Chamber Welcomes University of Massachusetts Amherst Intern

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Josie Dearborn as an intern at the Chamber’s headquarters this semester. Josie is entering her senior year at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she is completing a double major in Psychology and Communications. Her interest in marketing and community relations drew her to the Chamber for this internship opportunity.

Josie is a native of Westminster and graduated from Oakmont Regional High School. Josie is a dedicated member of her sorority Sigma Delta Tau at the University of Massachusetts, where she has holds the position of Health and Wellness chair. Josie is also an active member of the Association of Diversity in Sports where she partakes in creating innovative community-building events through the world of sports. As part of her internship, Josie will be learning a variety of aspects of the Chamber and its affiliates. She will gain hands on learning experience by assisting with our digital communications, media relations and assisting on programs including the 31st Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament.

“We are excited to welcome Josie as part of our team this summer,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the Chamber.  “She is a bright and ambitious student who will benefit from her time working with our members and supporting the advancement of North Central Massachusetts. I have no doubt that she will make a positive contribution to our organization.”

If you know someone or would like to know more about our internship programs, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 244 for more information.

North Central Mass. Chamber to award $48,000 in scholarships to 24 students

Each spring a number of the region’s most outstanding high-school seniors are recognized with scholarships from the Chamber Foundation of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday, chamber members and guests have an opportunity to meet the scholarship winners, when a total of $48,000 in scholarships will be awarded at the “Good Morning” breakfast event.

These awards are either endowed or funded by companies and individuals, and a total of 24 scholarships for $2,000 are being presented this year.

The event starts at 6:45 a.m., with coffee, then a buffet breakfast, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Leominster, 99 Erdman Way.

HealthAlliance is the main sponsor for the breakfast, which is moderated by Barbara Foster.

Jack Doolin, chairman of the Scholarship Committee and senior vice president of human resources at Workers’ Credit Union, heads a group that selects scholarship recipients from among college-bound seniors in the chamber’s service area. The sole basis for selection is merit — in all aspects of students’ endeavors, from academics and sports to volunteer work and employment.

To attend Friday’s breakfast, call the chamber at 978-353-7600.

Meet this year’s scholarship award recipients.

EMILY BUCHANAN Oakmont Regional High School

Emily Buchanan, a senior at Oakmont Regional High School, has been awarded the Roderick W. & Donna M. Lewin Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of William and Mary Kate Buchanan.

She ranks first in her class and will attend Boston College to study economics.

She has been class treasurer for two years and made National Honor Society. She has been an Oakmont peer leader all four years of high school and volunteered for the Relay for Life and made captain her senior year. Emily is also captain on the varsity soccer team and has been on the New England PGA Junior Tour for the past three years.

ALIVIA BURNS Leominster High’s School Center for Technical Excellence Innovation

Alivia Burns, a senior at Leominster High School Center for Technical Education Innovation, has been awarded the HealthAlliance Hospital Inc. Scholarship for $2,000. The daughter of Robert and Kathleen Burns, she ranks 25th in her class and will be attending Worcester State University to study occupational therapy.

After being class treasurer her freshman and sophomore year, Burns was made class president her junior and senior years. She is also vice president of the National Honor Society. She spends a lot of her spare time volunteering with the Lutheran Inter-Parish Youth Group, the Leominster High School Recycling Club, and serves as an officer of the GIVE volunteering program.

SOPHIA GONCALVES Fitchburg High School

Sophia Goncalves, a senior at Fitchburg High School, has been awarded the Elizabeth & Anthony DiGeronimo Family Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Oscar Goncalves and Angela Albertti. She ranks seventh in her class and would like to attend Boston University to study biology.

Goncalves has been on the honor roll all through high school and on the National Honor Society her junior and senior years. When she isn’t busy as class secretary, she plays on the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams. She has worked on the Fitchburg Youth Commission and volunteers with the Student Leadership Training Program, Green Acres Summer Program and is founder of Team Fitchburg.

MORGAN DiPILLA Wachusett Regional High School

Morgan DiPilla, a senior at Wachusett Regional High School, has been awarded the Barbara Silva Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Vincent and Sandra DiPilla. She will attend UMass Amherst to study biology.

