Best Bank: FirstBank
FirstBank’s company tagline is centered around the idea of “banking for good,” which its website says means “doing our best to do right for our customers, communities and employees.”
For Nick Brinkman, the market president of the bank’s three branches in Summit County, having a staff focused on banking for good is what makes the difference between a good bank and a great bank. He says the people who work in their branches are a major factor in their being named the Best Bank in the 2020 Best of Summit contest.
The bank has been in Summit County since 1983, when a branch opened in Silverthorne. Since then, FirstBank has opened locations in Frisco and Breckenridge. The company does a lot of lending for real estate but also serves many business and consumer clients across the county.
This year, amid the pandemic, Brinkman is especially proud of the work his team put in to help local businesses and individuals to weather the economic downturn brought on by the virus.
FirstBank issued 450 Paycheck Protection Program loans for a total of $39 million in Summit County. Shortly after the program was announced, the bank created an online portal to help businesses apply for loans, and Brinkman said local employees worked late into the night to process the applications and make sure Summit County businesses were able to participate in the program.
“Through this pandemic, especially early on, my officers did not hesitate to work all hours,” said Brinkman, who reported that many bankers worked until 1 a.m. and pulled other shifts that extended well past standard banking hours to process the loans.
In addition to working with businesses on the federally funded program, the bank also offered between one and three months of loan payment deferrals to their business and consumer clients, provided 60 meals to Breckenridge City Market employees and donated $10,000 each to the Summit Cares Emergency Fund and the Summit County HOPE project.
Those donations are in addition to the bank’s normal charitable contributions, which totaled $96,000 in 2019. Brinkman expects the bank will surpass that number in 2020. He added that giving back to the community always has been important to the company, which offers 16 hours of paid time off for employees to serve in their communities. Last year, Summit County branch employees provided 255 hours of community service, and 34 employees currently serve on boards of local nonprofits.
FirstBank also has worked to support its employees amid the pandemic. The bank paid nonworking employees while branches were closed during the shutdown and provided increased pay after bank locations reopened. The company is also offering staff members extra paid emergency sick and family leave in addition to their normal paid time off to help employees take care of themselves and their families.
Brinkman is proud of the efforts FirstBank has put forth to help its employees in the area. He says the staff are a key part of what makes FirstBank the Best of Summit.
“We have a fantastic group of people here in Summit County,” Brinkman said.
FirstBank is at 160 U.S. Highway 6 in Silverthorne, 960 N. Ten Mile Drive in Frisco and 200 Ski Hill Road in Breckenridge.
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