Getting to Know Your Chamber Scheduled for Thursday, November 2, 2017

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host “Getting to Know Your Chamber” on Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Great Wolf Lodge located at 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg (exit 28 off Rt. 2).  This presentation is designed to help new members navigate the perks and programs of Chamber membership, but is equally valuable for current members who want to get the most value from their membership, or those interested in learning if chamber membership is right for them.

Chamber staff will explain the many benefits and programs of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce including networking events, government affairs, educational workshops and seminars, advertising opportunities and health insurance, to name just a few.  There is no cost to attend the “Getting to Know Your Chamber” meeting, but pre-registration is required.  Register online at www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/.

The Chamber will also be hosting a Business After Hours event with six other chambers at Great Wolf Lodge immediately following the orientation from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  The Chamber’s Business After Hours series provides an opportunity for members and non-members to mingle and build business relationships in an informal relaxed business setting.  These networking mixers are held throughout the year in partnership with member businesses and attract business professionals from many industries. The cost to participate in the Business After Hours is $20 for members and $50 for non-members and includes a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, a tour of the water park and networking with the over 500 business people expected to attend.  For more information or to register visit www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/ or contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235.

Business owners unable to attend but interested in learning more about Chamber membership may contact Jeff Ardis or David Ginisi at 978.353.7600 or by sending an email to jardis@northcentralmass.com or dginisi@northcentralmass.com to schedule a one-to-one meeting.

International Dignitaries visit North Central Massachusetts

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and its economic development affiliates the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) co-hosted a special bus tour of North Central Massachusetts on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 for the New England Consular Corps.  The tour was co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI) and provided an opportunity to introduce foreign diplomats to North Central Massachusetts and promote the region as a great place to live, work, visit or grow a business.

The economic development tour highlighted local manufacturing and showcased the region’s skilled workforce, quality of life and the advantages of locating a business in North Central Massachusetts. Approximately 25 diplomatic and commercial representatives of 16 countries participated in the tour.  State economic development officials also participated, including Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development & International Trade; Mark Sullivan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade & Investment (MOITI); Francois Nivaud, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT); and Peter Milano, Senior Director of Business Development at the Massachusetts Office of Business Development.

The bus tour featured stops at Quiet Logistics in Devens, to learn about their Quiet Brand Incubator, a new program launched in September 2016 designed to support innovative e-commerce startups; Laddawn, Inc. in Devens, a plastics manufacturer that manufactures recyclable plastic films and bags for industrial, food, medical, and institutional markets; Boutwell Owens of Fitchburg, a manufacturer of printed paperboard packaging; and Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg for a lunch and presentation about the region conducted by the Chamber and sponsored by Great Wolf.  The tour also included a trip to the summit of Mount Wachusett to witness the beautiful fall foliage and scenic views of the region, and concluded with a special reception with business leaders hosted by Wachusett Ski Area at their base lodge.

“This was an exciting opportunity to showcase North Central Massachusetts to an international audience of diplomats and business representatives,” said Roy Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “We have a number of international businesses already thriving in our region and believe that this is a dynamic region to invest and grow a business.”

“The Massachusetts Office of Business Development is proud to showcase business opportunities throughout the Commonwealth and the recent tour of North Central Massachusetts with the New England Consular Corps is one of the many ways we spotlight our manufacturing companies, visitor destinations and recreation areas that underscore everything Massachusetts has to offer,” said Nam Pham, Assistant Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and International Trade

 

Countries represented on the tour included Brazil; Cabo Verde; Canada; Columbia; Ireland; Japan; Mexico; Nepal; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; South Korea; Taiwan; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; and the United Kingdom.

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce would like to express its thanks and appreciation to the following companies and organizations for their participation in the International Economic Development Tour:
Boutwell-Owens; Great Wolf Lodge of New England; Laddawn, Inc.; Quiet Logistics; Wachusett Ski Area; Massachusetts Office of Business Development; Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment; and the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Special thanks to Great Wolf Lodge of New England; Wachusett Ski Area; and Wachusett Brewing Company for their support of the lunch program and business reception.

For more information on the economic development tour, please contact the North Central Massachusetts Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 244 or visit www.northcentralmass.com.

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation and Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Partner to boost Small Business Development

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) and the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce have announced a new partnership to bring additional micro lending resources closer to young companies in the Gardner area of Massachusetts.

The collaboration involves the NCMDC providing start-up and existing small businesses in the Greater Gardner area with access to its microloan financing programs, which provide loans of up to $150,000 to help businesses that may not meet the traditional lending standards.  The Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce will provide the NCMDC with marketing support and a presence in their office for their loan officers to counsel potential clients.

“We’re really pleased to be able to partner with the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation on this loan program,” said Jim Bellina, President & CEO of the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce. “This is a great resource to support businesses and economic development in the greater Gardner area. The NCMDC’s track record and commitment to growing new and existing businesses in North Central Massachusetts have played an important role in our expanding regional renaissance.”

