Operation: Shop Local

  • 06 Apr 2020
  • Posted by ccrossen

At Howard Bank, we care about here. That’s more than just our tagline; that’s our commitment. And it was made to the people, businesses, and communities we serve. We know how difficult this time is for everyone, especially for small business owners, so we wanted to find a way to help.

Together, with WBAL NewsRadio, 98 Rock, and WBAL-TV 11, we are proud to launch the Operation: Shop Local program. This program was put in place to help support the small business in the Baltimore region as they navigate these uncertain waters. Operation: Shop Local will allow local small business owners to submit direct links to their non-essential company’s website to purchase gift cards able to be redeemed at a later date.

If you know of someone who belongs on this list, please share this information with them. If you have a business that should be included, head over to this website to submit your information.

 

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We're Here To Help: A Message From Our CEO

  • 24 Mar 2020
  • Posted by Mary Ann Scully


Welp, it’s another beginning of another week. Except this work week looks distinctly unlike any other we’ve experienced. We know it is a difficult time for many and we’re committed to doing what’s right for you. Your health—physical and financial—is a top priority for us and informs all of our actions in these unprecedented times.

Each and every day, our team meets behind the scenes to discuss ways that we can make sure that you have access to our financial services, but more importantly to the insight and the advice that you need to get you through the upcoming days. While many things seem to have changed overnight in our world, some things stay the same. Our commitment to address each customer as the unique person and business that they are is one thing that has not changed in the last three weeks.

First and Foremost, Call Your Banker

While some banks have lists of accommodations that they are making for some clients, we are solely invested in this community and we know that a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work for many customers. With that in mind, the biggest piece of advice we can give you right now is what it has always been, to call your banker.  Whether it’s your Relationship Manager or local branch, we’re here to get you through this no matter what potential issues you’re facing. From Payment Modification Options, to helping you access your line of credit, to walking you through the details of the many current State and Federal Relief Programs, we are working with customers on these and other options. Let your banker help you cut through the noise and advise you on your best options.

Utilize Our Resource Center

To continuously keep you informed, we are actively updating the Coronavirus Resource Center located on our website. This includes information on the bank's safety measures, alternate banking tools, and additional public resources. Please use this to your advantage as we continue to get more information.
 

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Coronavirus: A Message From Our CEO

  • 12 Mar 2020
  • Posted by Mary Ann Scully

Because we care about here, Howard Bank has a deep commitment to proactively communicating with all of our stakeholders. Consistent with that commitment, we wanted to reach out and share a few recommendations for you, our customers and prospective customers, to help you continue conducting your banking in the safest way possible in this new health environment as well as update you on a few precautionary measures that we’re taking. At the same time, we want to remind you that while transactions may be digital, communication can always be personal and we are always here to talk to you about your uniquely individual situations. Banking remains personal even in times of stress and uncertainty.

With the ongoing concerns about the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19, we are and will continue to closely monitor the latest reports and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local health authorities. We have already taken several precautionary measures with the objective of protecting the health and safety of our customers, our colleagues and their families and by extensions, the communities we serve.


Banking From Your Home or Office

Howard Bank offers several alternative banking solutions for those of you who wish to avoid public places and/or are unable to visit a branch at this time. We encourage you to utilize our Online and Mobile Banking solutions which provide you 24/7 access to view transactions, check balances, pay bills, deposit checks and more. If you need to sign up for these services, you can do so via the links provided below:

We have also recently launched Online Account Opening which allows you to open select accounts in a matter of minutes from your laptop or mobile device.

We suspect that social distancing or sheltering in place will put even more emphasis on electronic payments and remind everyone of our debit card, Bill Pay, Zelle®, and Mobile Payment alternatives to exchange funds for any reason.

If you are out and about and need access to cash, our ATMs are available 24/7 and we participate in the MoneyPass® network which allows access to over 32,000 surcharge-free ATMs. Night depositories also remain available.

Our branches and regional offices remain open and we are closely monitoring guidance from the CDC, the Maryland Health Department, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). If we take the step of limiting branch availability or temporarily closing a branch or regional office due to COVID-19 related reasons, we will promptly alert our customers.

