HarborOne Bank makes the holidays a little merrier for over 600 employees, while making a powerful statement on the minimum wage


HarborOne Bank today announced it will accelerate its plan to implement a $15-per-hour minimum wage and will provide a one-time $500 bonus to more than 600 employees of the bank and its mortgage lending subsidiary, Merrimack Mortgage Company, LLC,  as a result of federal tax reform legislation.

The minimum wage change officially goes into effect on February 5, 2018, and the one-time bonus in mid-January.

“The immediate outcome of this legislation will be tax savings for HarborOne, which has a direct impact on our bottom line,” said HarborOne Bank CEO James Blake. “It’s only fitting that this financial gain be shared with our employees – who do so much every day to deliver a premier banking experience for our customers.

The legislation – officially named the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 – lowers corporate tax rates in banking and other industries across the entire U.S. economy. Congress passed the bill earlier this month and President Trump signed it into law on December 22.

HarborOne Bank made significant progress in fulfilling its growth strategy in 2017 – including the announcement of plans for a new branch in Stoughton, rapid expansion of the Bank’s commercial lending business and continued growth of its mortgage lending portfolio through the wholly owned subsidiary Merrimack Mortgage Company.

The $500 bonuses will be paid to all HarborOne Bank and Merrimack Mortgage employees – with the exception of senior management and bank leadership. Additionally, HarborOne and Merrimack Mortgage will implement a $15 minimum wage effective February 5, 2018.

“This is something we’ve been working on for some time now,” said Joseph Casey, President and Chief Operating Officer of HarborOne. “Our original intent was to implement the higher minimum wage over a three-year period. But this tax reform legislation allows us to accelerate those plans.”

With the announcement and change to be implemented in February, HarborOne Bank’s starting wage will be more than double the federal minimum wage and 36 percent higher than the Massachusetts state minimum wage of $11 per hour.

“This is some great news to close out the year,” Casey said.  “HarborOne is fortunate that our employees are so dedicated to customers, community, and each other.  We wouldn’t have the success that we’ve had, or the prospects for success that lie ahead of us, without them.”

People’s United Bank Celebrates the Holiday Season by Giving Back

People's United Bank logo.jpg

Volunteer and Charitable Events in Boston, Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Salem and Worcester

Employee volunteers from People’s United Bank’s offices and branch locations will continue to be active in their communities this holiday season serving meals, preparing gifts, and supporting  those in need. A special highlight of the holiday season will be the annual tree lighting in Danvers Square on December 9, hosted at the bank’s North Shore headquarters on Conant Street.  For information on any of the activities listed below, please contact Kevin Noyes, Vice President of Community Development for People’s United Bank at 978-739-0253.

November 25 (Danvers) – People’s United Bank volunteers helped children at the First Steps Child Care Center serve Thanksgiving dinner to their parents.

December 1-18 (Boston) – People’s United Bank’s employees conduct a food drive to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank’s Holiday Meal Drive.

December 9 (Danvers) – People’s United Bank’s Conant Street office in Danvers is hosting the Care Dimensions Annual Tree Lighting in Danvers Square from 5-8 p.m. https://give.hns.org/pages/tree-of-lights-2015

December 11 (Salem) – People’s United Bank Employees conduct a Gift Drive for Children’s Friends and Family Services in Salem where 200 children will receive gifts from bank employees (delivery of gifts is slated for 2 p.m.) http://childrensfriend.net/

December (Danvers) – People’s United Bank’s volunteers will host a birthday party for children and families living in the Econo Lodge in Danvers (in conjunction with the non-profit Birthday Wishes). https://www.birthdaywishes.org/

December 17 (Beverly) – People’s United Bank VP Kevin Noyes will dress as Santa for the Connecting Young Mom’s Annual Holiday Party at Beverly Hospital.

December 19 (Beverly) – People’s United Bank VP Jack Good will  be coordinating bell ringers and ringing a bell for the Salvation Army in conjunction with the Beverly Rotary.

