OREANDA-NEWS. August 24, 2016. M&T Bank today launched a new campaign that brings its brand promise of “Understanding What’s Important” to life through the first-hand accounts of business owners from across Upstate New York. By offering a glimpse inside their companies and explaining what’s important to them, the business customers featured in the campaign illustrate how working with M&T has helped them succeed.

“At M&T Bank, we make it our absolute highest priority to understand what’s important to our customers,” said Peter J. Eliopoulos, M&T Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Every business owner has a reason they work so hard every day. When we learn what drives them and what’s at the heart of their business, it allows us to provide personalized finance solutions that will support their growth.”

Headquartered in communities across New York State, the businesses and non-profit organizations featured in the campaign are:

  • Afrim’s Sports Inc., an Albany-based developer of indoor sports facilities, is boosting participation in athletics and promoting teamwork in its community while working with M&T to finance its major expansion project. 
  • Anderson’s Frozen Custard, a Western New York restaurant chain headquartered in Williamsville, has become a regional staple and attraction. Its owners say they choose to bank with M&T because of its tremendous community involvement.
  • Beak & Skiff Apple Farms, an apple orchard and fifth-generation family-owned business in LaFayette, has worked closely with M&T to continue to grow its operations and expand distribution of its products, including its 1911 brand of ciders and spirits.
  • Finger Food Products, Inc., the maker of the Original Pizza Logs, has worked with M&T Bank since it was founded in Niagara Falls 25 years ago. Its flagship product has now become the “official finger food” of the Buffalo Bills.
  • James Desiderio Inc., a Buffalo-based wholesale produce distributor, began its relationship with M&T in 1950 when its founder requested a \\$100 loan to start a business with just his work ethic as collateral.
  • Mollenberg-Betz Inc., a mechanical contractor based in Buffalo, has been an M&T customer for 107 years, growing alongside the bank with its focus on trust, integrity and always delivering for its customers.
  • Optimax, an Ontario, N.Y.-based optics manufacturer, has been an M&T customer since its first days while operating out of barn in Webster. It now has more than 275 employees, and its lenses are capturing images from Pluto, Mars and beyond.
  • Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, a Rochester-based secondary school, inspires and empowers young women to succeed. In addition to relying on M&T for banking services, the bank provides scholarships to help many of its students cover tuition costs.
  • Patience Brewster, an artist who started a business in Skaneateles that carries the same name, has entered various lines of business, including greeting cards and Christmas ornaments, and growing the company steadily with M&T’s support.
  • PrimaLoft, an Albany-based manufacturer of insulation fabrics for the outdoor apparel industry, focuses intensely on driving innovation in its field. Its products are now in over 400 clothing brands, and M&T’s understanding of its business has helped it grow.
  • Sand Creek Animal Hospital treats dogs, cats and other companion animals at its facilities in Albany. The veterinarians who started the hospital say M&T’s personalized service helped it grow beyond what they ever imagined.
  • Shaker Pointe, a Watervilet-based senior living facility, was the vision of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In 2008, when many banks tightened lending during the Great Recession, the Sisters connected with M&T Bank, which believed in their vision and stepped up to help them make it a reality with financing and charitable contributions.
“As a community-focused bank, we are committed to supporting businesses that employ our neighbors and help our communities thrive,” said Brian Hickey, M&T Bank Executive Vice President, Upstate New York. “The customers featured in this video series believed in their business and went after their dreams. We’re proud to have been there for them when they needed us, and we’re excited to share their stories to inspire others.”

The videos will debut on M&T Bank’s website (bank.mtb.com/hometown), Facebook and YouTube pages, starting this week and continuing through November. The businesses featured in the videos will also appear in print, online and digital-billboard advertising across the state.
M&T is also encouraging its social media audience to use the hashtag #WhatsImportant and share stories about what’s important to them—be it to start a family, volunteer, or to have the financial resources to start a new business.
M&T is one of the country’s largest commercial lenders to mid-sized businesses and the 7th largest SBA lender in the nation, based on the total number of loans made through the SBA’s loan guaranty programs.