Mass. Retailers See 6 Percent Spike In Holiday Season Sales

Stores Flag Inflation, Staffing, Inventories As Challenges

Retail sector sales in Massachusetts typically total about $21.25 billion in November and December, and retailers in the shopping season that is just now gathering momentum are expecting a significant 6 percent increase in sales compared to 2020.

The Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) on Monday released its annual forecast, which marks a stepdown from the 9 percent sales surge in 2020 and trails the National Retail Federation’s projections of an 8.5 to 10.5 percent lift in annual retail sales.

Still, the 6 percent growth rate would be the second largest in the last decade, and is supported by fourth quarter inventories that are up by 4.1 percent over 2020, according to a survey of RAM members.

Retailers listed inflation, inventory delays and staffing shortages as the three top challenges this season, according to the survey, and stores reported that payroll costs for members were up 6.7 percent over 2020.

Holiday sales account for an average of 20 percent of annual retail sales, according to RAM, which says 60 percent of its members this year report they are selling online, compared to 50 percent a year ago and only 29 percent during the 2019 holiday season.

“The acceleration of online offerings and sales by smaller sellers has been apparent during the COVID crisis,” RAM President Jon Hurst said. “Main Street has worked overtime to meet their customers where and how they wanted to be served during these challenging and evolving times.”

While online sales nationally are projected to reach 25 percent of all retail sales, RAM said internet sales are expected to total 5 percent of total holiday sales at smaller Massachusetts retailers.

In a bid to encourage people to spend their holiday budgets locally, Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito are joining RAM officials at a shoe store and a music store in Needham Monday to launch a campaign to urge people to actively consider where they choose to shop.

“Much of the Massachusetts economy relies on all of us doing our part, so we need to shop like jobs depend on it, because they do,” Baker said in a statement. “By choosing local, you’re sustaining jobs in your community.”

The retail sector employs 600,000 people in Massachusetts, according to RAM, which represents 4,000 retailers and restaurants.

A #BuyInMA ad campaign featuring radio and digital ads is being launched Monday and officials are encouraging shoppers to visit BuyInMA.org to learn about promotions and savings from local stores and restaurants.

Hurt said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of appointment-only shopping and curbside pick-up and delivery, aspects of customer service that he said would “undoubtedly continue to exist long after the health and economic crisis has passed.”

Story by: Michael P. Norton, State House News Service 

Baker Signs Off On New Congressional Districts

New congressional districts that drew opposition from some advocates and lawmakers will take effect for the 2022 elections after Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday signed a pair of redistricting bills into law.

Baker’s office announced Monday evening that the Republican governor signed legislation redrawing the state’s nine congressional districts (H 4256) and eight Governor’s Council districts (H 4257), capping the months-long process of redrawing political lines based on population changes and growth reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The new district boundaries put Fall River fully in the 4th Congressional District and keep New Bedford in the 9th District. Debate over the fate of the two South Coast cities split elected officials, who offered competing arguments for combining them into a single district and for keeping the region divided across two districts.

Lawmakers approved the congressional map 151-8 in the House and 26-13 in the Senate, with the latter margin raising questions about whether Baker would return the bill with an amendment and about the prospects of Democrats overriding Baker had he vetoed the bill.

No members of the state’s all-Democrat U.S. House delegation will be forced to run against one another under the revised districts featured in the new law.

The congressional and Governor’s Council maps were the final steps in the once-every-decade redistricting process. Baker signed the House and Senate legislative districts into law on Nov. 4.

 

Story by: Chris Lisinski/SHNS

 

Henry Tessman appointed to Chair of Visit North Central Massachusetts Board of Directors

Tessman brings hospitality leadership, experience to board

Henry Tessman, general manager of Great Wolf Lodge New England, was recently elected Chair of the Board of Directors for Visit North Central Massachusetts.

A strong champion of the region’s economic development efforts, Tessman will work with the Visit North Central Massachusetts board, staff, membership and other stakeholders to champion the organization in its mission to market the region as a destination. He succeeds Al Rose, owner of Red Apple Farm, who moves to the position of Immediate Past Chair.

