Merchants Bank Has Grand Opening At New Wilmington Branch

Move Brings Positive Change

Wilmington, VT – Sandra Bartlett, Regional Banking
Manager at Merchants Bank and responsible for the operations of the Wilmington
branch, announced the Grand Opening of their new branch location, this
Thursday, February 9.  The floodwaters of
Tropical Storm Irene caused extensive damage to the old building, rendering it
beyond repair.  This original, Wilmington
bank location first opened in January of 1980.  “It was a total loss,” Bartlett said.  “Electronics and furniture were destroyed,
and we were basically out of commission for four days.”  Staff from Merchants’ headquarters in Burlington brought laptops and other supplies, and an arrangement was made with another local bank to work out of their conference room until other housing could be found.  The employees really
came during this time, cleaning out the old office, transferring safe deposit
boxes, and packing up for the move.  Within
three weeks, a temporary trailer was set up in the Wilmington Shaw’s parking
lot, and the move to the permanent location – also in the Shaw’s Plaza -
occurred on January 5.  

Although the damage caused by the flood
has been devastating, the move itself has been very positive.  In a time of crisis, Merchants was able to
provide uninterrupted and secure banking services to its customers.  “Our new office is beautiful,” Bartlett
said.  “People like the convenience of
being near the grocery store, and we have great parking as well.  Customers seem happy.”  The community has been extremely
supportive.  Many of them have expressed
gratitude for not having to travel to another town for their banking while the
recovery was underway.  The branch is
housed in an old video store that has been completely renovated by Royal
Design, out of Milton.  “The new office
is very welcoming,” Bartlett said. 
“There are more windows, letting in lots of natural light.” 

The Grand Opening will take place on
Thursday, February 9.  The event will
last all day, and hors d’oeuvres, cake, and other refreshments will be
served.  There will be a raffle
benefiting the food shelf, which also sustained significant damage in the
flood.  “The last person that used the
ATM at our old branch, and the first person to enter our new branch are
married, and we thought that was significant enough to celebrate,” Bartlett
said. Merchants is giving them each a gift in honor of this pleasant
coincidence. “It’s just going to be a festive day.”