Christmas Cash campaign ramping up

Hillsboro bankers report surge in interest in holiday promotion

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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 8:02 am

The Hillsboro Business Association’s annual Christmas cash campaign has surpassed the halfway mark of the holiday loan promotion’s 11-week run in Hillsboro.

After a slow start, representatives from The Goose River Bank and Dakota Heritage Bank said Wednesday that the promotion has started to pick up steam.

“We gained a lot recently. I don’t think people were thinking Christmas for the first week or two” of the loan promotion, said Brenda Klath of Goose River Bank.

“Farmers were still in the field and people were working. It didn’t seem like Christmas.”

The Goose River Bank processed 39 loan applications for $38,000 through noon Wednesday.

By comparison, the bank doled out 65 loans a year ago during the full loan application period.

Borrowers have been taking out holiday loans up to $1,000 – and receiving an additional 10 percent for free from the Hillsboro Economic Development Corp. – and hitting up three main businesses in Hillsboro: Sorum Oil, Olsen Hardware and Wright Implement.

“We seem to be seeing more people buying snowblowers at Wright’s this year,” Klath said.

Dakota Heritage Bank President Dustin Nagel said the downtown bank had processed 43 loans totaling $45,230 through noon Wednesday.

The bank processed 49 total loans through the entirety of last year’s Christmas Cash promotion.

“We’ve had a lot of new, first-time Christmas Cash customers in here this year,” Nagel said. 

“Merchants are helping with that by directing customers to the bank to get a loan and the extra money” from the promotion, he said.

Nagel said he expects this year’s number of Christmas Cash loans will exceed last year’s total.

“We still expect more in December. There are always those people who wait until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping,” he said.

“And we still have some repeat Christmas Cash customers who we haven’t seen yet this year.”

This year marks the 32nd year of the Christmas Cash campaign in Hillsboro, which encourages residents to spend locally.

The holiday promotion has generated more than $1.5 million in sales for local merchants the past decade.

About 25 businesses in Hillsboro are participating this year in the promotion, which continues through Tuesday, Dec. 31.

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