Manage episode 301912776 series 2530089
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Ever hear of the phrase “putting your money where your mouth is”? It means to act in a way that matches what you say. If you say you believe in helping people but in reality you don’t, then your money and your mouth are not on good terms. When a bank in upstate New York celebrated its 170th anniversary with 170 acts of kindness, it showed the world that its money and its mouth have an excellent relationship. Ulster Savings Bank, or USB, has been a local fixture in the Hudson Valley since its establishment in 1851. Ahead of its 170th birthday in April, CEO and President Bill Calderara said that USB would be dispersing nearly $65,000 (¥7.1 million) among its customers to use for things like pizza, groceries, flowers, haircuts, auto inspection bills and other services. USB also donated puzzles and toys to a local homeless shelter and stuffed animals to a child abuse prevention facility. After a year of pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, people in the Hudson Valley were finally venturing outdoors again. That didn’t mean they weren’t worried about spending money, especially on treats that could otherwise brighten up their day. But with USB picking up the tab, they could afford to splurge a little. Calderara told reporters: “We were founded for our customers and for the benefit of the community at large. That’s part of our DNA.” USB has always had its heart in the right place. In 2020, the bank gave out almost $600,000 (¥65.8 million) in grants, and the employees dedicate part of their time to community service. Calderara explained that, as a mutual savings bank, USB has no shareholders to answer to. This means it is 100% community oriented, and the bank values customer loyalty above all other concerns. Maybe this is the ideal business model for a more scaled-down and humane economy. (The Japan Times) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.