F&M Bank Announces the Senior Leadership Promotions of Paul Eberly and Bobby Williams

F&M Bank is excited to announce the Senior Leadership promotions of Paul Eberly and Bobby Williams.

Paul Eberly blog


Paul Eberly, Senior Vice President and Agricultural and Programs Leader, will assume the position of Executive Vice President & Chief Credit Officer following the retirement of Ed Strunk. Paul will lead the credit administration, retail loan administration, and loan operations departments.

“We are thrilled to welcome Paul to the executive team,” said Mark Hanna, President & CEO. “He has done a remarkable job developing the Agricultural Division. Under his leadership, our loan portfolio has grown exponentially as his passion for delivering outstanding customer service is evident. I look forward to working alongside Paul at the executive level.”

Paul will be an integral part of the Agricultural Division and will continue to provide consultative credit solutions to the community in his new role.


Bobby Williams blog



Bobby Williams, Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager, will assume the position of Agricultural and Rural Programs Leader as Paul Eberly transitions to executive leadership. Bobby joined F&M Bank in April of 2020, and his connection to the ag community has been a great asset to the team.

“Bobby has been a tremendous banker for many years, and we are excited to announce his promotion,” said Garth Knight, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer. “In a very short time at F&M Bank, he has done an outstanding job growing the ag portfolio. He is a great leader and perfect candidate to guide our Agricultural Division for many years to come.”

Mobile Payment App Scam Alert

Mobile payment apps provide an extremely convenient way to quickly transfer cash to family or friends. Here at F&M Bank, we have noticed a recent uptick in mobile payment scams, and we wanted to provide a quick reminder on best practices when sending money electronically.

As a quick refresher, a mobile payment app, like Cash App or Venmo, essentially acts as an intermediary between two bank accounts. Once the app is downloaded, a user must link a debit card, credit card or checking account to begin transferring funds. Many financial institutions also offer secure mobile payment solutions through their app or online banking.

Scam Alert

Currently, scammers are using the coronavirus and the economic hardship it has created to their advantage. Across social media platforms, scammers are preying on users with messages that they have either won a cash giveaway, or the scammer is willing to send cash to those in need. The only catch? A small cash payment must first be sent as a deposit.

Here’s an example. Betty is scrolling through Twitter when she receives a direct message. Earlier in the day, Betty retweeted an offer to be entered to win a legitimate contest. The scammer noticed. He sends Betty a message, mentions he wants to help anyone in need, and offers to send a cash payment of $150. But, to complete the transaction, the scammer first needs $15 sent his way as a deposit. He insists there is a legitimate reason for the deposit, of course. It triggers the transaction and allows the $150 payment to be immediately sent. Betty send $15, the money is deposited into the scammer’s account, the scammer blocks Betty on the platform, and she never hears from him again.

While this scenario might not look identical in every situation, a few things stick out. These are common mobile payment scam warning signs!

  • A complete stranger is involved in the transaction.
  • A stipulation is required to receive the cash.
  • A legitimate reason for the stipulation is communicated, and it typically sounds rational.
  • A feeling of rush or “act now” is involved. The scammer jumps right to the chase.

Niki Park, BSA Specialist at F&M Bank, offers the following advice: “If someone ever requests money up front for a larger payout, or sends you money and requests part of it back, it’s almost always a scam. Don’t be afraid to consult with your local bank if you think something seems too good to be true, because it usually is.”

Tips to Avoid Scams

While any scam can be scary, the FTC says, “Don’t be afraid to use mobile payment apps — just empower yourself against scammers who also use them.” Here are some tips:

  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know.
  • If you get a cash request from someone you do recognize, call or contact them using a number you know to be right. Confirm they made the request before you send money – even if you’ve sent them money through the app before.
  • When you use an app for the first time, it will usually ask permission to access information on your device – like your contacts – to make payments easier. If you’re not comfortable with that, deny access or uninstall the app.
  • Read your bank statements closely and regularly check your online banking register. Ask the app company and your bank to reverse any transactions you didn’t authorize.
  • Find out more about mobile payments and securing your mobile device. The FTC is a great resource, as well as your local bank.


