HARRISONBURG — F&M Bank, a locally owned and operated financial institution, has started collecting votes for its first “Local Business You Love” contest, where the winner will receive $10,000 from the bank.

“We thought it’d be a fun way for us to learn a little more about other local businesses,” said Mark Hanna, president and CEO of Timberville-based F&M Bank. “Hopefully, we can pick up a few good ideas from local businesses that we can bring to our banking practices.”

To nominate a business, members of the public can fill out an online form where they will explain why they love a business and why that business deserves to win $10,000.

Businesses must be in the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Goshen or Millboro, or the counties of Augusta, Page, Rockingham or Shenandoah.

The contest consists of two rounds.

The first round consists of nominations and ends on July 19, said Kelsey Dean, marketing specialist with F&M Bank.

Then, a body of different staff members from different areas of F&M Bank will meet to decide which applications will go to the second round based on why the businesses were nominated and how many times they were nominated, Dean said.

In the second round, there will only be 10 choices.

The public will vote for the winner of the contest beginning on Aug. 1, with the winner of the $10,000 being announced on Sept. 3.

“The public will ultimately determine our winner of the $10,000,” Dean said.

Since the beginning of the competition on Monday, several businesses have already been nominated, Hanna said.

Based on the success of the contest, F&M may choose to make the “Local Business You Love” an annual competition, he said.

“I would think this would be a no-brainer to bring back next year,” Hanna said.

Nomination forms can be found at www.fmbankva.com/bizyoulove or at F&M Bank branches.

Contact Ian Munro at 574-6278 or imunro@dnronline.com. Follow Ian on Twitter @IanMunroDNR

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