Chamber Member Spotlight: bankHometown rescues small businesses with PPP approvals
When the SBA launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), bankHometown sprang into action to assist local business owners access these funds and keep the community employed.
Their branches moved swiftly and quickly to transform the retail business so that their customers could count on them, and, in total, bankHometown approved almost 800 PPP loans totaling nearly $70 million, allowing local business to keep thousands of employees on payroll.
“Our focus was on small businesses who needed it most, with 90% of our PPP loans under $250,000. Through it all, we remain proactive, accessible, and responsive to help business owners weather the storm,” said Robert Morton, President and CEO.
“In fact, we recently contributed $5,000 to the North Central Massachusetts Economic Recovery Fund to help provide emergency support to small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “The chamber’s outreach to local business owners has become even more critical in these times of hardship and economic downturn, and we continue to support the chamber so that their services can continue to support our local business community in these difficult times.”
For over 130 years, bankHometown has been assisting their customers make the most of their financial futures and has experienced significant growth, particularly through a series of mergers and acquisitions, including locally with Athol-Clinton Cooperative Bank in 2011. Today, bankHometown grew into a $1.2 billion community bank with sixteen branch locations across central Massachusetts – including offices in Athol, Leominster, and Lancaster – and northeastern Connecticut.
“We’re proud to deliver local, community banking services to our communities, reinvesting deposits in loans that support local economic growth and job creation and giving back generously to the many ‘hometowns’ we serve through charitable donations and other community support,” said Morton. “Customers looking for enhanced services, greater convenience, a continued commitment to hometown banking and to our neighborhoods, with local leadership and service from trusted employees should look to bankHometown!”
This year, they opened up a second Worcester, MA location in September.
“We’re excited about the future and how we can continue to partner with our customers. We continue to develop new ways to provide customized financial solutions that create a successful tomorrow for our customers, and to add to our suite of smart banking technology that makes banking convenient and accessible—wherever our customers are and how they live,” Morton said.
bankHometown continues to play a critical role in the local community’s well-being during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and continue to work with their customers facing financial stress and hardship during this crisis.
Morton states, “We helped our customers embrace the convenience and capabilities of bank-at-home services, many for the first time, so that they experience the peace of mind that comes with remaining connected. When we ultimately reopened our branch lobbies to customers, we implemented a wide range of personal protection measures that are in place today to ensure our locations are safe to do business.”
Morton also said that bankHometown is on a mission to deliver individualized financial support that ensures their customers can build a successful future – one that harnesses their financial power, fulfills their hope, dreams, and aspirations, and lets them live life to its fullest.
“We feel so strongly and passionately about that mission, that this fall we took the opportunity to evolve our bank’s brand to better communicate it,” he said.
‘Unlock Your Potential’ is more than just our new tagline. It’s our commitment to making a meaningful difference in our customers’ lives—to helping them through the most important financial decisions they face with confidence and assurance, and to unlocking the power of their own financial potential for themselves, their families, and their businesses.”
That promise is highlighted with a new logo that puts the customer at the epicenter, along with looking forward to new communications, branch signage, advertising, and introducing new television commercials that showcase how bankHometown can be a part of the financial milestones in customers’ lives.
bankHometown has sixteen locations and can be reached at 1-888-307-5887, or visit their website at www.bankhometown.com to find out more information.