“Our microloan program has had a profound impact on our business community in North Central Massachusetts. We have a long and successful history of supporting small businesses with financial resources and technical assistance,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation. “We are excited to partner with the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce to continue to help support the small and emerging businesses that are so important to the economic advancement of North Central Massachusetts.”

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. The NCMDC works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects with loans and business assistance.  Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $6 million in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in 26 communities in the North Central Massachusetts region.  In addition, these funds were leveraged with local financial institutions providing $21 Million of their funds and local investors and business owners providing another $3.2 Million. Thousands of new jobs have been created in the region as a result of the loans made.

Microloan programs have become increasingly important to the business community since the economic collapse in 2008 that put more restrictions on how banks can serve small business loans. Micro loans made by the NCMDC can be used for working capital, leasehold improvements, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures and refinancing of business credit card debt. Eligible businesses include manufacturing, retail, wholesale and service businesses usually having five employees or less at the time of application and meeting the definition of small business. The interest rates are flexible, but generally close to the current fixed market rate.

NCMDC loan officers will be available via appointment to serve the needs of new clients in the Gardner area. To schedule an appointment, please contact the NCMDC at 978.353.7607 or contact the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce at 978.632.1780.

Experience North Central at Moon Hill Brewing

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association offers a new experiential networking program

 The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association, JATA, and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce our newest networking program, Experience North Central! This is a quarterly series that offers guests a unique opportunity to experience our local gems while networking with other like-minded professionals. The second session will be held from 5:30 pm to 7:30pm on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 at the Gardner Ale House located at 74 Parker Street, Gardner, MA.

Our October event celebrates National Manufacturing Month with Moon Hill Brewing, the distributor of the Gardner Ale House beers. This event will feature refreshments, a tour of the brewing set up, discussion on the microbrew industry with owner, Rick Walton, and the head brewer, as well as beer tasting.

“It is important to inform the local community on all of the great things happening in North Central Massachusetts,” said Roy Nascimento, President of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. “Too often people don’t know or overlook what is happening in their own backyard and we want to be around to help remind them.”

Moon Hill Brewing, Co. is the parent company of  the brewpub, the Gardner Ale House. Moon Hill was begun to make beer, food and good

times available to the world, with an emphasis on the beer. Moon Hill began with the brewpub (the Ale House), which now, 10 years later, sports 14 Moon Hill beers on tap and a worthy-of-Boston-or-New York bistro-pub style menu. Now, Moon Hill is finally ready to distribute beer beyond the bar! The very same beers you find on tap at the Ale House are now available as Moon Hill Brewing, Co.’s beers on tap at other locations beyond the Gardner Ale House.

The cost of the event is $15 for Chamber and JATA members and $25 for non-members. For registration, please visit www.northcentralmass.com or contact Maria McCaffrey at 978.353.7604 x. 235 or mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com

October Leads Awareness of Manufacturing in North Central Massachusetts

Chamber to spotlight manufacturers with special events

 With the largest concentration of manufacturers in Massachusetts, North Central Massachusetts is no stranger to the importance of careers in advanced manufacturing. Throughout October, as part of national manufacturing month, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation will host several events and programs to promote manufacturing and highlight the importance of the industry to the economy of the region.

“Manufacturing is alive and well in North Central Massachusetts,” said Roy Nascimento, president and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “Promoting and supporting this critical industry is important to ensuring employers and jobs remain in Massachusetts.”

 

The region’s 445 manufacturing firms account for one fourth of the jobs in the region.  Companies range from the world class plastics industry cluster of more than 140 companies to pharmaceuticals to photonics and paper, as well as biomedical devices. Manufacturers today are some of the most well-paid, highly trained and in demand employees in the workforce, working on advanced equipment and technology.  Supporting careers in advanced manufacturing and serving as fierce advocates for local manufacturers are a priority for the Chamber.

 

Friday, October 6, 2017

 

9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. – Manufacturing Tour: BJA Magnetics

17 Moore Street, Leominster, MA

Tour with U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, Leominster Mayor Dean Mazzarella, economic development officials and students from the Leominster Public School System.

 

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – North Central Congressional Luncheon*

Great Wolf Lodge New England, 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg, MA

Luncheon program with U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern and Niki Tsongas.

*Open to the public. Pre-registration Required

 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

 

9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – North Central Massachusetts International Economic Development Tour

Bus tour organized in cooperation with the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment for diplomats and business representatives involved in the New England Consular Corps. The tour will visit and tour several local manufacturers in the region and showcase the region’s advanced manufacturing, high quality workforce, quality of life and opportunities in North Central Massachusetts.

