By Rod Lee
Gary Vaillancourt shudders to think where Vaillancourt Folk Art would be without the assistance of Millbury National Bank (MNB).
In this, Vaillancourt’s 35th-anniversary year, he reflected recently on how Millbury National Bank, the origin of which dates to 1825, helped the store make it through a crisis.
“We hit a rough period in the 1990’s, when China had an impact on us,” Mr. Vaillancourt said. “We were dealing with a large bank but they didn’t understand our situation. I called Kate Marcum (MNB’s third-generation president). We had a big debt load. She worked with us and became an active partner in the process. I meet with Kate quarterly. We’re in good financial shape because she understands the nature of small business. With Kate there will never be a surprise.
“I could reach out to Kate from France and she would respond immediately!”
Mr. Vaillancourt’s sentiments are echoed by other small-business owners throughout the region who have turned to MNB for financial underpinning.
Located at 18 Main St. in Millbury Center, MNB, offers a plethora of loan products for business along with everyday business checking, business savings accounts, business money market accounts and business certificates of deposit (CDs).
Because of MNB, Vaillancourt Folk Art, at 9 Main St., Suite H in Sutton, is poised for its Annual Christmas Opening with an introduction of “The 2019 Starlight Santa” on Friday, November 1st, and all the events of the holiday season that will follow.
Mary Beth McGuirk of Chase/Harris Septic Corp. on Dudley Road in Sutton, a family-owned company that has been servicing the community for more than seventy years, said “Millbury National is our bank. When you walk in you are greeted with a smile. Every time we go for loans, they push it right through. We have a lot of vehicles and our mortgage with them. So many people have called us for financing, we stay with [Millbury National]. They’ve helped others, too, like C&S Lumber and Elm Draught House. I would never work with a big bank!”
Taking a moment from tuning up the engine of a vehicle in his shop, Chris Parker of Parker’s Auto at 4 Howe Ave. in Millbury, which specializes in “complete automotive repair,” said “I have been with Millbury National for about a year with a line of credit. It’s extra money if a piece of equipment breaks. It’s a safety net for me. I’d recommend them to anyone, and I have. They’re awesome.”
No one is more aware or more appreciative of Millbury National than Michael J. Keating of Keating Enterprises, 9 Halmstad St. in Worcester, who started his “simple lawn mowing and snow shoveling” business from scratch in the mid-1960s. Mr. Keating has been with MNB for most of the years since then.
“I would not be where I am today without the likes of Roger Corey,” Mr. Keating said, referring to Ms. Marcum’s father, who succeeded Ms. Marcum’s grandfather, E. Paul Harris, as president, preceding her own ascendancy to the position in 2002.
When he was looking for a commercial loan, Mr. Keating said, “I went to Millbury Savings Bank first. Millbury Savings could handle my personal banking but they weren’t doing corporate at the time.” To Mr. Keating’s surprise, “Dudley Bowker walked me across the street to Millbury National.”
Thus began Mr. Keating’s long and fruitful association with Millbury National.
“I’m on the Board of Directors,” he said. “I took Roger’s place!”
Millbury National “is the bank you can count on when you’re in trouble,” Mr. Keating said.
In a conference call on October 16th, Ms. Marcum and John T. Latino Jr., who is the bank’s vice president and COO, said their philosophy is “to talk to the customer and get to know their goals and needs and not to put them outside the box. We don’t have to be restricted by limits (big banks might be governed by). We try to match up the debt they carry with their business models.”
The circumstances small businesses face can vary, Ms. Marcum said, noting that sometimes it is just a matter of “helping them deal with tight cash flow.”
Ms. Marcum said “our best source of referrals is our customers. There is so much frustration out there. A lot of entrepreneurs feel they should be able to run their business without a line of credit.”
Whatever the demands are when it comes to obtaining the funds necessary for carrying a business forward, those enterprises mentioned here, and Gauvin Supply in South Grafton and All Points Limo in Millbury, know that Millbury National is there to make it happen.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.