Tessman began working at Great Wolf Lodge New England in 2014. In addition to managing more than 700 employees, Tessman oversees all operations, including an indoor waterpark, several restaurants and more than 400 guest rooms.

A 35-year veteran of the hospitality industry, he previously served in management positions with various hotel companies, including Marriott, Wyndham, Hilton and boutique properties. He earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Johnson & Wales University.

In addition to his involvement with Visit North Central Massachusetts, Tessman also serves on the Board of Directors for the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, ARC of Opportunity, and the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation.

“Henry has proven himself to be a great leader and advocate for our cooperative marketing efforts to grow the visitor economy in North Central Massachusetts,” said Roy Nascimento, president of Visit North Central Massachusetts. “He will lead our organization through the recommendations of the recently published Regional Economic Development Plan as we look for opportunities to expand tourism in North Central Massachusetts.”

“It is an honor and privilege to be elected chair of Visit North Central Massachusetts, an organization with an important role in promoting North Central Massachusetts as a unique destination for individuals and families,” said Tessman. “I look forward to continuing the efforts of our immediate past chair to establish the region as a premier destination for visitors and groups.”

In the same election, Chris Stimpson, public relations manager at Wachusett Mountain, was elected to fill an open seat on the Board.

State OKs New Surgical Building at Gardner Hospital

State officials on Wednesday gave a green light to Heywood Hospital’s nearly $38 million plan to build a new, freestanding surgical pavilion to replace an existing surgical suite that hospital officials said has been largely unchanged since it was built in 1961. The Public Health Council unanimously signed off on Heywood’s determination of need application for the 40,115-square-foot addition that will feature six new, larger operating rooms and 21 pre- and post-procedure rooms. The Department of Public Health’s determination of need program vets proposed hospital expansions, mergers and changes in ownership. A 134-bed community hospital in Gardner, Heywood experienced a 20 percent growth in surgical procedure case volume from 2016 to 2018, according to its application. The expansion will allow more patients to undergo their procedures locally, the application said, reducing the number of referrals to higher-cost care sites and easing transportation barriers for patients in north central Massachusetts. “Lack of transportation options is a major issue in the Service Area. The lack of transportation options inhibits access to jobs, childcare, and healthcare,” the application said. “Some patients, particularly elderly, disabled, and mentally ill patients, are dependent on their caregivers’ schedules to get to necessary appointments because public transportation is inadequate.” Elder Affairs Secretary Elizabeth Chen, who serves on the council, told hospital representatives she wanted to commend them “for modernizing your facilities.” “As I recall reading, this is a high public-payer hospital, and so when I read that the facilities haven’t been modernized since 1960, this needs to be done,” Chen said. “This allows for patients, it allows for your population to remain in community…it gives people access to a modern facility and modern surgical techniques, and you are a high public-payer hospital, and thank you. Thank you for giving your populations that kind of access.” – Katie Lannan/SHNS

ARPA Bill Grew to $3.82 Bil Before House Passage

Source: State House News Service

Authors: Katie Lannan, Chris Lisinski and Chris Van Buskirk

 

Leaderships Sees Issues ‘To Work Out’ With Senate

A major spending bill allocating federal COVID-19 relief funds and surplus state tax revenues cleared the House on Friday evening by a vote of 159-0 after lawmakers added nearly $174 million via the amendment process.

The bill began with a bottom line of $3.65 billion and representatives took a handful of votes to add on tens of millions of dollars more, much of it earmarked for local programs and projects, through four mega-amendments compiled outside of public view based on the 1,126 individual amendments filed earlier in the week. The bill’s final bottom line increased to $3.82 billion.

House and Senate leaders have already agreed on two key features of the bill — a $500 million deposit into the state’s unemployment trust fund and another $500 million for one-time bonus payments to low-income essential workers who remained on the job in-person throughout the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Otherwise, it’s unclear how closely aligned the spending will be between the House plan and the proposal that Senate Democrats are expected to soon put forward, and how much negotiating will need to take place before lawmakers can ship a final version to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Baker had prodded lawmakers to quickly put the state’s billions of dollars in American Rescue Plan Act money to work, but the Legislature opted to gather public input at a series of hearings before crafting a bill.

