News Blog

January 11, 2021 – The Economic Aid Act was signed into law on December 27th, 2020. Part of this act is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Second Draw Program aimed at helping small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Providing $284 billion in new lending capacity, the program is set up to support our local businesses who have been negatively affected by the pandemic. Decorah and Cresco Bank are ready to help our customers get the help they need.

Please read through the “PPP Round Two – Letter and FAQ’s” and “2nd Draw Application Form” documents below to better understand the requirements for eligibility. Once your application is complete please securely submit to or drop it off at either Decorah or Cresco Bank.

PPP Round Two – Letter and FAQs [pdf]

1st Draw Application Form [pdf]

1st Draw Application Form – sample [pdf]

2nd Draw Application Form [pdf]

2nd Draw Application Form – sample [pdf]

IFR for First Draw PPP Loans [pdf]

IFR for Second Draw PPP Loans [pdf]

PPP Second Draw Loan Analysis [xlsx]



January 11, 2021 – 2020 was a year to remember! We started with big plans, but two and a half months in, everything changed due to COVID-19. Parts of our economy shut down. Downtown was empty. Businesses shut their doors. We closed our bank lobbies, sent many people to work from home, and shifted overnight to remote banking. Transactions were performed over email and through drive-up windows.

While this was a challenge, our nimble staff and past investments in technology allowed us to manage more than ever. We successfully processed thousands of economic impact payments for customers and funded 339 Paycheck Protection Program loans for over $34 million to small business customers, all in addition to conducting regular business! With $2 trillion of government stimulus and economic uncertainty, interest rates dropped to nearly zero, causing a record amount of refinancing activity in all bank areas. The bank is an essential business and must keep money flowing. We did this in spades!

We are fortunate to have such a strong group of bankers and just plain good humans. We look forward to a successful vaccine and hope for some bit of normalcy to return later this year. 2020 and the pandemic have been hard on everyone. We must find ways to maintain strong relationships with one another. In this divisive time, we must treat each other with dignity and respect no matter our differences.

Thank you for being wonderful customers. We are blessed to live in such caring communities and know we will make it through these challenging times together.


Ben, Donna, and Justin



December 30, 2020 – The second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) are already arriving for direct deposit at the Bank and will continue over the next few weeks. Paper checks and prepaid cards will be sent by mail over the next few weeks. Customers may see a pending deposit as early as today. Please note these pending deposits will show in your account a few days before being available. To see the date of a pending direct deposit in Online Banking, click on the icon that looks like three vertical dots to the right of the pending deposit. Click Toggle Details. Additional details will display. The date shown is the date the deposit will be made available. These effective dates are set by the IRS when they send the payment. For FAQs related to EIPs, visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center at

screen shot of EIP




December 28, 2020 – With the signing of the new stimulus bill, there will be a second round of PPP lending. We have no details yet from the SBA. We know this can be very frustrating, but our advice is to sit tight.  We should know more shortly. We will update our website and social media accounts promptly as we learn more information.

December 10, 2020 – Erick Kephart, with Wealth Management and Trust Services at Decorah Bank & Trust, shares some quick thoughts regarding financial markets and your investments as 2020 comes to a close and we look into 2021.

“Currently, market indexes are at or near an all-time high.  Financial markets are on pace to provide returns roughly in line with their historical averages.  I think we can all agree that 2020 has been anything but average – the financial markets are no exception.  It’s been a bit of a wild ride, with the fastest bear market on record in February and March to an equally historic rebound.

For investors without a long-term strategy, these swings and the volatility can be really scary.  To achieve long-term success with investing, it’s best to make a plan and stick with it.  Focus on your needs, your goals, your objectives, the time horizon, and your tolerance for risk and volatility.  No one can predict the future.  The best approach is to lay out a long-term strategy and stick with it.

If you are uneasy about your plan or haven’t reviewed it in a while, especially if you don’t have a plan in place, give us a call and schedule a time to talk.

You don’t need to be a client of ours or even a customer of the Bank.  There is no cost to you. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to sit down to learn about you, your family, your goals and dreams, and help you identify how your investments fit into it all.”




December 4, 2020 – On December 1st, the Small Business Administration released public data about Paycheck Protection Program borrowers – specifically, the borrowers’ names, addresses, exact loan amounts, and who their PPP lenders were.  This was done by court order following lawsuits brought by media organizations seeking the data.  Today’s SBA release involves PPP loans under $150,000.  They released similar data on loans over $150,000 earlier this fall.

We want you to know that we, as your bank, did not publicly disclose the data and played no role in the court decision.  Our commitment to protect your privacy is paramount, and we follow all applicable laws and regulations.

Unfortunately, we have heard that some third party businesses are using information from the court-ordered data release to market themselves to PPP customers.  These communications may reference our bank’s name and may even imply that we have some kind of relationship.  You should be aware that we will communicate directly with you about your PPP loan and the forgiveness process.  If you have any doubt, please call us directly.

