38R Merrimac Street, Newburyport, MA  01950  |  978.462.6680  |

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Welcome to the Greater Newburyport Chamber Blog Page, NEW in 2015!

Here you can find information about upcoming Chamber events, community events, as well as guest blog posts written by other Chamber members.

Check back often to see what’s new!

Interested in guest blogging?  Email the Marketing Department.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Have you ever wondered what the term “creative economy” actually means?

creativeeconomyIs it a real thing? And what does the creative economy contribute to the overall health and quality of our shared lives? Hint, creative economy does not just mean visual arts.

In fact, a quick online search reveals the following definition: "A creative economy is based on people's use of their creative imagination to increase an idea's value. ... Some observers take the view that creativity is the defining characteristic of developed 21st century economies, just as manufacturing typified 19th and early 20th centuries.”

To better understand actors and activity in the region’s creative economy the perfect opportunity has presented itself: The Creative Economy Association of the North Shore (CEANS) is coming to Newburyport for its upcoming meeting! Mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 31, 5:30-8:00p.m. - the meeting will be held at the Newburyport Art Association located at 65 Water Street, Newburyport Ma. The program will include a reception in the Range Lights Community Sculpture Garden (weather permitting) followed by a panel discussion in the NAA’s galleries. The panel will be moderated by Steve Immerman, President of the Montserrat College of Art; and panelists will include Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, State Representative James Kelcourse, Mayor Donna Holiday, Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASS Creative.

All are welcome. RSVP required at Hope to see you there!

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Much Do You Spend on Professional Development?

professionaldevelopmentThere are likely professional development pieces you must keep up with for your business. Items like certifications, licenses, and other must haves. But what about the secondary training you need to learn to keep your business relevant in today’s changing marketplace? Are you keeping up? Can you afford to? What do you need to know? Here are the top skills most businesses need today and an inexpensive suggestion on how to keep with these secondary professional development requirements.

Regardless of the business that you’re in, there are new skills that we all must be learning. Even if your business is large enough and your budget robust enough that you can afford to pay others to do it, having a cursory knowledge of these new skills is important.

Marketing is no longer about a hard sell or a witty slogan. Word of mouth and referrals power strong brands. Content marketing, social media, and other forms of digital marketing need to be on your agenda. You want to create content that causes people to know, like, and trust you.

Using Graphics in Marketing
The reason this topic gets its own section is because images are becoming incredibly important in digital marketing but they’re no longer relegated to the design team. Everyone is expected to be able to use tools like Canva or Adobe Spark to create image quotes and memes for social media.

If you don’t have an analyst on board, you might want to get one if your budget allows. If not, you probably need to study up on the basics of Google analytics. You can read Google’s resources on the topics but often analytics is something most easily learned by watching and following along.

Personal Branding
Branding is about more than your business these days. It’s important to develop a personal brand and thankfully with social media, that’s not hard to do. It costs nothing but time. In addition to building a following by investing time in your personal brand, allowing people to get to know you builds the know, like, and trust people crave when doing business with companies these days. If you have no idea what a personal brand is, it’s time for you to get some help in developing yours.

Since search optimization is such a broad topic, it should be addressed outside of analytics. Even if you hire a search optimization guru, it’s important you know something about it. After all, if you care about your personal brand (and you should, remember?) you’ll be doing your own posting and should be cognizant of what keywords can help position you where you need to be.

Cyber Security or Active Shooting Situations
No one wants to learn these skills and knowledge but sadly, today it is a lot more prevalent a topic than we would’ve ever expected. While combat training isn’t essential, knowing how to minimize issues, what to look for, and how to react in an active shooter situation may help save you and your staff from a terrible situation. Classes on this topic range from information on conceal and carry to active shooter drills.

Cyber security is another concern today as cybercrime can decimate your business and your reputation. It’s no longer enough to merely update your anti-virus software. There’s a lot of cybercrime going on out there and it’s all just stealing identities. Ransomware holds your data hostage and extorts money from you to get it returned. Cybercrime costs 100-billion dollars a year.

