Revenues increase in West Columbia, a good reason to save for a rainy day

Vaughan Dozier, First Community Bank.

Deposits in West Columbia were up about almost $70 million is the last fiscal year.

September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and there are a lot of things to consider related to the threat of disaster. One of those things is money. Have you saved in the event of an emergency?

Vaughan Dozier, an active member of the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber, is a regional manager for First Community Bank. His territory includes West Columbia. He said even though West Columbia missed the worst part of a recent storm, more people had more savings this year, than in previous years.

“We have definitely seen the savings rate go up in West Columbia,” Dozier said. “The local businesses have done a good job, and it’s obvious in the savings rate.”

He also said “one of the silver linings of challenging times is that people and businesses have learned how to prepare a safety net.”

In West Columbia, past weather-related storms have resulted in damaged property for West Columbia residents. And after an emergency, many of the victims are left to replace losses, using savings. That’s why it is good to have some money set aside in the event of an emergency.

Dozier said there is data that First Community Bank has gotten that indicates more money is being saved.

“We just received the FDIC’s (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s) Summary of Deposit Market Share,” said Dozier. Our deposits have definitely gone up in West Columbia. In the 29169 Zip Code, from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018, which ended in June, deposits were up from around $488 million in 2017, to $557 million in 2018.”

The numbers regarding West Columbia are in line with the national trend that shows people are saving more.

U.S. households have been saving a lot more money in recently according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. Government statistics released in July showed he saving rate over 2016 and 2017 is at an average 6.7%.

The data is good news may for economists. A higher rate of savings is essential to a better recovery after an emergency. A good economy, like there is in West Columbia, where deposits are higher, are essential to a higher savings rate, said Dozier.

In addition to suggesting his clients in West Columbia have enough put away for an emergency, Dozier said the bank has to be prepared, too.

“We have to open,” said Dozier. Federal law mandates that banks cannot be closed for more than three consecutive days. To be ready, Dozier said First Community takes precautions.

“We have emergency power sources because people will need to get to us,” said Dozier. He added that it’s also a good idea for customers to prepare for money when there is the threat of a disaster.

“People stock up on bread, milk, gas and other supplies before an emergency, so they are prepared. “It’s also a good idea to get cash. If power goes out, you cannot use a debit card. The Internet is down, and there is no power,” said Dozier. “So you may need to have some money in an emergency situation.”

As we recognize Emergency Preparedness Month, it seems past experiences have taught the people of West Columbia to be vigilant. Because of that, we are saving more, and we are more ready than ever to combat a crisis.

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