F&M Bank is here to help you fight fraudulent activity and monitor scams. If you ever have a question regarding the legitimacy of a mobile app request for cash, please reach out to a customer service representative at your local branch. In potential scam situations, it is always best to take extra precautions to guard your finances.

Staunton Strong

Staunton is an extremely vibrant city, and locally owned businesses pave the way for the community to flourish and grow. Here at F&M Bank, you mean a great deal to our team, and we are thankful for all you do.

As an organization, we are immensely saddened to see the recent flood damage impacting the downtown region. If there is anything F&M Bank can do to support you, your family, or your business, we are here to help.

Whether you need financial support, a volunteer’s hand, or just a friendly conversation, we are your community bank. Or, if you know of a friend or neighbor who could use our help, please let us know. This year has been a challenge, but the resiliency on display by small business owners through it all is admirable.

We will continue to reach out in the coming days and weeks, but please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team, anytime.

Stay Strong, Staunton!

F&M Bank Welcomes Brooke Zirk to Commercial Team

Brooke Zirk

F&M Bank is pleased to welcome Brooke Zirk, Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager, to the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Commercial Team. Brooke brings with her over 15 years of banking experience to include both consumer and commercial lending. Her consultative approach to finance will be an asset to the F&M team.

“I am so happy to be joining the team at F&M Bank where people and communities are our top priorities,” said Brooke. “Throughout my banking career in the Shenandoah Valley, I have developed wonderful relationships with my customers. I look forward to continuing those relationships and giving back to my community.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Brooke to the F&M family. She brings a wealth of banking experience and a deep commitment to serving her customers and community. Brooke is a tremendous asset to have, and we look forward to her building long-lasting relationships at F&M,” commented Garth Knight, Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer.

Originally from Roanoke, Brooke relocated to Harrisonburg to attend Bridgewater College. She currently resides with her husband, two boys, and their dog in Broadway. In her free time, Brooke loves biking, painting, and spending time with her family.

F&M Bank Corp. Announces Second Quarter Earnings and Dividend

F & M Bank Corp. (OTCQX:FMBM), parent company of Farmers & Merchants Bank, announces its financial results for the second quarter ending June 30, 2020 and second quarter dividend to shareholders.

As the global pandemic continues, the company continually assesses our procedures to maintain the safety of our customers, employees and community while serving their financial needs. Farmers & Merchants Bank continues to operate our branches in a drive-thru only capacity daily, with courier pick up and by appointment lobby transactions.

As of June 30, 2020, we had processed 676 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for a balance of $59.9 million. These loans are funded by participation in the Federal Reserve Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility. In addition, we have processed 922 individual loan deferrals. As of June 30, 2020, 155 loans remain in deferral with a balance of $24.5 million.

Selected financial highlights for the quarter include:

  • Net income of $2.63 million.
  • Net interest margin of 3.55%.
  • Total deposits increased $87.3 million and $158.2 million, respectively for the quarter and for the trailing 12 months.
  • Nonperforming loans decreased to 0.45% of total assets at the end of the quarter from 0.50% on 3/31/20 and 1.45% on 6/30/2019.
  • Allowance for loan losses are 1.47% of loans held for investment (1.61% excluding PPP loans).

Mark Hanna, President, commented “Our second quarter earnings of $2.63 million is an improvement over the first quarter which was more heavily weighed down by provision expenses related to COVID-19. The second quarter also reflects recognition of $267,000 in Small Business Administration fees related to PPP loans and recognition of $567,000 for implementation of a mortgage rate lock derivative associated with our mortgage company pipeline. Our net interest margin of 3.55% shows a historical decline but still remains strong in the current environment. Our balance sheet liquidity has increased significantly over the last three quarters and we are implementing strategic solutions to leverage these assets including deploying $73.5 million into the investment portfolio in the second quarter. These strategies should improve out net interest margin in the future.”

Mr. Hanna continued, ‘Nonperforming loans have improved dramatically over prior year, decreasing $7.2 million since second quarter of 2019, and also decreasing $1.3 million since year end 2019″.

