Providing helpful business tips and exclusive information about Hills Bank services.

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Volume 7, Issue 6: November - December 2012

Hills Business Academy

Throughout the year, Hills Bank and Trust Company promotes the growth of the community through the Shop Locally program. In today’s marketplace, shopping locally is just as important to the vitality of our communities as it was when Hills Bank was established over 100 years ago. As members of the Corridor we can all do our part to shop locally. Purchasing supplies and services from hometown businesses helps keep our communities thriving in many ways:

Hometown businesses and association members employ local residents. They create jobs for you, as well as for your friends, family, and neighbors.

Quality Merchandise
When you purchase items from locally owned businesses, you know their reputation and their level of service. These businesses offer a wide variety of products and services and many are "one-of-a-kind" shops providing unique character to our communities.

Economic Development
Attracting business growth to the Corridor is fundamental to the future of our communities. Shifting even a modest amount of spending to locally owned businesses can product a big economic impact. This growth will attract businesses, create jobs, and improve quality of life for all of us.

Personal Service
Local merchants combine expertise and personal attention to create a positive shopping experience. They are willing to help you find what you are looking for to improve your efficiency and productivity.

Hills Bank encourages you and your business to think about the impact your expenditures have on our community. Make your next purchase locally in the Corridor. Together we can support and strengthen local businesses. For more information on Shop Locally visit

Want to be a Shop Local Participating Business?

With the holiday season approaching, Hills Bank encourages our community to keep their holiday shopping local. As an added incentive, we are awarding one winner a $1,000 shopping spree at local participating businesses! If you'd like to participate, enroll by completing this online form. But don't wait too long, you must enroll by Wednesday, November 21, 2012 to be on the shopping spree list.

As a participating business,

  • your business will be listed on
  • your business will be listed as a choice for the $1,000 shopping spree
  • you'll receive increased public awareness about your business
  • you'll receive Shop Locally promotional material for your employees and customers

If you have any questions, please contact Carrie Ebel at 319-358-2272 or email

Be Vocal for Shop Local

Be Vocal 4 Shop Local and you could win $10! Simply wear a Shop Locally button or sticker, get spotted by a Hills Bank employee, and receive a coupon for $10 cash. Get your button or sticker today at any Hills Bank location or participating business!

Tips to Protect your Mobile Device from Fraud

Smart phones, tablets, notebooks, and mobile devices with online capabilities are more common than ever. These mobile devices are capable of storing and processing information just like a computer. It's important to protect your mobile devices just as you would your computer to prevent identity theft and loss of personal information.

  • Always install updates to applications and firmware on your mobile device. If you don't do this, it increases the risk of having your mobile device compromised.
  • Always wipe your mobile device when you sell it or trade it in to avoid leaving personal data.
  • Check to see if your smartphone's operating system has encryption capabilities that can protect your personal data in case of loss or theft.
  • Do not leave your mobile device unattended and keep it in a secure place, especially when not in use.
  • If available, install mobile security software on your mobile device.
  • Just as you would on your computer, don't click links or download software from unknown sources to avoid malware.
  • Protect your mobile device by enabling a power-on password and screen lock feature to protect the contents.
  • Turn off the ability for your mobile device to connect to unknown wireless networks.
  • Turn off geo-location services if they are not necessary on your mobile applications.
  • Turn off features of your smartphone that are not needed. This reduces the number of places where your phone could be vulnerable to attack.

For more information about protecting yourself from fraud, visit the Customer Protection Center on

Ask the Expert

Q. I’ve heard there were some changes to Iowa's Mechanic’s Lien Law. Can you explain them?

A. Iowa’s mechanic’s lien law will undergo a major overhaul on January 1, 2013. Instead of filing mechanic’s liens in the county records, you will file them in a centralized “State Construction Registry” that will be run by the Iowa Secretary of State (similar to UCC filings). This will be true for all mechanic’s liens filed on residential and commercial construction projects.

Please note the following additional requirements for residential construction: to be eligible to enforce a mechanic’s lien on a project, general contractors and owner-builders must first file a “Notice of Commencement of Work” within ten days of commencement of the project. Subcontractors also must file a Notice in the Registry in order to later be eligible to enforce mechanic’s liens, though the timing requirement for the sub-contractor Notice is unclear. In addition to these filing requirements, copies of all these notices must be delivered to the property owner.

For projects in process as of January 1, 2013, the effect of the Notice timing provisions is unclear. For that reason, you may wish to file Notices at that time in order to protect your interests.

The law (House File 675) provides important details regarding the overall structure of these changes. If you are in the building trade, we recommend you review these changes with your attorney.

Win a 1000 shopping spree from Hills Bank by entering at!

10 Second Tip

Promote Unique Gift Ideas from your Business
Local shoppers may not think of your business as the first stop for holiday gifts. Take time to brainstorm promotions and gift-giving ideas specific to your business. For example, services companies might market gift certificates or bundled service packages, while spas might showcase personal pampering specials along with gift baskets.

Hills Happenings

Holiday Schedule

The bank will observe the following holidays:

  • Thanksgiving Day - closed
    Thursday, November 22nd
  • Christmas Eve - closing at 1:00 pm
    Monday, December 24th
  • Christmas Day - closed
    Tuesday, December 25th
  • New Year's Eve - closing at 3:00 pm
    Monday, December 31st
  • New Year's Day - closed
    Tuesday, January 1st

Even though we will be closed, you can still do your banking at over 90 Hills Bank ATMs in the Corridor, Hills Bank Online, mobile banking, or through Push Button Banker.

See all the Hills Bank holidays.

Last Business Day of 2012

The last business day for 2012 will be Monday, December 31st. Any items that should be processed in the 2012 tax year must be transacted on or before December 31, 2012, before 3:00 pm at the end of the business day.

Equal Housing Lender

© Copyright 2012
Hills Bank and Trust Company.
Member FDIC.