We are also monitoring possible short-term economic consequences that may develop as a result of the spread of this virus or the steps taken to prevent its spread. If and when these consequences begin to affect our customers, we always stand ready to discuss ways in which we can help you to navigate those circumstances.


Precautionary Steps We Are Taking

As a bank, we are part of a regulated industry and we are always focused on appropriately managing risks. We make continuous improvements to our standing business continuity planning and we regularly test different contingency scenarios including pandemics. We feel very prepared to manage any disruptions and want to help you do that as well. These plans, policies, and procedures enable us to continue to serve our customers in times such as these. The measures developed and in place will support our continued operations and support our customer’s financial needs during emergencies and disasters and we continue to enhance our plans and processes to appropriately address the specific challenges of COVID-19:

  • We are consistently monitoring staff levels throughout all areas of the bank. This includes the option to allow essential personnel to work remotely to ensure operations continue even in the most extreme circumstances.
  • We are actively testing our ability to operate with a significant percentage of our staff working from home not just for illness but for precautionary self–quarantining.
  • Augmented “extreme” cleaning procedures have been put in place at all branch locations and back offices.
  • We have made hand sanitizer readily available and are ensuring branch teams and back-office personnel know the best practices recommended by the CDC. You may also see some members of our branch team wearing gloves, especially when handling money.
  • We have instructed any member of our team who is feeling ill or exhibiting flu-like symptoms or has a family member who is ill, to remain at home and we encourage our customers to do likewise.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and evaluate additional measures to support our customers and communities as needs arise.

For additional information about COVID-19, as well as common-sense guidance for some simple, effective things that we can all do right now to protect ourselves and those around us, get the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or your local health department website.


Thank you,

Mary Ann Scully
Chairman and CEO

 

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The Giving Season

  • 28 Oct 2019
  • Posted by ccrossen

The holiday season is a time to give back and Howard Bank is proud to serve as a Toy Drop Site Location for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign again this year. The mission of the Toys for Tots program is to collect and distribute new toys as Christmas gifts to children in need in the community.

For more than six decades, the U.S. Marine Corps has distributed over 452 million toys to more than 209 million children. The program doesn’t just deliver toys, it delivers hope. In 2018, the Baltimore community supported 14,462 children with 32,157 toys distributed. This year, SSgt Johnathan Bowman will be coordinating Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County.

You can help bring toys and hope to the children of the community by dropping off a new, unwrapped toy to one of our branches from Monday, November 4th to Friday, December 6th.

Toys for Tots has volunteer opportunities too! Consider giving back by helping to sort toys in the warehouse, assist with collection and/or delivery, or organizing by zip codes.

To learn more about Toys for Tots, the impact made in a specific community, or volunteer opportunities, please visit www.toysfortots.org.

Happy holidays to all!

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Connected to the Community: Blue Water Baltimore

  • 04 Oct 2019
  • Posted by mmelendez

For over 15 years, Howard Bank has been working to create a positive impact on the communities we serve. We take a community-centered approach to everything we do in the city that we call home and the surrounding neighborhoods.

When it came to partnering with a local organization for our eStatement campaign, the choice was easy. Blue Water Baltimore is a local non-profit that we have worked closely with for several years, mainly lending a hand during their Tree Planting volunteer events. Blue Water’s mission is to restore the quality of Baltimore’s rivers, streams, and Harbor to foster a healthy environment, a strong economy, and thriving communities.

During our eStatement campaign, customers were encouraged to go paperless and help reduce our environmental footprint. For every account that switched to eStatements, a $5 donation was made to Blue Water Baltimore. We were thrilled to present Blue Water with this donation during our most recent Tree Planting volunteer day.

Partnerships like this help us continue to build strong relationships with the communities we serve. We look forward to dedicating more time and resources to organizations like Blue Water Baltimore.  
 

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Help Us Support the Maryland Food Bank

  • 03 Apr 2019
  • Posted by mmelendez

At Howard, working to create a positive impact on the communities we serve is in our DNA. This includes supporting initiatives that our employees are engaged in. We are proud to support our employee, Kelly Rawleigh, and the Emerging Leaders program of the Maryland Bankers Association in the 2019 Pay it Forward initiative benefiting the Maryland Food Bank. 