On July 24, 2020 our Board of Directors declared a first quarter dividend of $.26 per share to common shareholders. Based on our most recent trade price of $18.50 per share this constitutes a 5.62% yield on an annualized basis. The dividend will be paid on August 31, 2020, to shareholders of record as of August 14, 2020.”

F & M Bank Corp. is an independent, locally-owned, financial holding company, offering a full range of financial services, through its subsidiary, Farmers & Merchants Bank’s eleven (as of July 31, 2020) banking offices in Rockingham, Shenandoah, Page and Augusta Counties, Virginia. The Bank also provides additional services through a loan production office located in Penn Laird, VA and through its subsidiaries, F&M Mortgage and VSTitle, both of which are located in Harrisonburg, VA. Additional information may be found by contacting us at www.fmbankva.com or by calling (540) 896-8941.

This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal securities laws, which may involve significant risks and uncertainties. These statements address issues that involve risks, uncertainties, estimates and assumptions made by management, and actual results could differ materially from the results contemplated by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future prospects include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates, general economic conditions, legislative and regulatory policies, and a variety of other matters. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Readers should consider these risks and uncertainties in evaluating forward-looking statements and should not place undue reliance on such statements. We undertake no obligation to update these statements following the date of this press release.

F & M Bank Corp.
Key Statistics

2020 2019
Net Income (000’s)
$ 2,626 $ 1,189 $ 3,815 $ 1,634 $ 1,287 $ 2,921
Net Income available to Common
$ 2,560 $ 1,123 $ 3,683 $ 1,556 $ 1,208 $ 2,764
Earnings per common share – basic
$ 0.80 $ 0.35 $ 1.15 $ 0.48 $ 0.38 $ 0.86
Earnings per common share – diluted
$ 0.76 $ 0.35 $ 1.11 $ 0.47 $ 0.37 $ 0.84
Return on Average Assets
1.17 % 0.58 % 1.71 % 0.83 % 0.67 % 0.74 %
Return on Average Equity
11.50 % 5.23 % 16.69 % 7.12 % 5.68 % 6.40 %
Dividend Payout Ratio excluding Special Dividend
32.50 % 74.29 % 45.22 % 52.08 % 65.79 % 58.14 %
Net Interest Margin
3.55 % 3.97 % 3.75 % 4.47 % 4.67 % 4.57 %
Yield on Average Earning Assets
4.20 % 4.88 % 4.52 % 5.42 % 5.54 % 5.48 %
Yield on Average Interest Bearing Liabilities
0.92 % 1.27 % 1.09 % 1.33 % 1.21 % 1.26 %
Net Interest Spread
3.28 % 3.61 % 3.43 % 4.09 % 4.33 % 4.22 %
Provision for Loan Losses (000’s)
$ 800 $ 1,500 $ 2,300 $ 1,600 $ 1,450 $ 3,050
Net Charge-offs
$ 203 $ 453 $ 656 $ 483 $ 1,757 $ 2,240
Net Charge-offs as a % of Loans
0.12 % 0.30 % 0.20 % 0.30 % 1.09 % 0.70 %
Non-Performing Loans (000’s)
$ 4,465 $ 4,168 $ 4,465 $ 11,688 $ 10,587 $ 11,688
Non-Performing Loans to Total Assets
0.45 % 0.50 % 0.45 % 1.45 % 1.36 % 1.45 %
Non-Performing Assets (000’s)
$ 5,625 $ 5,504 $ 5,625 $ 13,657 $ 12,761 $ 13,657
Non-Performing Assets to Assets
0.57 % 0.66 % 0.57 % 1.69 % 1.64 % 1.69 %
Efficiency Ratio
65.33 % 70.51 % 67.79 % 65.32 % 67.15 % 66.20 %

(1) The net interest margin is calculated by dividing tax equivalent net interest income by total average earning assets. Tax equivalent interest income is calculated by grossing up interest income for the amounts that are nontaxable (i.e. municipal securities and loan income) then subtracting interest expense. The tax rate utilized is 21%. The Company’s net interest margin is a common measure used by the financial service industry to determine how profitable earning assets are funded. Because the Company earns nontaxable interest income from municipal loans and securities, net interest income for the ratio is calculated on a tax equivalent basis as described above.

