At Belmont Savings Bank (“BSB”), we care about the people, local shops, nonprofit organizations and family-owned businesses that comprise the vibrant towns we serve. The missions and endeavors of these individuals and organizations enrich and inspire us daily. As a thank you for the hard work, diligence and ingenuity, we’re dedicating a series of blog posts to spotlight some of individuals behind the programs, events and businesses that make these towns special.
If you have children who play sports in Belmont, you undoubtedly have needed the services of Gerry Dickhaut, owner of Belmont-staple Champions Sporting Goods, at one time or another. The seasoned president of the Belmont Center Business Association is a bit of a man around town. “Unfortunately, people know me,” he quips with his dry sense of humor.
The sports purveyor first opened the doors to his shop 26 years ago, and says the community is what keeps him opening those doors today. The Arlington native, who now resides in Waltham, lights up when conversation turns to golf. His passion for the sport began when he was a child, and he is ever looking for an invite to play a new course.
His love for green fairways and sandy trenches is what drove him to establish a sporting goods store. “I enjoy talking about sports and being involved in the community,” he states. “We know our customers’ names, and learn what they like and don’t like.”
Since 1988, Belmont residents have turned to Dickhaut for soccer cleats, hockey sticks and baseball mitts. In turn, the local shop makes regular donations to be raffled, auctioned or awarded as prizes in community fundraising events.
Likewise, he points to Belmont Savings Bank’s bold presence in the town and affinity for giving back to its residents. “The big banks and other corporate-owned stores in our town don’t invest the time and resources that Belmont Savings Bank does,” explains Dickhaut.
He opened an account with the bank more than 20 years ago but pinpoints the establishment of a local business program as a pivotal turning point in their relationship. With the Belmont Savings Local Rewards Debit Card Program, customers who use a debit card from the bank will receive 20% off one item in the sporting goods store.
“The program keeps my customers happy,” shares Dickhaut, who frequently fields questions about the program when customers come across flyers on his counter. The debit card program offers instantaneous savings at participating stores in town. It’s an uncomplicated way to save some money while supporting local shops.
“Belmont Savings Bank is heavily involved in the town and community members appreciate, and recognize, their efforts,” Dickhaut concludes. “The organization donates to fundraisers, helps support the community, and acts just like the rest of the locally owned businesses.”
Dickhaut is quick to point out the big corporations that have put down roots in Belmont Center don’t get involved, but are reaping the benefits of the town. “There needs to be a give and take in community involvement, and Belmont Savings Bank gets it,” he says.
In his 10th year as president of the town’s business association, he was busy planning for Belmont Town Day, an event sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank, back on May 16. In addition to annual staples such as the dunk tank, Cash Cube, pony rides and craft tables, this year’s bash featured a radar speed gun for tracking baseball pitches. You can imagine the excitement this holds for the owner of a sporting goods store, even if it isn’t golf-related.
Belmont Savings sees the value in supporting the towns surrounding its bricks and mortar. The bank’s Local Rewards program is just one more way to support fellow small businesses in the community. For a list of the on-the-spot savings available to debit card holders, CLICK HERE.