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.

September Edition of Good Morning North Central features Fitchburg and Leominster Mayors

 The next edition of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber’s popular Good Morning North Central breakfast series is scheduled for Friday, September 22, 2017 from 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA.  The September edition is sponsored by Apex Properties.

 The Good Morning North Central series is a high-profile, fast-paced and educational breakfast program geared towards executives, senior managers, professionals and business owners.  Each of the programs has a business-oriented focus and features popular speakers to present on topics of interest to local businesses.

The featured speakers for the September edition are Mayor Dean Mazzarella of Leominster and Mayor Stephen DiNatale of Fitchburg being interviewed by guest Kelli Rooney of HealthAlliance Hospital. Both Mayors will be discussing partnerships and initiatives in the Twin Cities, including the 3.8 mile Rail Trail and economic development. The

program also includes an economic development presentation by Tricia Pistone of Re-Imagine North of Main.

Mayor Dean Mazzarella was elected Mayor of Leominster in 1993 and was sworn in January 3, 1994. Prior to his run for Mayor, Dean was a ten-year veteran of the Leominster Police Department and has been a small business owner in the City for a number of years. Mayor Mazzarella’s philosophy on building a strong community is based on a total quality of life for the people who live and work in Leominster. In the past few years, the Mayor has highlighted the importance of small businesses, concentrating more on those located in the downtown area. He also has demonstrated the importance of a strong school system while being the Chair of the Leominster School Committee by building new schools and upgrading existing schools. Mazzarella now looks forward to bringing in new businesses and building the Leominster economy.

Mayor Stephen DiNatale was sworn in as Mayor of Fitchburg January 4, 2016. Stephan has been a resident of Fitchburg for over 35 years. Mayor DiNatale served in the United States Navy for four years as an Operations Specialist 3rd Class Petty officer. He then graduated from Fitchburg State College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. DiNatale was employed with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections and then spent ten years with Wang Laboratories Corporation. He then returned to state employment serving 15 years with the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Forensic Division. Prior to his run as Mayor, he served five years on the Fitchburg School Committee, three years as the Councilor at Large for the Fitchburg City Council, and served nine years as a Massachusetts State Representative for the Third Worcester District.

 

Following the presentation by the Mayors, Tricia Pistone, Vice President of Re-Imagine North of Main, will present on revitalizing Fitchburg and partnerships within the community. ReImagine North of Main is a partnership – of local businesses, government, nonprofits, and residents of Fitchburg – committed to making an impact and improving the quality of life in the neighborhood where future residents and businesses want to live, work, and invest.

 

The cost is just $25 for Chamber members/$40 non-members and includes a breakfast buffet. Season Tickets are also available for purchase.  Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235 or visit www.northcentralmass.com.

STARTING OR EXPANDING A SMALL BUSINESS 101 SEMINAR SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation and Hometown Bank are holding two business workshops on September 28, 2017 aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs.

These free workshops are approximately two and a half hours each and are being held in partnership with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, SCORE, NewVue Communities, City of Leominster and the City of Fitchburg.  Both workshops will be held at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber office, 860 South Street, Fitchburg, MA.

Session I: Fundamentals in Planning, Preparing, and Financing Your Business will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will focus on evaluating and understanding the fundamentals of owning one’s own business.  Information on how to get started, where and how to get financing and the loan application process will be presented.  Registration begins at 8:00. Continental breakfast will be provided for all participants.  Presented by Bob Aspell, SCORE

Session II: Understanding the Purpose of Financial Statements and How They Can Help Determine the Health of Your Business will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will focus on understanding a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement.  The workshop will also explain how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate his/her business more efficiently.  Registration begins at 11:30. Lunch will be provided for all participants. Presented by Robert C. Alario, CPA

 

To register, please contact Sandie Cataldo at 978.353.7607 ext. 232 or SCataldo@northcentralmass.com.  You may also register online at www.northcentralmass.com/calendar-of-events North Central Massachusetts.

North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce to Host Legislative and Candidates Reception

Premier networking event connects elected officials with community leaders

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host its Legislative and Candidates Reception on September 14, 2017 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Chocksett Inn on 59 Laurelwood Road in Sterling, MA. The event is intended to offer the region with an upscale networking event that connects business and community leaders with the region’s elected officials, as well as those seeking public office.

“This is a great opportunity for our business and community leaders, as well as our public officials to gather for an evening of networking and collegial discussion,” said Roy Nascimento, President and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to joining our legislators at a unique venue like the Chocksett Inn.”

The Legislative and Candidates Reception is one of the Chamber’s premier events of the season, with over 125 federal, state, and local elected officials invited. Mount Wachusett Community College is the premier sponsor for the event. “At Mount Wachusett Community College, we understand the importance of engaging with the region’s business and legislative communities. These connections and insights help guide the college in various areas such as programming and outreach,” said MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “It is vital for our region’s business leaders, legislators, and policy-makers to meet and network so that they can engage and learn from each other. I am happy to support this important event.”

“Gaining access to legislators and those who seek public office is just as important for small business owners as it is for CEOs in the region,” said Ken Gurge, Esq., Chamber Board Member and Chair of the Government Affairs Committee. “This will be a tremendous opportunity for anyone with passion for North Central Massachusetts.”

Government affairs and public policy advocacy is a key component to the Chamber’s efforts to promote a healthy and active business climate throughout the region. Recognizing that the business community and legislators are partners in economic vitality and growth, events like these align well with the Chamber’s mission.

Sponsored by Mount Wachusett Community College, the event will feature an open bar and gourmet appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. Cost for members is $20 and non-members is $30. Registration is available online at www.northcentralmass.com. Please contact Maria McCaffrey at 978.353.7600 ext. 235 or mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com  for more details.

