2/11 – MBTA Fitchburg Line Schedule Improvement Initiative (RSVP 2/4)

MBTA Fitchburg Line
Schedule Improvement Initiative
Date: Thursday February 11th
Time: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Location: Can-Am Machinery, 44 Old Princeton Rd. Fitchburg MA
Join our unified effort to petition the MBTA for an earlier outbound train and a commuter rail schedule that works for our region. Lunch and raffle provided by Can-Am Machinery.
Agenda:
Opening Remarks: Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale City of Fitchburg
Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella City of Leominster
Mayor Mark. Hawke City of Gardner
MBTA Update: Mohammed Khan MART Administrator
Wachusett Station: Bruno Fisher MART Deputy Director
Reverse Commute Benefits: Jake Daniels Can-Am Machinery
Open Forum: Corey Lynch MBTA Deputy Director
(Rail Operations)
Details:
The MBTA has released a draft of the new Fitchburg Line Commuter Rail schedule. The new schedules will be implemented on May 23rd. From now until February 12th, the MBTA is accepting public comment on the new schedules.
With the new schedule the earliest train arriving to Fitchburg is 9:07 AM. The purpose of this initiative is to inform the MBTA that North Central Massachusetts residents, businesses, institutions and elected officials want an earlier train (8:00 AM) and a commuter rail schedule that works for our region.
Residents and business owners have been lobbying the MBTA for an early train for many years.
Please join our efforts in petitioning the MBTA now before their public comment period ends February 12th.
Raffle Items:
2 Boston Bruins tickets for March 5
Dinner for two in Boston’s North End
Each prize includes round trip commuter rail passes

Please RSVP to Jeff@canaminc.com by Thursday February 4th.

All-Day Workshops Scheduled for Entrepreneurs in Fitchburg rescheduled

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, and Hometown Bank are holding two business workshops on February 2, aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs. The workshops were originally scheduled for January 12th, but were rescheduled due to a conflict.

The free workshops are being held in cooperation with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), SCORE, City of Fitchburg, City of Leominster, and NewVue Communities (formally Twin Cities CDC).

Both workshops will each run approximately two and a half hours and will be held at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, 860 South St., Fitchburg on Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

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. Presented by Roland Nutter, AdviCoach
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 11:00.  Lunch will be provided.  Presented by Robert C. Alario, CPA

To register, please contact Sandie Cataldo at 978-353-7600 ext. 232 or Cataldo@massweb.org or register online at northcentralmass.com.

Success Story – Nypro a Jabil Company

Located in Clinton, Massachusetts,  Nypro A Jabil Company is a world-class leader in manufacturing precision plastic products for customers in the healthcare, packaging and consumer electronics industries.  When demand exceeded the capacity of its headquarters in Clinton Massachusetts, management began looking at locations to expand. As a global company with 25 dedicated facilities in 11 countries and more than 8,000 employees worldwide, Nypro could have gone anywhere. But the company wanted to stay local to its roots in North Central Massachusetts and ultimately selected a location down the street from its headquarters in Devens, Massachusetts.

“It was important that we keep a close connection to our history as well as the technical resources at our headquarters in Clinton.” said John Witkowski, general manager, Nypro Healthcare, Clinton. “North Central Massachusetts also has the skilled workforce that we needed to continue to grow and a reputation as the center for the plastics industry in the Northeast.”

The 200,000-square-foot modern manufacturing facility features a state-of-the-art training area, metrology lab, a fully digitized machine shop, environmentally controlled chambers, and a 60,000-square-foot, Class 8 clean room. The new facility offers a full selection of Nypro Healthcare services—from product development, mold design and build, to injection molding and automated assembly—for single-use and electro-mechanical Class I, II and III healthcare devices. This additional operational space increases Nypro Healthcare’s clean-room space by 60 percent in Massachusetts and provides for 100 new jobs for the region.

Success Story – Great Wolf Lodge New England

When Great Wolf Resorts was searching for a location for its first location in New England, it selected the City of Fitchburg in North Central Massachusetts. The Wisconsin-based operator of indoor water park resorts  bought a former Holiday Inn Hotel located in Fitchburg, not far from Route 2, and expanded the property with the addition of a 68,000 square foot indoor water park as well as a separate play area complete with miniature golf and a ropes course.  The company looked at a number of locations and ultimately selected Fitchburg in North Central Massachusetts for its strong workforce, abundant water supply and proximity to Boston.  More than 42 million families with children live within 300 miles of a Great Wolf Lodge.

