With the campaign to raise pledges to support the establishment of a Bendigo Bank branch in Gerringong about to be officially launched, the Steering Committee is very pleased with the community’s initial response to the proposal.
“With only our soft launch, we already have pledges for one quarter of the $800,000 we need to move to the next stage,” says Shane Douglas.
“Bendigo Bank head office is astounded at how quickly we have been able to rally the pledges, but we know what a strong community we have here.
“It is the only way that we will get a bank back in town, and as a community bank it has the bonus of being able plough 80 per cent of its profits back into our local groups and facilities.
“This is people’s chance to be a founding member of something big.”
Local vet and treasurer of Gerringong Rotary, Andrejs Medenis, is fully in favour of the initiative.
“From Rotary’s point of view, the closure of the ANZ means that we now have to go into Kiama to bank our fundraising efforts. Last year that amounted to $60,000. They haven’t put on any extra staff, so it is very frustrating and time wasting.”
He also supports the community bank as an individual.
“This is a growing town. It is crazy that we don’t have a bank. This is an opportunity to do something of great value for the future of our community.”
The drive for pledges is set to begin in earnest with stalls to be set up outside shops, at the Market and at the School fete to answer people’s questions and collect their pledges of $500 or more.
“It is important for the whole community to show their support for the initiative to get it off the ground,” says Steering Committee member Leanne Mitchell.
“Once we can show this support through the pledges, the money will be raised via a prospectus.”