Work continues as extension of Chamber’s Community Leadership Institute program
The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce recently collaborated with InTown Fitchburg to continue the work of improving the downtown Fitchburg business district which began shortly prior to the pandemic shutdowns.
In early 2020, Project Maintain, was created under the guidance of eight reputable organizations and businesses in North Central Massachusetts as part of the Chamber’s annual Community Leadership Institute program (CLI). Following the completion of one project at 655 Main Street, the project was paused due to the pandemic until the Chamber began collaborating with InTown Fitchburg to continue the project work this year.
Projects are designed to improve the appearance of vacant business windows in the downtown area to create interest in future business development and community inclusion. The organizations involved in Project Maintain include the Chamber, NewVue Communities, North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, Rollstone Bank & Trust, Leominster Credit Union, MassHire and the Arc of Opportunity.
“The Project Maintain team was made up of members working for businesses and organizations with a vested interest in attracting new business to downtown Fitchburg, creating a vibrant place for people of the region to live, work and play, and we were fortunate to have support of the project from the Mayor’s Office and Main Street landlords,” said Melissa Kuehl, Vice President, Marketing, Rollstone Bank & Trust. “Although we did not see our vision come to fruition due to the onset of the pandemic, we are thrilled that our fundraising and other efforts are able to assist in the work that InTown Fitchburg is doing.”
With the financial support provided for Project Maintain, the Chamber granted the funds to InTown Fitchburg to continue the work improving Main Street.
“We are very thankful to the North Central Massachusetts Chamber and the Community Leadership Institute for their contribution and active involvement in our efforts to enhance the downtown business district in Fitchburg,” said Joe Ferguson, Executive Director, InTown Fitchburg. “The contribution from the Chamber’s Leadership Institute helped fund the purchase and installation of commercial self-watering planters to help beautify and improve the atmosphere of downtown. You will see additional self-watering planters along the sidewalks of Main Street in the Spring of 2023.”
The Chamber developed the CLI program to inspire a new generation of community leaders to enthusiastically assume important roles in their community while motivating participants from diverse backgrounds to be influential in the region’s future. Previous CLI projects included the creation of a non-profit organization, The Russell Brooks Foundation, to help with holiday gifts for families when a parent or loved one is undergoing cancer treatments. Most recently, the CLI participants led a holiday drive to raise funds and personal care items for economically, socially and educationally disadvantaged youth through My Turn, Inc., a non-profit that helps people develop their skills, goals, and self-confidence through alternative education, post-secondary career planning, career exploration and employment training.
To learn more about the CLI program, please contact Kat Deal, Events & Program Manager, at 978-353-7600, ext. 235, or at email@example.com.