With formal sessions for the year set to end Nov. 17 under joint legislative rules, House and Senate leaders have not indicated if they aim to get a final bill on Baker’s desk or into private conference committee negotiations before the winter recess.

“We have been continuing to talk with our Senate counterparts and I think that there are some things we will have to work out and we’ll see what proposals they put to the floor maybe next week or whatnot,” House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz told the News Service. “I think that after they get done we’re going to try as hard as we can to get it to the governor’s desk as quickly as we can.”

Michlewitz said lawmakers received feedback and testimony from nearly 400 people and organizations, including the governor. Rep. Dan Hunt, who chairs the House Committee on Federal Stimulus and Census Oversight, cited more than 300 meetings with advocates.

Michlewitz, a Democrat from Boston’s North End, called the resulting bill “a truly equitable spending package.”

“A consistent theme we heard from these hearings was the need for this one-time revenue to go toward areas and communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this pandemic,” he said. “These communities that were hardest hit by COVID, and it is only appropriate that the lens with which we view these funds be toward filling the needs of these communities.”

Before amendments were tacked on, the bill contained $777 million in economic development spending, $765 million for health and human services, $750 million towards workforce development, $600 million for housing and homeownership, $350 million toward environmental and climate change mitigation, and $265 million for education.

Rep. Kate Lipper-Garbedian, a Melrose Democrat, addressed her colleagues for the first time to highlight a provision, backed by $10 million, that will expand eligibility for special education services to students who turned 22 during the pandemic. She said students with disabilities are eligible for K-12 services until they turn 22, but the disruption and suspension of those services left some young adults cut off from programs like vocational and life-skills training.

Elected last year in a special election, Lipper-Garabedian was sworn in during a socially distanced State House ceremony on March 25, 2020.

“Many of us in this chamber have had COVID babies. Some of us have had COVID puppies,” she said Thursday. “I’m pleased to have been your first COVID rep.”

The House Ways and Means Committee’s bill features $200 million in tax relief for small-business owners who paid personal income taxes on state or federal relief money, $12 million to aid the resettling of Afghan refugees, and $5 million for Inspector General Glen Cunha’s office to create a public website and database tracking the number of contracts awarded to minority-owned businesses and the flow of funding to disproportionately impacted communities.

The bill included $20 million to improve technical infrastructure at community health centers, and through the amendment process representatives added $15 million for “programs that promote primary care workforce development, recruitment and retention at community health centers.” Other health investments lawmakers noted included $250 million for financially strapped hospitals and $70 million for nursing homes.

Environment and climate spending represents another sizable chunk of the bill with more than $400 million total following the adoption of a mega-amendment. Rep. Carolyn Dykema said areas that will see new investments include combined sewer overflow issues, climate resiliency, offshore wind development and PFAS mitigation.

“Water infrastructure upgrades and the mitigation of contaminants like PFAS can be extremely costly for our municipalities, and providing this relief to cities and towns who are already facing challenging financial times is badly needed,” Dykema, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, said Friday.

The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance criticized what it called a “closed doors” negotiating process on the four mega-amendments that House lawmakers added to the spending bill. Spokesman Paul Craney said the branch “once again proved to the rest of the world why they maintain the top spot as the most secretive and opaque legislative body in America.”

“Regular people have no way of knowing the deliberations behind how their tax dollars are spent in the Massachusetts House of Representatives,” Craney said in the statement released Friday afternoon.

Lawmakers held six public hearings ahead of crafting the $3.82 billion proposal where hundreds of people and organizations, including Baker, testified on areas where the funds should be spent.

House leaders left themselves a sizable pot of money to be spent at a future date. The base bill left unallocated about $2.4 billion in ARPA money and roughly $350 million of the state’s fiscal year 2021 surplus.

With nearly $174 million added to the bill, Michlewitz said “most of the work that was done” via the amendment process did not touch the additional ARPA funds the House had left aside and primarily drew from the fiscal 2021 surplus revenue.

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation approves financing to Homestead Market

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, recently approved a $67,500 loan to Homestead Market, located at 59 Gardner Road in Winchendon. Funding approved by NCMDC was in partnership with Athol Savings Bank, which assisted in purchasing the real estate.

