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First Home Bank rebrands with new strategies in mind

Veronica Brezina

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BayFirst Bank's new signage on Central Avenue. Image provided.

First Home Bank will now be known as BayFirst. 

The name change reflects the St. Petersburg-based community bank’s ties in the region, and it aligns with its holding company, BayFirst Financial Corp (NASDAQ: BAFN)

“While we will continue to support small business owners and homebuyers across the country through our SBA and residential mortgage divisions, we remain St. Petersburg-based, an independent bank focused on making a difference in our own community and in the lives of those we serve,” BayFirst CEO Anthony Leo said in a news release. 

In a statement to the St. Pete Catalyst, Leo added, “Our previous name was somewhat confusing, and many assumed we only offer residential mortgages. BayFirst better communicates all of our products and services in addition to residential mortgages, including community banking and commercial lending.”

The name change was unveiled Monday morning at the headquarters of BayFirst at 700 Central Ave.

The bank, which has 568 employees, operates seven banking centers in Tampa Bay and originates residential mortgages through 20 loan production offices nationwide. As of March 31, BayFirst had $888.54 million in total assets.

“Among our upcoming initiatives is further establishing BayFirst as a technology-driven organization by deploying the technology infrastructure, architecture and talent developed to enhance customer experience, improve commercial online banking and cash management, and seek new partnerships with fintech companies that offer unique services and provide additional revenue opportunities,” Leo said.

“Our key strategic initiatives also include meeting the customer on their terms, leveraging our commitment to social responsibility to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, capitalizing on investments in employee benefits and training to promote the bank as a premier workplace, and using SBA and residential mortgage lending as lead products to support the growth of the community bank network and increase our brand awareness.” 

Investing in the community

The bank is celebrating the rebrand by making weeklong investments in the community, according to a news release: 

Monday: The bank will provide vouchers for discounted food items at various restaurants on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Tuesday: BayFirst will cover the trolley fare for riders on the Central Avenue Trolley in St. Petersburg between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Wednesday: The bank will cover the bus fare for riders on Route 15, running between Netpark and Westshore Plaza along Columbus Drive in Tampa from 9-11 a.m.

Thursday: Beginning at 11 a.m., the bank will sponsor 100 meals provided by Miss Susie’s Newtown Kitchen food truck at its North Sarasota Office, located in the Newtown Community at 1782 Dr. Martin Luther King Way.

Friday: Beginning Friday and running through May 27, BayFirst will match pet adoption fees in the amount of $25 per pet at SPCA Tampa Bay (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and provide adopting families a $25 gift card to a pet supply store.

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