 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

 

5:30pm to 7:30pm – Experience North Central Event: Moon Hill Brewing*

74 Parker St, Gardner, MA
Special experiential networking event sponsored by the Chamber and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association to showcase local businesses. The October 18th event showcases Moon Hill Brewing, a new craft beer manufacturer located in Gardner, MA.

*Open to the public. Pre-registration Required

 

Friday, October 20, 2017

 

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Manufacturing Tour: Advanced Cable Ties, Inc.

245 Suffolk Lane, Gardner, MA

Tour and media event with North Central Massachusetts Legislative Delegation to highlight legislation to eliminate the manufacturing inventory tax.

 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

 

Little Leaf Farm

105 Walker Road, Devens, MA

Tour of Little leaf farms with students from the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg/Leominster.  Little Leaf Farms is the most technologically advanced, lettuce growing greenhouse in the world.

 

Please visit www.northcentralmass.com for more information on these events or contact Maria McCaffrey at mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com.

 

North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Releases FY 2018 Public Policy Agenda

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce unveiled its Public Policy Agenda for the new fiscal year today outlining the Chamber’s legislative priorities on issues important to businesses and the advancement of North Central Massachusetts.  The agenda was developed to serve as a blueprint for the Chamber’s government affairs efforts and have been reviewed and approved by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors.

“The passing of a new budget and opening of the fall legislative session presents us with new challenges and opportunities” Christopher McDermott, the Chamber’s Public Affairs Manager, explained. “We look forward to facing these head on and this document provides the road map we’ll use to do so.”

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce advocates on behalf of businesses across the region, and the new Public Policy Agenda outlines a platform which builds upon the area’s competitive advantages.  The agenda is focused around five priority areas: economic competitiveness; small business; manufacturing; education; and transportation.

“Our public policy agenda is focused on supporting a strong business climate and ensuring that North Central Massachusetts remains a great place to live, work and grow a business,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the Chamber. “We look forward to working with our legislative delegation to advocate these priorities.”

“There aren’t many places that host the range of businesses and industries you find in North Central Massachusetts” McDermott stated. “We want to use our presence in the community and on Beacon Hill to ensure that public officials recognize this region’s potential and work with us to realize it.”

Click to view the Chamber’s Public Policy Agenda, or contact Christopher McDermott, Public Affairs Manager at 978.353.7600 ext. 224.

NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOSTS NEW MEMBER CAMPAIGN

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is hosting a New Member Campaign from September 25 through October 20, 2017.  This awareness campaign will include direct outreach to prospective members, a referral promotion to existing members, and a targeted social media effort that includes video testimonials.

The Chamber is the leading business and economic development organization in North Central Massachusetts and provides numerous services for members, including networking, professional development, low cost marketing, health and dental insurance, as well as government affairs and economic development programs to encourage a positive business climate for the region. In 2017 the Chamber was recognized for its work by being the first Chamber from New England to be named a finalist for the prestigious ACCE Chamber of the Year Award.

“The Chamber is an important element in the fabric of the community and has a tremendous impact supporting North Central Massachusetts,” said Mark Freeman, President of Steel Fab, Inc. and Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.  “This is a great opportunity to tell our story and engage businesses throughout the region.”

The campaign will feature several “Join Now” incentives for businesses and organizations that enroll with the Chamber, including digital, print, radio and TV advertising, web site listings, admission to Chamber networking programs and more.

Highlighting the campaign will be a referral effort among existing members.  Each member referral can potentially earn the referring member a $25 Gift Local gift card that can be used at many of the finest restaurants, shops and attractions in the region.

There will also be a grand prize given to the top business or organization that has referred the most new members that have joined the chamber during this time period.  The grand prize is a luxurious getaway vacation for two, to the Outer Banks, located in North Carolina.

Membership in the Chamber is a great way to become involved with the business community, support the North Central region and help your organization grow and save money.  The Chamber supports member businesses of all sizes and industries through leadership in public advocacy, economic development, education, technical assistance, discount programs, networking opportunities and more.  Our member benefits are diverse and extensive.

Media sponsors for the Campaign include the Sentinel & Enterprise; Leominster Champion; Worcester Business Journal; WPKZ 105.3 FM; and FATV.

For more information please visit www.northcentralmass.com/membership-information/2017-membership-campaign. Businesses interested in joining the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce should contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 222.

Experience North Central at Red Apple Farm

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association and Chamber offer new experiential networking series

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the launch of their newest networking program, Experience North Central!  This new quarterly series offers guests a unique opportunity to experience local businesses and attractions while networking with other like-minded professionals.  The first session will be held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 at Red Apple Farm located at 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston, MA.

Each session of the Experience North Central will offer a non-traditional networking opportunity with a fun, experiential learning twist.  The first edition of the new series hosted by Red Apple Farm will feature a farm tour, discussion with the fourth generation owner and operator, Al Rose, and the hands on experience of making and eating Red Apple’s famous cider donuts!  Red Apple Farm will also offer farm oriented refreshments and a cash bar during the event.

