CresCom Bank in New Bern officially reopened its doors for business Thursday with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the local branch on S. Front Street. The bank was closed and underwent renovation following flooding and damage from Hurricane Florence.

 

CresCom management joined members of the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce, Craven County Arts Council, New Bern City officials, and Swiss Bear Inc.for the formal re-opening.

CresCom, the second largest community bank in the Carolinas, acquired First South Bank, which formerly operated out of the Front Street location, in November 2017. CresCom was formed when Crescent Bank of Myrtle Beach acquired the Charleston-based Community FirstBank in 2012. The bank’s corporate office is in Charleston, S.C.

“I have been to a lot of openings and I’ll tell you I have never been to an opening with this many people, it’s a great tribute to the community to show up,” said CresCom President and CEO David Morrow, as he scanned the crowd packed into the bank’s lobby.

Morrow thanked the CresCom employees and New Bern officials on hand for standing by the bank during the city’s recovery efforts.

“I’m sure Florence impacted a lot of folks in this room today,” he commented, “so thank you very much for that, thank you for sticking with us. It means a lot to all of us who are here today.”

“Sometimes it’s a perfect thing and today is one of those days,” said Kevin Roberts, president of the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce. “This community does support itself, we’ve seen it so many times (since Hurricane Florence).”

New Bern Ward 1 Alderman Sabrina Bengel welcomed CreCom staff back to the downtown business district.

“We’re always glad to have another business opening back up downtown, we’re glad to have you back full strength, it's awesome,” she commented.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Eileen Bress, director of Craven Arts Council & Gallery, announced that CresCom Bank has commissioned a “New Bern Strong” bear statue to commemorate the spirit of the New Bern community following Hurricane Florence. The "New Bern Strong" bear will be painted by local artist Sheri Leseberg.

Bress presented Morrow with a miniature replica of the bear statue, which will be decorated in orange and yellow colors.

Bress said the statue would “embody the strength and resilience that New Bern has shown and continued to show in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.”

“We’re so proud they chose to memorialize that so it will be on display for years to come,” said Bress.