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Optima Bank branch opens in Dover

By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent

February 08. 2018 10:08PM
A large group turned out to celebrate the opening of Optima Bank & Trust's newly built branch on Central Avenue in Dover Thursday. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)



DOVER — New Hampshire’s bank commissioner says business is booming on the eastern part of the state.

“Dover is a hot spot ... A lot is going on in the Seacoast area in general,” Gerald H. Little said at the opening Thursday of Optima Bank & Trust’s new branch location on Central Avenue in Dover.

Little was one of about 100 people that attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new 29,000-square-foot full-service branch, located where Fiddlehead Farms Marketplace once stood.

He gave Dover’s Mayor Karen Weston credit for recent business growth in the Garrison City, calling her a real problem solver.

Weston said leaders in Dover are focused on attracting and retaining businesses.

“The new bank here today is reflective of the economic growth in the city of Dover. We work really, really hard to try to get the economy growing,” Weston said.

Daniel Morrison is the chairman and CEO of Optima Bank. He and his wife founded the locally-owned commercial bank 10 years ago because they were disturbed by the trend of larger financial institutions swallowing up community-based banks.

“Thirty years ago, there were 100 community banks in New Hampshire. Now, there are 17,” Morrison said.

The Morrisons headquartered their bank in downtown Portsmouth and have since opened full-service branches in Portsmouth, Pease International Tradeport, North Hampton, Stratham and Bedford.

Morrison said they have been operating a small loan office in Dover for five years, but decided to go forward with opening a full-service branch on the Fiddlehead Farms site when it became available.

“We have been involved in the Dover community ever since we founded the bank in Portsmouth in 2008, and we are looking forward to bringing all of our products and services to more businesses, individuals and families in the Dover area,” Morrison said in a statement.

Katie MacKinnon, president of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Optima Bank and said the bank already has contributed to a number of charitable causes in the city.

Also joining in the celebration were representatives from Sullivan Construction, Altus Engineering and Bruce Ronayne Hamilton Architects. Ground was broken for the project in July.

Six people will work at the Dover location. Morrison said the company has just over 90 employees.


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