Join these Flagstaff Businesses in Making the Switch to a Community Bank

April is known as National Community Banking Month, an annual recognition and celebration of our community banking institutions and the impact they have in our local communities and economies.

Currently only 7% of Arizona's total deposits are in Arizona-owned banks and credit unions. That means our money isn't working for us.

When your money is deposited in locally owned and operated community banks and credit unions, it's quickly recycled back into our local economy. Local banks and credit unions stand with us through ups and downs, support our local entrepreneurs, and are dedicated to our communities.

But don't take it from us. These champion Flagstaff businesses have all moved their money out of national banks and into Arizona-based financial institutions. Here's why:

Heather Babbott

Flagstaff Community Market.jpg
Our credit union is member-owned, democratic, and not beholden to private shareholders who put their interests above communities. Community banks and credit unions provide friendly alternative with more responsive values associated with accessible small loans for consumers and businesses.
— Heather Babbott, Flagstaff Community Market

Lisa Lamberson

I made the switch after Local First Arizona pointed out all the great reasons too. Community banks and credit unions provide us with a personal service and even create tertiary jobs in our communities. Local financial institutions also make decisions at a local level and readily provide support the community.
— Lisa Lamberson, Mountain Sports & Bright Side Bookshop

Bonnie Dumdei

Banking with local financial institutions helps to improve our local economy! My favorite part about banking with a community bank is the community relationships: the tellers and staff are part of the community themselves.
— Boonnie Dumdei, Flagstaff School of Music

National Community Banking Month

April is known as Community Banking Month, an annual, month-long celebration of community banks across the nation. Local First Arizona is celebrating by sharing stories like Rob and Linda’s as well as helping Arizonans to move their money to community banks and local credit unions. Arizonans can visit to find local banks and credit unions near them and learn more about the services they offer and their involvement in the local community.

Celebrate with the Community


Flagstaff community members and local business representatives are invited to attend the Flagstaff Community Banking Month Happy Hour event on Tuesday, April 17, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the State Bar. The event will include networking opportunities with fellow independent businesses, community banks and credit unions, and local leaders.

Community banks play an important role by helping to ensure that the financial resources of the local community are used to support local businesses. Through our Community Banking Month efforts, we hope to educate Arizonans on all that community banks offer in terms of financial services as well as share their stories of community involvement.
— Ruth Ellen Elinski, Northern Arizona Director of Local First Arizona

In six counties in northeastern Arizona, large non-community banks account for 100% of deposits, and in the remaining counties they account for 75% or more of deposits.

“Our overall goal with Community Banking Month is to inspire Arizonans to move their money and have it work for our communities,” said Elinski. “By moving our investments and savings to local banks or credit unions, we give these institutions more resources to in turn lend to local businesses, helping to realize dreams of business ownership and self-reliance as well as create jobs right here in our communities.”


About Local First Arizona

Founded in 2003, Local First Arizona (LFA) is a community and economic development organization working to strengthen local economies. LFA educates consumers about the interconnectedness of the economy, trains small businesses to be more effective and more competitive, helps larger Arizona businesses and institutions tell their story as champions of Arizona, and creates programs and events that make it fun and easy to discover local businesses and buy local.