May has been declared “Thank Your Bank or Credit Union Month” by Governor Doug Burgum. Financial institutions across the state are being recognized for the role they play in supporting their local communities economically and through their philanthropic efforts.

Residents can submit 25 to 250 words describing why they are grateful to their bank or credit union between May 1-23, 2021. Five submissions will be selected randomly and the community from which they are drawn will receive $5,000 to use toward an education-related organization or activity approved by the Bank of North Dakota. In addition, the five individuals submitting the winning submissions will receive a $529 scholarship to a new or existing College SAVE account.

Visit www.bnd.nd.gov/community to submit an entry.

The effort is being sponsored by the Bank of North Dakota. It relies on partnerships with local financial institutions to create and deliver its loan programs. It is collaborating with the North Dakota Bankers Association, Independent Community Banks of North Dakota and the Dakota Credit Union Association to recognize the efforts of all financial institutions in the state.

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“Without a doubt, the role our local financial institutions played in keeping our state’s economy running during the pandemic was Herculean,” said Eric Hardmeyer, president of the Bank of North Dakota.

As the COVID-19 pandemic created an unprecedented economic downturn, the staff of banks and credit unions across North Dakota worked to assist local businesses and entrepreneurs with COVID relief loans sponsored by the federal and government and Bank of North Dakota.

North Dakota’s financial institutions approved 19,792 Paycheck Protection Program loans for $1,813,337,634 making North Dakota one of the largest recipients per capita in the United States and facilitated $457.7 million in applications to Bank of North Dakota for loans and grants that supported nearly 2,000 businesses representing 399 business sectors in the state.

The Bank of North Dakota is the only state-owned bank in the United States and is overseen by the Industrial Commission whose members are Gov. Doug Burgum, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.