January 2021
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Early Childhood Preschool and Learning Center is a deserving recipient of the Jobs for New England Grant, provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston through its member banks. South Shore Bank’s John Mannion, First Vice President and Small Business Banking Team Leader, personally presented owner, Tracey Nardone, with the grant award, and she was in tears. “I had never met John in person; he has been the angel I could never have imagined through one of the worst times in life.”

A lifetime Weymouth resident, Nardone has been a longtime South Shore Bank client. “They’ve been wonderful since day one. When I switched to ACH debiting instead of checks, Jane Wing (Vice President and Certified Treasury Professional) explained the whole process. She relieved any fear or apprehension I may have had. Their cybersecurity is excellent, and the system is easy. Whenever I have questions, Jane is available. She has even come to the Center to help me.” 

Nardone first spoke with John Mannion when she applied for the Paycheck Protection Program, a forgivable loan created by the Small Business Administration in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “John held my hand and walked me through the application. He called to answer questions on a Friday night, and even Easter morning —it was service that I never expected. John went literally above and beyond.”

Thanks to South Shore Bank’s assistance, Nardone was successful in getting the PPP loan for the Early Childhood Preschool and Learning Center. She had no idea that the Jobs for New England Grant existed until Mannion called and recommended that she apply. She was overwhelmed with emotion when Mannion presented her with the grant in November.

Nardone started the Early Childhood Preschool and Learning Center in 1993. It cares for children from the age of eight weeks old through kindergarten. Nardone has always worn many hats, managing the operations and program development, supervising the teachers, and handling the accounts and payroll. Due to the economic ramifications of the pandemic, she and her son have been cleaning the school themselves, as a cleaning staff is not affordable. Nardone also added kindergarten teacher to her list of duties this year: a former kindergarten teacher with a master’s degree, Nardone started a kindergarten class to help parents whose schools moved to full remote learning. “Parents with kids at home are not able to go to work, or get any work done at home with a kindergartener who cannot sit still in front of a screen for hours. If they lose their jobs, they lose income; the children suffer and our community suffers. I’m thrilled to be teaching again and to be helping out our parents.”  

After months of working 13 hours a day and on weekends, the Jobs for New England Grant has allowed Nardone to hire an additional staff member. “Having this help will allow me to take a breath,” she says. “The COVID-19 situation has been so difficult for everyone. When the shutdown happened, I felt like this business that I love and have built for 27 years could be taken away. If it hadn’t been for John Mannion and South Shore Bank, we wouldn’t be open today. They have made all the difference for our company.”

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