Impact stories

Expanding into Butte

Our membership and our geographic market are growing, and so, too, is our “bricks-and-mortar” footprint. In 2020, we will open our first branch in Butte, Montana.

For Clearwater, Butte is a great fit. Members of the community are generating a lot of positive energy as they work to improve the city, including making plans for a food co-op, bringing back a movie theater, and continuing efforts with environmental cleanup.

It’s an energy Clearwater wants to support. “Butte has an incredible history. Money has come in. Money has gone out. We are here to mobilize local savings and reinvest it into the communities we serve,” said Paul Herendeen, Clearwater’s Director of Impact Market Development. The move ties in well with Clearwater’s values and our efforts to support the local, real economy in the places in which we work, live, and do business.

And in Butte, the opening of the new branch is equally welcome, said Joe Willauer, Executive Director of the Butte Local Development Corp. “We’ve seen so many innovations with our existing businesses and people that still definitely want to be starting businesses, so it’s great for town and something we’re really encouraged to see,” he said.

Herendeen is guiding the remodel of our new branch, which will be located in a historic, five-story, mixed-use building on East Granite Street in Uptown Butte. The branch will be on the first floor of the nineteenth-century building, where the Hennessey Market used to be. Floor-to-ceiling windows at street level open up the space. Above, a brick façade covers four more stories where the rooms have been made into apartments.

“It’s a very cool building,” Herendeen said. We are looking to bring our model of banking to Butte, with an open branch design, Universal Associates, and a full-service lending team.

“We’re committed to Butte for the long haul. We want to come in and start building relationships. The community connection part is really key to the whole operation for us,”

— Paul Herendeen
Historic buildings line Uptown Butte, Montana.

“We’ll be able to bring values-based financial services to a new community,” Herendeen said, citing the loans, credit cards, financial counseling, and other products we offer that would be of benefit to this new market.

“What’s made us successful in Missoula is our deep commitment to our members and our community. That’s what we want in Butte, also. To be a really strong partner.”

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