Union State Bank, Committed to Local
When an inconceivable pandemic hit and came full force to North Dakota, many were forced to close their doors, change their operations, and hope and pray for better days ahead. For Union State Bank, rooted in Mercer County, their focus zeroed in on the local businesses and what kind of aid, as a business and members of the community, could do for them.
While business for the bank morphed into more online and mobile banking traffic than faces in the lobby, for other businesses they were obligated to lock up completely.
Union State Bank President and CEO Christie Obenauer only thought about those businesses pushed into the most unfathomable, unpredictable circumstance they could have never saw coming.
As the bank closed its doors, Obenauer made several announcements as to how the bank would respond as a business to this pandemic. Union State Bank also reworked their everyday environment to limit the number of employees in the building. Half of the staff has been working from home for the last two and a half months.
The second announcement was that Union State Bank would buy lunches from local restaurants and caterers for every employee working on site three times a week. This announcement was made March 18th and carried on for 11 weeks until Union State was ready to open its doors again.
In an e-mail Obenauer sent her staff on March 11th, 2020 she said, “I have promised to do my [absolute best] to support our small businesses, and to that end, want to make a commitment to ordering lunches from our restaurants when we can.”
Three days a week for 11 weeks employees have eaten at Bee’s Café, D’Andreas, Bison Sports Bar and Grill, Country Kettle, South Side Diner, B’Dolce’s Bakery and J&J’s Chinese Food, as well as, Lynn Beyer and Kimi’s Catering.
On the days when USB was not ordering lunch, Obenauer encouraged employees to still order their lunch or dinner from a local restaurant – continuing to ingrain the “local first” mission Obenauer and Union State exudes.
Union State Bank would like to thank our local businesses for their resilience during these turbulent times. It is businesses and the dedicated owners, managers and employees that make a community so great. We are all in this together!
Union State Bank is proud to be a part of communities full of spirit, unity, and strength.
While this pandemic has shaken every person and business, like trees in a storm, our roots only dig in deeper, and our branches continue to grow thicker while supporting the new growth.