(2) The efficiency ratio is not a measurement under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. The efficiency ratio is a common measure used by the financial service industry to determine operating efficiency. It is calculated by dividing non-interest expense by the sum of tax equivalent net interest income and non-interest income excluding gains and losses on the investments portfolio and Other Real Estate Owned. The Company calculates this ratio in order to evaluate how efficiently it utilizes its operating structure to create income. An increase in the ratio from period to period indicates the Company is losing a greater percentage of its income to expenses.

F & M Bank Corp.
Financial Highlights

For Six Months Ended
June 30,
Interest and Dividend Income
$ 18,101,844 $ 19,313,133
Interest Expense
3,090,815 3,224,392
Net Interest Income
15,011,029 16,088,741
Non-Interest Income
5,681,703 4,265,082
Provision for Loan Losses
2,300,000 3,050,000
Impairment of long lived assets
Other Non-Interest Expenses
14,385,236 14,121,689
Income Before Income Taxes
3,988,303 3,182,134
Provision for Income Taxes
173,250 232,317
Less Minority Interest (income)/loss
(28,589 )
Net Income
$ 3,815,053 $ 2,921,228
Dividend on preferred stock
131,746 157,373
Net Income available to common shareholders
$ 3,683,307 $ 2,763,855
Average Common Shares Outstanding
3,199,183 3,200,119
Net Income Per Common Share
1.15 .86
Dividends Declared
.52 .50
June 30,
June 30,
Cash and Due from Banks
$ 16,950,810 $ 8,075,243
Interest Bearing Bank Deposits
1,199,474 768,029
Federal Funds Sold
68,548,000 5,937,000
Loans Held for Sale
90,403,042 78,405,674
Loans Held for Investment
661,528,802 636,407,632
Less Allowance for Loan Losses
(10,033,466 ) (6,050,257 )
Net Loans Held for Investment
651,495,336 630,357,375
93,381,484 23,524,719
Other Assets
59,623,971 59,880,840
Total Assets
$ 981,602,117 $ 806,948,880
$ 766,651,982 $ 608,470,178
Short Term Debt
Long Term Debt
100,585,081 47,916,889
Other Liabilities
22,063,159 18,487,049
Total Liabilities
889,300,222 714,874,116
Preferred Stock
4,591,623 5,591,623
Common Equity
87,710,272 86,483,141
Stockholders’ Equity
92,301,895 92,074,764
Total Liabilities and Stockholders’ Equity
$ 981,602,117 $ 806,948,880
Book Value Per Common Share
$ 27.44 $ 27.18
Tangible Book Value Per Common Share
$ 27.51 $ 27.23

F & M Bank Corp.
Carrie Comer, EVP & Chief Financial Officer
540-896-8941 or ccomer@fmbankva.com

Preparing, Protecting, & Managing Your 401(k) During Economic Uncertainty

Since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started to affect the American economy in March, the stock market has been fluctuating along with the news headlines. For many people, especially those close to retiring in Virginia, 401(k) management is a big concern. As a longtime community bank serving the Shenandoah Valley, we have plenty of experience helping our customers navigate historic crises. In this article, our Wealth Management team offers its best advice for preparing, protecting, and managing your retirement savings throughout economic uncertainty and recession.

3 Foolproof Ways to Prepare Your 401(k) For a Recession

You can take these steps now if you’re still employed, or save the advice for a post-coronavirus world.

1.  Start and grow your emergency savings account.

An emergency fund is the foundation of healthy finances. If you haven’t started one yet, aim for a small starter goal, such as $500 or $1,000. That’s enough to cover any unexpected expenses, such as a car or home repair, or medical bill. Once you reach your goal, use the momentum from your “win” to keep going, one month of living expenses at a time, until you’ve saved 6 months to a year of your basic monthly budget. Depending on how secure your job and industry are, you may not need quite that much. However, the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has taught all of us the necessity of preparing for the unexpected.

An emergency savings is for large, unexpected expenses that you can’t cover with your monthly budget alone.

Once you have a good thing going with your emergency fund, resist the temptation to use it for non-emergencies. For example, down payments on a house or car should be saved for separately. Your emergency fund is for the large expenses you didn’t see coming and can’t cover with your monthly budget. In other words, an emergency fund keeps you from going into debt. And, if you lose your job, it could keep you out of bankruptcy.

