Roaring Fork Bank Fights Aftermath of COVID-19 Head-On - Aspen Real Life
Roaring Fork Bank Fights Aftermath of COVID-19 Head-On

Roaring Fork Bank Fights Aftermath of COVID-19 Head-On

FirstBank Fights Aftermath of COVID-19 Head-On 

When the pandemic hit – and businesses started shuttering, and hospitals were desperate for protective equipment — several leaders within FirstBank started scrambling to find solutions, including Roaring Fork Market President Dave Portman. 

The company, which touts “banking for good” and believes you’re only as strong as your community, launched several creative initiatives aimed at boosting local businesses, nonprofits and hospitals alike, while also giving back to essential workers. 

Giving Back to Essential Workers 

For instance, Portman and his team surprised grocery stores across the Valley. Partnering with local food trucks and restaurants such as Slow Groovin BBQ, FirstBank was able to provide free lunches to over 200 City Market employees in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Aspen. Companywide they’ve supplied more than 1,000 meals to essential workers. 

“Grocery store employees, in particular, have been the unsung heroes throughout this crisis,” said Portman. “They work long hours, risk their health and safety, and they don’t always receive the respect they should. This effort allows us to not only support local restaurants, but also show these folks a small token of our gratitude.”

Helping Roaring Fork Valley Nonprofits and Relief Efforts 

The bank was also adamant in making contributions that could have a lasting impact. Throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, FirstBank supplied $20,000 to local food banks and emergency relief funds to help those negatively impacted by the pandemic, including youth and low-income families. This included donations to nonprofits such as LiftUp, Stepping Stones and Valley Settlement

Additionally, FirstBank contributed $75,000 to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, aimed at providing needed resources to Colorado communities hardest hit by the outbreak. 

Getting Protective Equipment and More to Local Hospitals

Perhaps what’s most notable is FirstBank took an especially instrumental role in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) crisis that left hospitals reeling and healthcare workers vulnerable.  After the bank got wind of Make4Covid — a new customer and Colorado-based start-up that creates and distributes PPE using 3-D printing technology – the company did everything possible to help ramp up its production. 

For starters, FirstBank supplied resources. It rallied partners, Community First Foundation and El Pomar Foundation, to help contribute $150,000 total (donating $50,000 apiece) to the Make4Covid movement. The company also connected Make4Covid to well-known Colorado distiller, Leopold Brothers, to help deliver highly needed sanitizer alongside its PPE shipments. And with the help of El Pomar Foundation, FirstBank introduced them to a former Army General and Director of NORAD, who offered his personal aircraft to help transport protective equipment. 

Today, Make4Covid has delivered nearly 50,000 pieces of PPE, including over 11,000 units to hospitals in Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Craig, Granby, and Del Norte, to name a few. 

“We are grateful to FirstBank, which has been instrumental in championing our cause and were helpful in getting additional partners onboard,” said Lauren Hebert, Make4Covid Lead Organizer. “This sort of collaboration represents the true meaning of community and is the spirit behind the Make4Covid movement.” 

Supporting Local Businesses and Restaurants 

Outside the realm of PPE, FirstBank worked around the clock to fund over $1 billion in SBA Paycheck Protection loans to 12,000 companies. This provided a metaphorical ‘life line’ to businesses experiencing financial hardships as a result of the pandemic. But their commitment to small business didn’t end there. 

FirstBank launched a Support Local page — and associated ad campaign — encouraging folks to support several area restaurants/food service companies. Restaurants interested in being featured can go to to apply. 

While the impact of community-based efforts like these remain to be seen, we’re hopeful many more uplifting stories of support and kindness will continue to surface. In the meantime, you can learn more about how FirstBank is helping customers, communities and employees through the pandemic by visiting their COVID-19 response page. 

Sharing is Caring 💙

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Check us Out on Instagram

Check us Out on Facebook

4 days ago

Aspen Real Life
GONZO GALLERY SOLO SHOW: IT NEVER GOT WEIRD ENOUGH FOR ME Meet local artist, Axel Livingston, at the opening reception May 1st, 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm. The exhibit runs from May 1 - 14th. Axel is a 19-year-old artist with a technique that can be described as organized chaos; a combination of mixed media, vibrant colors, lines, and forms are used to depict his layered messaging.Growing up in the Rocky Mountains, Axel has a profound connection with nature and a fascination with the ideals of Gonzo journalism. His work has been influenced by the writings of Hunter S. Thompson and by the art of Ralph Steadman. See more of Axel's work here: Gonzo Gallery Aspen Strong: Promoting Mental Health in the Roaring Fork Valley Aspen Hope Center Aspen Youth Center Community Health Initiatives The Aspen Times Mountain Town Magazine Aspen Sojourner Magazine Aspen Magazine Aspen Hatter Skye Gallery Opera Gallery Aspen Art Gallery The Aspen Chapel Gallery Pitkin County Sheriff's Office ...
View on Facebook

5 days ago

Aspen Real Life
Want to know what to do during the offseason? Read this Roaring Fork Sotheby's International Realty - Glenwood Springs newsletter shared by Aspen Business Connect member Giovanna O. Kennedy, Realtor. As per the newsletter: Giovanna is a hiking enthusiast and can’t wait to get back on the mountain and regain her Rocky Mountain physical fitness! “You will see me trying different trails at Sunlight Mountain, starting with the easiest ones like the Old 4 Mile Trail.” A woman who wears many hats, Giovanna also enjoys taking leadership in philanthropic opportunities at St. Stephen School. “I am the founder and chair of their annual Gala benefiting St Stephen School, which normally takes place during the winter. However, I am looking at the possibility of having an outside event this late summer instead,” provided that she can execute this event in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. ...
View on Facebook

6 days ago

Aspen Real Life
Aspen Business Connect brings its members together in many ways in search of collaborations. Here are two of our members from completely different backgrounds ( art and finance) brainstorming on ways to create an exciting event to honor the famous artist Tamara De Lempicka. Equus Management Group Marisa De Lempicka Cecil Hernandez at Christie's Aspen Real Estate Cecil Hernandez#aspenbusinessconnect #bestnetworkbusiness #localbusinessnetwork#aspennetwork#aspenbusiness#aspenreallife #locallove#helpingothers#womenempowerment #tamaradelempicka ...
View on Facebook