Leominster Salon Receives Micro-loan from North Central Mass Development Corp

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) granted a micro-loan to Angelica Jimenez for $25,000 to assist the purchase of equipment and the costs associated with starting Angel Salon and Spa in Leominster. Angelica has over 15 years of experience in the industry.  Angel Salon is a professional salon and spa offering services to men, women and families conveniently located at Twin City Plaza, 875 Merriam Ave. in Leominster.

This loan was a gap loan in partnership with Fidelity Bank.  NewVue Communities assisted the new owner with a business plan and financial package.  For more information please visit www.angelsalonandspa.com/.

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $150,000 for working capital, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.


Visit the Elect North Central Page for more information or to submit your question

The new Elect North Central Coalition will host a debate for the candidates vying to represent the 3rd Congressional District at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 on the Fitchburg State University campus.

Democratic candidate Lori Trahan, Republican candidate Rick Green and Independent candidate Mike Mullen have been invited to debate at Fitchburg State’s Kent Recital Hall in the Conlon Fine Arts Building, 367 North St. Admission is free and open to the public.

Elect North Central is a coalition of organizations dedicated to making the democratic process accessible and assuring that local and regional issues are examined and addressed by candidates running for office.

“The members of Elect North Central represent a broad cross-section of leaders in media, education, community, and business organizations, and was formed to provide residents an opportunity to hear the candidates on issues affecting them and the region,” said North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce President Roy Nascimento, the chair of Elect North Central. “The coalition members plan to continue collaborating on projects that will engage candidates and voters, and provide a platform for the voices of our region to be heard.”

Charles St. Amand, practitioner in residence in the Communication and Journalism Department at Suffolk University, will moderate the debate.

Panelists will include:

–         Cassie Carlson, student representative, Mount Wachusett Community College

–         Sherman Whitman, radio host, WPKZ 105.3 FM and AM 1280

–         Gary Hutner, general manager, Gardner News and Clinton Item

–         Cliff Clark, city editor, Sentinel & Enterprise

–         Irene Hernandez, president, Minority Coalition of North Central Massachusetts

The organizers will also solicit questions from the public in advance for possible inclusion in the debate.

The Elect North Central Coalition includes Fitchburg Access Television, Fitchburg State University, Gardner News, The Item, Leominster Champion, Lowell Sun, Minority Coalition, Mount Wachusett Community College, NewVue Communities, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Sentinel & Enterprise, Spanish American Center, Suffolk University, Telegram & Gazette, Three Pyramids, United Hmong of Massachusetts, Worcester Business Journal and WPKZ Radio.

The 3rd Congressional District includes Acton, Andover (precincts 2-7, 9), Ashburnham, Ashby, Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Boxboro, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Clinton, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Haverhill, Hudson, Lancaster, Lawrence, Littleton, Lowell, Lunenburg, Marlboro, Maynard, Methuen Town, Pepperell, Shirley, Stow, Sudbury (precinct 1), Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford, Westminster and Winchendon (precincts 1A, 2, 3).


The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of AIS Inc., the largest office furniture manufacturing firm in the Northeast, as its newest Leadership Level member.

AIS, Inc. based in Leominster, is one of an elite group of prominent businesses and organizations to hold the prestigious position of Leadership Level member. Leadership level members make a vital commitment to the economic development of the region through their enhanced investment in the Chamber. They also serve as key advisors and maintain a close relationship to the organization. Their support helps shape the future of North Central Massachusetts by providing resources and the benefits of their advice and wisdom.

“We are very excited to welcome AIS as our newest Leadership Level member,” said Roy M. Nascimento, CCE, IOM, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “We greatly appreciate their confidence and commitment in the Chamber and we look forward to working with their leadership in our collective efforts to advance North Central Massachusetts.”

Bruce Platzman, President and CEO of AIS, Inc., explained, “The North Central Massachusetts Chamber is an outstanding organization with a clear record of advancing economic opportunity in the region.  We like their consistent advocacy for all businesses in North Central Massachusetts.  And, in particular, the Chamber’s recognition of the key role manufacturing plays in our local economy is very appealing.  AIS is pleased to partner with them and help further their mission.”


The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is hosting a New Member Campaign from September 24 through October 26, 2018.  This awareness campaign will include direct outreach to prospective members and a referral promotion to existing members.

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. Among its many honors, 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 National Chamber of the Year Award.  The Chamber also achieved four-star accreditation in 2018, an honor achieved by only 204 of the 7,022 chambers in the country.

“The Chamber is an important element in the fabric of the community and has a tremendous impact supporting the local business community,” said Stephen Mullaney, Chairman of the Board of Directors.  “This is a great opportunity to tell our story and give the Chamber’s financial and membership efforts a solid boost.”

