In America’s business world, it’s “the little engines that could” that keep our economic engine humming along strongly year after year. That’s why it’s so important to support the small businesses in our community.

Every day, these business owners offer a very personal and often unique shopping experience. From family-owned bakeries and floral shops to first-time entrepreneurs, these folks are earnestly pursuing the American Dream. And all of us can help them make that dream come true by buying from them.

Here at BankFive we can relate to small businesses, because in reality, we’re one of them. As a community bank, we’re here to serve you, your friends and your neighbors on a very personal level. We know the towns and villages and cities we’re part of because our people live and work in them. Our roots run deep, and we have a strong connection that can’t be duplicated by big banks.

We know how important small businesses are to each community, which is why we have forged hundreds of relationships with these business owners over the years. We want to see them thrive and flourish because they are key to the vitality of any local economy.

Once a year since 2010, one day brings particular attention to these stores and shops in our neighborhoods. This year, Small Business Saturday® will be celebrated on November 28, and we encourage you to get out and show your support.

But keep in mind that these businesses are open practically every day of the year and count on folks to buy from them on a regular basis. They’re there when you need a birthday present, a pick-me-up bouquet of flowers, a new dress or suit, a treat for the dog or cat.

And isn’t a great feeling to hear the owner greet you by your first name when you enter their shop, and spend some time talking to you one-on-one? They’re happy to have you there, and won’t rush you to make a purchase and be on your way. Those are the down-to-earth touches that you won’t find in the big box stores

To put it another way, we should recognize and patronize our small businesses almost every day of the year. They’re here for us, so we should be there for them!




So you think you know all there is to know about Thanksgiving, right? Think again! Check out this quiz about one of America’s favorite holidays.happy-thanks-giving-day-wallpapers_thanks-giving-day-wallpapers-15

  • Plymouth Rock can lay claim to having the first Thanksgiving.

False. Historians will tell you that Maine, Virginia, Texas, and Florida also have evidence that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in each of those states. Of course, the most well-known story recalls how a group of English colonists got together with dozens of Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth Rock to break bread (and gobble down lots of other food) following the fall harvest of 1621.

  • The first national Thanksgiving was proclaimed right after the birth of our nation.

True. The Continental Congress declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1777.

  • At least two U.S. Presidents had a hand in officially recognizing Thanksgiving as a holiday.

True. In 1863, nearly a century after the Continental Congress, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. Then in 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt put his stamp of approval on having the holiday officially celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

  • Only wild fowl such as turkey and duck showed up on the dinner table at the first Thanksgiving feast at Plymouth Rock?

False. Those birds were joined by seasonal fare including lobster, clams and fish, according to historians. Other tasty treats included peas, squash, nuts, and carrots.

  • Also on the Plymouth Rock dinner menu were pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes.

False. None of those were served up during the feast.

  • A New England native penned the famous Thanksgiving poem, “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” (also known as “Over the River and Through the Wood.”)

True. The author, Lydia Maria Child, was born on February, 11, 1802 in Medford, Massachusetts. The poem, which appeared in Flowers for Children, Volume 2 in 1844, recounts the author’s childhood memories of visiting her grandfather’s house. Yes, you read that correctly – grandfather’s house. That’s how it was worded in the original poem, but it was later changed “to grandmother’s house” for reasons unknown.

Some side notes: The poem later became a popular song, and a play (“Over the River and Through the Woods” published in 1998) and a children’s book (“Over the River – A Turkey’s Tale” published in 2005). It was also adapted to serve as a Christmas poem.

  • Ben Franklin thought the turkey deserved to be the official U.S. bird.

True. But Franklin’s favorite fowl lost out to the bald eagle.

  • Speaking of turkey, this traditional Thanksgiving meat lays claim to making millions of people drowsy during the holiday because of its organic protein tryptophan.

False. Experts say the real culprits are more likely to be the huge amount of food consumed, alcohol, or having a day to kick back and relax (or a combination thereof).

So how did you do? If you answered all of them correctly, you deserve an extra-large piece of pumpkin pie!

Of course, Thanksgiving is also a time to pause and reflect on all we have to be grateful for – family, friends, shelter, food, and so much more. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11. Will you remember?veterans day (1)

Will you remember – the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our country free, safe and strong?

Will you remember – the veterans who are in need of jobs when they return home?

Will you remember – those veterans who struggle to adapt to civilian life after spending years in the military?

