Join Us for the 10 Days of Giving

In its first 26 years, the “10 Days of Giving” food drive has collected 2,608,182 pounds of food through monetary donations and the donations of non-perishable food items. We need your help this year to meet our goal: To collect enough food to ensure that nobody in the counties we serve will go hungry during the winter.

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). Also, keep in mind that typically the best way to support your local food shelf is through cash donations because of local food shelves’ buying power. Thank you for your generosity!

Cannon FallsCottage GroveHastingsRed WingSt. 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 – Thursday, 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 Doc Walter and Kira Isabella. Santa Claus will stop by and there will be entertainment, snacks and refreshments for everyone.


  • 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 – Wednesday, December 9 at 8:30 p.m.
    Location – Canadian Pacific Depot, 500 E. Second Street.
    Don’t miss performances by Doc Walter and Kira Isabella. Santa Claus will stop by and there will be entertainment, snacks and refreshments for everyone.

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.

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.


  • 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.
    • Mail a donation to Merchants Bank, 102 East Third Street, Winona, MN 55987, attn: “10 Days of Giving.”
    • Donate online by going directly to the Winona Volunteer Services website. Indicate “10 Days of Giving” after entering your name.
  • December 4, Fish Fry and Bake Sale
    Time/Date – Friday, December 4 from 5:00-7:30 p.m.
    Location – Winona Elks Lodge
    For only $10, get your choice of batter-fried or broiled cod, choice of baked potato or fries, coleslaw, dinner roll and refreshments. Tickets available for purchase at Merchants Bank.
  • December 5, Classic Holiday Movie Morning
    Time/Date – Saturday, December 5 at 9:45 a.m.
    Location: Winona 7 Theatre
    See the “Polar Express” or “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”on the big screen. Tickets available at Merchants Bank: $4/person, $20/family, 5 and under free. Concessions also available for purchase.
  • December 5, Holiday Lighted Parade
    Date/Time – Saturday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m.
    Location – 6th Street in downtown Goodview.
    Come watch the Holiday Lighted Parade and bring monetary gifts or non-perishable food items to place in barrels along the parade route. Enjoy Christmas cookies and hot chocolate will be at Merchants Bank on Sixth Street. After the parade, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Elk’s Lodge..
  • December 6, Holiday Concert for the Hungry
    Date/Time – Sunday, December 6 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. Admission  is free with the gift of food or monetary contribution.
  • December 7, Rocco’s Pizza Night
    Time/Date – Monday, December 7 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 8, Culver’s Night
    Date/Time – Tuesday, December 8 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 9, Holiday Train
    Date/Time – Wednesday, December 9 at 4:00 p.m.
    Location – Winona Amtrak Station.
    Canadian Pacific Railway’s “Holiday Train” will make a stop in Winona. Entertainment, cookies and refreshments will be provided. Attendees are encouraged to make a non-perishable food or monetary donation.
  • December 9, A&W Restaurant Day
    Date/Time – Wednesday, December 9, All Day
    Location – A&W Restaurant in Winona
    A&W will be donating 10% of all sales on December 9.
  • December 10, Jefferson’s day
    Date/Time – Thursday, December 10, All Day
    Location – Jefferson’s Restaurant in Winona
    Jefferson’s will be donating 10% of all sales on December 10.
  • December 10, Santa Paws
    Date/Time – Thursday, December 10 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.


Help Us Support Your Local Food Shelves


Voting is open now through Thursday, December 10 for Swipe Out Hunger. Cast your vote for your local food shelf and they could receive up to a $5,000 donation. Follow the instructions below to vote:


You may place a vote for the same food shelf once a day. Nominated food shelves include:

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

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 based on the number of times our customers use their Merchants Bank debit or credit cards between November 30 and December 10.


What Should You Know About Merchants Bank EMV Chip Credit Cards?

Merchants Bank, credit card

What is an EMV chip card?

The term “EMV” stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa – the original developers of chip cards. These cards increase the security of in-person transactions by generating a one-time use code that can only be read by a register enabled to read chip cards. The code is created from the small chip on the front of your card and is hard to counterfeit, which prevents fraud.

How do I know if I have a chip card?

If you have a chip card, you will notice a small chip icon on the front of the card. At this time, Merchants Bank Visa Credit Cards offer EMV chip technology and have the chip icon. If you are a current Merchants Bank Visa Credit Card cardholder, your EMV chip card will be sent to you upon expiration of your current card. New cardholders will be issued a chip card upon credit approval.