“We’re excited to launch this unique new event series as a way to help connect members through these fun shared experiences,” said Roy Nascimento, President of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association.  “Experience North Central is a great way to meet other professionals and leaders in the community while also promoting the great attractions and businesses that we have to offer here in the region.”

The 105 year old Red Apple Farm opened in 1912 with beginnings in wholesale apples.  Now a destination for everything autumn oriented, Red Apple Farm has three locations: the Farm, Wachusett Mountain, and the City of Boston: opening one of the largest stalls at Boston Public Market two years ago.  Their famously delicious cider donuts are made daily and sold at each location.

The next Experience North Central is scheduled for October 18th with a beer tasting at Moon Hill Brewing and will include a discussion of the micro-brew industry with owner Rick Walton and their head brewer.  Upcoming Experience North Central events will offer behind the scene tours of local companies and attractions; and other interactive and experiential networking events.

The cost of the September event is $15 for Chamber and JATA members and $25 for non members. For registration, please visit www.northcentralmass.com or contact Maria McCaffrey at 978.353.7604 x. 235 or mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com

 

Getting to Know Your Chamber Scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host “Getting to Know Your Chamber” on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, 860 South Street, Fitchburg, MA.  This presentation is designed to help new members navigate the perks and programs of Chamber membership, but is equally valuable for current members who want to get the most value from their membership, or those interested in learning if chamber membership is right for them.

Chamber staff will explain the many benefits and programs of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce including networking events, government affairs, educational workshops and seminars, advertising opportunities and health insurance, to name just a few.  There is no cost to attend the “Getting to Know Your Chamber” meeting, but pre-registration is required.  Register online at www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/. For more information or to register visit www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/ or contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235.

Business owners unable to attend but interested in learning more about Chamber membership may contact Jeff Ardis, Manager of Member Services and Business Development or David Ginisi at 978.353.7600 or by sending an email to jardis@northcentralmass.com or dginisi@northcentralmass.com to schedule a one-to-one meeting.

2017 North Central Massachusetts Congressional Luncheon Scheduled for October 6, 2017

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Annual North Central Massachusetts Congressional Luncheon on Friday, October 6, 2017 featuring the Honorable Jim McGovern, United States Representative for the Second Congressional District and the Honorable Niki Tsongas, United States Representative for the Third Congressional District of Massachusetts.  The program runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Great Wolf Lodge, 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg, MA.

This event will provide Chamber members the opportunity to hear directly from members of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding business issues and critical matters facing the nation.  Attendees will also be afforded the unique opportunity for networking and questions with members of North Central’s federal delegation.

Currently serving his eleventh term in Congress, Congressman Jim McGovern serves as the second ranking Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate and amendments on most legislation; and a member of the House Agriculture Committee.  In 2014, McGovern was named Democratic Ranking Member on the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition.  The Subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes policies and statutes relating to nutrition, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and domestic c

 

ommodity distribution and consumer initiatives.

Before his election to Congress, McGovern spent 14 years working as a senior aide for the late U.S. Representative John Joseph Moakley (D-South Boston), former dean of the Massachusetts delegation

and Chairman of the House Rules Committee.  He was born in Worcester, the son of two successful small business owners.  His two sisters are elementary school teachers in Worcester’s public school system.

McGovern earned his Bachelor of Arts (‘81) and Masters of Public Administration (‘84) degrees from The American University, working his way through college by serving as an aide in the office of U.S. Senator George McGovern (D-SD).

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas was elected to the United State House of Representatives in a 2007 special election, becoming the first w

oman in 25 years to serve in Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  She represents the Massachusetts Third District (which had previously been known as the Fifth District until 2012).  Tsongas holds the same seat that was held three decades earlier by her late husband, former Congressman, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas.  Her Congressional district spans across portions of Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties.

Tsongas serves as a senior member on the prestigious House Armed Services Committee, and having previously served in a leadership position as the top Democrat on the subcommittee for Oversight and Investigations.  Tsongas also serves on the Natural Resources Committee, which formulates federal policy related to domestic energy production, National Parks, and the environment.  In 2015, she was named to a leadership role as the top Democrat on the Federal Lands Subcommittee.  She also serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee.  Recently Tsongas was elected by her peers to serve as the highest ranking Democrat on the largest HASC subcommittee, the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee.

Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives, Tsongas served as a Dean at Middlesex Community College, practiced law, and raised her three daughters all in the region she now represents.

Tsongas will not seek re-election in 2018.

Make sure that you reserve your spot early to hear from our congressional delegation on the many critical issues facing the business community in Washington D.C.

Pre-registration is required and easy. Simply call the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235, email mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com or register online at www.northcentralmass.com.  The cost is $35 for members and $55 for non-members.