Celebrating the Local Business You Love

Earlier this summer, F&M Bank announced the second annual Local Business You Love contest – a $10,000 giveaway for locally-owned, small businesses located throughout the Shenandoah Valley. In 2019, a group of employees created and launched the contest, and for a first year campaign, our expectations were blown away!

“We were thrilled to host the contest again this year and support our neighbors in small business who continue to persevere through an extremely difficult season,” said Mark Hanna, President & CEO.

The contest opened in early August, and over a two week period, we relied on public nominations. Residents of Shenandoah, Page, Rockingham and Augusta Counties, as well as the Cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton and Waynesboro (and neighboring counties and cities), nominated the local businesses they love and shared why they deserve $10,000. F&M Bank received nearly 600 nominations making it quite a task to narrow down the list to 10!

Following the announcement of our Top 10, we opened the contest for public voting. Over a two week period, we received over 2,300 votes to determine our $10,000 winner! On October 6th, F&M Bank celebrated the Top 10 nominees during a reception at the Inn at MeadowCroft in Swoope, VA.


When we received over 2,300 votes, we knew we couldn’t just give away one cash prize, so instead, we surprised our guests and added a $1,500 prize for 2nd place, a $1,000 incentive for 3rd, and a $500 prize for 4th and 5th place.

Plus, all businesses in our Top 10 were awarded an advertising package with Harrisonburg Radio Group to include a featured interview with WSVA’s Jim Britt and 20 branding messages.

The remaining businesses in our Top 10 are as follows: Fort Valley Nursery (Woodstock), Traditions Family Restaurant (Harrisonburg), Blessings Christian Bookstore (Harrisonburg), Green Valley Book Fair (Mt. Crawford), and Creative Wonders Learning Center (Stuarts Draft).


Making our communities better is a core value we live by at F&M Bank. Although our contest is over, will you join us as we continue to support our neighbors? From restaurants to recreation, the Shenandoah Valley is packed full of extraordinary, locally-owned businesses.


We’re here to support you, and our community, in any way that we can. Whether you’re interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities nearby or seeking a local coffee shop recommendation, a member of our team is happy to assist. Our goal is to always provide banking you love from people who care and keep you up to date on all our products and services. 

With a Cash Reward or Cash Back account, you can stop paying extra. In fact, we’ll pay you just for doing banking basics that save you time! You can choose the account, and reward, that works best for you – high interest or cash back. 

Boost your savings with our money market account! This interest-bearing account is a great, low-risk option that offers benefits typical of both a checking and savings account. 

Whether you’re buying a new car or building a new house, we work with you to get the loan you need with the payment plan you can afford. Our loans are designed to meet your needs. Choose the option that works best for you!

We make virtual banking free and easy! Manage text alerts, deposit checks, send money to friends, and pay bills from anywhere in the world on any device.

If we can help you bank local, or answer any financial question you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact a branch near you or complete a quick form.

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!

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.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for Farmers

Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will provide direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19.

USDA is now taking applications for the CFAP. As part of applying for the program, you’ll need to contact the Farm Service Agency county office at your local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment.

Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program and will ask for the following information:

  • Contact
  • Personal, including your Tax Identification Number
  • Farming operating structure
  • Adjusted Gross Income to ensure eligibility
  • Direct deposit to enable payment processing

Please, do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call. FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application, and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed. If you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center.

What Can You Do Now?

You can start gathering and understanding your farm’s recent sales and inventory. The USDA website is a great resource to reference as you prepare to apply. The application deadline is August 28, 2020.

How Will USDA Accept Applications?

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. Please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment. The staff are working with agricultural producers by phone and using email, fax, mail, and online tools to accept applications.

New to Working with the Farm Service Agency?

FSA has county offices located at USDA Service Centers across the country, including offices in Shenandoah, Rockingham and Augusta Counties.

How Can We Help?

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for our community, but our Agricultural Financing Division at F&M Bank is your partner in both good times and bad. If there is anything we can do to help you, our your farm operation, please do no hesitate to contact us.


VCE Financial Education – Local Business Spotlight

VCE Logo

We’ve seen our local business community quickly adapt from traditional storefront sales to curbside or online commerce. Your creativity is contagious and your passion for your craft deserves recognition! Interested in a blog post for your local business?

This week, we spend a few moments talking with Karen Poff, Senior Extension Agent and Manager of the Virginia Cooperative Extension – Northern Shenandoah Valley Financial Education Program. The organization is currently offering a free “Coping with a Money Crunch” webinar through Zoom! This is a great resource to help manage financial stress surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can you tell us about your business?

As a state agency, Virginia Cooperative Extension offers local financial education programs to strengthen personal finances throughout Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties. Families who achieve financial stability are better able to meet their own housing, social welfare, and health care needs. They are also less likely to experience conflict over finances and thus better able to provide for their children’s physical and emotional needs. Families who are able to make their payments on time, meet their tax obligations, and reduce their debt contribute to the overall well-being of the local economy. By strengthening personal finances through education, our programs support family self-sufficiency.