While maintaining straight A’s throughout high school, DiPilla has been secretary of the National Honor Society as well as a member of the Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Student Council. She is a senior mentor, played on the soccer and indoor track teams, and is captain of the varsity lacrosse team.

SHANINA FERREIRA Montachusett Regional Vocational High School

Shanina Ferreira, a senior at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, has been awarded the Chamber Foundation Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Sergio and Patricia Benitez. She ranks fifth in her class and would like to attend UMass Amherst to study business management.

Ferreira strives in giving back to her community. She is treasurer of the Skills USA Leadership Team, a member of the Leo Club, volunteers for Monty Tech’s Tour Days and has been a part of the Friends of Rachel Club for the past four years to spread awareness about bullying. She is on the Student Council as well as the National Honor Society. When she isn’t busy volunteering, she works as a bank teller at Workers’ Credit Union and as a certified lifeguard at Great Wolf Lodge.

JOHN GOVE Leominster High School

John Gove, a senior at Leominster High School, has been awarded the Enterprise Bank & Trust Scholarship for $2,000. He is the son of Paul and Lisa Gove, ranks fifth in his class and plans to attend Michigan State University to study horticulture.

Gove has been active in Leominster High School sports teams, playing on the varsity soccer, indoor track and spring track teams all four years, and was captain of all three for his junior and senior years. Gove is on the National Honor Society, the Renaissance Club and the Student Council. He is also a Boy Scout currently working on his Eagle Project.

OLIVIA HOULE Montachusett Regional Vocational High School

Olivia Houle, a senior at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, has been awarded the Edward C.J. Healey Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Scott and Nancy Houle, and ranks 34th in her class. She would like to attend the University of Connecticut to study biomedical engineering.

Houle is on the Monty Tech’s Principal’s List for her outstanding grades, and is president of the Monty Tech National Honor Society and Monty Tech’s SkillsUSA chapter. She has been a team member of the FIRST Robotics Team 3623 since 2014. Outside of school, Houle is a referee and head coach for Leominster Youth Soccer and participates in a co-op program at Steel-Fab Inc., as a welder.

LAURA JENNY Leominster High School

Laura Jenny, a senior at Leominster High School, has been awarded the HealthAlliance Hospital Inc. Scholarship for $2,000. Laura is the daughter of Peter and Mary Jenny. She ranks first in her class and will attend Harvard College to study biochemistry.

Jenny has straight A’s throughout her high-school career while participating in many extracurricular activities. She is on the National Honor Society, varsity volleyball team and Worcester Youth Symphony Orchestra, and is founder of PLAY (Protecting Law Enforcement and Youth) to name a few. Jenny has also interned at the Fitchburg Mayor’s Office, Pierce Lab at Harvard University, Minus Lab at Northeastern University and Fitchburg Art Museum.

SHANNA JOSEPH Wachusett Regional High School

Shanna Joseph, a senior at Wachusett Regional High School, has been awarded the Salny Family Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Kevin and Erin Flanagan and would like to attend Western New England in the fall to study criminal justice.

Joseph is on the National Honor Society and is a senior mentor for her grade. She is founder and president of the Minority Diversity and the Poetry Slam teams. She has also volunteered as a French tutor, helped out at a nursing home and is an intern at Reclaimed Daisies Antiques and Furniture Décor Shop.

KEITH KIDDER Ayer Shirley Regional High School

Keith Kidder, a senior at Ayer Shirley Regional High School, has been awarded the Elizabeth & Anthony DiGeronimo Family Scholarship for $2,000. Kidder is the son of William and Shilou Kidder. He ranks 31st in his class and will be attending Mount Wachusett Community College for Legal Studies.

Kidder participates in a variety of extracurricular activities, including Student Council, Mock Trial and Robotics, and he joined the football team his senior year. He has been a Boy Scout since sixth grade and achieved his Eagle Scout at the age of 16. Kidder also volunteers as a cross bearer and altar server at St. Anthony Church, and helps stock food at Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.

