Free Seminar: Year-End Tax Update

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Learn how to prepare for your year-end taxes by joining us for this FREE business session featuring speakers from JRM and Associates. Session will be held on Thursday, December 4 from 7:30 -9:30 a.m. at Stoney Creek Inn (3060 S Kinney Coulee Rd, Onalaska, Wisconsin).

Topics Covered:

  • Tax Credits and Other Services from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
  • New Tax Provisions related to the Affordable Care Act
  • Tax Law Changes and Updates
  • Tax Strategies to Implement Before Year-End

Session includes breakfast.

RSVPs are appreciated for planning purposes:
Becky Herrmann
blherrmann@merchantsbank.com or 608-779-8268

Tricia Barnes
tricia@jrmcpa.biz or 608-781-8712

Money Ball is Back

MoneyballAVApple Valley students will once again have the opportunity to earn money making lay-ups, free throws and half-court shots during Merchants Bank’s Money Ball halftime shootout at Apple Valley High School basketball games this season.

Last year students earned $1,680 and Merchants Bank matched the $1,680 with a donation to the Apple Valley Basketball Booster Club. Brian Wester, of Merchants Bank in Apple Valley, said the format will be the same as last year. The first Money Ball  game is November 25.

“It’s a great way to support the students and the booster club. Plus, it’s a lot of fun for the crowd,” Wester said.

Students sign up before each game and are chosen in a random drawing to be the Money Ball half-time shooters at select home games. The student receives a $10 gift card for a made lay-up, a $25 gift card for a made free throw, and $100 in cash for a made half-court Money Ball shot. Last year, three students made a half-court shot. If the half-court shot isn’t made, the jackpot continues to grow each game until the shot is made.

10 Days of Giving 2014 Schedule of Events

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Please join us in the following Merchants Bank communities for events to support the 10 Days of Giving (click on a specific location for more information). We’re collecting donations to stock local food shelves.

Cannon FallsCottage GroveHastingsOnalaskaRed WingSpring GroveSt. CharlesWinona

Cannon Falls
December 1-10:
Change Collection – Merchants Bank staff will be collecting your loose change in their lobby with the donations going to Cannon Falls Food Shelf.

Cottage Grove

  • December 1-10 – Cottage Grove will be holding its “10 Days of Giving”  to benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf. You can bring cash donations or toiletry items to Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove or any participating school or business.
  • December 10, Holiday Train
    Date/Time – Wednesday, December 10 at 5:45 p.m.
    Location – South of the Sieben Bridge, in front of the Youth Service Bureau.
    Don’t miss performances by Home Free and and Kira Isabella. Santa Claus will stop by and there will be entertainment, snacks and refreshments for everyone.

Hastings

  • December 1-10 – Hastings will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” to benefit Hastings Family Service. Bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in Hastings or any participating school or business.
  • December 9Holiday Train
    Date/Time – Tuesday, December 9 at 8:30 p.m.
    Location – Canadian Pacific Depot, 500 E. Second Street.
    Don’t miss performances by Home Free and and Kira Isabella. Santa Claus will stop by and there will be entertainment, snacks and refreshments for everyone.

Onalaska
December 2: Onalaska employees will again be hosting the La Crosse Rotary Lights Event from 5:00-10:00 p.m. at Riverside Park in La Crosse, WI. Please bring cash or food donations that night to the event to benefit WAFER.

Red Wing
December 1-10: Change Collection – Merchants Bank staff will be collecting your loose change in their lobby with the donations going to Red Wing Area Food Shelf.

Spring Grove
December 1-10: Spring Grove will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” to benefit Semcac Houston County Food Shelf. Bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in Spring Grove or purchase a pre-packaged grocery bag at Red’s IGA.

St. Charles
December 1-10: St. Charles will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” to benefit Southeastern Minnesota Resource Center. Bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in St. Charles or any participating school or business.

