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First Bank $2 bill initiative encouraged local holiday shopping

◆ Star Valley shoppers spent over $2,300 in $2 bills at local businesses.

To encourage consumers to shop locally during the 2020 holiday shopping season, branches of First Bank in Afton and Alpine invited patrons to go into the bank and exchange $100 or more of their holiday shopping budget into $2 bills and sign a pledge to spend the bills at businesses in the community.

“We’ve seen first-hand that many local small businesses are struggling this year and jumped at the opportunity to participate in this local shopping initiative,” said Whitney Weekly, Marketing Manager for First Bank. “We felt this was a unique and memorable way to encourage community members to help support local businesses during the holidays.”

First Bank of Wyoming partnered with its sister bank division, First State Bank, which has offices in Casper, Torrington, Wheatland and Guernsey for this promotion, which was created and organized by the Casper Star-Tribune.

“We saw a tremendous response from community members at many of our branches,” said Weekly. “In Star Valley, we distributed over $2,300 in $2 bills to community members who wanted to participate in the local shopping challenge. We suspect there were many more community members who pledged to shop locally, but did so with debit cards, credit cards and checks rather than $2 bills. Overall, First Bank of Wyoming distributed over $20,000 in $2 bills to community members who wanted to participate in the challenge. We saw one branch distribute over $8,000 in $2 bills!”

According to Weekly, economic studies show that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 of that stays in the local community. Based on those numbers, $13,600 of the $20,000 that was spent during this initiative at local small businesses stayed in the community and will stimulate the local economy.