When M&T Bank launched the Small Business Spotlight Shop back in 2019, we had no idea just how much growth the initiative would experience. What started as a platform to promote small businesses has turned into in-branch events, a holiday gift guide and even a pop-up shop trailer. With 230+ businesses now in the Spotlight Shop, we knew that this year we had to pull out all the stops.

Benefits of a home business

The Spotlight Shop In-Branch program was born

What could be more unexpected than discovering a local business at your nearest M&T branch? Our Spotlight Shop In-Branch program allowed us the opportunity to bring small businesses to our Kenmore branch in Buffalo and our Federal Hill branch in Baltimore. For our small business partners, this was a great chance to gain exposure and connect with new customers face-to-face. And for customers who stopped in to do their routine banking, this proved to be a great surprise. Check out all the In-Branch excitement!

The Spotlight Shop trailer hit the road again

Summertime wouldn’t be the same without the Spotlight Shop pop-up trailer, so we had to bring it back again this year. From the Charles Street Promenade in Baltimore to Canalside in Buffalo, we connected small businesses of all kinds to their respective communities through our decked-out Spotlight Shop mobile trailer. There’s nothing better than reaching customers in person – and being able to do so under the summer sun is even better. We hope to cover even more ground next summer!

Check out the Spotlight Shop trailer on Instagram.

We stepped up our social media game

This year, we made lots of moving magic – through the power of Instagram reels! These short videos allow us to better connect businesses across the Spotlight Shop with new customers, promote fun holiday initiatives like our gift guide and give users a look at all the fun we have during our in-person events.

Check out our reels and more Spotlight Shop fun on our Instagram.

Take a look at our video with Stefon Diggs on Instagram.

We even played capture the flag with Stefon Diggs

Through M&T Bank’s partnership with Buffalo Bills wide receiver, Stefon Diggs, we were able to play a fun new spin on capture the flag. Diggs autographed some M&T Billieve Together flags that were then hidden at a select few Buffalo-based Spotlight Shop businesses. Which business do you think Diggs was hinting at here?

Finally, we decided to expand our horizons

Beginning this year, we decided to open the Spotlight Shop to non-M&T customers, meaning we get to promote more small businesses in our communities than ever before.

Want to join in on the Spotlight Shop fun? Apply here to get your business involved.


That’s a wrap!

2023 has been a noteworthy year for the Spotlight Shop – and we couldn’t have done it without our small businesses and the support of our communities.

We wish you the happiest of holidays, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2024!