News from our members

ECi Stores CHOSEN TO SHARE ITS BRAND STORY WITH MILLIONS ON QVC, HSN, AND ZULILY

ECi Stores Joins Qurate Retail Group’s Small Business Spotlight, a Partnership with the NRF Foundation to Help Small Businesses Weather COVID-19

 Leominster, MA- ECi Stores, including Cutie Patuties and Cutiques, has been selected for Qurate Retail Group’s Small Business Spotlight, a partnership with the NRF Foundation to help 20 small businesses navigate the unprecedented turmoil created by the pandemic.

Qurate Retail Group, a multiplatform retailer that includes QVC, HSN, Zulily, and several other brands, is using its production resources, television broadcasts, and digital platforms to help ECi Stores share its story with millions of consumers nationwide. ECi Stores’ story began appearing on QVC’s and HSN’s websites and social pages on May 11 and the company will be highlighted on air on QVC and HSN on June 4, 2020.

Zulily is promoting the campaign on its website, email, and social, and ECi Stores can also tap Qurate Retail Group team members for advice on solving a business issue related to COVID-19 through a virtual mentoring initiative.

“ECi Stores is excited for this opportunity to learn from Qurate Retail Group in how to reach customers in their homes, and provide services and products they can benefit from” said Neil Abramson, Owner of ECi Stores.

ECi Stores, including Cutie Patuties Consignment, and Cutiques, have been strong community leaders since 1998. ECi Stores is North Central Massachusetts’ favorite stores for gently worn clothing, shoes, accessories, home décor and furniture. ECi Stores has grown with their customers, from a small storefront with only the Abramsons as staff, to now employing a team of over 20. Many customers have become friends, consistently shopping while their families have grown up, and now have second generation shoppers.

Qurate Retail Group has a long tradition of helping small business owners and entrepreneurs launch and grow their brands through the incredible power of storytelling and shopping discovery. QVC, HSN, and Zulily provide compelling platforms, with unmatched reach, that enable small businesses to speak directly to millions of consumers in their homes.

“We have a special relationship with the small business community, which generates so much of the innovation that drives our economy and has played a special role in the growth of our business,” said Mike George, President and CEO, Qurate Retail, Inc. “Ordinarily, the companies in our Small Business Spotlight would not be on QVC, HSN, or Zulily, because they are not part of our vendor family. Our aim with this initiative is to help rally the public around these vital businesses, so they can come through this crisis and continue to anchor their local communities for many years to come.”

The Small Business Spotlight runs from May 11 through June 6 and is part of Qurate Retail Group’s $29 million COVID-19 global relief efforts.

“From national relief efforts to local giving, the retail industry has stepped up in extraordinary ways to serve communities large and small throughout the health crisis,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “The Small Business Spotlight lends support to local, small businesses that are the lifeblood of our national economy. We’re honored to work with Qurate Retail Group to share their world-class expertise and multiple platforms with these small business owners during such a critical time.”

For additional information on ECi Stores, Neil Abramson, Neil@ECistores.com or visit ECistores.com. To learn more about Qurate Retail Group’s Small Business Spotlight, visit QVC.com and HSN.com.

 

ABOUT ECI STORES

ECI Stores have four unique consignments stores known for offering the largest selection of high quality gently-used products. Cutie Patuties specializes in children’s clothing; Q specializes in teen and young adult styles; CP & Company specializes in misses, petites and plus sizes for ladies clothing and accessories and Cutiques ETC offers home decor and furniture to make your house a home.

To learn more visit, http://www.ecistores.com

Contact: Neil Abramson

About Qurate Retail Group

Qurate Retail GroupSM comprises eight leading retail brands – QVC®, HSN®, Zulily®, Ballard Designs®, Frontgate®, Garnet Hill®, Grandin Road®, and RyllaceTM – all dedicated to providing a Third Way to Shop®, beyond transactional ecommerce or traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Globally, Qurate Retail Group is #1 in video commerce, reaching approximately 380 million homes worldwide via 15 television networks and multiple ecommerce sites, social pages, mobile apps, print catalogs, and in-store destinations. Qurate Retail Group is among the top 10 ecommerce retailers in North America (according to Internet Retailer) and is a leader in mobile commerce and social commerce. Qurate Retail Group combines the best of retail, media, and social to curate products, experiences, conversations, and communities for millions of highly discerning shoppers – bringing joy, inspiration, and humanity to shopping. Qurate Retail Group also curates large audiences, across multiple platforms, for thousands of brand vendors. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, Qurate Retail Group has 25,000 team members in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Japan, Italy, Poland, and China. For more information, visit www.qurateretailgroup.com, follow @QurateRetailGrp on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or follow Qurate Retail Group on YouTube or LinkedIn.