How has your business adapted to social distancing?

We are offering a webinar called ”Coping with a Money Crunch” which provides Northern Shenandoah Valley residents information and tools to help them handle the personal finance stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Registrants can participate using Zoom from their web browser or by downloading the Zoom app for their tablet or smart phone. If they don’t want to use Zoom, they can call in using a landline or cell phone. People can visit this link to see all of the available dates and times and to register for the webinar. Only registered participants will receive a participation link. They can also download the program flyer or contact me at kpoff@vt.edu or 540-635-4549 to receive a copy by e-mail or mail.

What is your quarantine survival method?

Eating right, getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep (but not too much!) and most importantly attending the online services and events offered by my church.


Phone Scam Alert

It has been brought to our attention that some of our customers have received calls from a scammer posing as an F&M Bank employee. In each call, the scenario is similar. The caller mentions the customer has fraud on their F&M Bank card and requests the customer’s online banking credentials. The caller also claims they would be the best person to help alleviate the fraud, as the customer’s local branch of F&M Bank is busy with high volume calls.

This is a typical phone scam. F&M Bank will never call a customer and request sensitive information, such as online banking credentials, or an account or card number. If you receive a call from anyone requesting that type of information, you should hang up immediately.

Additionally, take note of the caller’s urgency and attempt to legitimize the conversation. He is the only person available to help as the branch is “busy with high volume calls”. Scammers often want to intimidate their victims hoping to urge swift action. If you feel pressured to make a quick decision, it is always best to end the call. Most legitimate businesses will never ask you to make a decision on the spot.

If you’re feeling unsure after ending the call, you can always reach out to your local branch of F&M Bank. Our staff will be able to confirm the illegitimacy of the call.

TenderCare Veterinary Center – Local Business Spotlight

Tendercare Vet Center

We’ve seen our local business community quickly adapt from traditional storefront sales to curbside or online commerce. Your creativity is contagious and your passion for your craft deserves recognition! Interested in a blog post for your local business?

This week, we spend a few moments spotlighting TenderCare Veterinary Center and Dr. Terri Sears, DVM. Did you know virtual appointments are an option during this period of social distancing? Continue reading to learn more!

Can you tell us about your business?

We are a small, high touch and high-tech veterinary practice focused on preserving the human-animal bond that enriches so many families in our community. We love and care for your pets as if they were our own and understand how much they mean to you and add to your life. We work hard to keep them healthy and happy from the puppy and kitten stages until their golden years.

In addition to our knowledgeable and caring staff, we offer full medical, surgical and dental services. We have an in-house lab and state of the art equipment – digital x-rays, laser therapy and more! We have everything needed to provide the best care possible for our patients.

You can call or text our main number, 540-943-9080, email us at infotcvc@gmail.com or stop in any time! We love getting to know new clients and their furry family members.

How has your business adapted to social distancing?

Currently, clients are calling once they arrive and staying in vehicles during the appointment. We are communicating by telephone and retrieving their pets from the parking lot for examinations and treatments.

We also offer telemedicine or virtual appointments for established patients where appropriate. We also provide home delivery of pet health products on our website!

When not working, what’s your quarantine survival method?

I really enjoy spending quality time with family!

Local Business Profile – Blueline

If you’ve lived in the Valley for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of Blue Ridge Architects. And if the name isn’t familiar, you’ve definitely experienced their work. A long-time Downtown Harrisonburg resident, Blue Ridge Architects — recently rebranded as “Blueline” — was founded 15 years ago and has had a hand in designing and building such prominent Downtown fixtures as Turner Pavilion, the Friendly City Food Co-Op, and the JMU wing of the Ice House building.

In December of 2018, Blueline faced the challenge of adding 5 to 7 professional designers to keep up with demand for its services. With notable projects underway from Ohio to Georgia, adding staff one at a time was going to make it difficult to train and integrate new team members efficiently while meeting looming deadlines. In March of 2019 Blueline CEO Randy Seitz AIA, received an email from a mergers and acquisition broker highlighting a firm in Houston Texas with a staff of 7, a strong backlog and specialty in churches — just what Blueline needed.  As Randy and Vice President Anna Campbell, AIA entered into conversations with Turner Duran Architects, they found a firm with solid technical experience, a striking portfolio and dedicated team looking for continuity and new opportunities. More importantly, their clients described a firm that operates with the same values as Blueline — Honor, Humility and Generosity.

By October 1, 2019, the deal was finalized and Turner Duran became part of the Blueline team. Adding Jack Duran AIA and his team to the firm provides both immediate capacity and a giant step towards the goal of providing turnkey project building delivery services to purpose driven organizations nationwide. To get a better sense of how this “blended” firm can help you plan and build a facility that amplifies your mission and purpose, visit www.blueline.team

Would you like your local business to be featured in our monthly newsletter? Email marketing@fmbankva.com for more information!