Greenfield Savings Bank ad campaign boosts local restaurants

  • Amy McMahan, owner of Mesa Verde in Greenfield, labels meals for 16 emergency room workers at Baystate Franklin Medical Center as part of a “meal train” in April 2020. McMahan, who has owned Mesa Verde for 18½ years, says Greenfield Savings Bank’s ad campaign was “just a really cool gesture.” STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • According to owner Amy McMahan, Mesa Verde in Greenfield has noticed a recent uptick in Buzz Points activity since Greenfield Savings Bank launched its ad campaign. STAFF FILE PHOTO

  • Greenfield Savings Bank’s office on Federal Street in Greenfield. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 5/12/2021 7:19:30 PM

GREENFIELD — The restaurant industry was disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the often crippling restrictions put in place to help curb the spread of the virus, not to mention the enormous reduction in customers’ income when the economy nearly came to a halt.

Many fast-food establishments and chain eateries have the corporate structure to sustain a few major blows, but locally-owned places are usually not as lucky. So the management team at Greenfield Savings Bank, most notably President and CEO John Howland, decided to do something to try to boost business at restaurants in Hampshire and Franklin counties without costing a dime to the eateries.

The result was a roughly $50,000 advertising campaign — in newspapers, on the radio and on social media. This campaign included ads in the Greenfield Recorder and Daily Hampshire Gazette listing the names and information of at least 200 restaurants, and offered bank customers bonus points on debit card usage at these establishments.

“Before the pandemic, we went to restaurants all the time, and the pandemic shifted our whole local scene,” Howland said. “These restaurants, mostly locally owned, have a significant impact on our local economy. … A lot of (employees) were long-term people at these restaurants.”

He said the impact on eateries has a ripple effect on the food vendors and farms that supply them.

The campaign started in March and was extended through April.

Paul Benjamin, marketing director for Greenfield Savings Bank, said the bank’s customers used debit cards to spend $1 million at the listed restaurants in March — this is $200,000 more than the next busiest month in the past half-year. He also mentioned the $1 million does not include money spent via cash and other cards.

“We can see tangible results here,” Benjamin said. He mentioned April’s figures are not yet available.

Benjamin said only about 5% of the listed businesses are Greenfield Savings Bank customers.

Debra Flynn, who has owned Eastside Grill in Northampton since May 5, 2008, said Greenfield Savings Bank is her banking institution and it has gone above and beyond during these challenging times.

“They’ve been like the lifeline for the restaurants in the valley. I’m so fortunate to have them as my bankers. They’ve been great during this whole pandemic,” she said. “I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am. They’ve been like a shoulder to cry on.”

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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