2.  Reduce spending and look for “extra” money.

When times are good, everyone should be focused on paying down debt and/or building savings. For example, consider the extra money you typically receive in a year:

  • Annual or quarterly bonuses
  • Gift money on your birthday and other holidays
  • Tax refund
  • One-time inheritance
  • Contest or lottery winnings

While it can be tempting to spend this money right away, try to earmark at least half to put in your emergency savings account or to pay down credit card and/or car/personal loan balances. When a downturn or recession comes, you will be glad to have a bigger emergency fund or a smaller line item in your budget for monthly debt payments.

Another way to “find” extra money is to pare down discretionary spending on food and drinks, entertainment, subscriptions, etc. For example, if you are staying at home right now, you can put the money you save on transportation and discretionary purchases into your emergency fund or make an extra debt payment.

3.  Take advantage of free matching money at work.

Always take advantage of an employer’s contribution match to grow your 401(k) savings more quickly.
Are you leaving money on the table? Many employers will match up to a certain percentage of your own retirement account contribution. To grow your 401(k) savings more quickly, make sure you’re putting enough in to take full advantage of your employer’s match.

3 Surefire Ways to Protect Your 401(k) From a Recession

Now that we’re in what could be an economic recession, here’s what you can do to protect your retirement investing.

1.  Adjust risk to your age. 

Investing is a long game, but as you near retirement age, your risk tolerance diminishes. That doesn’t mean you should pull all of your money out of the market–you need to earn interest on it to keep up with the pace of inflation. What it does mean is that your investment approach should be adjusted to lessen risk. You should be able to do this yourself by logging into your retirement account. If you work with a financial planner, they can help you adjust your portfolio allocation to meet the specific needs of your retirement goals.

If you’re worried about having enough money in your 401(k) for retirement, the IRS permits “catch-up contributions” of an extra $6,000/year for people aged 50 and up.

2.  Diversify your investments.

Diversifying your investments can help reduce the risk of a bad stock negatively impacting your portfolio.

Whatever stage of life you’re in, diversifying your investments can help reduce the risk of one bad stock negatively impacting your entire portfolio. Instead of trying to pick and choose stocks on your own, go for low-cost index funds that provide exposure to a lot of companies in different industries and sectors. Our Wealth Management team can also help you optimize your investment portfolio.

3.  Keep contributing.

One of the best ways to protect your 401(k) is to continue making regular contributions. For example, don’t get scared by the changing market and lower your automatic payroll deduction. If your income or financial situation has changed in the wake of the pandemic, at least let your 401(k) balance keep growing by leaving it alone. When you find another job, you can start contributing again.

3 Tips for Managing Your 401(k) During a Recession

Similarly, here’s how to stay the course for however long this lasts.

1.  Do nothing.

Don’t try to “beat the market”. Investing is a long-term game.

If you’re an everyday investor who doesn’t know much about the stock market, your best option is to do nothing. If you make changes out of an emotional reaction to scary headlines, you’ll likely do more harm than good to your portfolio. Aside from a few outliers, most people don’t “beat the market.” Stay the course, talk to your financial advisor, and remember that investing is a long-term game.

2.  Stay invested in necessities.

Allocating assets to investments of essential items can help off-set any negative hits your portfolio may take during a recession. Essential items and services can be more “stable” investments since they don’t see as much of a drop in usage from consumers during recessions.

However, we are not recommending that you move your entire portfolio to essential-service investments. As mentioned earlier, you want to avoid making large changes to your portfolio at the same time.

3.  Ask for help.

Ask your Financial Advisor for help managing your investment portfolio if you have concerns or uncertainty.

If you’re concerned about managing your investment portfolio and finances, talk to a financial advisor. A professional wealth manager can help you evaluate your options and help you make the best wealth-building decisions for you.

Make an appointment with one of our Infinex Financial Advisors today!

Our Infinex financial advisors are experienced at planning for your future. We can guide you through retirement planning, personal insurance, and short-term financial goals to create a plan you can commit to and follow. Meet our experienced financial advisors and make your appointment today!

Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA/SIPC. F&M Financial Services, Inc. is a nonbank subsidiary of F&M Bank. Infinex is not affiliated with either entity.

Securities and Insurance Products:

Not Guaranteed by the Bank | Not FDIC Insured | Not a Deposit | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency | May Lose Value Including Loss of Principal

10 Steps To Financial Recovery For Virginia Small Businesses

2020 threw a major curve ball to the entire world, with small businesses especially hard hit by pandemic-related economic challenges. Now, as Virginia moves into the third phase of reopening, local small businesses are taking stock of the damage and preparing to bounce back. Here are 10 things to check off your to-do list to help your business start down the road to recovery. Is your business headed in the right direction? Are you on track to meet your quarterly and annual goals? Review our list of 10 steps to financial recovery for Virginia small businesses and contact our commercial team for personalized advice.

1. Review your business plan or create one if you don’t already have one in place.

"We're not just bankers, but knowledgeable professionals that can offer sound advice to a variety of industries." - Jordan Dean, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager


As your business grows, you may need to reevaluate your business plan to accommodate new goals and circumstances. Or, if your business is brand new you may not have finished building a business plan yet. For inspiration, check out these business plan resources from SCORE Shenandoah Valley.

Need more personalized help? “The lending staff at F&M can work with commercial customers to provide quick decision making,” says Jordan Dean, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager. “We’re not just bankers, but knowledgeable professionals that can offer sound advice to a variety of industries.”

2. Set a budget, track it, and stick to it.

Sticking to a set budget will help make sure that money is being spent in the right places and at the right times.

Just as a budget is the foundation of your healthy personal finances, your business also needs to plan and track cash inflow and spending. SCORE Shenandoah Valley has a free on-demand course with tips on budgeting for your business.

3. Reduce high-cost debt.

"We provide local decision making, which helps set the stage for deep-rooted relationships with our customers." - Brooke Zirk, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager

Are your principal or interest payments too high and dragging down your cash flow? Consider consolidating and refinancing your high-cost debt into a more affordable monthly payment with our Business Term Loans.

Discussing cash flow scenarios with your loan officer can help lead to unique solutions for your business. “My goal is to form long-lasting relationships with my customers as I help them grow and thrive. I bring a consultative approach to understand all aspects of my client’s business and personal goals”–Brooke Zirk, Vice President; Commerical Relationship Manager.

4. Understand and manage your business cash flow cycle more effectively.

Many profitable businesses have closed their doors due to cash and resource mismanagement. That’s why it’s so important to understand your cash flow cycle, use debt where appropriate and have a plan! It’s also advisable for new business owners to use the services of a commercial lender to help them either plan for financing options for a new business or even do a wellness check for existing businesses.

5. Pay bills on time.

"Our decisions will always have your best interest in mind and your success is linked to ours." - Kevin Nixon, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager

Falling behind on regular overhead costs isn’t a good sign for the financial health of your business. Use these accounting and cash flow resources from SCORE Shenandoah Valley to forecast profits and losses and set yourself up to stay on top of accounts payable this year.

If you need help evaluating your cash flow strategy, don’t be afraid to ask your loan officer. “Our decisions will always have your best interest in mind and your success is linked to ours. It’s our job to match your financial needs with the best product whether it’s a loan, checking account, etc”–Kevin Nixon, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager.

6. Establish or build on existing savings.

"We put customer need above our own, and decisions we make are done to help the community we live and work in." - Mary Pavlovskaya, Bank Officer; Business Deposit Services Officer

Saving for a rainy day can help your business manage cash flow and avoid falling too far into debt. Browse the business savings account options at F&M Bank and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your banker. You may also want to consider the tools you are using to conduct business to determine if cost savings options are available.

“When partnering with a business, we tailor our Business Solutions package to fit your specific needs. From treasury and merchant services to our one-of-a-kind courier option, we have everything a business needs to succeed!”–Mary Pavlovskaya, Bank Officer; Business Deposit Services Officer.