ANNEKE LaPOSTA Nashoba Regional High School

Anneke LaPosta, a senior at Nashoba Regional High School, has been awarded the Benjamin Asher Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Vincent LaPosta and Jody Nardone. She is undecided on what college she would like to attend and on what her major will be.

LaPosta is on the National Honor Society and has straight A’s all four years. She has been a member of the Bancroft-Liberty Hill Interscholastic Equestrian Association team for four years and a captain for three. She is a working student and has volunteered at Liberty Hill Farm. She has also been a junior staff member at the Dr. Franklin Perkins School’s Rein in a Dream, a therapeutic horsemanship center.

KRISTEN MAGUY Leominster High School

Kristen Maguy, a senior at Leominster High School, has been awarded the David L. McKeehan Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Richard and Jennifer Maguy. She ranks fourth in her class and will attend Simmons College in the fall to study nursing.

Maguy is class secretary, and a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council, all while receiving straight A’s. She is also a member of the Spanish Club and Advocates for the Invisible Club, helping to raise money to help those who don’t have access to clean water or other necessary resources. She also volunteers as a tutor and at the Sunrise Assisted Living Home.

MARK McKEW St. Bernard’s Central Catholic High School

Mark McKew, a senior at St. Bernard’s Central Catholic High School, has been awarded the M. Ruth Lee Scholarship for $2,000. McKew is the son of Matthew and Carol McKew. He ranks fifth in his class and will attend Bentley University to study finance.

McKew is secretary of the National Honor Society, a member of the Latin Club and has participated on multiple sports teams, including varsity football, varsity soccer, indoor soccer, varsity lacrosse and indoor lacrosse. When he is not busy with school clubs or playing on one of the sports teams, he volunteers as a tutor for St. Bernard’s Elementary School’s After School Program.

CAMERON MOYLAN Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School

Cameron Moylan, a senior at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, has been awarded the George R. Wallace and Alice G. Wallace Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Thomas and Deborah Moylan and ranks third in her class. She will attend Vanguard University to study musical theater.

Moylan was a Massachusetts Girls and Women in Sports Day representative this year and captain of the varsity soccer team. She has starred in many productions at the Theatre at the Mount and City on the Hill, as well as a member of Monty Tech’s Drama Club. She is a dance instructor at Dance Revelations in Ashby as well as at the Summit Dance Center in Jaffrey, N.H.

KYLEIGH OLIVIER Leominster High School

Kyleigh Olivier, a senior at Leominster High School, has been awarded the M. Ruth Lee Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Rich and Susan Olivier and ranks sixth in her class. She would like to attend Hofstra University to study dance.

While maintaining straight A’s, Olivier is highly involved in her school, on the GIVE Club, the Student Wellness Advisory Team, and as secretary of the National Honor Society, co-president of Friends of Rachel and president of the Student Council. She has played soccer since she was 4 and is captain of the varsity soccer team. She has also danced since she was 3, competitively since she was 10 and has even taught her own classes.

MARK POTHIER Leominster High School Center for Technical Education Innovation

Mark Pothier, a senior at Leominster High School Center for Technical Education Innovation, has been awarded the Chamber Golf Tournament Scholarship for $2,000. Pothier is the son of Michael and Mary Ellen Pothier. He ranks second in his class and would like to attend UMass Lowell to study electrical engineering.

Pothier is on the National Honor Society and has achieved high honors every term. He is a member of GIVE and participated in SkillsUSA. Pothier earned his Eagle Scout in 2014 and volunteers at Holy Family of Nazareth Parish as a CCD teacher and altar server. When he isn’t busy with school and volunteering, he is an engineering technician at Infineon/International Rectifier.

SASHEALY RIVERA Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School

Sashealy Rivera, a senior at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School, has been awarded the HealthAlliance Hospital Inc. Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Yolanda and Luis Orlando Rivera. She ranks first in her class and will be attending Franklin Pierce University to study health sciences.

Rivera is on the National Honor Society as well as on the Mathletes and SkillsUSA Leadership teams. She has played on the volleyball team for four years. She has won local and district medals in the Medical Math Competition. She has volunteered on multiple fundraising events as well as at the Battered Women’s Shelter and the LUK Kids at Heart Gala.