The campaign will feature several “Join Now” incentives for businesses and organizations that enroll with the Chamber, including digital, print, and TV advertising, website 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 $50 Gift Local gift card that can be used at many of the finest restaurants, shops and attractions in the region.  There is no limit to the number of referrals someone can make.

At the end of the campaign, we will also have a drawing for referring members with a chance to win the Grand Prize of a $500 Gift Local Gift Card.

Membership in the Chamber is a great way to become involved with the business community, support the North Central Massachusetts 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.

For more information please visit https://www.northcentralmass.com/membership-information/new-member-referral-campaign/. Businesses interested in joining the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce should contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 240.

October Leads Awareness of Manufacturing in North Central Massachusetts

Chamber to spotlight manufacturers with special events

 As  part  of  national  manufacturing  month,  the  Chamber  and  our  economic  development  arm,  the  North  Central  Massachusetts  Development  Corporation  will  host  a  series  of  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  Chamber.  “Supporting  careers  in  advanced  manufacturing  and  serving  as  fierce  advocates  for  local  manufacturers  are  a  priority  for  our  Chamber.”

The  Chamber  plans  on  coordinating  tours  of  local  manufacturers  as  well  as  highlighting  how  rewarding  careers  in  manufacturing  can  be  through  a  social  media  campaign, showcasing  Chamber  produced  manufacturing  videos  and  hosting  special  events.  The  Chamber  will  be  partnering  with  local  manufacturers,  Mount  Wachusett  Community  College  and
MassHire  North  Central  Workforce  Board  in  these  efforts.  Stay  tuned  throughout  the
month  of  October  for  more  information  on  these  events.  For  more  information  visit
www.NorthCentralMass.com  or  contact  Sandie  Cataldo  at  SCataldo@northcentralmass.com.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. – North Central Massachusetts Manufacturing Bus Tour

Special manufacturing bus tour for Superintendents, legislators and media in the North Central Massachusetts region. 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.

 Thursday, October 11, 2018

 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Business After Hours – Fitchburg Art Museum

185 Elm St, Fitchburg, MA

Join us to celebrate the manufacturing industry during a special edition of our Business After Hours series at the Fitchburg Art Museum’s newest exhibit – Furniture. The museum’s newest exhibit pays tribute to region’s industrial heritage of furniture manufacturing and will feature a variety of pieces, both new and antique, that were made locally!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – CEO Unplugged featuring Ray Martino, President & CEO of Simonds International

The Chamber’s CEO Unplugged series gives young professionals access to local leaders for a chance to connect and learn about their journey to success. Each session provides a chance to meet with a local CEO in their workplace to discuss professional development such as leadership values, entrepreneurship, and investment in community and career paths. In honor of manufacturing month, the October edition features Ray Martino, President & CEO of Simonds International, a global leader in the manufacturing of wood processing equipment and one of the largest manufacturers in Fitchburg. Attendance is open to any young professionals within the Chamber membership. But, seats will be limited to no more than 12 people. The program is free, but pre-registration is required.

Student Manufacturing Tours – Various Dates and Locations

Throughout the month of October, the  North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will  be  partnering  with  local  manufacturers,  Mount  Wachusett  Community  College, the MassHire  North  Central  Workforce  Board and other partners to host a series of manufacturing tours for local students from  various high schools in North Central Massachusetts. These efforts are intended to showcase careers in advanced manufacturing and dispel old, negative myths and stereotypes that exist about manufacturing jobs.

Half Axe in Marlborough receives micro loan from North Central Mass Development Corp

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) granted a $25,000 micro-loan to Derek Johnson, owner of Half Axe located in Marlborough.  Half Axe is the premier axe throwing facility and the first of its kind in New England.  Once a fun outdoor camping activity, axe-throwing has grown into the newest competitive sport making its way to the US.  Located at the new Apex Entertainment Center in Marlborough, Derek offers 2 hour and 45 minute booked sessions for private events, parties, league play, as well as drop-ins.   Half Axe is open Tuesday-Sunday.  For hours and more info visit www.halfaxe.com.  This micro loan was a referral from Community Teamwork and created 4 new jobs.

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Clark University assisted Derek with a business plan and financial package.  For more information on the SBDC visit www.clarku.edu/offices/sbdc.

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $150,000 for working capital, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

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 20, 2018 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.

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 the Chamber at 978.353.7600 or chamber@northcentralmass.com for more details.


