AUBURN, Mass. – Hometown Bank was welcomed to the community Saturday by representatives of the town of Auburn, area legislators and the Chamber of Commerce who attended the bank's grand opening celebration.
The new branch at 569 Southbridge St. in the Heritage Mall was unveiled to the public with games, prizes, giveaways and food. There was also a ribbon-cutting ceremony with bank employees, town officials, Statehouse politicians and Chamber of Commerce members.
“We’re really excited. All of our customers are excited that we’re coming out this way,” said Auburn branch manager Tina Puzo. “Auburn is just a great town, and we’re really excited to open up a branch here.”
State Sen. Michael Moore (D-Millbury) and state Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn) presented the bank with congratulatory citations from the Statehouse.
“Over the last couple years, we’ve seen tough economic times, but the way we’ve been getting through it is through the small businesses having resources, such as banks like Hometown Bank,” Moore said. “They’ve really been the ones who have helped stabilize the local economies and kept it moving forward.”
“Community banks are very important, and I know Hometown Bank pretty well,” Frost said. “I know they’ve done great work in the community of Oxford, and I look forward to that energy and community enthusiasm to be brought to Auburn as well.”
Hometown Bank donated $5,000 to Auburn’s Summer in the Park Concert Series at the Pappas Recreation Complex, which sponsored two concerts this past summer and will go towards concerts next summer.
“It’s been clear since day one that Hometown Bank isn’t just opening a business in Auburn. They’re becoming part of the community,” said Auburn Selectmen Chair Doreen Goodrich.
Town Manager Julie Jacobson said that renovating and re-opening a vacant building could help cause a domino effect for new businesses on Southbridge Street.
“It should bring some vitality to the area and hopefully start stimulating some development along the Route 12 corridor,” Jacobson said. “You see one business opening and one business succeeding and other businesses follow.”
The grand opening had a cash cube, in which money flies around and the individual inside the cube tries to grab as much cash as possible. Auburn Selectman Steve Simonian, a state Senate candidate, snagged $75 in the cube and donated it to Auburn Youth and Family Services, “a great, local cause,” he said.
There was also an appearance by WXLO 104.5FM, and attendees had a chance to win a 46-inch Sony LCD television and tickets and backstage passes to a Justin Bieber concert.
The 3,000-square foot, full-service branch is the bank’s sixth location. It will offer personal and business banking and employ five to seven people.