JOHN ‘JACK’ SHELTON The Bromfield School

John “Jack” Shelton, a senior at The Bromfield School, has been awarded the Rollstone Bank & Trust Scholarship for $2,000. He is the son of Robert and Mary Jane Shelton. He would like to attend Penn State, Syracuse, UConn or the University of Virginia to study business.

Shelton is not only on the honor society but is also a member of the French National Honor Society. He has been on the varsity golf team since the seventh grade and earned captain status his senior year. He also participates on the technical crew for The Bromfield Drama Club. When he isn’t busy volunteering at school or as sound operator/photographer/videographer for the town of Harvard, he runs his own DJ business called Audio Jack.

AMY SJOBERG Groton-Dunstable High School

Amy Sjoberg, a senior at Groton-Dunstable High School, has been awarded the Ronald Ansin Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Jon and Karen Sjoberg. Sjoberg ranks eighth in her class and plans to attend Penn State at the Schreyer Honors College to study pre-veterinary.

Sjoberg is involved in her school as class secretary, a member of the Student Council and the Academic Team, and is president of the Biology Club and a Chemistry Club officer. She also plays as the Jazz Band pianist and chorus accompanist. She also runs on the varsity cross-country team and is on the Nashoba Valley Equestrian Team. Sjoberg volunteers at the UCC Church in Groton, and plays piano for the Groton Community Dinners.

MADELEINE STEELE The Bromfield School

Madeleine Steele, a senior at The Bromfield School, has been awarded the HealthAlliance Hospital Inc. Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Robert and Marisa Steele. Steele is undecided but would like to attend the University of Vermont, University of Virginia or Tulane in the fall to study psychology.

She is the editor-in-chief of The Bromfield Beacon, her school’s yearbook and is class treasurer. She maintained straight A’s all four years and was on the varsity spring track team. When she isn’t busy with school, she works at the Longview Orthopedic Center and the Hildreth Elementary Gymnastics Camp. She also volunteers at Camp Sunshine and the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.

BRYSON TANG Nashoba Valley Technical High School

Bryson Tang, a senior at Nashoba Valley Technical High School, has been awarded the Chamber Foundation Scholarship for $2,000. The son of Michael and Meg Tang, he ranks first in his class and will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute to study mathematics.

Tang is president of the Student Council, the National Honor Society and the Math Club. He has been a member of the FIRST Robotics team since freshman year and is co-captain his senior year. Tang is working as an intern at Biscom, where he has helped build internal management services and works with the sales team on quoting systems. He is also an intern at Fash, where he built a mobile app for the company on Android and iOS systems.

BRENDAN TOBIN Lunenburg High School

Brendan Tobin, a senior at Lunenburg High School, has been awarded the Adams Family Scholarship for $2,000. He is the son of Thomas and Carolyn Tobin and would like to attend Duke University to study biomedical engineering.

Tobin is president of his class, is on the National Honor Society, and competes for the varsity baseball and cross-country teams. He volunteers with the Boy Scouts and Order of the Arrow, where he is a board member, treasurer and an instructor for the BSA National Youth Leadership Training Program. He also volunteers at the Miracle League of Massachusetts and Our Lady of the Lake, to name a few.

CHLOE WESPISER North Middlesex Regional High School

Chloe Wespiser, a senior at North Middlesex Regional High School, has been awarded the Chamber Golf Tournament Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Anthony and Christine Wespiser. She ranks eighth in her class and plans to attend UMass Amherst to study nursing.

Wespiser is on the National Honor Society and has spent the past two years on the New Orleans Service Learning team. She is on the varsity soccer team and has been on the varsity lacrosse team since freshman year. She volunteers in her community, including at Our Father’s House, the Townsend Public Library, North Middlesex Regional High School’s Tutoring Program and as a helper with North Middlesex Youth Lacrosse.

PEYTON WIRTZ Fitchburg High School

Peyton Wirtz, a senior at Fitchburg High School, has been awarded the Workers’ Credit Union Scholarship for $2,000. She is the daughter of Eric and Elaina Wirtz. She ranks sixth in her class and will attend the University of Tampa to study marine biology.