Homestead Market, owned by Tony and Morgan Ruschioni, is a small family business that provides homemade products and services focused on sustainable agriculture. Most of the organic and sustainable products are created with items locally sourced from the Ruschioni family farm, including specialty foods, gift shop merchandise, personal care items, lotions, soaps, salves and other homemade products.

In addition to managing the store, Morgan Ruschioni will lead a variety of creativity classes and specialty evenings, including paint, craft and kid’s nights. Homestead Market plans to hire one full-time and one part-time employee in the future.

“When you purchase products at Homestead Market, you are supporting a local, small farm that uses regenerative agricultural practices, and raises animals with care and respect,” said Morgan Ruschioni. “With the financial assistance and support from the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, we can build a business to help our community have access to healthy, sustainable food options.”

As a microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $250,000 for working capital, real estate, equipment, inventory, and expansion and work with its banking partners to provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit NorthCentralMass.com or ChooseNorthCentral.com.

Emerging leaders Participate in Community Leadership Institute

Seventeen men and women, sponsored by area companies as up and coming employees and future leaders in our community, have been accepted into the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership Institute.  CLI is dedicated to providing participants with individual leadership skills and a deep understanding of the region.  The nine month program focuses on education, government, health care, social services, justice system, media, arts and culture, environment and history.  The Chamber created the Institute to inspire a new generation of men and women to enthusiastically assume important roles in their community.   The program challenges individuals from diverse backgrounds to be influential in our region’s future.

Professor Mike Greenwood, business professor at Fitchburg State University and chairman of the Institute steering committee, is enthusiastic about this year’s participants and the meaningful professional, personal and community development they will take part in.  “I have been with the class since it’s reintroduction in 2011.  Each year, I am amazed and impressed with the dedication of the participants.  Programs like this are an important asset within the community to ensure one that continues to thrive, even after our current leaders retire.”

Marty Connors, president of Rollstone Bank & Trust and past chairman of the Institute steering committee, led the Institute’s revival in 2010.  “I was in the 1991 class of the Institute and it was an integral part of my success in the community.  As Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors in 2010, I felt we needed the program back to once again support our needs for leadership and succession planning. Rollstone Bank & Trust’s participants have enjoyed the program and become leaders here in their workplace and in the community.  We could not be prouder of the work they have done.”

Participants in the Class of 2022:

Daisy Ayala, Enterprise Bank

Joshua Bedarian, RCAP Solutions, Inc

Austin Brooks, TD Bank

Joseph Ferguson, Fitchburg State University

Justin Goettsch, The Arc of Opportunity

Ramon Gonzalez, Mount Wachusett Community College

Brittany Haley, Leominster Credit Union

Megan Heffernan, UMass Memorial Health HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital

Kimberly LeBlanc, Resource Management, Inc

Bea Lee, North Central Massahusetts Economic Development Corp

Christian Lopez, Sponsored by AIS

Stephanie LoSasso, Avidia Bank

Hannah Pollan, Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts

Andrea Sampson, Aging Services of North Central Massachusetts

Melanie Sauvageau, Rollstone Bank & Trust

Patricia Wayrynen, Workers Credit Union

Marcus Williams, Mount Wachusett Community College

Inside North Central Massachusetts is Now Available on Apple Podcasts

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that our podcast series – Inside North Central Massachusetts – is now available on Apple Podcasts. The podcast series features conversations with Travis Condon, the Chamber’s Public Affairs Manager, and leaders of industry, education, healthcare, government, and more, plus additional content that is relevant to our members and communities.  

“We want to be seen as a resource for crucial information pertaining to our members and the communities of North Central Massachusetts,” said Roy Nascimento, President & CEO of the Chamber. “The way the public consumes information is constantly changing, and we are excited to utilize the skills of our team members to break into this medium.” 

“We recognize that our members are often very busy, and while we wish they could attend every event we host, we know that isn’t always feasible,” said Kathleen Deal, Events & Programs Manager at the Chamber, “This will give members the flexibility to keep up to date with issues that impact them while juggling their day to day responsibilities.” 

