Strong Consumer Sentiment for Small Business

Many small businesses have been hit hard by the global pandemic, but for some, there is an opportunity to benefit from the growing importance of local neighborhoods and social networks. A recent article from McKinsey sites the increasing appeal of localized experiences: “supporting familiar, local businesses have become important to many US communities, driven in part by greater confidence in their quality and safety.”

Yalo client M&T Bank is a regional bank with a strong commitment to supporting local businesses throughout its branch footprint. During the Summer of 2019, M&T sponsored a Spotlight Shop in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, giving one local business per week the opportunity to showcase itself. The effort was a success for the Spotlight Shop businesses, for M&T Bank, and for local shoppers spending time (and money) in the harbor.

Now, more than ever, local small businesses need help. But setting up shop in a busy part of town isn’t in fashion. So, M&T Bank worked with Yalo to relaunch the experience as a Virtual Spotlight Shop. Local vendors from the Baltimore area will be promoted on M&T’s Virtual Spotlight Shop, encouraging shoppers to consider these small businesses, and buy from them online. Each week a different business will be featured.

Since the start of the pandemic, M&T Bank has been committed to being a reliable resource for its small business customers. From business counseling to facilitating two rounds of the paycheck Protection Program, M&T relationship managers have worked hard to support their customers during tough times.

M&T Bank hopes to expand the Virtual Spotlight Shop to include additional cities in its footprint, based on the benefit to the businesses featured in Baltimore. For now, we’re eyeing up some interesting choices from Boordy Vineyards, this week’s featured small business.