Peyton has been on the Model United Nations Club and National Ocean Sciences Bowl Club since sophomore year. She has also enjoyed the Drama Club and Environmental Club. While she is not busy with school, she has worked the past three years at Five Below.

Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/community/ci_30971310/north-central-mass-chamber-award-48-000-scholarships#ixzz4gURNjO7x

Governor Charlie Baker to be Keynote Speaker at North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting and Business Luncheon for the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Great Wolf Lodge, 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg.  Join other business and community leaders and attend the annual meeting to celebrate business people working together for the future of North Central Massachusetts.  The program will include recognition awards and the commencement for the 2017 class of the Chamber’s Community Leadership Institute.  Workers’ Credit Union is the premier sponsor of the 2017 Annual Business Meeting. Supporting sponsors include Apex Properties, Avidia Bank, Enterprise Bank, Fitchburg State University, Medical Arts Hearing Instruments, Mount Wachusett Community College and TD Bank.

This year’s keynote speaker is Governor Charlie Baker.  Governor Charlie Baker was inaugurated as the 72nd Governor of Massachusetts on January 8, 2015. Since taking office, he has been making Massachusetts a great place to live, work and raise a family while delivering a customer-service oriented state government that is as hard working as the people of the Commonwealth. Governor Baker is now considered the most popular governor in the United States according to approval ratings.

Upon taking office, Governor Baker worked to close two budget gaps worth more than $2 billion without raising taxes, while bolstering local aid for our schools and communities, investing in a more reliable public transportation system and prioritizing funds to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic.  Governor Baker has supported robust business sectors by reforming the Commonwealth’s regulatory environment, holding the line on taxes, and advancing efforts to rein in energy costs.

To register for the Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 222 or ext. 235 or email chamber@northcentralmass.com or register online at www.northcentralmass.com/calendar.  The cost is just $40 per person for members and $60 per person for non-members. Supporting sponsorships and tables of ten are also available. Please RSVP by June 8th.

Drone Racing League selects Fitchburg and North Central Massachusetts as site for 2017 Allianz World Championship Race

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association, the tourism arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Fitchburg are pleased to announce that Fitchburg and North Central Massachusetts have been selected by the Drone Racing League (DRL) as the official New England site of one of its six 2017 Allianz World Championship races that culminate in a winner-take-all World Championship event.

“It’s very exciting that Fitchburg was selected by DRL to host their 2017 drone racing series”, said Mayor Stephen DiNatale.  “This selection is testament to the strong partnerships that we have in place here in North Central Massachusetts and our region’s strengths in the robotics and video gaming industries.”

“Securing the DRL race is significant for North Central Massachusetts,” said Roy Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. “Not only will the region benefit from the direct economic impact of hosting the race, but this will also showcase North Central Massachusetts to national and global audiences as a great place to host or grow a business.”

DRL discovered the Fitchburg site after meeting with the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association at a national trade show for sporting events. North Central Massachusetts is an emerging sports tourism location, so strategic investments have been made to attract events and exhibitions in this region. DRL and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association worked closely with the site selection team to find the right space for their New England race.

“We looked around aggressively for a community to host our New England race site,” said Ashley Ellefson, Director Operations for DRL. “Fitchburg was the ideal location and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber and the City of Fitchburg were all amazing in support of our efforts.”

The Championship series will include six races to test piloting skill and the limits of FPV (First Person View) flight. The races will begin airing on premier broadcast channels, including ESPN, ESPN 2, Sky Sports Mix and 7Sports in more than 75 countries, in June 2017. Each DRL race features 16 of the world’s greatest drone pilots flying DRL’s custom designed racing drone at speeds above 90 MPH through one-of-a-kind, three-dimensional racecourses in venues around the world. The Championship races are an elimination style competition that culminates in a world championship and the crowning of the World’s Greatest Drone Pilot.

