Founded in 1903, the Savings Bank of Mendocino County is the only bank chartered in Mendocino County and the only financial institution with its headquarters in Mendocino County. The headquarters, decision-making, physical facilities, Board, management and employees all live and work in Mendocino or Lake Counties – and, almost 75% of the bank’s privately held shares are owned by shareholders that live in Mendocino and Lake Counties as well. It is unusual in that it has no institutional shareholders – meaning that profits earned and dividends paid benefit local residents, not a hedge fund or investment bank in New York City. Since the founding of Savings Bank, they have retained more earnings relative to their asset size than 95% of community banks their size. This capital is the Bank’s own money that is reinvested in the community — at a much higher level than similar banks its size. We talked to Scott Yandell, the President, and CEO of The Savings Bank of Mendocino County about what he sees for the future of Mendocino.

What part does your organization play in the economic development of Mendocino County?

Savings Bank of Mendocino County currently invests over $530 Million in the economy in the form of loans, the vast majority of which are in Mendocino County.  We also supply over $15.5 Million in salary and benefits annually to employees that live, work and shop in the county.  It is also important to mention that in addition to our significant direct charitable donations within the county, we also provide financing to numerous 501 (c) charitable organizations that provide important economic support to our least advantaged citizens. 

What good things do you see happening in the next decade in Mendocino County?

The current economic expansion is nearing record duration, and Northern California leads the world with unparalleled technological innovation.  The economic momentum is a huge draw for businesses and individuals, but it also increases prices and creates scarcity for locations and housing.  These forces make Mendocino County a very attractive alternative with more availability, lower costs and a great quality of life.  The next decade will allow the County to capitalize on this momentum if we so desire.

What’s your favorite place to be or eat or visit or stay in Mendocino County?

I recently revisited Montgomery Woods. I never cease to be amazed at this natural wonder, no matter how many times I go there. A 15-mile trip from Ukiah transports you to a completely different climate, ecosystem, and environment. And this is only one of the many opportunities in our diverse county to have a totally new and different experience with a short drive from home.

Tickets for the Startup Mendocino Competition Gala Are Now on Sale

This family-friendly event takes place in Ukiah at the Mendocino College theater on August 25th. Tickets are $10 and include beer, wine, refreshments, local food and prizes — and most importantly, a chance to cast your vote to determine who will win the grand prize for Startup Mendocino. Click here to buy tickets now.

Startup Mendocino is a Business Bootcamp and Pitch Competition designed to spark new thinking about what is possible in Mendocino County through entrepreneurship. Startup Mendocino is sponsored by the West Business Development Center, America’s SBDC, The John and Sandra Mayfield Economic Development Fund at the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Adventist Hospital, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, Economic Development and Financing Corporation, Mendocino College, North Coast Brewery, Harvest Market, The John Pack and Linda Francis Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Ukiah Chambers of Commerce, Mendocino Coast Chambers of Commerce and Willits Chambers of Commerce and The Coast – KOZT, and the California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity.

Startup Mendocino is supported by the Small Business Administration and California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business & Economic Development.

As always, to sign up for free business advising from WestBDC go here

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