Kelly Rawleigh, Director of Deposit Operations at Howard Bank, is a member of the MBA's Emerging Leaders Champion program. The one-year program is for bankers interested in furthering their careers through education, networking and leadership development. The program also calls for a group community service project. 

Kelly and her team of fellow Emerging Leaders have chosen to support the Maryland Food Bank for this project. To help make a greater impact, Howard Bank is joining in the efforts. The food drive will take place during the month of April and there are two ways to get involved. 

Non-Perishable Food Donation

All Howard Bank branch locations will accept non-perishable food items until April 30th. 

Virtual Food Drive

Monetary donations can be made online to the Emerging Leaders 2019 Virtual Food Drive until May 13th. Click here to donate

The donations raised will help fight hunger in the community and give hope to food-insecure children and families. To learn more about the Maryland Food Bank visit MDFoodBank.org

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Little Gifts, Big Joy

  • 03 Nov 2018
  • Posted by mmelendez

The holiday season is near, and this year, Howard Bank is celebrating by supporting the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. The basic mission of Toys for Tots is to collect new and unwrapped toys to distribute to less fortunate children around Christmas time with the goal of bringing hope and joy to the children in need.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Supporting this program gives us (and our customers) the opportunity to focus on what’s really important—giving back to the community. After all, we’re only as strong as the communities we serve.

From November 5th until December 7th, all Howard Bank branch locations will be collecting new, unwrapped toy donations for Toys for Tots.

For more information about Toys for Tots please visit www.toysfortots.org.

Happy Holidays to all!

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Dick Story - The Next Chapter

  • 04 Jan 2017
  • Posted by VAnzmann

“While I love the work, there’s not a lot of runway left out there, and I want to do some flying,” says Dick Story, Howard Bank’s Senior Vice President, Director of Community Relations & Government Affairs, and Business Development Liaison, of his retirement at the end of the year. The face (and instantly recognizable voice) of Howard Bank for the last several years, Dick’s deep ties to the community and nearly infinite economic development expertise have made him an invaluable member of the Howard Bank team.Dick Story

Committed to emcee at least 35 events in 2017, Dick will continue to serve as an ambassador for Howard Bank, working in a consultative capacity with the bank. With his wife also retiring at the end of 2016, there are home improvements, home repairs, and hometown duties looming large for Dick, who hopes to be a burden to his wife.

In addition to hometown requests to run for local political office and manage a county economic development committee, there are requests for economic development help from counties further away. He’s trying to avoid all the pitfalls, and craft a retirement that satisfies both familial and professional aspirations.

The community affairs duties that Dick has been managing will be delegated to an already formed committee, that can be acutely community-focused in a way that Dick cannot from his home on the eastern shore.

“We’re supporting roughly 100 non-profits; all of that [legwork] can be done by someone else. And I’m going to miss that,” but the needs of the non-profits served by this function are too important to discharge in any other way. “As a community bank, we want to grow the community because as it grows, we grow.” According to Dick, “All of these systems will be in place when I leave on December 30.”

As to pursuits that he has not been able to engage in with his full-time bank responsibilities, Dick says, “Right now in my new old hometown, I’m putting up an HO train set in the town hall for a Christmas garden. Wait ‘til I’m there full-time; I’ve been using the last four weekends to set up the garden.”

Dick Story Retirement PartyParting advice or commentary from Dick to his colleagues is thus: “I’m your worst recurring nightmare. I’m still going to be tripping through our offices in the region, disrupting whatever work they’re trying to get done, and then leaving. I’m still going to be around because of my rolodex. In fact, Mary Ann hired me, not because she was fond of me, but because I had an enormous rolodex. And that’s still valuable. So, I make introductions, and all of that can continue. So, the advice is - don’t write the obituary yet. The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

At 71, Dick Story is looking forward to “retirement,” in whatever form it finally takes.

Share your favorite Dick Story memory with us on Facebook.