Winona

  • December 1-10 – To give a gift of food, drop off items at Merchants Bank in Winona, Goodview or Lakeside or any participating school or business. You can mail a donation to Merchants Bank, 102 East Third Street, Winona, MN 55987, attn: “10 Days of Giving.” You can make a donation online by going directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.
  • December 1, Culver’s Night
    Date/Time – Monday, December 1 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
    Location – Culver’s of Winona
    Culver’s will be donating 10% of all sales from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • December 2, Santa Paws
    Date/Time – Tuesday, December 2 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
    Location – Merchants Bank-Downtown Winona
    Pet lovers, get your pet’s photo taken with Santa for a $10.00 donation and a non-perishable food item.
  • December 5, Elks Fish Fry
    Time/Date – Friday, December 5 from 5:00-7:30 p.m.
    Location – Winona Elks Lodge
    For only $9, you’ll get your choice of batter-fried or broiled cod, choice of baked potato or fries, coleslaw, dinner roll and refreshments. Place your bid in our silent auction.
  • December 6, Holiday Lighted Parade
    Date/Time – Saturday, December 6 at 5:30 p.m.
    Location – 6th Street in downtown Goodview.
    Lighted and decorated barrels will be placed at Merchants Bank in Goodview and the Elks Lodge. People coming to watch the Holiday Lighted Parade are invited to bring monetary gifts or non-perishable food items with them. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be collecting food along the parade route. Christmas cookies and hot chocolate will be served by Merchants Bank staff at the Bank on Sixth Street. After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at the Elk’s Lodge to greet children.
  • December 7, Holiday Concert for the Hungary
    Date/Time – Sunday, December 7 at 2:00 p.m.
    Location – Winona State University Performing Arts Center
    The Winona State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Donald Lovejoy, and the Winona State University Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Paul Vance, will perform their annual Holiday Concert. Residence Hall students from WSU will be collecting non-perishable food items. Admission to the concert is free with the gift of food or monetary contribution to the “10 Days of Giving” Food Drive.
  • December 8, Rocco’s Pizza Night
    Time/Date – Monday, December 8 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
    Location – Rocco’s Pizza in Goodview
    Rocco’s Pizza in Goodview will be donating 10% of all sales from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • December 9, Holiday Train
    Date/Time – Tuesday, December 9 at 4:00 p.m.
    Location – Winona Amtrack Station.
    Canadian Pacific Railway’s “Holiday Train” will make a stop in Winona. Entertainment, cookies and refreshments will be provided. CPR officials will make a monetary contribution to the Food Shelf at Winona Volunteer Services. Guests who attend are encouraged to make a non-perishable food or monetary donation.

10 Days of Giving Co-Chairs Announced

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Mark Metzler and Jennifer Welch have been named co-chairs for this year’s “10 Days of Giving.”

The “10 Days of Giving” runs from December 1-10, with Merchants Bank employees helping the community collect food to benefit the food shelf programs operated by Winona Volunteer Services and the Southeastern Minnesota Rural Education & Resource Center in St. Charles.

“We hope the community will respond again to the great need,” Welch said. “We are amazed each year by how much people give to those who need our help.”

Last year, the “10 Days of Giving” set a record by collecting more than 280,000 pounds of food, putting the 25-year total at 2,377,227 pounds. Two pounds of food are calculated for each dollar brought in, although the reality shows that monetary donations often have a greater impact.

“Every year we are amazed at the generosity of the people in our area,” Metzler said.

In Winona in 2013 Winona Volunteer Services had 906 households using the food shelf each month, with another 93 households per month use the emergency food shelf. In total, an average of just over 37,255 pounds of food was distributed each month in 2013.

As in the past, Merchants will be collecting at its locations as well as schools and businesses around the area. For questions, please call Metzler at 494-0524 or Welch at 457-1108. The “10 Days of Giving” will officially kick off with a press conference at 10 a.m., December 1 at Merchants Bank in downtown Winona.

Help to Make the “10 Days of Giving” a Success

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From December 1-10, the “10 Days of Giving” food drive and other events will be held at a number of Merchants Bank locations, including Winona, St. Charles, Onalaska, Cottage Grove, Hastings, Caledonia, Spring Grove, Cannon Falls and Red Wing.

The “10 Days of Giving” started in Winona and is now entering its 26th year. To date 2,377,227 pounds of food have been collected through monetary donations and the donations of non-perishable food items to help make sure no one in Winona County goes hungry. Last year, a record of more than 280,000 pounds of food was collected for Winona Volunteer Services, where the need is still great:

  • In 2013, 23,140 individuals were served at the food shelf at Winona Volunteer Services, and another 2,461 individuals were served with emergency food.
  • An average of 906 households were served each month.
  • An average of 93 households used the Emergency Food Shelf services each month in 2013. 
  • An average of 37,255 pounds of food was given out through food shelf programs monthly.