In either situation, you can’t assume your location or industry won’t be hit.

Chamber NOTE:  The Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank is hosting a Cyber Security Event on Wednesday, April 26th - FREE:  Click here for details.

These basic secondary skills are critical to business and while you can hire them out, if your do, you’re at the mercy of someone else. But at the same time, self-education takes hours to find trusted sources and many of them cost several hundred dollars. Plus, of course, you need to factor in the time it takes to digest the information they’re presenting online.
Or you could join the chamber.

Training on these secondary skills is often offered at your chamber of commerce and/or your local small business development organization. If you’re looking for economical training, the chamber is the first place to go. Even if they don’t offer a learning session on the exact topic of interest, they can often match you up with another member or organization to help you increase your knowledge for very little economic investment. Find out what’s on the chamber agenda this month.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine,, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.

She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

And the winners are...

chamberpot_2017Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry Announces 2017 Chamber Pot Raffle Winners

Newburyport, MA – The Chamber Pot Drawing was held Thursday, April 6, 2017 at Vasa Waterfront Kitchen & Bar in Salisbury. Over 200 people were in attendance at the event.  There was a total of $21,000 in prizes awarded, with a total of 14 prizes.

The Chamber Pot 2017 Prizes and Winners

First Prize (1) -  $10,000
Ed Howlett

Diamond Necklace from M.K. Benatti Jewelers   - value $3,500
Peggy Tashjian

Second Prize (1) - $2,500
Claudette Beerman

Third Prizes (2) - $1,000/ea
Stephanie Karahulis
Chris Murray

Fourth Prizes (4) - $500/ea
Francie O’Brien
Paula Souliotis
Robert Cronin
Lorri Mahoney

Fifth Prizes (5) - $200/ea
Nancy Keller
Jay Howlett
Blueforce Development
Francis Blanchard
Kathy Eaton

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Improve Your Business Reputation with the Chamber of Commerce

businessreputation_apr2017The chamber of commerce is often seen as a Better Business Bureau of sorts. People have confidence in using businesses that are members of the chamber. Chamber membership equates to business respectability in many customers’ minds, which often means greater sales for business members.

Many people see chamber membership as a ringing endorsement of good business. While we don’t advertise that chamber members have better business practices than non-members businesses, a chamber membership does show interest in the local business community and for many, that equals a business endorsement.

But we’re not the only ones who think chamber membership makes for good business.

The Schapiro Group Study and Why It Should Make a Difference to You
A national study of over 2,000 adults conducted by the Schapiro Group showed that being active in a local chamber of commerce pays off if your goal is more customers. That’s because two-thirds of those surveyed believed that chamber members use good business practices, care about customers, and are involved in the community.

While some people may wonder if a study that was conducted back in 2012 still applies today, all you need to do is consider that people do business with organizations they know, like, and trust. Using good business practices, caring about customers, and being known as involved in the community sure sounds like the beginning of “know, like, and trust” principles. 

The study also found that when consumers knew that a business was a chamber member they were 49% more likely to think favorably of it and 80% more likely to purchase goods or services from the business in the future.

People see a correlation between community involvement and being a good company with worthwhile products. Consumers in the study were 10% more likely to think a business’ products were better than the competition if the business was a chamber member. The study also revealed that for national restaurant franchises that are chamber members, people are 36% more likely to look favorably on that franchise.

The researchers said, “any belief about the chamber of commerce—whether that belief was true or not—could have a significant positive impact on how someone views a member… he or she is more likely to think that the [member] company’s products stack up well and have a favorable opinion toward the company.”

Why Does Chamber Membership Make Your Business More Appealing to Customers?
These results aren’t surprising to chambers but they might be to the rest of the community. Even though they shouldn’t be. Here’s why:

You Care
Community involvement is important to people who are shopping in town at local businesses. Joining the chamber is seen as being civic-minded even if the business is not all that involved. Having a membership is proof to many people that this is a business that plans to stay in this community and contribute to it. It has roots and a stake in how things turn out.