Given its rapidly growing worldwide audience, the biggest benefit of securing the DRL race will be the national and global exposure for Fitchburg and the region. DRL’s first season reached millions of fans around the world, including more than 30 million broadcast viewers and more than 43 million views of its digital content. The region will also benefit from the hotel rooms booked for staff and media, and the new direct spending in the region by the visitors associated with DRL. Since drone racing also incorporates robotics and gaming, there are also possible educational opportunities for local students involved at the gaming program at Fitchburg State University and at Mount Wachusett Community College.

The Drone Racing League (DRL) launched in January 2016 as the only global professional drone racing organization, hosting five professional races in its inaugural season. Founded in 2015 by Nicholas Horbaczewski, a former executive with the Tough Mudder race series, DRL has quickly gained the reputation as the new “sport of the future” with its rapidly growing worldwide audience. The technology company is financially backed by investors including RSE Ventures, Lux Capital, Sky, MGM, Hearst Ventures, and CAA Ventures. DRL has also secured sponsorships from major national brands including Bud Light and leading global insurance brand, Allianz.

DRL joins a growing list of companies that have recently selected North Central Massachusetts, including Great Wolf Lodge that selected Fitchburg for its New England location; AIS that recently moved its operation to Leominster; Nypro that chose Devens for the expansion of its medical device manufacturing operations; and most recently the developers of Game On Fitchburg that selected West Fitchburg as the site of their major indoor sports complex scheduled to open in 2018.  North Central Massachusetts also recently received national recognition for its efforts by industry professionals who plan sporting events.

 

Businesses, Consumers Differ on Economic Outlook Under President Donald Trump

Businesses, Consumers Differ on Economic Outlook Under President Donald Trump
Annual Economic Outlook Survey Results Released

On April 12th, over 250 guests joined the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and Fidelity Bank at the DoubleTree in Leominster to get an idea of what the future holds for the economy under the current administration. This is the 6th year that the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and Fidelity Bank have partnered on this event. This year additional support came from the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. J.D. Foster, Vice President, Economic Policy Division and Chief Economist of the US Chamber of Commerce, provided keynote remarks with his presentation: What a Trump Economy Means for Us. Jeff Fuhrer, Executive Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston also spoke at the Economic Forecast Breakfast, presenting on the state of the economy and its outlook specifically for Massachusetts.

The breakfast sponsor, Fidelity Bank, presented on two economic outlook surveys they conducted of local business leaders and consumers from across North Central Massachusetts. “Getting the insights of these top economists, as well as our local consumer and business population, provides real value to the decision makers in our region,” said Ed Manzi Jr., chairman and CEO of Fidelity Bank. “In support of our LifeDesign promise, we’ve sponsored this event for the past six years, and once again it’s very gratifying to have partnered with three local chambers to support the business community in Central Massachusetts.”

“The surveys and presentations by our speakers is really a great way for our region to get a better understanding about what direction our economy is heading,” said Roy Nascimento, President and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “The presentations, combined with the surveys allow for a comprehensive view into conditions that could impact both consumers and businesses”

The economic outlook survey for both consumers and business leaders pointed to the political climate playing a significant role in the economy, but the two groups differed on President Donald Trump’s impact on the economy. On President Trump’s impact on the economy, 53% of consumers felt it would be negative, while 58% of business leaders feel that the president will have a positive impact on the economy.

Consumers overall did not have overwhelmingly positive feelings about a rising economy, with 76% of respondents indicating that the economy would be the same or only somewhat better a year from now.

Although the survey revealed that consumers believe that the high cost of living will be a threat to economic growth, only 22% of consumers believe that in 2017 they will be spending less money, while 44% believe they will not make any change to their spending habits.
The availability of skilled labor in the region was a major concern for business leaders. Workforce issues were the top challenge that businesses expect to face in the next two years, and was high among the greatest threats to economic growth for respondents.

“You can see from the survey that consumers have leveled off on Trump’s impact to the economy,” said Chris McCarthy, President and COO of Fidelity Bank. “In comparison business leaders have a more positive outlook on the upcoming year.”

Half of business leaders surveyed did indicate they would be increasing capital investments in their business in the next year. Investment priorities for business in 2017 include equipment, new hires, training, and expansion.