Great Wolf Resorts invested $66 million in the project, including the construction and acquisition costs.
In return, the City of Fitchburg and the state provided a package of tax deferral incentives that helped support the development and job creation from the project.  The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation worked with local and state officials to attract Great Wolf Resorts to the region and helped advocate for the tax incentives for the project. The project helped create over 500 jobs for the region and generates millions in new tax revenues for the city and state.

All-Day Workshops Scheduled for Entrepreneurs in Fitchburg

 

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, and Hometown Bank are holding two business workshops on January 12, 2016 aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs.

The free workshops are being held in cooperation with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), SCORE, City of Fitchburg, City of Leominster, and NewVue Communities (formerly Twin Cities CDC).

Both workshops will each run approximately two and a half hours and will be held at the North Central MA Chamber of Commerce, 860 South St., Fitchburg on Tuesday, January 12, 2016.

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 Roland Nutter, AdviCoach

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 11:00. Lunch will be provided for all participants. Presented by Robert C. Alario, CPA

To register, please contact Sandie Cataldo at 978-353-7600 ext. 232 or Cataldo@massweb.org or register online at northcentralmass.com.

Emerging leaders participate in Community Leadership Institute

Twenty-two men and women, sponsored by area companies as up and coming employees and future leaders in our community, began the North Central Mass Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership Institute. The nine-month program is dedicated to providing participants with individual leadership skills and an understanding of the region’s 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 first 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.”

Kathryn Weldon, home loan specialist at Fidelity Bank and current participants, looks forward to learning more about her community. “I have been in North Central almost my entire life but I know there are areas that I could learn more about, such as our healthcare facilities or economic development. I look forward to the seminars each month to make better connections with my classmates, learn more about the resources in North Central and helping to advance the community.”

Kurt Zelch, Director of Physician Relations at HealthAlliance Hospital, just recently began working in the area. “I am thrilled and honored to be part of this year’s class.  I am most excited about the possibility of incorporating the good ideas of my fellow nominees into my own perspective.  These meetings will surely help all of us in that regard.”

 

Participants in the 2016 Class include:

Evelyn Cabrera – Director of Residential Services, YWCA
Brian Calnan – Area Administrator, Catholic Charities
Ellen Coughlin – Human Resources Manager, Leominster Credit Union
Katy Cuddahy Kirouac – Head Teller, Avidia Bank
Daniela Cunha Raphael – Customer Service Representative, Avidia Bank
Jennifer DeLisle – Assistant Branch Manager, Workers’ Credit Union
Penny Doolittle – Manufacturing Career Coach, Workforce Investment Board of North Central Mass
Lisa Dutton-Swain – Resource & Development Director, NewVue Communities (formerly Twin Cities CDC)
Scott Farris – Director of Strategic Enrollment Management, Mount Wachusett Community College
Heather Finnerty – Branch Manager, Rollstone Bank & Trust
Kallee George – Admissions Coordinator, The Arc of Opportunity of North Central MA
Holly Kreidler Phaneuf – Assistant Director NCEOC, Mount Wachusett Community College
Lisa Moison – Director of Professional Studies, Fitchburg State University
Susan Piper – Director of Sales & Marketing, DoubleTree by Hilton
Sarah Proctor – Sales & Marketing Coordinator, The Arc of Opportunity of North Central MA
Nicholas Rocheleau – Engineer, Rocheleau Tool & Die
Eric Rodriguez – Lead Organizer, The United Neighbors of Fitchburg
Sandra Sagehorn Elliot – Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Office, Workers’ Credit Union
Natalie Silverthorn Kruger – Retail Manager, Cutiques & Cutie Patuties
Kathryn Weldon – Home Loan Specialist, Fidelit Bank
Katy Whitaker – Development Coordinator, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School
Kurt Zelch – Director of Physician Relations, HealthAlliance Hospital

Getting to Know Your Chamber

 

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host Getting to Know Your Chamber on Tuesday, December 1st from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Chamber’s headquarters located at 860 South Street, Fitchburg, MA. This meeting is open to new members, existing members, and 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, but pre-registration is required.  Register online at www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/.