As of September 5th, the following legislators and candidates have confirmed their attendance:

 

 Confirmed legislators:

 

Senator Jamie Eldridge, Senator of Middlesex and Worcester Districts
Representative Kim Ferguson, Representative of 1st Worcester District
Representative Stephan Hay, Representative of 3rd Worcester District
Representative Harold Naughton, Representative of 12th Worcester District
Representative Jon Zlotnik, Representative of 2nd Worcester District
Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis, Sheriff of Worcester County
Kathleen Reynolds-Daigneault, Worcester Northern Register of Deeds
Mayor Stephen DiNatale, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Susan Chalifoux-Zephir, City of Leominster – Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Councilor David Cormier, City of Leominster
Councilor Pauline Cormier, City of Leominster
Selectman James DeLisle, Town of Westminster
Councilor Marcus DiNatale, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Claire Freda, City of Leominster – Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Selectman Mark Grasso, Town of Lancaster
Councilor Amy Green, City of Fitchburg
Selectwoman Cindy King, Town of Townsend
Councilor Michael Kushmerek, City of Fitchburg – Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Councilor James Lanciani, City of Leominster
Selectman Walter Sendrowski, Town of Lancaster
Selectman Stanley Starr, Town of Lancaster
Selectman Jamie Toale, Town of Lunenburg

Councilor Dean Tran, City of Fitchburg
Selectman Wayne Walker, Town of Westminster
Town Administrator Ross Perry, Town of Sterling

Confirmed Candidates:

 

Robert K. Massie, Gubernatorial Candidate
Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette, Candidate for US House of Representatives – Second Congressional District
Thomas F. Ardinger, Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Michael Mahan, Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District

Louis Marino, Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District

Andrew Couture, Candidate for City Councilor/Councilor-at-large – City of Fitchburg

Heather De Jesus, Candidate for City Councilor/Ward 6 – City of Fitchburg
Marisa Fleming, Candidate for City Council/Ward 5 – City of Fitchburg
Michael Hurley, Candidate for City Councilor/Councilor-at-large – City of Fitchburg
Cheryl Maguy-Stewart, Candidate for City Council/ Ward 2 – City of Fitchburg
Brandon Robbins, Candidate for City Council/Councilor-at-large – City of Leominster
Sam Squailia, Candidate for City Councilor/Councilor-at-large, City of Fitchburg
Elizabeth Walsh, Candidate for City Councilor/Ward 6 – City of Fitchburg
Isabelle Alera, Candidate for School Committee/Ward 3 – City of Leominster

Joshua Klaus, Candidate for School Committee/Ward 3 – City of Leominster

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation & ReImagine North of Main Collaborate to Attract and Diversify Neighborhood Businesses

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation and ReImagine North of Main have announced that they are collaborating on an effort to expand financing to entrepreneurs and existing small businesses in the North of Main neighborhood in the City of Fitchburg. ReImagine is providing a grant of $25,000 for a loan loss reserve that will be leveraged with capital from the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation to provide micro-loans of up to $50,000.  The fund will be focused upon assisting ventures which seek to locate or are already located in the North of Main neighborhood, with priority given to the Main Street commercial district.  This project supports existing efforts around revitalization of the downtown business district and helps stimulate new entrepreneurism and investment in the North of Main.

Eligible loan participants may include any existing venture or new venture that proposes to add value and diversification to the business climate of the North of Main neighborhood and/or create jobs in the community.  Special consideration will be made to restaurants, specialty foods, shoe and apparel stores, art galleries, entertainment coffeehouses, and creative-based businesses including graphic design, music and video production.  Loans made can be used for working capital, leasehold improvements, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, and refinancing of business credit card debt. The interest rates are flexible, but generally close to the current fixed market rate.

The organizations anticipate that the collaboration will support 3-6 loans to North of Main businesses that will mitigate lender risk and reduce borrowing costs for businesses and create 1-2 new businesses on Main Street through start-up costs supported by the fund.

“We are excited to partner with ReImagine North of Main to expand economic opportunity in the community,” said Roy M. Nascimento, IOM, President and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “This collaboration will allow the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation the ability to provide more microloans to small and emerging businesses and support collective efforts in the community focused on economic development.”

The collaboration also seeks to engage with the private sector and municipal plans to connect financing resources with opportunities in and around the North of Main to improve entrepreneurship.

“Fitchburg’s downtown, through the many efforts of our City, community partners, and the business community, is on the rise thanks to coordinated efforts like this,” said Patricia Pistone, ReImagine North of Main Coordinator and Vice President of Planning at Montachusett Opportunity Council.  “We hope these funds can be used to further investment in Main Street by attracting unique new businesses. ReImagine North of Main is very excited to be a part of an opportunity that will contribute to the long-term success of the City and, more importantly, its residents.”

The funding originated from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge Initiative, a grant program designed to advance collaborative leadership in smaller, postindustrial cities to transform the lives of their low-income residents. ReImagine North of Main received $150,000 in tactical funds to support strategies to support the revitalization of the downtown area and surrounding neighborhood.

This financing initiative was developed to support the City of Fitchburg’s efforts to support downtown revitalization. Tom Skwierawski, the City of Fitchburg’s Executive Director of Planning and Community Development, stated that “Fitchburg is a place that cultivates entrepreneurship, a place where prospective businesses feel they can make their dreams a reality. We will continue our efforts to become more business-friendly and are happy to join with committed partners—like ReImagine and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber—who, through programs like this, will help us make it happen.”

For additional information or to inquire about a loan, please call 978.353.7607 or visit www.choosenorthcentral.com