Business View Magazine | Volume 8, Issue 8

97 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE VOLUME 8, ISSUE 8 FARMERS & MERCHANTS BANK Where community matters I n some quarters, the banking sector has acquired an unflattering reputation for being cold, overly corporate, and detached from the concerns of ordinary citizens. But that reputation is completely at odds with independent community institutions like Farmers & Merchants Bank – where they have always done things a little differently. Based out of Miamisburg, Ohio, Farmers & Merchants Bank has been supporting local businesses since it opened its doors in 1923. The bank is neither family-owned nor dictated to by activist shareholders – it is owned by the community itself. With the mixed-ownership approach, no individual owns more than five percent. This has allowed the bank to remain focused on meeting the needs of the local area for almost a century. Shon B. Myers, President and CEO at the bank, and Clint Morton, its Chief Lending Officer, helped lead the institution through the recent turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Myers reports, “We remained open as much as possible throughout the pandemic. We did have a couple of short lobby shutdowns but the drive-through has always been open and most of our customers can be served through digital channels. Other than individuals with daily cash needs, we were easily able to meet demand via our drive-through services.” Managing the administration of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), an SBA-backed loan to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis, was another challenge that the bank had to grapple with. “PPP was a very important push for our bank –