To listen or follow the Inside North Central Massachusetts podcast series on Apple Podcasts, please head to: https://apple.co/3pJFWFs  

Interested in sponsoring the podcast series or being a guest on an episode, please send an email to kdeal@northcentralmass.com

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Over $66 Million in MassWorks Funding

Administration Highlights First-Year Success of One Stop for Growth Program

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy were joined by state and local officials from Lowell to announce $66.5 million in 2021 MassWorks awards to 50 communities. The Administration also kicked off the first series of grant awards made through the Community One Stop for Growth program, which total a combined $88 million for projects in 122 communities across the Commonwealth, including MassWorks awards.  First launched in January 2021, the Community One Stop for Growth replaced multiple application processes for separate grant programs that support local economic development initiatives with a single application portal that includes a streamlined, collaborative review process. The Administration also announced $1 million for 16 communities through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Planning Grant Program, one of the many programs available through One Stop.

In One Stop’s inaugural round, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development received 267 Expressions of Interest from 178 communities through the new, simplified process.  For this year’s awards, 196 grant applications received a total of $88.7 million for projects in 122 communities.  Of the 196 projects awarded, nearly one-third were located in a rural or small town, half were located in a Housing Choice Community; and one-third were located in a Gateway City. Learn more about the programs that are part of the Community One Stop for Growth application process.

“MassWorks and the programs accessed through One Stop support local infrastructure projects that spur housing, workforce development and private investment,” said Governor Charlie Baker.  “We appreciate the partnership with the Legislature and local leaders to make these investments possible and look forward to our continued collaboration.”

“One Stop has transformed the Commonwealth’s role from simply a patchwork of funding sources into a true partnership that puts the economic and community development goals for more cities and towns within reach,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.  “By enhancing access to key programs like MassWorks, One Stop allows us to bring a heightened sense of urgency to our efforts to rebuild the economy.”

“In addition to a single application portal, the One Stop’s collaborative review process involves multiple agencies and direct referrals to programs across a number of agencies, all in an effort to get more communities closer to their economic development goals, faster,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy.  “As well, cities and towns can now submit Expressions of Interest, which opens up a dialog allowing communities to work with members of our team to refine and improve upon their ideas.”

“Locally driven planning efforts are critical for communities to take charge of their growth and meet the needs of diverse cities and towns,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “We are thrilled to be part of the One-Stop program, which better coordinates our expansive programming to support community development, affordable and market-rate housing development, and resilient neighborhoods.”

MassWorks, a competitive program that offers cities and towns flexible capital funding to support and accelerate housing production and job growth, is the largest program among the One Stop portfolio. This year, the Administration is awarding 56 grants from the infrastructure program – the largest number of awards in a single year in six years – totaling $66.5 million to 50 communities.

Among this year’s MassWorks’ projects, 29 are reactivating underutilized sites, 27 are supporting transit-oriented developments, 29 have a mixed-use component. Additionally, 14 communities are receiving their first ever MassWorks award.

Including this year’s round, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded 326 MassWorks grants to 181 communities, investing over $608 million in public infrastructure projects throughout the state. These grants have directly supported the creation of 21,000 new housing units, tens of thousands of construction and new permanent jobs, while also leveraging over $13 billion in private investment. 

At today’s event, Administration officials announced that Lowell, which applied for several grants through One Stop, is receiving a $1.72 million MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant to support the design and construction of sidewalks, lighting, and landscaping that will improve vehicular and pedestrian travel in the area adjacent to a private development known as Acre Crossing.

Lowell’s MassWorks award will support Acre Crossing, which is a mixed-use development, consisting of over 34,000 square feet of office and retail space, and parking.  The project also includes 32 condominiums for sale to first-time homebuyers with household incomes ranging from 70 to 100 percent of the Area Median Income.  The project is a result of a $27 million private investment, supporting approximately 200 jobs throughout construction, and 40 full-time jobs once fully built out.

“The Merrimack Street corridor between City Hall and University Crossing is the major link connecting the UMass campus to the Lowell Central Business District. As such, it presents many opportunities for economic development and rejuvenation such as the Acre Crossing Project,” said State Senator Ed Kennedy. “The Governor’s announcement of the Mass Grants award today will help provide a big step in that direction.”