You’re Endorsed
While the chamber doesn’t endorse its members or rate them like a Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List might do, many people still see that as part of the chamber’s job. Since most chambers vote their members in, people assume there’s a vetting. Even if there isn’t a formal review process, the trust people have in the chamber is transferred to its members as well.

You’re Investing in the Community
No one is forced to join the chamber and membership isn’t free. If you join the chamber you are investing in the economic health of the area and you want to take a leadership role in the business community. People like to support businesses with a cause, so if you invest in your business through chamber membership, people are more likely to see you as being a part of something larger than yourself. The bonus is that it’s also good for your business as you’re doing good for the community.

Establishing know, like, and trust is essential to business these days. All of those take time to do. You’re fortunate if you have an established business and have had the time to do that in your community. If not, a chamber membership is a great way to have a respected business leader “vouch” for you as people generally transfer our reputation in business to our members, even if not in an official capacity.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine,, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.

She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Don't Get Swayed By These Investment "Myths"

edwardjonesinvestments_logo2017Over time, you will run into various suggestions for investing successfully. Yet upon closer inspection, many of these ideas turn out to be “myths” – which could cause you trouble if you treat them as solid advice. Here are five of these myths, along with some reasons for ignoring them:

You can find the next “big thing.” All of us probably wish we could have “gotten in on the ground floor” of Apple or Microsoft or some other tremendously profitable company. And who knows? There may indeed be a similar other business out there, waiting to take off. But it’s almost impossible for anyone to identify these potential “blockbusters.” There’s really no shortcut to investment success – you need the patience and discipline to invest for the long term, and you need to build a portfolio that’s appropriate for your goals and risk tolerance.

Investors should always seek to “buy low and sell high.” This is actually good advice – or it would be, if were possible to consistently follow it. But how can you know when the market is “high enough” to sell or “low enough” to buy? You can’t – and neither can anyone else. Trying to time the market rarely works. A more appropriate strategy is to invest regularly and to diversify your holdings among stocks, bonds, government securities and other vehicles, based on your goals and risk tolerance. Diversification can help protect you against market downturns that primarily affect just one asset class. Keep in mind, though, that diversification can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses.

It’s always smart to buy investments that have performed well recently. You may have read, in investment prospectuses, that “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” These words are certainly true; just because an investment has had a good run recently, it doesn’t mean its success will continue indefinitely. You need to evaluate each investment on its own merits and on how well it fits into your overall portfolio.

International investing is too risky. In today’s global economy, it may be more risky not to invest some of your portfolio internationally. U.S. stocks represent less than half of global stock market capitalization – so by stopping at our borders, you are depriving yourself of a world of opportunities. It’s true that foreign investments carry some special risks relating to currency fluctuations and political and economic events, but you can help contain this risk by confining your international holdings to a relatively small percentage of your portfolio. A financial professional can suggest the best ways for you to add a global element to your investments.

You need a lot of money to make a lot of money. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a sizable amount of money to invest right away. But the world is full of people who started investing with small sums and ended up having enough money to enjoy the retirement lifestyle they had envisioned. If you’re just beginning to invest, put in as much as you can afford each month; as your income goes up, increase your investments. As an investor, time is your greatest ally.

Sticking to a consistent investment strategy can help you write your own investment tale – and you can leave the myths to the storybooks.

This article was written by Edward Jones.

Peter Doyle, Financial Advisor
Edward Jones

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How to Hit a Grand Slam with Your Facebook Targeting

moxie_logo2017We had yet another 'spring' snowstorm here in New England. My son Cole and his class braved the snow and celebrated their Junior Prom on Saturday night. Despite the wet, cold slushy slow, the kids had a fantastic time! Here's a picture of my handsome devil. Just ignore the fact that I still have Christmas lights and holiday garland on my staircase railing. We love the lights and aren't ready to part with them yet. :)

In this weeks marketing training video, I'll share with you some tricks to get your Facebook ads in front of your target audience. It's a waste of your precious ad spend if you don't take the time to think about exactly who you want to see your ad and their specific characteristics.

