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Park National Bank renews associate spending program to support downtown Newark businesses

March 13, 2017

NEWARK, Ohio — The Park National Bank committed to another round of the downtown reimbursement program it created last fall to support local merchants during construction. The bank will reimburse every associate 50 percent of their spending at any downtown business, up to $25 per month, from March 1 through June 30.

A message delivered to associates last week encouraged associates to support a business they haven’t visited before. Signed by the bank’s Senior Vice President of HR and Marketing, Laura Lewis, it said, “As our late Chairman, John W. Alford, believed wholeheartedly: ‘If we take care of our communities, our communities will take care of us.’ We know it may take a few extra minutes to get to some downtown locations right now, but your continued business is very important to our local economy.”

Recognizing the challenges many downtown Newark merchants are facing due to ongoing construction projects, the bank is giving money to its associates to motivate them to patronize downtown businesses. Between the bank and its associates, the fall initiative infused $61,949.78 into more than 50 eligible businesses in the downtown area. Of its 741 associates, 575 participated in the voucher and reimbursement programs.

“Last fall, we received comments from many merchants expressing their sincere appreciation for our efforts,” said Lewis. “Supporting local businesses is always something we encourage. It’s the right thing to do.”

Park National’s program has potential to cost the bank more than $70,000. Bank leaders designed the program to inspire associates to spend more of their own money and develop new relationships with local merchants, hoping to infuse far more than an extra $70,000 into the downtown area during this crucial period. If all associates take full advantage of the renewed program, the bank’s total contribution to downtown merchants could top $132,000.

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