Qurate Retail, Inc. (NASDAQ: QRTEA, QRTEB) includes the Qurate Retail Group portfolio of brands as well as other minority interests and green energy investments.

About NRF Foundation

The NRF Foundation builds the bridge between a growing industry with hundreds of thousands of open positions and job seekers around the country. Through education, training, scholarships and experiences for job seekers of all ages and backgrounds, we help more people take their first steps toward promising careers. The NRF Foundation is the educational arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. www.NRFFoundation.org

REPURPOSED EQUIPMENT FOR IMMEDIATE NEEDS

From Label Manufacturer to Unique Disposable Mask Creator

Leominster, MASSACHUSETTS, (May 28, 2020) – As a distributor of all things print related, we have the opportunity of working with many manufacturers around the country. One of our main label manufacturers had an epiphany in the early stages of the 2020 Pandemic – as his business, like many others came to a lull.

The result of research, development, and ingenuity during a time of need has brought forth a unique, skin friendly, adhesive mask solution for the general consumer – comparable to overseas competitor masks. The price point, availability, and convenience are the major factors separating this unique patent-pending product.

The mask is 3 thin, light, protective layers compressed together in a water-repellant, non-woven synthetic, breathable material dispensed on a roll. Skin-friendly, water-based gel adhesive strips strategically placed allow the mask to stay in place without the need for ear loops or strings. A small die cut out for alignment on the nose allows for easy placement.

Creative Print Products has been a distributor since 2001. Located in Leominster, MA – CPP strives to provide the best service, products, and value to the local community and beyond. Please visit www.creativeprintproducts.com for more information about our company.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Dave Aronson at 508.367.5477 or email dave@creativeprintproducts.com.

Workers Credit Union’s Eric Hague named in top five loan originators in Central Massachusetts

FITCHBURG, Ma., May 20, 2020 – Workers Credit Union is pleased to announce long time employee, Eric Hague, has been named one of Central Massachusetts’ top loan originators employed by a credit union.

According to a recent listing in Banker & Tradesman, Eric was named #3 loan originator in Central Massachusetts for number of loans closed and #2 for volume of loans closed.

“Eric is an important part of the Workers team and this designation is well deserved. We’re proud to help recognize Eric as an industry leader” said Tom Gray, Senior Vice President of Lending at Workers Credit Union.

“My goal is always to ensure my clients are getting exactly the product they need with superb service. But truly, a huge part of my success lies with our mortgage team and the processors who move quickly and efficiently. We’re all dedicated to improving the lives of our members and doing the right thing for them“ said Eric.

Eric is continuing to accept new loan clients for mortgages, home equities, and refinancing, as are Workers’ other attentive and dedicated loan professionals. Learn more about each of Workers loan originators at www.wcu.com/mortgage/representatives.

Workers Credit Union, headquartered in Fitchburg, MA, is a member-owned financial institution with full banking services to meet a lifetime of financial needs including the $3 million GiveBack program. With 16 branches in Athol, Chelmsford, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Orange, Townsend, Westford and Worcester, Workers is proud to offer traditional banking channels as well as the latest technologies to more than 104,000 members.

Fidelity Bank Donates 6,000 KN95 Masks to Local Hospitals Fighting COVID-19 Pandemic

LEOMINSTER, Mass – Fidelity Bank is doing its part to help protect local front line healthcare workers  during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank has donated a total of 6,000 KN95 face masks worth nearly $14,000 to and UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital with locations in Leominster, Fitchburg, and Clinton;  UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester,  Heywood Hospital in Gardner, and Central Care Nurses Association. On May 8, Fidelity Bank provided free lunches to 400 employees at six of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance’s facilities as well.

“Our community has continued to show immense support for the hospital in myriad ways,” commented Steve Roach, interim President of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital. “This commitment raises the spirit of our caregivers and has immediate impact in our community. We can’t thank Fidelity Bank enough for this generosity.”

