Covid-19 impacted every community across the nation and the world. Virtually overnight, schools, businesses, and organizations locked down. Small businesses were particularly hard hit; but that didn’t mean that community financial institutions weren’t there to help. Our winner of the 2021 Community Spark Award, Dean Bank, initiated a remarkable program and provided a spark to the community when it needed it most.
As their communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island neared the Holiday Season last year, Dean Bank was approached by the Town of Franklin to brainstorm ways to bolster the local small business economy. The idea they settled on was to create a closed-circuit gift card program, branded the “Think Franklin First” gift card.
Dean Bank underwrote the entire administration cost of the program (approximately $5,000 for the first year), served as the sole purchase location, supported the program through cross-promotion and also purchased gift cards to use in the community.
Through the first six months of operation, 443 cards were been purchased with a total value of $30,860. Every dollar spent on these gift cards goes directly to one or more of the approximately 60 local small businesses in Franklin, MA. No national chain stores in town were asked to participate so the dollars stay local.
It’s been a tremendous success to date and residents and businesses alike have credited Dean Bank for stepping up and providing a spark to the community when it needed it most.
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