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Hills Bank and Trust Company Successful Business Newsletter.  Member FDIC.
Volume 5, Issue 6: November - December 2010     

In This Issue


Lifestages for wherever you are in life.  Visit our Lifestages tab on hillsbank.com for ways to help fortify your business's bottom dollar.


10 Second Tip

Shopping Locally Sales Tax Keeps City Government Running

Remember that when you shop at locally owned businesses, the sales tax keeps your local city government running, including the fire department, police department, ambulances, pools, parks, and libraries. Help these local establishments by keeping your dollars in your community!


Hills Happenings

The bank will be closed on the following holidays:

  • Thanksgiving Day - Thursday, November 25
  • Christmas Eve - Friday, December 24 - close at 1:00 pm
  • Christmas Day - Saturday, December 25
  • New Year's Eve - Friday, December 31 - close at 3:00 pm
  • New Year's Day - Saturday, January 1
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Monday, January 17

Even though we will be closed, you can still do your banking at over 70 Hills Bank ATMs in the Corridor, Hills Bank Online, or through Push Button Banker.

View the complete Hills Bank holiday schedule.


Last Business Day of 2010

The last business day of 2010 will be Friday, December 31st. Any items that should be processed in the 2010 tax year should be transacted on or before December 31, 2010 at 3:00 pm. Hills Bank Online and debit card transactions for 2010 will be processed at 6:00 pm.

Celebrate Local Businesses this Holiday Season!

For over a decade, Hills Bank has encouraged the community to Shop Locally during the holidays. This year, we would like consumers to consciously think about converting a purchase they'd make outside the community to a local purchase. Every purchase helps our local economy and contributes to sales tax revenues. Examples of local purchases could be:

“We decided to purchase our Christmas tree from a local tree farm and they even helped set up the tree on the stand. It saved time and we were able to support a local business.”

“I stopped by a local fabric store looking for aprons for my granddaughters and they helped me pick out fabric. Within a day, they had sewn the aprons to my exact request. I could have gone to a big store but I wouldn’t have gotten the same service and exactly what I was looking for.”

As shown in these examples, as you support our local merchants you will receive personal service, quality merchandise, create jobs in your community, and increase economic development. Thank you for considering local merchants this holiday season!

 


Be Vocal for Shop Local!
You could get $10 when you're spotted
wearing a Shop Locally button or sticker!

Throughout the year, Hills Bank promotes the growth of our community with the Shop Locally program. We increase our efforts during the holiday season to remind consumers to consider local merchants for their shopping needs.

This year, we encourage everyone in the community to Be Vocal 4 Shop Local. Show your support for our local businesses and help spread the word about Shop Locally by wearing a button or sticker. You may be rewarded with a $10 Shop Locally Visa® Gift Card coupon if spotted by a Hills Bank employee between November 15th and December 24th. You can pick up your button at any Hills Bank location or at participating businesses.


November is Food Banks' Busiest Month

The Johnson County Crisis Center Food Bank distributes 60,000 pounds of food each month to help alleviate hunger. Last year The Linn County Salvation Army community meal program provided over 52,000 meals and helped 1,100 adults and children. November is food banks’ busiest month, and a number of food items have become a priority (see the list below). Nearly 75% of the food distributed in weekly food bags is donated by the community—together we can make a difference for our neighbors in need.

Top Ten Needed Donations

  1. Financial donations
  2. Canned fruit and fruit juice
  3. Canned meat
  4. Hearty soups and stews
  5. Canned vegetables
  6. Toilet paper
  7. Baby formula
  8. Baby diapers
  9. Laundry detergent
  10. Pasta and rice

Please consider donating any of the items listed above to your local food bank to help in the fight against hunger. Every little bit helps!

For more information about donating, please visit: Johnson County Crisis Center or The Salvation Army of Cedar Rapids.


Ask the Expert

Q. I use my debit card a lot during the holiday season. How should I protect myself from becoming a victim of fraud?

A. Here are a few things to consider when making purchases with your debit card.

Shop locally! Hills Bank supports shopping locally for many great reasons but we often forget it can also decrease fraud. When a member of your community processes your card rather than over the internet or in an unsecured location can reduce your chances of information being stolen. If you must use your card on the internet, make sure you are using it only on well-known sites with a secure server.

Purchase a Hills Bank Visa® Gift Card. This card acts like a VISA® card but is loaded with a predetermined dollar amount and is not connected to your bank account or credit account.

Check your online banking frequently. Transactions on Hills Bank’s online banking are in real time so they're posted immediately. Checking your transactions daily and reconciling your bank statement each month will help reduce risk.

Shopping with your debit card is generally safe, especially since you are not liable for any fraudulent charges, but it is always a good idea to protect yourself. If you are a victim of fraud you will need to file a police report as well as notify Hills Bank at 1-800-445-5725 immediately so your money can be recovered as soon as possible.

Have a question? Submit it to enewsletter@hillsbank.com to have it featured in an upcoming issue.

© Copyright 2010 Hills Bank and Trust Company. Member FDIC.
Equal Housing Lender