Community Bank donates to Crestview business recovery fund

Special to the News Bulletin
Crestview News Bulletin

CRESTVIEW — The city’s Small Business Recovery Grant Program received another $5,000 boost Thursday when Christie Austin, assistant vice president of Community Bank’s Crestview branch, presented its donation to Mayor JB Whitten and City Manager Tim Bolduc.

“It’s just such a joy to be able to help,” Austin said.

“What a great community partner you are,” Whitten said. “We really appreciate your help.”

Told that her bank’s gift brought the total donations to $18,000, Austin said, “That speaks highly of our community as a whole.”

“We have had applicants that clearly qualify for the entire $1,500 grant, but only ask for $400 or $700 or whatever, because that’s what they need,” Bolduc said. “That leaves more money in the pot for more applicants. That, to me, just makes me proud because it speaks to the culture of this community.”

The program was initially funded by $75,000 from the city’s business tax receipts account.

After an overwhelming response quickly exhausted the fund, larger businesses came forward with donations so the program could help more smaller businesses.

Community Bank’s gift joins $5,000 donations each from Cox Communications and Eglin Federal Credit Union, and $1,500 each from AA Tactical and CCB Bank.