The money comes from Fidelity Bank’s LifeDesign Community Dividend, which donated more than $330,000 to more than 250 worthy organizations in Central Massachusetts last year. “Healthcare workers are heroes who are putting their lives at risk daily to get us through this crisis,” says Fidelity Bank Chairman and CEO Edward F. Manzi, Jr. “Donating masks to keep them safe and providing free lunches are just two ways we can live up to our Caring LifeDesign promise to provide support to our community, clients, and colleagues.” Fidelity Bank has given out more than $2 million since the dividend program was formally named in 2013.

About Fidelity Bank:

Founded in 1888, Fidelity Bank is one of the oldest independent community banks in Central Massachusetts. Fidelity Bank’s exclusive LifeDesign approach offers a range of banking, investment, and insurance solutions to clients in 14 full-service offices in Leominster, Worcester, Fitchburg, Needham, Gardner, Stow, Shirley, Barre, Millbury, Paxton, Princeton and Winchendon. The Bank has consistently earned a “5 Star” rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm. In 2018, Fidelity Bank was voted Worcester Telegram & Gazette Best Bank in Central Massachusetts and Best Financial Services. It was also named Best Bank by both Leominster Champion and Baystate Parent for 2018. It has been recognized by the Worcester Business Journal as a Top Workplace and in 2019 named to the Boston Globe’s Top Places to Work list for the fifth time. As of March 31, 2020, the bank had total assets of approximately $1.2 billion. For more information, visit www.fidelitybankonline.com or www.facebook.com/fidelitybankma

Comeketo Brazilian Steakhouse to Host Livestream Fundraiser; Launches Drink Menu Deliveries

Comeketo Brazilian Steakhouse of Leominster is on a mission to feed families in need throughout the community. That is why they are putting on a Facebook Live Event this Saturday, May 16th starting at 8:00 PM.

Their goal is to raise funds to feed at least 30 families in our community.

Help them by sharing this message. Comeketo will donate .50¢ for every share they get + 10% of sales on Saturday.

Comeketo has also released a new delivery menu for some of their famous drinks to coincide with the livestream event.

Check out the drink menu below!

Joseph J. Normant Joins Leominster Credit Union

Leominster, MA- Leominster Credit Union (LCU) announces Joseph J. Normant has joined their team as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. Normant will oversee LCU’s Finance Department including Accounting and Treasury as well as Audit and Compliance. Normant will report to John O’Brien, President and CEO, and will participate as a member of the Senior Management Team.

“We are excited to have Joe join our team,” said John O’Brien, President & CEO. “He is a versatile leader that not only brings a collaborative style, but he is dedicated to continue to help maximize our financial performance to support our members, community and employees.”

In his new role, Normant brings a strong results-driven background with a collaborative team-building approach and excels in financial operations and reporting, expense control, operational efficiencies, and data management. Prior to joining LCU, Normant was the CFO at Main Street Bank in Marlborough.

Normant succeeds Gary Abrams who retired on May 1 after serving as the credit union’s EVP, Chief Financial Officer for the past 15 years. Abrams was an integral part of the Leominster Credit Union team and over the past few months helped to facilitate this transition.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank Gary for his dedication and the extensive knowledge that he brought to Leominster Credit Union. He was a great teammate and was instrumental in the growth and success of LCU. We will miss his leadership, commitment and sense of humor,” stated John O’Brien.

Founded in 1954, Leominster Credit Union (LCU) is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with a full range of deposit, lending and other financial services. Headquartered in Leominster, Massachusetts, LCU is proud to claim nearly 50,000 members and more than $700 million in assets. LCU has seven branch locations in Leominster, Clinton, Holden, North Leominster, Sterling and Worcester with ATM services at all branch locations. LCU also provides 24 hour banking via Mobile and Online services. Visit leominstercu.com or call 800-649-4646.

WACHUSETT BREWING COMPANY LAUNCHES COUNTRY HARD SELTZER

New brand bringing together the flavors of lemonade and seltzer set to roll out across New England

Wachusett Brewing Company is putting a refreshing twist in to the fast-growing hard seltzer category with the launch of Country Hard Seltzer, an exciting fusion of flavored lemonades and seltzer, just in time for the summer season.

