• May 2020

First Dakota National Bank

by Michael Ness, President


First Dakota's response to the coronavirus has been three-pronged to date.

First, we created a brief video message entitled "Not Canceled." At a time when local news feeds seemed to be a steady stream of event cancellations, our message offered a glimmer of hope and reassurance. It reminded world-weary viewers that unity and community were vital. That kindness and compassion are always effective. And that hopes and dreams cannot be canceled. The positive response has been overwhelming. We have received unsolicited calls, emails and letters from all over the region, expressing gratitude for our positive message in the face of uncertainty.

Second, we launched an initiative called 'Operation Dakota First' on March 23. It was our own hyper-local stimulus package. We gave each of our 369 employees funds to use as they saw fit, to help those who needed it most. There were no strings attached so long as they spent it at a local business in their community. Our employees really embraced the plan. They bought groceries for their elderly neighbors. Some purchased books, toys, etc. and donated them to local childcare facilities. Others purchased gift cards from local shops and restaurants. Others left oversized tips for the delivery person who delivered their family a meal. Within a week's time, First Dakota team members injected more than $50,000 into the local economy.

Third, we made a significant early contribution to the One Sioux Falls Fund, to be used as local leaders deem most effective.

We don't know when this pandemic will be over or when life will go back to the way we are used to. We hope it's soon. Until then, First Dakota will continue to do our part by being there for our community and putting Dakota First. Together, we will overcome this. Stay strong, safe and healthy.

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