Business owners unable to attend but interested in learning more about Chamber membership may contact Yasmin Loft, Sales and Member Services Manager at 978-353-7600 ext. 234 or by sending an email to loft@massweb.org to schedule a one-to-one meeting.

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Recognizes North Central Ma Small Businesses by Celebrating Small Business Saturday

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce announced its participation in the sixth annual Small Business Saturday on November 28th to support small businesses across North Central Massachusetts. Founded by American Express® in 2010, Small Business Saturday® is a day to celebrate the small businesses that help support their neighborhoods and is held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Now in its sixth year, Small Business Saturday has been embraced as part of the holiday shopping tradition as each year shoppers, businesses and public officials come together to Shop Small® and show their neighborhood pride.

 

Understanding the important contributions small businesses make to their communities, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is pleased to once again participate in Small Business Saturday and the Neighborhood Champion program.  On November 28th, the North Central Massachusetts community is encouraged to take part in the Small Business Saturday and take advantage of the specials that our local business are running.  Shoppers can stop by to support local businesses and receive Shop Small® giveaways like tote bags, buttons and balloons.

 

American Express created the Neighborhood Champion program to help rally communities around Small Business Saturday and is working alongside numerous business organizations to support local Small Business Saturday celebrations throughout the country. Participating organizations include the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), the International Downtown Association, The Latino Coalition, the National Main Street Center, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

 

Small business owners can learn more about taking part in Small Business Saturday and download free marketing materials on www.shopsmall.com. Consumers can also visit the site to find small businesses to shop at on Small Business Saturday.

 

North Central Mass Development Corp Makes Three Loans to Local Small Businesses

 

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) has recently granted three small business loans totaling $109,500 to Piland Landscaping in Leominster; Yolanda’s Food Truck in Leominster; and Ayer Shop and Save.  The loans enabled these businesses to start-up or expand and create 25 new jobs.

NCMDC granted Piland Landscaping a loan for $20,000 to assist with the purchase of equipment and to provide working capital to help expand this landscaping and snowplowing business.  Jason Piland opened the business almost a year ago after ten years of experience working for a local landscaper.  He quickly secured contracts with many large local businesses and residential customers.  This loan will enable the business to expand with the purchase a skid steer.  Piland Landscaping services range from lawn management to landscape design, building patios, walkways, installing irrigation and drainage, as well as snowplowing.  This loan was referred to the NCMDC by Hometown Bank.  Visit their website at www.PilandLandscaping.com for more information.

Yolanda’s Food Truck received a loan from the NCMDC for $14,500 to assist this start-up with a food truck business selling Uruguayan food as well as hamburgers and hotdogs in the Leominster area.  Yolanda Rodriquez, owner, is self-taught and known in the local Uruguayan community for her culinary skills.  This loan will provide the funds to outfit the truck with a fire suppression system required by the Leominster Fire Department.  With the installation of the system, Yolanda will be able to cook food in the truck which will increase her inventory and menu selection.  This loan was a referral from the Twin City CDC in Fitchburg, one of our community partners.

Ayer Shop and Save is reopening the former Hannaford Supermarket which had closed in 2014.  Mike Szelest, working closely with Geronimo Commercial Properties, owner of the site, and the Town of Ayer was granted a $75,000 loan from the NCMDC to help with start-up costs to re-open the only supermarket located in Ayer.  Mike was owner of the Winchendon IGA.  He, along with his wife and son, will operate it as a full service supermarket offering national and “house” brands, a full service deli as well as beer and wine.  The store will specialize in offering local products and produce.  A grand opening is scheduled for late October.  This gap loan was in partnership with North Middlesex Savings Bank.

“Small businesses have proven to be the backbone of our economy, creating new jobs and investment and setting the stage for future economic growth for North Central Massachusetts,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation. “The NCMDC plays an important role in helping provide these small businesses and entrepreneurs with the financing and technical assistance that they need to grow and create new jobs.”

As an EDA Microloan lender, NCMDC can provide loans to small businesses up to $75,000 for working capital, equipment, inventory, expansion and working with our banking partners provide gap financing for the final piece of a project.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please contact Sandie Cataldo 978-353-7607 x232.