7. Improve your digital presence and SEO.

As a small business owner, you’re already juggling many responsibilities. The prospect of digital marketing can feel overwhelming, but if you can’t afford to outsource it, it’s worth it to devote a regular bracket of time each week to improve your SEO and SEM.

46% of all Google searches have local intent – this indicates that searchers want to find information about something in their community.

8. Utilize social media and promote your business regularly.

The same thing goes for social media. As a local business, you need to interact with your customers on their favorite social platforms. Check out these free social media marketing tools to help you get started.

9. Become more involved in the local community.

"We have a proven history of promoting, serving and enriching our local communities, friends, and neighbors." - Donna Brown, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager


As a longtime community bank, we understand the importance of getting involved locally. After all, the success of our bank–and any local business–is tied to the success of the community. As Donna Brown, Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager, says:

“The betterment of our local communities, businesses, and individuals continues to be at the forefront of our corporate objectives and goals, as it has always been since 1908. We have a proven history of promoting, serving and enriching our local communities, friends, and neighbors.”

This year, spend some time thinking about the causes and organizations you’d like to get involved with and then execute your plans. At the same time that you’re doing good work, you’ll build awareness of your brand, engage with existing customers, and connect with new prospects.

10.  Build a relationship with their banker/financial institution.

When you partner with a relationship bank like F&M, you can count on sound financial advice and recommendations throughout the life of your business.

“I would advise every business owner to develop a relationship with their banker.” – Barbara Bartley, Assistant Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager

“I would advise every business owner to develop a relationship with their banker. Most bankers can help guide their customers in financial decisions and give them thoughts to consider when starting a business and moving ahead with growth and needs”–Barbara Bartley, Assistant Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager.

“We take the team approach, and our employees are dedicated to servicing our customers and building lasting relationships.” – Renee Hartless, Assistant Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager

“We take the team approach, and our employees are dedicated to servicing our customers and building lasting relationships. We also have local decision making which means the person that you are working with from the beginning is also approving your loans.”–Renee Hartless, Assistant Vice President; Commercial Relationship Manager.

Contact a commercial lender at F&M Bank today!

If you’re looking for Virginia small business lenders, give our team of commercial lenders in Virginia a call. You can browse our staff here, learn more about the business banking solutions we offer, and contact us at your convenience.

Insights from Garth Knight – Shenandoah Valley’s Business Banker

Garth Knight

Garth Knight, Senior Vice President – Executive Vice President & Chief Lending Officer

Corporate Office, 205 South Main Street, Timberville, VA

(540) 896-1733


NMLS# 1996251

Question: Describe your professional and/or personal experience in lending:

I have been in banking for 16 years. I have served in various roles such in Consumer Lending, Home Mortgage, Small Business, Business Banking, and Business Development.

My specialty has always been in developing and building quality relationships in the communities I have served and the teammates I work with. Putting people and their needs first and building a customized plan to fit those needs makes a meaningful difference and creates lifelong relationships.

Question: How would your small business clients describe you?

Consultative, honest, proactive, an advocate for their success.

Question: How would your family describe you?

My brother would say crazy, but I think he is the crazy one, I guess you will have to decide who is right. I have a large family, and we are always cutting up when we get together. I think they would say fun-loving, hard worker, a good cook, and a traveler.

Question: What’s most important to you professionally and personally?

Professionally, having a positive and collaborative working environment. I have been fortunate in my career to be around great leaders and teammates who get along and work together toward a common goal, taking care of our customers and building relationships. This type of working environment is critical to success. Everyone must row in the same direction!

Personally, family and quality of life. I have a great family and grew up on a farm in South Carolina. I was raised right and grew up understanding the value of hard work to get the things you want in life. I am extremely thankful for this. Quality of life is very important to me. If you enjoy your life day to day, you will approach whatever you do with positive intent and make the best of all situations.

Question: Do you personally volunteer or support any charitable organizations?

I support many charitable organizations and have been an advocate for them in the eight cities I have lived in my career. I have served on Boards going back to my Alma Mater, Newberry College.

Most recently, I was proud to present checks to the highest amount of donations collected by Non-Profits for the Great Community Give at the Community Foundation of Harrisonburg & Rockingham County. It was gratifying to see the energy and good being done by a community that works together to be great. I am very excited to continue my volunteer work in this community and become an advocate for charitable organizations in the area.