To celebrate opening day for the Boston Red Sox, during this weeks training video you will learn How to Hit a Facebook Targeting Grand Slam.

I hope this 18 minute Facebook ads beginner training video gives you a little insight on how to get started with targeting.

Julie Spence
Moxie Marketing & Media

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Monday, March 27, 2017

A Video Campaign Can Bring Your Marketing to Life

An excellent way to tell your company’s story is through marketing videos.    They support your sales staff presentations with compelling information.   They enhance Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by attracting new online followers.    They motivate your employees by sharing strategic plans. And they bring in new leads by providing current and potential customers with new reasons to do business with your company.

YOU CAN BE YOUR OWN BEST VIDEOGRAPHER.   We all recall a short time ago when making a “corporate video“ meant engaging a specialized video writer to research and draft a script and then engaging an experienced video company with videographers, studios and millions of dollars in equipment to produce a competent video.   No longer.  Today, with virtually every employee carrying a smart phone with HD quality video capability and GoPro cameras everywhere, getting access to raw video footage could not be easier.   The job now is to collaborate with your marketing company to help you to develop a strategic plan for shooting and producing your videos and then to edit and distribute them for you.

QUALITY MATTERS.   Virtually all industries, probably including many of your competitors, are making videos to grow their business.   Studies have shown that the vast majority of marketers agree that video provides the best marketing tool.   And you don’t need to have a large marketing staff to do it.  But you do need to do it right.  Studies also have shown that a majority of consumers react negatively to poorly produced videos.   You have built your company on quality products and services, and you need a quality video that will make that point.

A VIDEO IS WORTH MANY THOUSAND WORDS.  Online, videos receive three times more clicks than articles not using video.   A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth many times more than that.   If you are looking for customer leads through your website and you only have words and still pictures on it, you are missing an opportunity.   Companies that place videos right on their landing page have reported a several-fold increase in direct contacts from potential customers. 

VIDEOS ARE CREDIBLE.    Videos greatly impact the way your audiences view your company’s integrity and credibility.   They educate your customers and prospects about what you do and how you do it.    They help to make you and your company appear to be experts or spokesmen for the industry that you represent.  “How to” videos that show how one of your customers greatly improved their process by using your product or service are winners.  Viewers always give the highest score to customer endorsements that also show how the customer benefitted by working with your company.    Three quarters of millennials look for videos to answer their questions.

FREQUENCY AND CONSISTENCY.    One of the newest successful techniques for regular communications with your marketplace is “vlogs”: video blogs.    These are short video stories produced on a steady schedule, perhaps as often as weekly, for your website. They don’t have to be very complicated but they do need to be well done.  A quality series of 60-second or 120-second video blogs appearing weekly or bi-weekly can rapidly develop a fan base of people who matter to your business, and perhaps “go viral” for  you as well.    Vlogs also lend themselves to use on social media such as Facebook, Instagram and particularly YouTube. 

S!Y Communications has been producing marketing videos for our clients for many  years.   See some of our recent work here. Let us know how we can help you with your video marketing.

Andrea Siy
S!Y Communications, Inc.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Surround yourself with like-minded individuals…


One of the catch-phrases about being a member of a Chamber of Commerce is ‘surround yourself with like-minded individuals…’ Those simple words have many different meanings. Here’s what we mean...

1. These other business owners are also your customers.
It's easy to think that because the person you're talking to works at a bank or is a hair-stylist that he/she is only interested in talking about their business. However, that is not always the case. At the end of the day, you are talking to a person that knows a person that knows a person. A Chamber of Commerce is there to create an environment for you to promote your business and make you successful.

2. Your competition can also be your closest ally.
Unless you are a massive organization, you will (hopefully) run into the situation where you simply can’t take on any more business at the moment. You never want to turn business away, but what if you could send a client to a business that holds your same standards? Your customer is happy, the other business is happy and eventually the favor will be returned to you! A Chamber is a resource for you to meet these business owners and create relationships with them. They are one mouse click away on a member database or a hand-shake deal at a networking event.