Complete results of the economic outlook survey are available online at wwww.NorthCentralMass.com/Research.

Getting to Know Your Chamber Scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2017

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host “Getting to Know Your Chamber” on Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Devens Common Center, 31 Andrews Parkway, Devens, MA.  This presentation is designed to help new members navigate the perks and programs of Chamber membership, but is equally valuable for current members who want to get the most value from their membership, or 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.  Attendees will also learn about the different affiliate organizations under the Chamber umbrella that focus on specialty areas and allow the Chamber to achieve more for its members and for the advancement of North Central Massachusetts. There is no cost to attend the “Getting to Know Your Chamber” meeting, but pre-registration is required.  Register online at www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/.

The Chamber will also be hosting a Business After Hours event at the Devens Common Center immediately following the orientation from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  The Chamber’s Business After Hours series provides an opportunity for members and non-members to mingle and build business relationships in an informal relaxed business setting.  These networking mixers are held throughout the year in partnership with member businesses and attract business professionals from many industries. The cost to participate in the Business After Hours is $15 for members and $25 for non-members and includes a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, tours of the common center and networking with business people from throughout North Central Massachusetts.  For more information or to register visit www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/ or contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235.

Business owners unable to attend but interested in learning more about Chamber membership may contact Jeff Ardis, Manager of Member Services and Business Development or David Ginisi at 978.353.7600 or by sending an email to jardis@northcentralmass.com or dginisi@northcentralmass.com to schedule a one-to-one meeting.

All-Day Workshops Scheduled for Entrepreneurs in Fitchburg, MA

 

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation and Bank Hometown are holding two business workshops on May 4, 2017 aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs.

These free workshops are approximately 2 hours each and are being held in partnership with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, SCORE, NewVue Communities, and City of Fitchburg and Leominster’s Economic Development Office.  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 Street in Fitchburg on Thursday, May 4.

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 a.m. Continental breakfast will be provided for all participants.  Presented by Bob Aspell, SCORE

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 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided for all participants. Presented by Robert C. Alario, CPA

To register, please contact Sandie Cataldo at 978.353.7607 ext. 232 or SCataldo@northcentralmass.com.  You may also register online at www.NorthCentralMass.com.

 

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts. NCMDC is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. The NCMDC works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects with loans and business assistance.  Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $4,200,000 in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in 26 communities in the North Central Massachusetts region.

 

For more information about the NCMDC loan or technical assistance programs, please call 978.353.7607 or visit www.choosenorthcentral.com.

Tourism Industry Celebrated its Economic Impact at Annual Tourism Day at the State House

 

The tourism industry celebrated its economic impact and its legislative champions at the annual Massachusetts Tourism Day at the State House on Thursday, April 6, 11am-1pm, in the Great Hall.

Hosted by the 16 Regional Tourism Councils (RTCs) of Massachusetts, in partnership with the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development and the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT), Massachusetts Tourism Day included a mid-day program that featured presentations of the Champion of Tourism awards to Sen Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland) and Rep. Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth).

Other speakers included Joint Committee Co-chairs Rep. Cory Atkins and Sen. Adam Hinds. Francois Laurent-Nivaud, director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT).

The third largest industry in the Commonwealth, tourism accounts for 135,000 jobs, thanks in large part to the direct spending by 23.5 million visitors to Massachusetts.  In 2015, for example, visitors to the state spent $20.2 billion on lodging, meals, culture and recreational attractions, transportation, and retail.  That spending yielded $1.3 billion in local and state tax revenue.

“Tourism plays a major role in the North Central Massachusetts economy, accounting for over $127 million in direct spending in the region,” said Roy Nascimento, President and CEO of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. “The visitor industry is not something we should take for granted – we need to continue partnerships with state and local government, together with the private sector, to leverage investments in the tourism industry that will help grow our economy.”

As part of Thursday’s celebration, the RTCs offered food samples representing the culinary traditions of their regions, ranging from chowder to maple and apple products.