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

Confirmed legislators:

  • Congressman McGovern, 2nd Massachusetts Congressional District
  • Auditor Suzanne Bump
  • Senator Jamie Eldridge, Middlesex and Worcester District
  • Senator Dean Tran, Worcester and Middlesex District
  • Representative Donald Berthiaume, 5th Worcester District
  • Representative Kim Ferguson, 1st Worcester District
  • Representative Sheila Harrington, 1st Middlesex District
  • Representative Stephan Hay, 3rd Worcester District
  • Representative Natalie Higgins, 4th Worcester District
  • Representative Harold Naughton, 12th Worcester District
  • Representative Susannah Whipps, 2nd Franklin District
  • District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Worcester County
  • Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis, Worcester County
  • Mayor DiNatale, City of Fitchburg
  • Mayor Dean Mazzarella, City of Leominster
  • Councilor Marcus DiNatale, City of Fitchburg
  • Councilor Thomas E. Donnelly, City of Fitchburg
  • Councilor Marisa Fleming, City of Fitchburg
  • Councilor Michael Kushmerek, City of Fitchburg
  • Councilor Samantha Squalia, City of Fitchburg
  • Councilor Elizabeth Walsh, City of Fitchburg
  • Councilor Anthony Zarella, City of Fitchburg
  • Councilor Thomas Ardinger, City of Leominster
  • Councilor Susan Chalifoux-Zephir, City of Leominster – Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
  • Councilor Pauline Cormier, City of Leominster
  • Councilor Claire Freda, City of Leominster
  • Selectwoman Rosemarie Meissner, Town of Ashburnham
  • Selectman Walter Sandrowski, Town of Lancaster
  • Selectman Jamie Toale, Town of Lunenburg
  • Town Manager Heather Lemieux, Town of Lunenburg
  • Selectman Richard Bisk, Town of Princeton
  • Town Administrator Nina Nazarian, Town of Princeton
  • Selectman John Kilcoyne, Town of Sterling
  • Selectman Wayne Walker, Town of Westminster
  • Selectman James DesLisle, Town of Westminster

Confirmed Candidates:

  • Tracy Lavvorn, Candidate for Congress, 2nd Massachusetts District
  • Blake Rubin, Candidate for District Attorney, Worcester County
  • Margaret Busse, Candidate for State Senator, Middlesex/Worcester District
  • Elmer Eubanks-Archbold, Candidate for State Representative, 3rd Worcester District
  • Richard Palmieri, Candidate for State Representative, 4th Worcester District

September Edition of Good Morning North Central features Baker Cabinet Official

The next edition of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber’s popular Good Morning North Central breakfast series is scheduled for Friday, September 14, 2018 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 Unitil.

 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 Secretary Matthew Beaton of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Deborah Weymouth, President and CEO of UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital.

 Secretary Matthew A. Beaton oversees the Commonwealth’s six environmental, natural resource and energy regulatory agencies, which include the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utilities, Energy Resources, Conservation & Recreation, Agricultural Resources, and Fish & Game. Secretary Beaton also serves as Chairman of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Before being appointed to the cabinet post at Energy and Environmental Affairs, Secretary Beaton served as a State Representative. First electe

d in 2011, he was a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the House Committee on Ethics, and the Joint Committee on Environ

ment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. In the private sector, Secretary Beaton has worked as an environmental engineer and energy efficiency consultant.

Deborah Weymouth serves as President and CEO of HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital. The hospital is a member of UMass Memorial Health Care creating a super-regional community hospital providing a full continuum of high quality healthcare services to the residents of North Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Her presentation will focus on the upcoming ballot question regarding patient to nurse ratios and the impact on community hospitals.

 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.

Sales Leads Program Revamped

You asked, we answered! We have revamped our Sales Leads program to be more responsive to the needs of program participants. Based on the feedback we have received, we have made the following changes:

  • In an effort to respect your time, we will be limiting the program now to only once per month and just one hour in length;
  • The networking will be quick and impactful. We will maintain a structured format, but also incorporate an open networking element;
  • We have moved the program from Wednesdays to Fridays. We are also exploring moving the location from the Chamber office to another location;
  • We have a new name and logo to reflect the changes. Sales Leads is now “Connect North Central”!

Connect North Central will continue to be free for members and open seat – meaning more than one person from each industry can participate – to help you make the valuable connections that you want and need.  For more information or to register for the next meeting, please visit www.northcentralmass.com.

Sponsorships Available

Be visible, participate in Chamber programs and watch your business grow.

The Chamber offers members the opportunity to showcase their products and services by sponsoring programs and events throughout the year. From the smallest to largest business, we provide multiple sponsorships and various programs to meet our member’s marketing needs. Regardless of your budget, there is a sponsorship opportunity available for you at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber!

For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 or via email at Chamber@northcentralmass.com.