Will you remember – the wives, children, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who grieve when they learn that their loved one has made the ultimate sacrifice for their country?

Will you remember – the veterans who suffer physical and mental wounds that could take years, if ever, to heal?

Will you remember – the little children whose hearts are breaking as they watch their moms and dads leave them for assignments overseas?

Will you remember – those same moms and dads whose hearts are breaking as they leave their little ones behind?

Will you remember – to thank a veteran on Veterans Day for all they do for us?

Please remember. All of us at BankFive will.


Hey College Students – Can You Pass This Quiz?

Going to college can be a challenging experience, especially in the classroom. But students also end up getting an education when it comes to managing their money. Some do a good job at it. Others? Well, let’s just say they could use some help.

Here’s a little pop quiz for students (and their parents alike) that could be useful on and around campus:

When using an ATM, it’s best to:

  1. Avoid using the machine at night and in unfamiliar surroundings.
  2. Have your ATM card ready to use right away as you approach the machine.
  3. Always take transaction records with you.
  4. Immediately put any cash withdrawals in your wallet, pocket, or purse.
  5. Keep your PIN secret and use your body and hand to block the ATM keypad as you enter your PIN.

Correct answer: All of them. And here’s a bonus answer: If you’re using a drive-up ATM, make sure your vehicle doors are locked and windows, other than the driver’s, are up.

Creating a budget is a great idea.

  1. True
  2. False

Correct answer: A. One of the best ways to keep track of funds is to establish a budget and stick to it. This includes determining all revenue sources and all expenses on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. Speaking of expenses – when you actually keep tabs on the coffee shop runs and late-night trips to fast-food joints, you’ll be surprised at how much is spent and may be prompted to cut back on these expensive habits.

Credit cards are good for:

  1. Practically anything, from food to clothes to trips and everything in between.
  2. Letting other people borrow if they get in a financial pinch.
  3. An easy way to access money when you need it.
  4. A good way to establish a positive credit history and helpful in case of an emergency.

Correct answer: D. If used prudently, a credit card can be a successful way to develop a strong, positive credit history, which is especially useful once out of college and in the “real world”, where a solid credit record is important for big purchases such as cars and homes. Looking at the other responses, the last thing you want to do is ring up a large credit card bill that becomes unmanageable to pay off. And they may be your friends, but that doesn’t mean you should be bailing them out of a financial situation. As far as tapping a credit card for money – that’s an easy and dangerous habit to get into, particularly since it seems like “easy money” but could cost more if there’s a higher interest rate for cash transactions (which there usually is).

It’s safe to use online banking and pay bills online while using public Wi-Fi.

  1. True
  2. False

Correct answer: B. Never use public Wi-Fi for any financial activities, including checking bank accounts, paying bills, etc. This source for getting online provides for no protection from cyber crooks, who are always lurking in the shadows, waiting for someone to check their account balances or pay a credit card bill. They’re adept at snatching sensitive information from mid-air and then using it against you, such as making fraudulent purchases or draining money out of your checking account.

So how did you do? If you correctly answered all of the questions, you’re prepared for your college years. If you missed a few, don’t worry, you’ll learn along the way. It’s all part of the college experience!


cyber-attackEvery day, businesses are under attack by fraudsters and cyber criminals. From data breaches to corporate espionage, thousands of crimes are costing business owners millions of dollars and crippling their operations.

But there are tools and methods to fight back and keep the criminals at bay. One of the best ways to do that is to know what’s out there. Education is key to mounting a formidable defense. Here’s an overview of the more prevalent crimes facing businesses today.

Data breach – This is a situation where sensitive, confidential or protected information is accessed or stolen by an unauthorized individual. Although computer networks typically are the target of breaches, the crime can also include the theft of paper documents, laptops and USB drives.

Corporate or industrial espionage – The theft of valuable or confidential information within a company for use by a competitor. Espionage activity often includes tapping computers and telephones to gather information and even searching through trash.


Phishing – Using e-mail trickery as bait, phishing typically involves a bogus message from a credit card company, bank, or what appears to be another legitimate agency or institution, instructing you to click on a link or attachment within the message and provide sensitive information. Many of these links will take you to websites that look legitimate but are just fronts for luring in unsuspecting victims.

Vishing uses phone calls instead of e-mails to initiate contact. Basically the same approach is used as with phishing, with the caller urging you to surrender sensitive information that can be used to commit fraud.