“The Regional Tourism Councils have a deep understanding of their unique regions coupled with marketing know-how. Their promotional efforts showcase all that Massachusetts has to offer, “said Representative Cory Atkins. “Over 23 million visitors frequent our restaurants, hotels, museums, cultural institutions, and attractions. The economic impact of a robust tourism industry is a boon to the Massachusetts economy.”

Community Leadership Institute visits Beacon Hill Future Leaders Learn about Pressing State Issues

 On Thursday, March 23, 2017, nearly 40 North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce members, including the 2017 class of the Community Leadership Institute, visited the Massachusetts State House to meet with legislators, government leaders and policymakers.

 As part of the Community Leadership Institute, a year-long program for emerging community leaders, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce members started their day with a tour of one of the United States’ oldest and most storied State Houses, met with delegates in the Members Lounge, and discussed policy with state and non-government organizations.

Representatives Jennifer Benson, Kim Ferguson, Stephan Hay and Natalie Higgins were all in attendance to greet the members as well as provide information.

Over the course of the day, Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, Secretary of Health and Human Services Mary Lou Sudders, State Budget Director Catharine Hornby  and Benjamin Forman, research director of MassInc, discussed policy, initiatives and had frank dialogue with participants about the State of the Commonwealth.

“Participating in the Chamber’s Community Leadership Institute was key to my personal and professional development within our community,” said CarrieAnne Cormier of Avidia Bank and CLI alumni member. “I was proud to have the opportunity to come back to CLI this year as an alumnus for the recent State House event. It was an important way for me to support my team’s current CLI participants, connect with other leaders within North Central – and of course re-energize with a fun and informative day in Boston”

“I have always lived in North Central Massachusetts, but the CLI has opened new doors for me and expanded my knowledge of the many resources in our own backyard,” said Amanda Landry of UMass Memorial – HealthAlliance Hospital and current Community Leadership Institute participant. “Touring the State House and visiting with key leaders who praised initiatives in North Central as well as voiced their continued support to develop the region made me even more proud to live and work here. I look forward to the continued partnerships with our elected officials in the future.”

The Community Leadership Institute has three program days left in the 2017 session which include sessions focused on healthcare, law & justice, arts & culture and a wrap up session prior to the graduation ceremony at the Chamber’s 2017 Annual Business Meeting & Luncheon held on June 15th. For more information on the Community Leadership Institute, please contact Maria McCaffrey, 978.353.7600 ext. 235 or mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com

Be a Champion for North Central Massachusetts!

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association today announced the launch of the new North Central Massachusetts Champions program to help promote the region through social media as a great place to live, work, visit and grow a business.

Anyone with a social media account and who loves North Central Massachusetts can become a North Central Massachusetts Champion.  Whether they live here, work here, own a business here or just enjoy visiting here, they are invited to become a Champion and show their civic pride and help advance the community by spreading the word about positive news and information about the region.  The goal of this new initiative is to arm proud residents, local business leaders and public officials with the region’s key selling points and then encourage them to talk up the benefits of the communities located in North Central Massachusetts to their business and personal contacts via their social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

“We are rallying the entire community to get behind this initiative,” said Roy Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.  “This is a great opportunity to join us on the front lines of economic development and help make a difference in promoting all the good things that they love about North Central Massachusetts!”

To participate and become a North Central Massachusetts Champion anyone can visit northcentralmass.com/champions to sign up.  The process is easy and can connect any social network.  Champions will then receive an email 2-3 times per month with new and exciting content about the region that they can share.  Each email contains a status update and link to the content that is being shared with them.  With a simple press of the button, Champions can share the status update automatically on their social networks that they select.

North Central Massachusetts Champions will never have content posted to their social networks without being explicitly notified.  Even if they choose to auto-post content, they have the option to opt-out of each post before it is shared.

This new program is one of a series of recent efforts to help promote the region and advance the local economy.  In addition to the Champions program, the website ChooseNorthCentral.com and the hashtag #ChooseNorthCentral were recently launched to promote the region as a great place to grow or relocate a business.  The Chamber and Development Corporation also recently launched a social media campaign to promote the region as a great place to operate a business, expanded its micro loan program and published a comprehensive directory of manufacturing and industrial parks in the region.