Opportunities to Give

Winona – You can drop off money or food at Merchants Bank in Winona, Goodview or Lakeside between December 1-10. You can mail a donation to Merchants Bank, 102 East Third Street, Winona, MN 55987, attn: “10 Days of Giving.” You can make a donation online by going directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name. You can also bring donations to the Holiday Train held at 4 p.m., December 9, Amtrak Station.

St. Charles – St. Charles is holding its “10 Days of Giving” December 1-10 to benefit the Southeastern Minnesota Resource Center. Please bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in St. Charles.

Onalaska – Onalaska employees will again be hosting the La Crosse Rotary Lights Event December 2 at Riverside Park in La Crosse, WI. Please bring cash or food donations that night to the event. 

Cottage Grove – Cottage Grove will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” between December 1-10 to benefit the Friends in Need Food Shelf. You can bring cash donations or toiletry items to Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove. You can also bring donations to the Holiday Train held at 5:45 p.m., December 10, south of the Sieben Bridge, in front of the Youth Service Bureau.

Hastings – Hastings will be holding its “10 Days of Giving” between December 1-10 to benefit Hastings Family Service. Bring cash or food donations to Merchants Bank in Hastings. You can also donate at the Holiday Train stop at 8:30 p.m., December 9, at Canadian Pacific Depot, 500 E. Second Street.

Red Wing – Merchants Bank in Red Wing will be hosting a Change Collection, where they will collect the change you donate and then donate that money to benefit local people in need. It’s a great way to empty your pockets and change dishes to help others.

Cannon Falls – Merchants Bank in Cannon Falls will also be hosting a Change Collection during the holiday season at the Bank to benefit local people in need.

Spring Grove – Merchants Bank in Spring Grove will celebrate the “10 Days of Giving” by giving area residents an opportunity to purchase a bag of groceries supplied by Red’s IGA for people in need. Stop in the Bank for more details.

Thank You
We know this is a busy time of year and many organizations have a need. We hope that you will consider the “10 Days of Giving.” Thank you for your consideration.

Use Your Merchants Debit or Credit Card to Swipe Out Hunger

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By swiping your Merchants Bank debit or credit card you can help maximize the amount of money Merchants Bank gives this year to local food shelves.

What is Swipe Out Hunger?
Swipe Out Hunger is a Merchants Bank initiative to support local food shelves in our communities. Food shelves are nominated by our branches and receive a donation based on the number of votes cast through our Facebook page. The total possible donation will increase by 5 cents each time our customers swipe their Merchants Bank debit or credit cards between November 28 and December 10, to a maximum of $10,000.

This year Merchants goal is to:

  • Give $5,000 to the top vote getting food shelf.
  • Give a percentage of another $5,000 to all other nominated shelves based on their percentage of votes.

In order to achieve both goals, we need to reach 200,000 swipes (purchases made with a Merchants Bank debit or credit card) by our customers between November 28 and December 10.

How can you help?
Between November 28-December 10:

  • Use your debit or credit card to increase the total amount of money Merchants donates.
  • Like the Merchants Bank Facebook page and cast your vote for your favorite local food shelf. You may vote up to three times per day.

Which food shelves are participating?
This year’s nominated food shelves include:

Apple Valley and Rosemount – The Open Door
Caledonia and Spring Grove – SEMCAC Houston County Food Shelf
Cannon Falls – Cannon Falls Food Shelf
Cottage Grove – Friends in Need Food Shelf
Hampton – Randolph Community Food Shelf
Hastings – Hastings Family Services
La Crescent – La Crescent Area Food Shelf
Lakeville – 360 Communities
Lanesboro – SEMCAC in Preston
Onalaska – The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse
Red Wing – Red Wing Area Food Shelf
Rushford – SEMCAC in Rushford
St. Charles – Southeast Minnesota Rural Education & Resource Center
Winona – Winona Volunteer Services

Additional details regarding Swipe Out Hunger can be found at our website.

Learn about Quickbooks and more at our November events

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Our staff invites you to join them at these great events throughout November. Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed.
11/6
The Secrets to Understanding Quickbooks and Your Business Finances – Quickbooks Beyond the Basics Part 2: 7:30-9am
Learn how to understand and utilize the income statement at our free business session featuring speakers from JRM and Associates. Session include breakfast.
11/17-11/18
Minnesota CPA Tax Conference: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
Stop by and see us at the Merchants Bank booth (#213) for your chance to win Minnesota Wild hockey tickets!