Is paying with a chip card different from paying with my other cards?

Yes, making a payment with a chip card is slightly different than the card transactions you are used to. Instead of swiping your card at the register, you’ll simply follow these instructions:


Step 1: Insert the chip end of your card into the terminal with the chip facing up.

Step 2: Keep the card in the terminal during the transaction and follow the prompts on the screen.

Step 2: Keep the card in the terminal during the transaction and follow the prompts on the screen.

Step 3: Take your card when prompted. It’s that easy!

Step 3: Take your card when prompted. It’s that easy!












Do all stores accept EMV chip cards?

Not yet, but the trend is growing and if a store does not yet accept chip cards, you can still swipe your card to pay.

What happens if I swipe my EMV chip card instead of inserting it into the register?

The terminal will display a message asking you to insert your card instead.

To learn more about EMV chip technology, contact the Customer Service Representative at your local Merchants Bank.

If you are a business and would like to accept cards, or have a terminal that does not currently accept EMV chip cards, contact our Credit Card department.

Credit cards are subject to credit approval.


November Events

Merchants Bank, Community Events

Be sure to follow us on our Facebook page for information on these events or pictures from other events you may have missed.

11/17 Apple Valley Open House and Ribbon Cutting
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with Ribbon Cutting at 10:30 a.m.
At Merchants Bank in Apple Valley

Help us celebrate the opening of our new Apple Valley location on Glazier Avenue. Light refreshments will be served.


Would You Increase Your Holiday Sales if You Could?

Business Gift Cards

For the past eight years, gift cards have been the number one most wanted holiday wish list item, according to the National Retail Foundation. In addition, 62% of shoppers say they would like to receive a gift card.* The popularity of gift cards has steadily increased since 2003 and spending on gift cards reached more than $31 billion in 2014.*

Still not sure if gift cards are right for your business? Here are some incredible statistics:

  • 83% Total spending on gift cards has increased by 83% since 2003.**
  • $23 – On average, consumers spend $23 more than the original value of the gift card at a store. **
  • 3x more – On average, consumers visit a store three or more times to spend the balance of a gift card.**


Watch Now: Mike Swanson, Senior Consumer Banker and Branch Manager in Lakeville, explains how personalized business gift cards can benefit your business.

Offering gift cards is not only what your customers want, but it’s easy with Merchants Bank! Through our partnership with Valutec, you can begin offering personalized gift cards at your business in as little as 10 days. Simply speak to our Credit Card department by calling (507) 457-1160 or (800) 944-6285 to get started.



Is Your Home Ready for Winter?


Minnesota and Wisconsin are known for cold winters. Just how cold? On January 9 and 10 of 1982, the wind chill was purported to be -71 degrees in Minnesota. That type of weather can be fatal to people and animals, and it really does a number on our homes, too.

Most days aren’t nearly that cold, but many can get downright numbing. What can you do to prepare your home for this weather? We’ve compiled some of the best tips.

As you go through these tips, remember that everyone has a different level of comfort in tackling home projects. Please consider hiring professionals whenever you believe it is necessary.


  • Insulate walls and attic.
  • Install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near a fireplace, wood stove or portable heater. Vent all fuel-burning equipment outside.
  • Examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay.
  • Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces. Use a sealant to plug up any leaks.
  • Test your sump pump.


  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
    Service snow-removal equipment. Sharpen ice chopper and inspect snow shovels.
  • Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent them from causing a problem with ice or wind.
  • Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade around the exterior of your home should slope away from the house.
  • Remove and drain any attached hoses and store them for the winter.
  • Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of ice melt or sand on hand.
  • Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening. Re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.
  • Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet.
    Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.

Projects Where You’ll Definitely Want Professional Help

  • Have chimney and flue inspected.
  • Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles. Have a professional replace them as necessary to prevent roof leaks.
  • Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate.
  • Have a professional Inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is in good repair.

Again, please consider hiring local professionals when needed, including clearing your driveway and sidewalks, if necessary.

Don’t Forget Your Pets

When the weather gets cold, take care of your pets. Bring them inside, or make sure they have adequate shelter and unfrozen water, if they are outdoors.

If you need help financing any home repairs or projects, a Home Equity Line of Credit may be the answer. Contact your local Merchants Bank location today.

Tips compiled from, and

Loans are subject to credit approval.