3. Have an emergency? Who you gonna call? How about that person you met at last week’s networking event?
The dreaded burst water pipe, no heat, locked yourself out…uh oh. You can google somebody and who knows if they’ll show up or how reliable they will be. If you look them up in a Chamber database then you have something in common – you’re both Chamber members (and hopefully they won’t charge you the ‘after hours fee!’)

These are three of the major advantages of Chamber membership that often go unnoticed. Yes, the additional website listings, advertising, networking events are extremely important, but the relationships that you build with other business owners is…wait for it…priceless!

Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

As Chamber Members do you know what you have direct access to...

ChamberLogo-LargeWebAs Chamber Members do you know that you have direct access to your profile on the Chamber’s website? 

With access you have ability to update any aspect of your profile, add/change Pictures and/or Videos… list a Job Opening, or an Event, or even a Hot Deal.  It is always a good idea to stay on top of your profile and not let it get stale, or have old information. 

If you do not already have a User Name & Password; please contact me at to get you set up.  It’s super easy and a great way to keep your profile current.

Login today to check out your profile.

Anne Wilt, Member Services Coordinator
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Not sure what a cash mob is?

cashmob_mar2017Have you ever taken part in a “flash mob?” I have and you do need a little dancing talent and ability as well as a little bit of guts! But you don’t need any talent, ability or guts to take part in a cash mob! So why not join the Chamber staff for a Cash Mob on Thursday, March 16th at 4pm! 

Not sure what a cash mob is? A cash mob is like a flash mob except there is no dancing involved! All you need is $20 and a willingness to help the Chamber stimulate the economy downtown and at the Tannery by spending $20 (or more) at a local small business - it can be to buy that special something, large or small that you have been looking at or grab a few friends and have a drink or something to eat.

Please meet us in Market Square at 4pm for a photo opp and we will head out from there!
Help us shop and dine local! 

Cash Mob Thursday, March 16th at 4pm.

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Become front and center in Greater Newburyport...

sponsorships_2017Are you looking to position you and your company front and center in the Greater Newburyport Business Community?

Well, if you are looking to do that, the Chamber is a worthwhile and reasonable option for your Sponsorship Dollars! We have many options and packages to fit any size budget. I would love to meet with you to discuss your options for the upcoming spring and summer seasons.

The Chamber year kicks off with the Chamber Pot on April 6th followed  by our 51st Annual Meeting & Dinner Awards on April 27th. We will be celebrating like Champions and MVP’s with all of you. We have a great night planned and you won’t want to miss it!

May kicks off with our 28th Annual Golf Tournament on May 15th, followed by our kick-off to spring with Memorial Day weekend and the Spring Festival. Finally, in June we take on a new event – Yeat Meet Up… have I piqued your interest?  Call me today! 978-462-6680 x 15. You won’t regret it!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Announcing a New FUN Event For Members!


The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Let us show you how our advertising program can help you reach a wider audience...

GuidebookHeader_2017Join Our Advertising Program Today and SAVE!

We've been busy preparing the advertising program for 2017 and have many new options available to help you reach a wider audience.

New This year - Guidebook Content & Advertising Enhancements, Website Enhancements, and Social Media Ads to name a few. And of course - all the benefits from previous years.

Click here for the application and guidebook specs. Want a run through on the program? Contact Chris Johnson, Director of Membership Development 978-462-6680 x14

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How To Be More Interesting

HowToBeMoreInteresting_mar2017While this originally was meant to be a networking article, becoming more interesting is something that can benefit every area of your life, from striking up a random conversation with strangers to trying out for Dos Equis next Most Interesting Man in the World.

Interesting Is in the Eyes of the Audience

First, my interesting may not be your interesting. There’s no special pill to take or drink to consume to become more interesting because it’s not a universal application. But you can become more interesting to a particular audience in these ways:

Do Your Research
Establish who it is you want to become more interesting to and do your research. This could be an individual, like wanting to meet and talk to a particular head of industry as a chamber gala event or it could be a group of people you want to impress, like marketing to Millennials. Whether a person or group, use social media and the Internet to do research on their interests, concerns, things they’ve published or curated, and other personal information. But not too personal. If we’re talking about a person and not a demographic, stop just short of bringing up personal things you know about them and their family thanks to the fact that they don’t know how to use security features on Facebook.