Question: What is the most rewarding part of your work?

Seeing a business or a team member accomplish a goal is very meaningful for me. Helping to play a small role in that accomplishment and being a catalyst for growth is when I feel most gratified. When I think back over my career, those are the moments I remember most clearly and fondly.

Question: From your experience working in business lending over the years, is there one thing you’d recommend or advise for small business owners related to finances?

I am going to augment the rule here and give two. One, have a plan and vision for what you want to do and how you want to do it. Your plan and vision will always serve as a guidepost for what direction you take your business and be there for you during good times and challenges. That rings true today more than ever.

The second would be to have a bank that is an advocate for your vision and growth. Building that relationship and creating synergy will allow for open and honest dialogue and will be the catalyst for growth and success. I would love for you to continue or develop a relationship at F&M Bank as that is the customer experience we strive to deliver to you.

Question: Beyond business financing, how can local companies across the Shenandoah Valley benefit from F&M Bank?

Cash Management Solutions is an area that all businesses can benefit from and a topic that most are thinking about right now due to business interruptions and some being forced to work from home. F&M Bank has many solutions to help maximize efficiency and move money effectively in and out of your business. Financing and cash management are two of the most critical conversations a business can have in my opinion.

Question: Given the business challenges and potential opportunities resulting from COVID-19, what advice do you have for local businesses for both the short-term and long-term?

If you have not already, create a business plan that provides a strategy for this environment that includes contingencies. Partner with a bank that will provides support and guidance through these uncertain and challenging times. Having effective conversations about your business with your bank will have impact well past today. I invite you to have a conversation with F&M Bank to see how we can help you navigate these uncertain times, remain successful, and continue your growth.


F&M Bank Announces Senior Leadership Promotions

6 Tips for Saving for Your Down Payment

Before you can make the transition from renting to owning your home, you might need to have a substantial down payment, typically 5 to 20 percent of the home’s value. The American Bankers Association suggests the following tips to help save for it:

Develop a Budget & Timeline

Start by determining how much you’ll need for a down payment. Create a budget and calculate how much you can realistically save each month – that will help you gauge when you’ll be ready to transition from renter to homeowner.

Planning ahead, it’s a good idea to play with numbers and calculate what your estimated monthly payment might be. F&M Mortgage offers a Mortgage Loan Calculator that helps simplify the budgeting process.

Establish a Separate Savings Account

Set up a separate savings account exclusively for your down payment and make your monthly contributions automatic. By keeping this money separate, you’ll be less likely to tap into it when you’re tight on cash.

Shop Around to Reduce Major Monthly Expenses

It’s a good idea to check rates for your car insurance, renter’s insurance, health insurance, cable, Internet or cell phone plan. There may be deals or promotions available that allow you to save hundreds of dollars by adjusting your contracts.

Monitor Your Spending

With online banking, keeping an eye on your spending is easier than ever. Track where most of your discretionary income is going. Identify areas where you could cut back (e.g. nice meals out, vacations, etc.) and instead put that money into savings.

Look Into State and Local Home-Buying Programs

Many states, counties and local governments operate programs for first-time homebuyers. Some programs offer housing discounts, while others provide down payment loans or grants.

Eligible first-time homebuyers may qualify for one of the many low to no down payment loan options through VHDA. Additionally, ideal for first-time home buyers, and open to all qualified borrowers, F&M Mortgage offers a no-PMI mortgage without income limits. If you’re looking for a no down payment mortgage, F&M’s Spark Loan might be perfect for you.

Celebrate Savings Milestones

Saving enough for a down payment can be daunting. To avoid getting discouraged, break it up into smaller goals and reward yourself when you reach each one. If you need to save $30,000 total, consider treating yourself to a nice meal every $5,000 saved. This will help you stay motivated throughout the process.

Contact F&M Mortgage

Flexible lending options from a team of local lenders familiar with your community make F&M Mortgage the ideal lender for your home loans. In-house decision making simplifies the process and competitive rates get you the most for your money. Get started now!

Are you a first-time home buyer? Check out our guide for Virginia!