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Chamber Corner: COVID-19, Bank Updates

The Virus is causing a great deal of pain and concern. We are fortunate here in North Central Illinois with at least for now, very low numbers being infected. But make no mistake, many many people and businesses are being devastated with what is happening to their individual lives as well as their employees. I think we are lucky to live in a less populated area, and literally everyone I know is concerned and practicing guidelines to hopefully avoid the virus. Be safe people, think before going out in public, wash your hands constantly, and pay attention to your surroundings. Stay Home, just that simple.

So in these days of worry and concern, there are some lite moments, either on social media or even better people just doing nice things for others. Last Sunday afternoon, I was in my Dinning room, and happened to look up and saw an orange golf cart sitting in my drive. Two guys jump out and start picking up sticks in my yard. I went out to greet them, it was John and Atticus Middleton just trying to get out of the house and doing good deeds for the neighbors. It was an escape from the house, and something safe they could do to help people. Three young ladies on our street took it into their hands to “Chalk” our street and driveways. The other evening, Reese Rosenthal, Callie Michlig, and Layne Sprostrom took it into their hands and talents and put words of encouragement, and Chalk hearts all up and down the street. It was great, and very rewarding to see these young ladies try to cheer us all up and give us hope. With these 3 ladies and Atticus helping his dad it certainly gives us all hope that this young generation gets it. Thank you young people. Thank you.

I wanted to put something in the corner this week from our Banking institutions here in town. Many families as well as individuals are concerned with their everyday financial concerns, and savings as well. I reached out to Dena Weber with First Federal savings here in Walnut, as well as Pam Turner President of Citizens First State Bank. Both ladies were quick to respond in concern to their customers and fellow citizens.

First, from Dena Weber of First Federal Savings. In a statement from First Federal, they strongly encourage anyone finding themselves financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis to reach out to them. You may be eligible for temporary forbearance from mortgage or loan payments. The number one priority is to help their customers in these challenging times. The statement from First federal also urges their customers to be vigilant and protect themselves from financial crimes, scams, and fraud targeting coronavirus fears. No legitimate organization will call you and ask for information like social security numbers or bank account numbers. If you are suspicious over a call, call the Walnut facility at 815 379-2113 or 800-443-8780. Dena also emphasizes the safest place for your funds is in the bank. Never take out more than you need for any given time. First Federal has been in Walnut for 35 years, it remains opens to serve our customers. Our lobby is closed to limit personal contact and we are complying with CDC guidelines. We are here and will continue to provide you with the access to your money that you have always had. If you have any questions visit them at, or First Federal Savings bank on Facebook or Twitter.

I also got to speak to Pam Turner at Walnut’s Citizens First State Bank. Some of Pam’s comments as follows; As a trusted partner, Citizens First State Bank continues to monitor developments and potential impacts regarding COVID-19. We remain focused on safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees and the local communities we serve as we “Shelter in Place” and practice social distancing. CFSB is here to support our local businesses and customers to help them financially weather this storm through available SBA programs and relief. CFSB strongly encourages you to utilize all of the tools and resources for self-service banking and 24/7 account access through Mobile and Online Banking services. Additional information regarding these services can be found on the website or you can download the mobile app on your cell phone or tablet. Please keep in mind in these uncertain times, fraudulent claims, scams and crimes are increasing. Please do not give out any personal information such as bank accounts or social security numbers. CFSB will not call you to ask for this information. Citizens First State Bank has been the local community bank for past 100 years. Funds are backed by FDIC insurance, and accessibility to your funds / accountants is business as usual with our same friendly employees thru driveup/walkup instead of lobby at this time.

These two Banking institutions are valuable businesses and services for our community. Walnut is very fortunate to have both here in town. Kinda long winded, but I wanted to get some info out to assure all that we are served by strong and concerned banks in these troubled times. Make sure we support them and tell them Thank you for choosing to be in Walnut. Shop Walnut whenever you can.

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