As always, our commitment is to your business’ financial health.  Thank you for your ongoing partnership.  Questions on this or any Paycheck Protection Program related matter should be e-mailed to



Christmas tree bulbsNovember 30, 2020 – Decorah Bank’s Christmas Coloring Fun is underway! Children ages 10 and under can color to win a stuffed teddy bear. Please stop by our South branch location on Division and Short Street to pick up your coloring registration form or download and/or print the pdf below. Return your form to our South branch location by 4:00 pm on Tuesday, December 15th. We will not take a group photo of the winners this year, but will post their first names and last initial below and on social media.

Happy Coloring!

2020 Christmas Coloring Fun Registration Form

December 22, 2020 – Congratulations to our winners! Thanks to all the children who participated.

Max H. (age 1 of Decorah), Beckett E. (age 2 of Decorah), Gus G. (age 3 of Decorah), Corbin G. (age 4 of Ossian), Georgia G. (age 5 of Decorah), Zoey D. (age 6 of Decorah), Kayla G. (age 7 of Decorah), Brinley L. (age 8 of Calmar), Trinn F. (age 9 of Decorah), and Harper N. (age 10 of Decorah).

Scam AlertNovember 25, 2020 – It has come to our knowledge that individuals are receiving spoofed calls from fraudsters claiming to work at Decorah Bank and Trust. We would like to remind everyone of a few key things to look for when determining the validity of a call.

  • Please know that the bank will never call asking you to give your password for online banking or your debit card PINs.
  • If a bank employee calls you, we will not ask for your social security number. It would only be requested if a customer contacts us directly to verify your identity.
  • Never allow someone to remote in and log into your online banking. If we call you, we would never ask to do this.

If you’re ever unsure whether you are talking with someone at Decorah Bank, hang up immediately and call the bank at 563-382-9661. We can redirect you to the employee you were talking with if the call was legitimately through us. If you are concerned that you have been scammed, call us right away. There are actions we can take to help prevent monetary loss. Please remember to be vigilant to ensure a safe and secure holiday season!



November 3, 2020 – Justin GulleksonDecorah Bank is excited to announce that Justin Gullekson is assuming the new role of Decorah Market President. “Justin’s focus will be to ensure we provide excellent service to our customers and community in and around Decorah, similar to what Donna Thomas, Cresco Market President, does for Cresco. Over the past five years, Justin has been instrumental in our Wealth Management team. Now Justin will help provide leadership in other areas of the bank as well. The bank is growing and so must its leadership team. Justin will help us continue to be a sustainable and healthy family and employee-owned community bank” Ben Grimstad, bank CEO.

Justin and his wife Jeanne have lived in Decorah since 2003. The couple is blessed with five children, Alice, Clare, Anne, Rose, and Jack. Justin is active in the community, currently serving as treasurer for the Winneshiek County Community Foundation.

When asked about this new role, Justin replied, “Decorah Bank has great employees and wonderful customers. I appreciate the opportunity to work with more of them in a new way. As a community bank, owned by our employees and by the Grimstad family, I am honored to serve as the Decorah Market President. I will work hard to maintain and grow all that is special about Decorah Bank.”



cyber security

October 23, 2020 – October is Cyber Security Month. In a world full of technology, it is vital to be cyber smart and secure. We have put together some tips on keeping your electronic devices secure from people who may want to steal your information.

Your Passwords – It’s incredible how many passwords we have to remember. Almost everything we do online requires a password of some kind to log in. What would happen if someone knew your password? A good practice is not to repeat your password for different websites. Find ways to mix it up, like using numbers in place of letters (“1” equals an “L” or “3” equals an “E”).

Think Before You Click – One of the more common ways hackers may try to put harmful software on your computer is through pop-up ads. Before clicking on the pop-up, ask yourself a few questions. Where is it going to take you? Who is producing that ad? Do you know it’s from a legitimate source? It may be in your best interest to avoid pop-ups, both on your phone and computer. Fake apps are another way hackers may try to infect your device. A best practice is sticking to standard app stores like Google Play or Apple App store. When in doubt – don’t click.

Secure Security Questions – If you are locked out of a website, you will often be prompted with a security question. It doesn’t take a lot of effort for a motivated hacker to figure out who your mother is and her maiden name. It’s also a safe bet that many people will list their favorite food as “pizza.” It’s recommended to develop some code word or phrase that doesn’t relate to the question at all. It can be as simple as saying your father’s birthdate is “bananas.” It sounds silly, but it’s an extra step to help make you and your personal information more secure.

If Your Information Is Stolen – Call the Bank immediately at 563-387-5230 and talk to a Customer Support Representative. The Bank partners with CyberScoutTM, a leader in identity theft management, who can assist you with getting your life and your finances back on track. Click here to learn more about these services.

No one is immune to fraud or identity theft, education and awareness are your best lines of defense. Check out our online financial literacy platform called Banzai to learn more about keeping your information safe.