If you’re trying to expand your views, reading is one of the best ways to do that. It provides insight into thoughts, cultures, and history with perspective. If you’re not a reader, try audio books or TED Talks. The point is to expand your mind and you don’t do that by listening only to yourself and your circle of like-minded friends.

Ask Questions
If you focus the conversation on the person you’re trying to impress and ask worthwhile questions of them, they will most likely think the conversation (and thus you) was very interesting, because you were talking about them.

Explore Difference
Make time to be with people whose views vary from your own. Put the debating aside and try to understand why they feel the way they do about the issues they support and the ones they don’t. Experience these topics removed from the emotion of how you feel about them. For instance, if you have an acquaintance who supports a different political candidate than you do, ask them probing questions about why they do. Don’t make this about proving them wrong. Suspend your opinion and only listen to theirs. Try to understand what drives it the way a psychologist may dissect someone’s motives.

Surround Yourself with Smarter People
Whether you’re hiring, dining, or playing racquetball, spend at least some of your time with people who are smarter than you or more well-traveled than you. Ask them about their experiences. When they speak, listen, even if it’s not directed your way.

Take Up a New Hobby or Learn Something New
Attack your bucket list with wild abandon or simply try an online class or a new hobby.
Experience foreign cultures and explore alone. Take time to listen to what’s going on around you. Talk to strangers. Everyone has a story. Learning theirs will make yours more interesting too.

Accept that Learning as an Adult Is Different
Many people refuse to read or take online classes because they associate learning with the drudgery of school and rote memorization and boring curriculum, but when you are master of your own ship and can steer the course (of your courses), learning becomes much more enjoyable. Give it a chance.
Note of caution: while you may enjoy it more, it may also take more repetition for the ideas to sink in.

Embrace a Cause
You’ll meet new people and do some good.

Look for Connections
As you absorb these new experiences and learning, don’t place them in boxes in your head as if you were organizing the garage. Instead, look for applications for your new knowledge and experiences and connections to others and ideas.

Be Generous
Be generous for no reason and fight the temptation to post it on social media. Let it be a secret you share with the person who benefited.

Don’t Ever Try to Be the Most Interesting Person in the Room
If you are, there’s nothing to gain.

A Final Word on Becoming More Interesting

There are numbers of books written about becoming a better conversationalist, and while some of that is technique, some of it is also derived from personal growth and a desire to never stagnate. The Internet has placed near limitless learning opportunities in front of us that are available all day every day. Using this knowledge availability as a stepping stone to expand our horizons and become life-long learners will not only make us more interesting but help our businesses remain relevant during times when “staying the course” isn’t advisable.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine,, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.

She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What does Chococoa Baking & Kelly's Taylor Rental Have in Common?

chamberpot_2017There is a feeling out there that Spring may be right around the corner…. the snow banks are melting and as this blog post is written it’s 50 degrees…. could it be? I think so. Now I have probably gone and jinxed us as all but I do know that soon enough it will be Spring and with Spring comes our largest fundraiser – Chamber Pot 2017! We could not operate as a chamber without this important event which helps us raise funds to support our work of advocating for you – our members!

If you don’t have your ticket yet there is still time. Our event at which the winning ticket will be pulled is Thursday, April 6 at 5:30 PM at Vasa waterfront kitchen & bar. If you need a ticket you can visit one of our ticket outlets. I would like to highlight two for you! Chococoa Baking Company at the Tannery offers coffee, assorted baked goodies and of course the famous Whoopies! The other location that I am highlighting this week is Kelly’s True Value/Kelly’s Taylor Rental on State Street. While they don’t have whoopee pies they do have all you need for home and office repair and rental.

Please check them both out for whoopies, widgets, coffee and tools!