“The MassWorks grant for the Acre Crossing development and the Community Planning grant to support Lowell’s new TOD Overlay District are both vital to the expansion of affordable housing and job creation in Lowell,” said State Rep. Rady Mom.  “I would like to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for their continued efforts to improve our city and the Commonwealth.”

“The City of Lowell is thrilled to receive a $1,720,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grant for Acre Crossing,” said State Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr.  “This generous funding will allow us to make the area around the new development easier to navigate for both pedestrians and vehicles and will also help us to make the area safer and more beautiful with the addition of lighting, landscaping and a small park.  The city of Lowell is also grateful to receive a $75,000 Community Planning Grant, which will allow the city to increase opportunities for new housing near the Gallagher Terminal.”

“Thank you, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito, for your invaluable assistance in securing these vital funds to support the continued economic development for the City of Lowell and throughout our Commonwealth,” said State Rep. Vanna Howard. “The MassWorks Infrastructure funding will help support our commitment to job creation, which will benefit the entire community for years to come. I am proud to support this economic development bill for the future good of our Commonwealth.”

“The investments that the Baker-Polito Administration continues to make through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program enabled cities and town across the Commonwealth to overcome financial hurdles standing in the way of development,” said City Manager Eileen Donoghue. “We are confident that the Acre Crossing project will mark a continuation of the high-quality development that has been supported in Lowell through MassWorks.”

“Acre Crossing represents a transformative project that will expand Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s presence in The Acre, create new jobs, provide adequate parking, and offer homeownership to those that may not otherwise be able to fulfill that dream,” said Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union.  “We are honored to be chosen as a recipient of the MassWorks Grant to help support our efforts.”

The full list of this year’s MassWorks grant recipients can be found here.

In addition to MassWorks funding, today the City of Lowell was also awarded two additional grants through the One Stop process.

As a designated Housing Choice community, Lowell was awarded a $250,000 grant to update its 2012 Master Plan to address housing affordability issues in the City and assess how new policies can be aligned with the sustainable growth of the City.

In addition to receiving MassWorks and Housing Choice awards, Lowell was one of 16 communities that were awarded a combined total of $1 million through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Planning Grant Program.  This program, also new this year, is one of the multiple programs in One Stop and provides technical assistance for activities related to land use, including: assisting communities in the development of a Master Plan, Housing Production Plan, Zoning Review and Updates, Urban Renewal Plan, Land Use Plan, Downtown Plan, Parking Management Plan, Feasibility Study, or Other Strategic Plan

Lowell’s $75,000 grant through the Community Planning Grant Program will assist in the creation of a new transit-oriented development district for the area surrounding the Gallagher Terminal which serves as Lowell’s central transportation hub with connections to MBTA commuter rail service to and from Boston, and bus service through 19 local and regional bus routes. The City’s goal is to further the recommendations of the Lowell Gallagher Terminal TOD Study by modifying the zoning code to increase opportunities for new housing near the Gallagher Terminal.

The full list of Community Planning Grant Program awards can be viewed here.

JOIN THE GIFT LOCAL GIFT CARD PROGRAM!

Be a part of something great! Join the ranks of the local restaurants, shops, attractions and other businesses that are currently a part of the Gift Local gift card program. Participating in this community-focused promotional opportunity is a great way to engage new customers and promote your business.

  • Accepting Gift Local gift cards is hassle-free – no new terminals or software are required.
  • Unlike coupons, deal sites and discount cards, you are not asked to provide a discount in exchange for customers. Instead, the Gift Local gift cards drive full-priced customers to your business.
  • Gift Local gift cards do not compete with your own existing gift card or gift certificate program. Instead, Gift Local gift cards help to engage new customers that you can convert into returning customers.
  • Your business also benefits by being listed on GiftLocal.net and from the ongoing advertising and promotions conducted to encourage the sale of the cards.

 “We were an early adopter of the Gift Local gift card program. It just seemed like a no-brainer for us to participate,” said Rick Walton, owner of the Gardner Ale House and Moon Hill Brewing. “I haven’t been disappointed. We’ve seen hundreds of these gift cards redeemed here since the program started just a few years ago.”

Are you a Chamber member and would like to participate in this program?  For more information or to sign up, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 222.