Spyware – This is a type of program that is surreptitiously loaded onto a computer or onto a computer network. It “watches” what users do and forwards information obtained through that activity to criminals. Spyware most often is installed when free software is downloaded from the Internet.

Malware – Also known as ‘malicious software’, malware is designed to harm, attack or take unauthorized control over a computer system. Viruses and worms fall within this category.


Stopping or Preventing Cybercrimes

Knowing how cybercrimes are committed is an important step in battling them, but there are other weapons to fight back. Consider these when developing a plan to protect your business.

  • Educate your employees. They’re on the front line of your defense, so equip them with ways to keep criminal intruders in check. This includes:
    • Having them change passwords on a regular basis and making passwords difficult to figure out. A combination of letters, numbers and symbols make for the strongest passwords.
    • Instructing them to never respond to unsolicited e-mails and phone calls, especially those seeking sensitive information. E-mail attachments should never be opened and links should not be clicked on. These typically provide pathways for criminals to breach your business. Such suspicious correspondence should be reported immediately to supervisors.
    • Providing enhanced security training that includes spotting suspicious or intrusive activity.
  • Dedicate a computer for financial transactions only. Do not allow it to be used for sending or receiving e-mails or accessing the Internet unless such actions are part of the transactions.
  • Back up all sensitive files. This will help protect against fraud attacks and provide for recovery of lost files if needed.
  • Don’t use a public computer or public Wi-Fi to conduct sensitive activity.
  • Password-protect all company-issued devices, including laptops, tablets and phones.
  • Ensure that your computer networks and computers are protected by firewalls, antivirus, anti-spyware and other protective measures. And keep these tools up to date with patches issued by authorized sources.
  • Do not allow websites to “remember” login and password information for you.
  • Only use secure Web pages when conducting transactions or business that involves sensitive information. A Web page is usually considered secure if a locked padlock appears on the page.
  • Sign off, disconnect and shut down the computer after using websites that require user ID and password information.
  • Partner with your bank for payment authentication. Talk to your banker about services that offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes, batch limits and other tools that help protect you from unauthorized transactions.
  • Be aware that e-mails reportedly from financial institutions or agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service or FBI that ask you to provide sensitive information, install software or conduct other questionable activity are likely to be fraudulent.
  • Shred sensitive paper documents or use a certified document shredding company to provide the service.

Should your business fall victim to fraud or other cybercrime, several steps should be taken. They are:

  • Immediately report the crime to your company’s IT department or security officer.
  • If the crime involves your financial institution or other financial source, notify them immediately.
  • Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Report the transgression to security personnel at the relevant company and ask them what additional steps should be taken to protect your business and their company.
  • Report the crime to the proper local authorities.


Here are some additional resources for businesses:

Better Business Bureau – Data Security Made Simpler:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Internet Security Essentials for Business:

U.S. Small Business Administration – How Small Businesses Can Protect and Secure Customer Information:

Federal Trade Commission – Start With Security: A Guide for Business:

Safeguarding Children from Identity Theft

October 28, 2015

Safeguarding Children from Identity Theft It’s hard to believe that crooks would stoop so low as to use a child’s Social Security number to open a bank account or apply for government benefits. But more and more families and their children are being victimized by this disturbing crime. Child identity theft typically involves an unknown perpetrator who has either […]

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

October 5, 2015

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! Learning how to identify online fraud and understanding how fraudulent activity happens helps with prevention. Here are some past blog posts with information on identity theft and prevention.

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The Practical Side of Starting a Small Business

September 25, 2015

The Practical Side of Starting a Small Business So you’re thinking of fulfilling a dream and starting a small business. Maybe that dream is fueled by a passion of yours. Or maybe you see a great opportunity that you just can’t pass up. How do you get started? Probably the first thing you should do […]

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Here’s a Financial “Gift” for Newlyweds

September 11, 2015

Here’s a Financial “Gift” for Newlyweds Getting married? Or just tied the knot? Congratulations! There’s a lot to look forward to in the future. And there will be lots of “new” things to get used to. As two lives intertwine, situations will surface that were never encountered before. And lots of those situations will revolve […]

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Tips To Help Your Credit Score Soar

September 3, 2015

 Tips To Help Your Credit Score Soar So your credit score isn’t exactly where you’d like it to be. And improving it may seem like pulling teeth. But it doesn’t have to be painful (or require a trip to the dentist). A credit score is a statistical approach to determining the likelihood of an individual […]

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