Ann Ormond
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sweetheart of a Deal for your home

worthingtondesign_feb2017As the snowflakes continue to fall in February we have a ‘sweet heart of a deal’ for your home!

Yes February has Valentine’s Day and we can have fresh flowers and candy to enjoy but what about enjoying a new fabric on one of your comfy chairs? Or new pillows? now that the ones you have were ruined as you were twisting them into pretzels watching the Patriots fight their way back to win the Super Bowl for a 5th time!

We offer many fabric lines: Les Indiennes, Thibaut, Cowtan & Tout, Anna French, Kravet, Brunschwig & Fils, Colefax & Fowler, Pindler & Pindler, Fabricut, Duralee, Robert Allen and many others!

Worthington Interior Design will help you select the fabric so we can help you have the pillows made, window treatments or the upholstery completed.  Here’s where the sweetheart of a deal comes in- you purchase 2 or more yards of fabric from us and get 1 yard of your selected fabric at 50% of the regular per yard price( plus tax and freight). And 10% off our Design Meeting fee.

At your convenience we will schedule a Design Meeting at your home to meet and discuss what fabrics and what type of work you want to get completed. Many of our unique fabrics are sure to brighten up your homes.  You may have a dining room chair seat or a whole set of chairs and their seats to be reupholstered. It’s like getting 1 yard on a chair for 1/2 off.

Once we decide on your pillow style, furniture piece(s) you want reupholstered or windows needing roman shades or drapery we’ll write up work orders for the materials, any pillow inserts, trim, and labor, details for workroom, trim, tax, and freight and get the ball rolling.

This ‘sweetheart of a deal will be valid until March 7, 2017. The fabric will need to be ordered and paid for prior to March 7, 2017 to receive this offer. Worthington usually orders a CFA (cutting for approval) so we are 100% sure the fabric you selected is the correct dye-lot.

We will go over the next steps at our first Design Meeting. Remember our Design fee for our first meeting will be less 10% to sweeten the deal.

Call or email: (617) 633-3005

Your sweetened home will be officially ready for the next sporting event...

“Sweet Sixteen College Basketball Tournament in March!”  See you next month!

Debra Worthington
Worthington Interior Design

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Can Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) help your business?

InnerCityCapitalConnections_2017I had the great fortune of recently attending an energetic and informative meeting hosted by the Enterprise Center in Salem featuring Massachusetts Sixth Congressional District Congressman Seth Moulton along with Former State Treasurer Steve Grossman, CEO of Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) based in Boston. It was the day after the Super Bowl so there was a an exciting vibe in the room for the Patriots win and the presentation from ICIC.

A program of ICIC is Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) which has an 11-year track record of helping companies grow and access capital. Businesses that enter the program face a variety of challenges, but exit the program with practical knowledge, a robust network and a plethora of capital connections they draw from. ICCC alumni have created over 11,000 jobs and secured more than $1.3 billion in capital. On average, alumni also experience a 56% increase in employment and a 23% increase in revenue CAGR. ICCC is looking for small businesses from the greater Newburyport area that are looking to grow and access capital. Here is a link to their 2016 Impact Report.

ICCC alumni have utilized ICCC as their secret weapon to growing their businesses and accessing capital. The program has accelerated the success of thriving companies such as Sundial Brands, Revolution Foods, TerraCycle, American Christmas and many more. This program is free to businesses that complete an application. If you are interested please contact me and I will be glad to put you in touch with ICCC staff so that they can answer your questions!

Ann Ormond
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, February 8, 2017


megaphoneA call for raffle and silent auction items is kindly requested from you for the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry's 28th Annual Golf Tournament, Monday, May 15th at Haverhill Country Club.

Posts will go out on social media thanking donors, items to be displayed at the beginning of the tournament during registration and during the awards dinner.

We would greatly appreciate donations in the form of gift cards, merchandise, and package services.

Contact Janet Cena 978-462-6680 ext 11.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

You Can’t Out-Train a Bad Diet

health1_2017If there’s one thing I’ve learned from years of helping people reach their fitness goals it’s that no one plans to fail, but too many of us fail to plan. This is especially true for nutrition. No matter what your age or level of athletic activity, how you eat is as important as how you exercise.