December 21 (Lynn) – People’s United Bank’s volunteers are going to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless to assist with holiday cake orders, putting them together and getting the cakes ready for delivery.  http://www.mahomeless.org/

December 22 (Lynn) – People’s United Bank’s volunteers will sort toys and prepare orders for families at the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless’ warehouse in Lynn. http://www.mahomeless.org/

All December (Worcester) – The People’s United Bank Commercial Lending Group in Worcester will be gathering a donation for Children’s Friend, that serves children and families whose lives have been affected by difficulties including abuse, neglect, family instability, death, substance abuse, and mental, emotional and physical problems. http://www.childrensfriend.org/?page_id=8

People’s United Bank, its employees, and its foundation, continue to be leaders in their charitable giving and grant donations to local and national non-profit organizations as well as local communities. The Bank organizes regular “Jeans Days” where staff can wear jeans to work if they make a donation to a non-profit organization, which are chosen by staff, staff also participate regularly in volunteer activities. Jeans Days have $15,000 for local non-profits in the bank’s communities.  Additionally, the People’s United Community Foundation and the People’s United Community Foundation of Eastern Massachusetts (formerly the Danversbank Charitable Foundation) provide vital financial support to a variety of non-profit organizations in Massachusetts by providing in excess of $1,150,000 in grants in 2015.

People’s United Bank is a subsidiary of People’s United Financial, Inc., a diversified financial services company with $36 billion in assets. People’s United Bank, founded in 1842, is a premier, community-based, regional bank in the Northeast offering commercial and retail banking, as well as wealth management services through a network of over 400 retail locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

O’Neill and Associates Recognized as a Top Public Relations Firm by Banker & Tradesman Readers

(L-R) Director of Marketing Jennifer Hardin, SVP Cosmo Macero Jr., SVP Ann Murphy, and Director Mike Sherry Accept the B&T BEST Award on behalf of OA

(L-R) Director of Marketing Jennifer Hardin, SVP Cosmo Macero Jr., SVP Ann Murphy, and Director Mike Sherry Accept the B&T BEST Award on behalf of OA

Last week, Banker & Tradesman’s readers awarded O’Neill and Associates with the magazine’s BEST award, a recognition that highlights the top service providers to the real estate and banking industries in Massachusetts. This year marked the eighth consecutive year that O’Neill and Associates has been voted as one of the top three public relations agencies by Banker & Tradesman.

“It is truly an honor for O’Neill and Associates to be recognized, along with so many reputable and successful companies and organizations, as one of B&T’s ‘BEST’ for the eighth consecutive year,” stated Chief Executive Officer Thomas P. O’Neill III. “We are proud of our longstanding expertise and relationships within the banking and real estate communities, and are grateful for our clients in those industries who allow us to help them reach and exceed their public affairs goals.”

Banker & Tradesman conducts an annual online survey with the publication’s readers that measures the loyalty and support of the Bay State’s financial and real estate communities, and to recognize the companies from diverse industries such as public relations, legal, architecture and design, engineering, hospitality, web design, financial services, and many more.

HarborOne Bank welcomes State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg as part of Economic Empowerment Tour

HarborOne U

From left to right, HarborOne Bank President & CEO James W. Blake, Vice President of Community Education Maureen Wilkinson, Community Education Trainer Aaron Wilson, Treasurer Goldberg and Leo MacNeil, who recently retired after decades as HarborOne’s Senior Vice President of Community Relations.

In August, HarborOne Bank welcomed State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg to HarborOne U, where the bank provides free financial education and business administration classes and seminars to Brockton residents. Partnering with NeighborWorks Southern Mass. and organizations like the Brockton Housing Partnership, HarborOne Bank is dedicated to strengthening Brockton through financial empowerment.

Treasurer Goldberg, who created the Office of Economic Empowerment earlier this year, visited HarborOne U in downtown Brockton as part of her statewide economic empowerment tour to learn about HarborOne U’s programming – which includes classes and seminars on financial education, personal enrichment, and professional development. The center offers English as a Second Language as well as U.S. citizenship classes in order to establish connections and build trust among Brockton residents. Since its opening in 2007, seventy-five percent of the 7,000 attendees have been low- to moderate-income minority residents and women.

“Empowering Massachusetts citizens through financial education is essential for developing and strengthening communities across the Commonwealth,” Treasurer Goldberg said. “Partnerships like HarborOne Bank, NeighborWorks Southern Mass., and the residents of Brockton are a key ingredient in promoting these skills.”

