Good Samaritan Shelter focuses on an innovative microloan program that aligns with Good Samaritan’s mission to provide a “hand up rather than a hand out.” The loans help people purchase inexpensive, reliable transportation to access and maintain employment. Programs like this elevate the entire community by helping end the cycle of poverty.

To strengthen Ephrata’s business community, ENB also supports Mainspring to develop a vibrant, prosperous downtown. Beyond simply opening business accounts, ENB provides the financial education entrepreneurs need to succeed, offering guidance on cash flow management, debt, and accessing capital. Recently, ENB partnered with Mainspring, SCORE, and Assets to sustain economic growth through the Revolving Loan Fund Program. By financing expansion and growth for existing businesses as well as launching new entrepreneurs, the program sustains economic growth while enhancing downtown. ENB provides the lending expertise while Mainspring guides applicants through the process.

Investing in the future, ENB manages the Hibshman Trust, which provides scholarships to Ephrata High School students. Careful stewardship has enabled the fund to grow over time so students can continue benefiting despite the rising costs of education. Since its inception in 1965, the J. Harry Hibshman scholarship has awarded $32,724,000 in scholarships to 4,600 students continuing their education after high school graduation.

ENB also encourages employees to actively engage in community initiatives as well. For example, CFO Rachel Bitner serves on Mainspring’s board of directors. This hands-on involvement provides insight to better align ENB’s efforts.

By bringing together stakeholders, facilitating partnerships, providing expertise and funding, and encouraging involvement, ENB’s commitment to the town strengthens the social and economic fabric of Ephrata now and into the future. The institution understands the interconnected nature of community banking and their contributions to quality of life and economic prosperity exemplify its core mission – to help their customers achieve financial health and wellbeing, as defined by them, throughout their lifetime.