“Everyone has been really excited about this one” said Christian McMahan, President of Wachusett Brewing Company. “So many people know us for the quality of our fruit beer portfolio, so taking that knowledge and translating that to a line of delicious fruit flavored lemonades combined with the refreshing taste of seltzer was a natural extension for us”

Country Hard Seltzer will feature four different flavors: Blueberry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade and Lime Lemonade. The brand will release a 12pk variety pack featuring the four flavors together.

For more information about Country Hard Seltzer, visit http://www.countryhardseltzer.com

About Wachusett Brewing Company

Celebrating 25 years in 2019, WBC produces a diverse, award-winning line of beers ranging from their best-selling Blueberry Ale to their highly-rated Wally New England IPA series. WBC was named of the top 50 largest craft breweries in the US in 2019.

Workers Credit Union donates $31,000 to area organizations

FITCHBURG, Ma., April 30, 2020 – Workers Credit Union is pleased to announce it has donated more than $31,000 to area organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Charitable giving is an important part of our culture at Workers and it is crucial that we continue to support our local organizations. There is more need than ever for us to stand together and support our most vulnerable members of our community” said Doug Petersen, president and CEO of Workers Credit Union. “Needs for services do not end because we are staying at home. I hope other businesses in the area who can donate will do so as well. We’re all in this together.”

The bulk of the donations were sent to the North Central Mass Development Corporation for their newly founded recovery fund, Making Opportunity Count (formerly Montachusett Opportunity Council), and Our Father’s House, among several other organizations. These organizations support a variety of essential services from Meals on Wheels to food pantry services to the needs of small businesses.

In 2019, Workers gave more than $375,000 to 170 organizations throughout Worcester, Franklin and Middlesex counties where its 16 branches are located. In 2020, Workers has already donated more than $140,000 to area organizations and continues to accept applications for support of charitable organizations on it’s website www.wcu.com/community.

Workers Credit Union, headquartered in Fitchburg, MA, is a member-owned financial institution with full banking services to meet a lifetime of financial needs including the $3 million GiveBack program. With 16 branches in Athol, Chelmsford, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Orange, Townsend, Westford and Worcester, Workers is proud to offer traditional banking channels as well as the latest technologies to more than 104,000 members.

Cleartech Group Named Minority Owned Business of the Year

BOSTON – The Small Business Administration (SBA) has named Cleartech Group the 2020 Minority Owned Small Business of the Year for Massachusetts.

Cleartech Group earned the recognition for tremendous growth in revenue and outstanding community service.  Serving clientele throughout Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, Cleartech provides consulting and managed IT business solutions for small and mid-sized firms.

First and foremost, I want to thank Tony Fields for his service in the United States Military,” said SBA Massachusetts District Director, Robert Nelson. “It is an honor to recognize Mr. Fields for contributions both to his country and his community.  He has notably demonstrated an ability to adapt to a changing marketplace and grow his business with relationships and commitment to his community.

Tony began his entrepreneurial career in 2004 when he opened a computer repair franchise in Leominster, MA.  For the next decade, he operated his business while balancing raising a young family and serving his community in the Leominster/Fitchburg area.   With steady growth and an increased demand for managed IT services, Fields could see an expansion and new focus were necessary. In 2017, Fields left the franchise and founded Cleartech Group.   He moved the company from a 900 sq. ft. service center to a 2,300 sq. ft. office space.  The risk paid off as Cleartech Group increased revenue by 40% from 2018 to the end of 2019.

“We recognize how vital technology is to business success and provide the right solutions catered to our clients.” said Tony Fields, President of Cleartech Group. “My team is instrumental in supporting our clients’ ever-changing needs, especially in today’s unprecedented environment.”

Mr. Fields actively participates in the Nashoba and North Central Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce and co-founded the still-thriving Leominster chapter of Business Network International in 2004.  He also contributes time and support to his community with organizations including: LUK, Inc., First Robotics Lego League, Mass STEM, Ayer Shirley Girls’ High School Basketball, and the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster.

Tony Fields completed both the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and the SBA’s Emerging Leaders Initiative in 2018 and has utilized counseling services provided by the Veteran’s Business Outreach Center of New England. He is currently participating in EO Accelerator, a program facilitated by the peer-to-peer network, Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

The company was nominated by Alison Berglund, Founder/Coach at Encore Age LLC.