For Horizon Bank, being a community first bank is about stepping up when those around you need help the most. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, that philosophy led Horizon Bank to take decisive action and support their community with an initial $250,000 pledge, which has recently increased.
“We’re in uncharted waters and having a legacy of supporting the community comes back to benefit you in these times,” said Craig Dwight, CEO of Horizon Bank in an interview with GreatNews.Life founder Chris Mahlmann. “People remember those who were around in tough times and who supported them when they needed it. Horizon is celebrating its 147th year in business, and we have retained that legacy. It’s the foundation that lets us continue to volunteer, give back, and contribute to our communities.”
Horizon Bank has distributed in excess of $300,000 aid package to several nonprofit groups around Indiana and Michigan such as United Way organizations, food banks, and rental assistance groups that are supporting individuals impacted by the pandemic.
“It’s critical for those that have the resources to do what we can to assist those who are feeling the most immediate impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” Dwight said. “We want to support organizations that are already positioned, equipped, and well managed to efficiently deliver the aid to those most in need.”
In addition to supporting nonprofits during this time, they also implemented innovative banking solutions to provide more remote banking options to their customers. While their standard online and mobile applications saw a 40 percent increase in use, they also deployed a number of Live Video Banking machines. These devices function as a standard ATM, but also allow you to video chat with a Horizon Bank advisor to do more complex services such as paying loans or transferring money between accounts.
“You can virtually bank with a teller between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.,” Dwight said. “I think the way people are going to continue conducting business is through these alternative banking channels. In addition, we’re reaching out to customers more frequently than we were pre-COVID-19. It’s more convenient for them and us.”
Horizon Bank’s staff members, from board members to tellers, are also independently finding time to help at food banks and other organizations wherever they can.
“Our philosophy is people first, so we like to hire employees that are locally engaged and active in the community,” Dwight said. “Community banks in general are there for their customers, and we have a lot of those here in Northwest Indiana. We’re proud to say we’re one of them.”
To learn more about Horizon Bank and their response to COVID-19, visit www.horizonbank.com.