At First Commerce, we are Local Strong!
As the impact and uncertainty of the coronavirus began to grow last year, First Commerce searched for meaningful ways to help others during this unprecedented time. Our response to the pandemic was a show of support for our region and local businesses who keep our communities strong.
First Commerce launched the #LocalStrong initiative empowering team members to give back to the community through small purchases from locally owned businesses. Under the initiative, we distributed $25 to each team member to purchase a product, service, or gift card/gift certificate from their favorite local business – to help you & your families, our local businesses, and our community! First Commerce believes that together we can, and we will. That’s The Power of First Commerce – and The Power of You!
First Commerce is proud to have team members who are committed to serving our members and our communities. Since the #LocalStrong launch, team members have displayed generosity, creativity and commitment to take this initiative to a whole new level as they make a BIG impact on the communities we serve. We’re sharing a few of the impact stories from the initiative.
Tallahassee Memorial Story
First Commerce Accounting and Risk Management departments teamed up again for the second round of #LocalStrong! Team members used their dollars to pay-it-forward to the custodial and support staff at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH). The teams purchased 14 dozen gourmet donuts from SoDough, a locally owned bakery in Tallahassee, FL. The 168 donuts were enough to cover an entire day’s support staff at TMH. In addition to the donuts, team members created posters with inspiring messages to lift the spirits of the TMH workers. The Director was very touched and thankful that his workers were thought of during this time.
Capital Regional Medical Center
Members of the First Commerce Retail team wanted to make a big impact on the second wave of #LocalStrong by supporting the environmental service works at Capital Regional Medical Center (CRMC). Team members delivered breakfast burritos for the day shift workers and sandwiches for the evening workers from a local Tallahassee restaurant and FCCU business member, Jenny’s Lunchbox . The good deed from these team members will feed over 42 CRMC environmental services employees!
First Commerce team members feed First Responder crews at Leon County Fire Station's 13 and 14. Using their #LocalStrong dollars, team members in Human Resources placed a large catering order with local Cuban cafe, Habana's Boardwalk. Habana's owner shared his heartfelt thanks adding, “I applaud First Commerce for empowering team members to support the local business community during this uncertain time. As a business owner and member, I truly appreciate their efforts. Thank you, First Commerce.” As team members delivered the food to the fire stations, both crews expressed their appreciation, sharing, "Thank you for thinking of us. We are smiling under these masks." Great Job Human Resources team on creating a win-win-win for #LocalStrong!
GREAT JOB to the Valdosta team for pooling their #LocalStrong dollars to purchase 4 dozen cupcakes from Smallcakes, a locally-owned cupcakery. Team members will deliver them to Langdale Place, a long-term residential facility for the “mature” population. Thanks for spreading sweets and kindness with your #LocalStrong dollars.
Team members at the Nashville Financial Center gave a sweet twist to spreading kindness in the community. They pooled their #LocalStrong dollars and paid in advance $75 worth of meals and goodies at the locally owned Dairy Queen. As customers visited the DQ location, they were pleasantly surprised to hear that the tab had been paid for by First Commerce Credit Union. Team members received several calls from residents thanking them for paying-it-forward!
First Commerce’s #LocalStrong initiative provided quick support for locally owned businesses, from restaurants to service providers and beyond, in the communities we serve. We had no idea of the ripple effect this initiative would have in the form of support and awareness. Shared below are all the facts and stats about the initiative.
- First Commerce officially launched the #LocalStrong initiative in March 2020 distributed more than $4,000 to over 150 team members to spend with local businesses in their community between Friday, March 27, and Sunday, March 29.
- Immediately after announcing the #LocalStrong initiative, First Commerce encouraged other businesses/organizations in a position to do so to join the movement by committing to the same or a similar program. Those who accepted our challenge early, Envision Credit Union, Tallahassee-Leon Federal Credit Union, FLAG Credit Union, First Florida Credit Union, FSU Credit Union, and First Federal Bank League of Southeastern Credit Union, all launched their own version of support. With many more organizations to follow!
- The #LocalStrong initiative received favorable media coverage from print, radio, and television outlets helping us to broaden the awareness of #LocalStrong and its impact on small businesses.
- In April 2020, First Commerce announced a second wave of the #LocalStrong initiative. With the launch of the second wave, First Commerce distributed over $10,000 among more than 200 team members to spend with local businesses in their community.
- The League of Southeastern Credit Unions, which represents credit unions across Florida, Georgia and Alabama was so inspired by our idea that, together with their Foundation, the League has launched the #CreditUnionsCareChallenge and has challenged member credit unions across the region to launch their own #LocalStrong efforts. For every credit union that participates, the Foundation will match their contribution (up to $25/each) to employees and donate that amount to a local charity chosen by the credit union. See the brief article here: https://news.cuna.org/articles/117623-foundations-step-up-with-assistance-programs
- First Commerce encouraged team members and others to share their stories about what they’re doing to support local businesses using the same @FirstCommerceCU and hashtag #LocalStrong, #CUStrong, #FCCUProud, #FirstCommerceProud to help fill social media news feeds with positive stories about all the good going on in our communities!
The #LocalStrong initiative received favorable media coverage from various outlets including print, radio, and television. First Commerce appreciates the media programs for helping us to broaden the awareness of #LocalStrong and its impact on small businesses.
March 28, 2020 Initial Press Release Announcing #LocalStrong Initiative
March 30, 2020 WTXL.com/FirstCommerceLaunchesLocalStrong
March 31, 2020 News.CUNA.org/LocalStrong Creates a Wave of Support
April 02, 2020 TallahasseeMagazine.com/Tallahassee Together
April 28, 2020 iHeart.com/podcast/Preston Scott Show
November 20, 2020 First Commerce Credit Union Wins National CUNA Award for #LocalStrong