Celebrating 17 Years as Barrington’s Signature Magazine

Letter from the Editor

Hidden Gems

By Lisa Stamos

The coronavirus pandemic is one of those historic crises that forever changes our lives—how we live them, how we approach things, and where our concerns are focused. We have a clearer awareness and keen appreciation of our front-line medical and service-oriented personnel who kept things going during uncertain times. I don’t think we’ll ever forget the role they played and will play in years ahead.

The Great Depression was one of those historic disasters. Lucky for Barrington, the Jewel Tea Company was headquartered in town from 1929 to 1984. The 200,000 square-foot Art Deco “Gray Lady” plant and office building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. It was considered America’s finest food plant at one time. Visitors attending the 1933-34 “A Century of Progress World’s Fair” in Chicago were encouraged to make the trip to Barrington to see it. But what came to matter most was that this company invested heavily in Barrington at the onset of the Great Depression. The company had revenues of more than 15 million per year. It purchased the 211-acre parcel that is now Citizens Park to build on. Millions of dollars were invested in developing the Jewel Park subdivision for employee homes. And possibly most important, Jewel preserved hundreds if not thousands of jobs, and placed its payroll at the First National Bank of Barrington, helping to keep Barrington solvent with regular cashflow to and from the bank.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, Barrington Bank & Trust played a critical role in the financial health of local businesses, and their employee’s families. BB&T staff issued over 1,100 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in the amount of $208 million into our community. The demand for loans was intense across a short and stressed amount of time. For smaller businesses, 250,000+ loans were made to companies with revenues of less then $250,000 per year. Bank staff worked long hours to demystify a confusing and complex application process that was changing daily. Their service saved many local businesses, including mine, for which I am forever grateful.

All of us at QB wish you a very happy holiday season!

Lisa Stamos Signature

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