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Ellicott City Main Street Tree Raffle

  • 30 Nov 2016
  • Posted by Amarasco

Join Us for Midnight Madness in Ellicott City on Friday December 2, 2016. We will be raffling off the "Ellicott City Main Street Tree". The tree is decorated with many unique decorations from shop owners and community members. Raffle Tickets are $5.00 for 1 or $20.00 for 5. Tickets will be sold outside of the Caplans on Main Street where the tree is on display on Friday. You can also purchase tickets at Howard Bank's Rt 40/Centennial Lane or contact April Marasco at [email protected]

All proceeds will go to The Ellicott City Partnership. Good Luck!

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Main Street Ellicott City- Ready for the Holidays!

  • 21 Nov 2016
  • Posted by Amarasco

Main Street Ellicott City is getting all decked out for the holidays. There’s an excitement and vibrancy on Main Street that marks the amazing recovery and rebuilding efforts and an incredible sense of community. The bonds formed up and down the street with people joining together to rebuild old Ellicott City have been key to these efforts. “Everyone just took a piece of the pie, and got to work,” says Maureen E.C. Smith of the Ellicott City Partnership

forget-me-not-village_4792Merchants agreed that this event presented an opportunity to rebuild Ellicott City better than it was before. Restauranteurs who had never met were holding meetings talking about restaurant business in Ellicott City. Merchants from different ends of the street who didn’t know each other before the flood have been working together post flood.

The team spirit and level of effort has been incredible. “We’re not stepping on each other’s toes. And it’s amazing how well things have been happening. And it happened organically. We’re not duplicating effort and we’re not stepping on each other’s toes,” notes Smith. She also points out how many partnerships and organizations have been working together to get things accomplished, including Howard County. Ms. Smith is quick to note what an outstanding job the county and the county executive have done.

After a disaster of this magnitude, “normally only 25% of people return. We’re expecting 75 – 80 % return. We are so

encouraged by that.”

Ellicott City is coming back stronger and better than ever. Flood resistant building materials are being used in rebuilding. Established businesses are taking the opportunity to improve. New businesses are moving in. And the support and help from the community have been nothing short of extraordinary.

Don Reuwer Jr., president of Waverly Real Estate Group, which owns a number of buildings on Main Street, has worked non-stop since the flood to help tenants and businesses get back to business. He was honored by the governor and the county executive for his work.

“What’s been reconstructed is better than what was there before. A lot of what we’ve done is make everything flood resistant. So if it [flooding] ever happens again, the damage won’t be as severe. My take on it is very positive – the reconstruction is better than what was there, the businesses that are coming back are the ones that really want to be here, and we’re getting new people, new ideas, new businesses.”

“All in all, I think it’s lots of positive stuff. Fast forward 24 months [from now] and I think the town’s going to be way more exciting than it ever was,” says Reuwer.

The street and shops are open now. On November 26, there will be a celebration featuring Howard County Executive Alan Kittleman, members of the Howard County Council, United States Senator Ben Cardin, United States Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, and Maryland Senator Gail Bates with a ribbon-cutting to launch the holiday season. This holiday season is important for Ellicott City Main Street.

The efforts continue to support Ellicott City recovery.

Howard Bank is decorating an Ellicott City Main Street themed Christmas tree for the Kennedy Krieger Festival of TreesDonations of ornaments from the community at large, as well as shop owners on Main Street, have produced beautiful old-fashioned ornaments that represent the historic Main Street. The tree will be on display from November 25 – 27 at the Festival of Trees at the Timonium Fairgrounds, and then raffled at Midnight Madness in Ellicott City on December 2, with the proceeds to benefit Main Street recovery efforts.

The Ellicott City Partnership has given away over $I million in donated funds to residents, property owners and business owners. The generous efforts of so many, including a scout troop that raised $3,500 with a SK race, and other kids who designed and sold t-shirts, created bracelets and manned numerous lemonade stands, made this fund possible.

Midnight Madness – The community can help support Old Ellicott City by shopping local this season in unique Ellicott City shops, galleries and artist studios. Ellicott City restaurants will feature dinner and drink specials all evening as well. Stores and restaurants will remain open until midnight.

And for the stores that will not be able to re-open in time for the holidays, a local artist is painting the plywood surfaces of 5 stores/restaurants to look like open shops.

Ellicott City happenings and information can be found here:

Visitellicottcity.com
Ellicott City Partnership
Howard County Tourism
HelpEllicottCity.com

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