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Montecito Bank & Trust's Community Dividends Benefits 179 Nonprofits

The area’s oldest and largest locally owned community bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, awarded 179 local nonprofits a share of $1.2 million during its annual Community Dividends® Awards luncheon in November, continuing its tradition of investing in the communities it serves.

Through its unique giving program, MB&T has granted more than $19 million to local Santa Barbara and Ventura County nonprofit organizations. Chairman & CEO Janet Garufis expressed gratitude for the work of nonprofit organizations.

“Every year we give thanks for you, but this year we are especially grateful for you, for your staff and your boards and for your commitment to your missions. You did make a difference. You are making a difference,” noted Garufis.

The nonprofit leaders were joined by the Bank’s board and leadership team, in addition to MB&T Associates who have dedicated the past 20 months to the MB&T Relief Center and were responsible for issuing Paycheck Protection Program loans to a vast majority of the nonprofits in the room.

“The lessons of the last 20 months inspire us to keep looking forward to what’s possible. We have learned a lot—about ourselves, our communities and how a business or an organization can adapt at critical moments, reinvent themselves and persevere through change,” said Garufis.

Forty-six years ago Michael Towbes and a small group of local investors started Montecito Bank & Trust because they believed they could deliver exceptional and personalized customer service and fulfill the needs of the local community. When Towbes became the single shareholder and owner, the vision of investing a meaningful portion of the Bank’s profits back into the community took shape. Three years ago, Montecito Bank & Trust expanded the Community Dividends program to honor the late founder.

The Michael Towbes Impact Dividend provides an organization or a couple of organizations with funding for a special program or activity or to extend something they had been working on or dreaming about that would create change that is lasting and impactful. The Impact Dividend honors Towbes and his desire to do more, give more and make an impact. The total amount of the annual Impact Dividend depends on the success of the Bank. Because of the Bank’s significant growth this year, the Michael Towbes Impact Dividend went to two organizations:

The Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, Inc. received $100,000 to support its new 3D Printed Affordable Home Project. The project is part of a new Housing Innovations Program to research and demonstrate innovative technologies that reduce the cost of constructing affordable housing and to encourage sustainability through the use of natural, climate resilient and fire-resistant building materials.

Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics Bridge Clinic received $50,000 to support its collaboration with Cottage Health Systems to provide medical and behavioral health services to patients who have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder. The SBNC Bridge Clinic will increase access to treatment at a location close to Cottage Hospital’s Emergency Department.

Community Dividends and the Michael Towbes Community Impact Dividend primarily focus on supporting organizations or programs that serve low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Dividends are awarded to organizations that serve youth and education, social services, medical and health services, and the arts.

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