For more about HarborOne Bank and HarborOne U, visit https://www.harborone.com/HarborOneU/

American Consumer Credit Counseling Offers 5 Ways to Save on Back to School Items

gI_148765_ways to save on back to schoolSummer is flying by, and soon the stressful back-to-school shopping will begin. American Consumer Credit Counseling, a client of O’Neill and Associates, has provided families with five tips for frugal back-to-school savings without breaking the bank.

Parents are spending hundreds of dollars to get their children ready for school this year. A recent survey from the National Retail Federation found the average amount spent on annual back-to-school expenses has grown 42 percent over the last 10 years. According to this survey, this year, the average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spend $630 on electronics, clothes, and other school necessities.

“The start of a new school year does not have to be costly. It should be exciting and satisfying knowing that you are saving money,” said Steve Trumble, president and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Families and students should not feel stressed out when shopping efficiently and strategically because they will be able to purchase all the essentials for their school year.”

August is generally a good time to get all of your back to school shopping done — there are many sales that you can take advantage of, and some states offer tax-free holidays.

American Consumer Credit Counseling offers these five ways to save on back to school items:

  1. Make a List and Stick to the Budget: Before splurging on supplies and clothing, sit down and set a maximum amount of how much you want to spend. Making a list will help gain perspective for the items you need and also help you determine if you can purchase some items at a later date. Be sure to involve your children in decision making, because it will help them understand the value of saving money and purchasing needs over wants.
  2. Bargain: Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Look out for those back-to-school deals, whether it’s signing up for email alerts about coupons or comparing prices of products from different retail stores. Also, garage sales and thrift stores are great places to find college dorm furniture as well as children’s clothing. In addition to buying supplies, try to purchase value or multi-packs; that way you will have a surplus to store away for the next school year.
  3. Reuse: There is no need to buy new supplies every year. If notebooks are not fully written in from last year, then tear out the old pages and continue to use it until it’s filled. Do not forget about left over pens and pencils from last year too.
  4. Lifetime Warranty: Think about buying a backpack that comes with a lifetime warranty. Land’s End, L.L. Bean and REI are among the many different companies that promise to replace your worn and used items forever.
  5. Back-to-School Budget Calculator: When trying to consider all of your shopping expenses, try a back-to-school budget calculator. ACCC’s budget calculator gives families and students insightful information on how their expenses are going to be used and where to make the necessary adjustments. With your list in hand and your estimated budget, you will be ready for back-to-school shopping.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loans, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.


People’s United Bank Moves Forward in Danvers

Photo Credit: KEN YUSZKUS/ Salem News

Photo Credit: KEN YUSZKUS/ Salem News  (L to R) Kevin Noyes and Patrick Sullivan of People’s United Bank.

O’Neill and Associates‘ client People’s United Bank was recently featured in The Salem News. 

The story highlights the bank’s accomplishments since acquiring DanversBank.

People’s United employs 138 people in its 13 North Shore branches.

The bank currently employs 77 people work at 1 Conant St., the old headquarters of Danversbank. That rivals the number of people who sit in the bank’s Boston office.

People’s United also kept its commitment to continue the former Danversbank Charitable Foundation, which was renamed the People’s United Community Foundation of Eastern Massachusetts. The foundation recently announced grants of $163,750 to 25 nonprofits on the North Shore and Greater Boston area.

The foundation will donate $675,000 this year, up from $345,000 in 2008.

Read the full story on SalemNews.com.

HarborOne Bank Offers Small Business Support

Harbor-OneHarborOne Bank’s small business support was featured in Banker & Tradesman.

Through HarborOne U, the bank has offered free classes for small business for five years – helping more than 7,000 over the years – but with their new program, “Success for Small Business,” the bank hopes to step it up a notch. Businesses that complete the six “core” courses will be rewarded with a $5,000 business line of credit, which will increase to $10,000 without reapplying if after a year the business proves to be fiscally responsible.

Visist HarborOne.com for a list of “Success for Small Business,” classes.

HarborOne Bank, a client of O’Neill and Associates, is based in Brockton.

Read the full story in Banker & Tradesman.