Our understanding of nutrition has changed over the past decade. The groundbreaking work of Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, has helped us understand the implications of the type of calories we consume. And while there is a glut of diets, each with different formulas for success, there are certain basic facts to keep in mind about how to eat.

We need a daily supply of the energy nutrients carbohydrates, fats, proteins along with vitamins, minerals, and water. It is always best to get these nutrients by eating food that is fresh and as close to its natural form as possible. While it is simplistic to label foods as good or bad, there are better and worse times to consume certain nutrients.

Carbohydrates have become the dietary boogeyman that fats used to be a few years back. But they are still our body’s primary source of fuel. Eating whole grains and plenty of vegetables provides necessary energy without the health risks and weight problems associated with eating refined products, juices, and sweets.

health2_2017Choose whole grains rich in fiber (think dark instead of white) to slow down the absorption of sugar. Bright colored vegetables and fruits contain more nutrients than their lighter-colored counterparts. Making these choices, along with eating good fats and proteins, helps eliminate food cravings and binging.

Fat plays other roles in addition to providing energy. The fat found in plants and cold-water fish, as opposed to the fat in animal products, maintains cell membranes, helps the immune system function, and can lower cholesterol and heart disease risks. Be sure to include extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts, seeds, and avocados as a regular part of your diet.

Include some protein in every meal. Protein often comes with too much of the “bad” animal fat associated with heart disease and certain types of cancer. Good sources of lean protein include poultry, fish, soy, low-fat dairy, raw nuts, seeds, and beans with rice.

health3_2017Our body uses protein to build and repair all of its tissues, and proteins are involved in billions of chemical reactions that occur in our body every second. Muscle is made of protein and one of the reasons to build muscle is that it burns more calories while your body is at rest.

But even with this simple approach to nutrition, many people feel too busy or intimidated to prepare simple, healthy meals at home. Too many of us sacrifice health and wellness at the altar of convenience.

Eating healthy and tasty meals at home or away can be accomplished relatively simply with a little planning. Keeping the proper staples on hand is the key to the easy preparation of healthy and delicious meals. Try these simple tips for shopping and food preparation:

  • Spend the majority of your shopping time and grocery budget on the perimeters of the store. Here you can find fresh, whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, fish, poultry, lean meat, and yogurt.
  • Keep an adequate supply of the following: onion, garlic, shallots, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, and barley), herbs and spices, natural low-sodium chicken broth, Dijon mustard, canned beans, raw nuts, and seeds.
  • Read labels to check sodium content and choose low-sodium options. If you don’t recognize an ingredient on a label, choose another item.
  • Prepare some base dishes from which you can build delicious meals by cooking whole grains and oven-roasted vegetables in advance. Grains can be reheated and placed atop greens or mixed with vegetables as a base rich in nutrients.
  • Add lean protein by using previously cooked chicken or turkey breast, canned tuna or salmon, tofu, hard-boiled eggs, or lightly toasted raw nuts and seeds.
  • Keep a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil in your refrigerator and pour on a tablespoon to add flavor as well as good fat.
  • Use raw nuts and seeds, fruit, cheese, and cultured yogurt as snacks or dessert.
health4_2017Remember, achieving fitness is all about stimulus and response. What you put into your body after working out is as important as how you train. For the next installment I will describe our approach to personal training.

Bruce Cohn

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Friday, January 27, 2017

Why do so many companies employ email marketing?

emailmarketing-graphic_2017Email marketing is inexpensive.

It is flexible, offering infinite variation.

It provides excellent analytics.

It has a proven track record to continuously reach audiences of any size and interest.

In the business world, results are arguably all that matters. With this in mind, the main reason that most businesses invest in email marketing is the fantastic return on investment. For every $1 spent on email marketing, $44.25 is the average return on investment. A number of sources have suggested that this is better than any other platform. So with that said, here’s some helpful information to keep in mind in your email marketing strategy.

OK – I want to give it a go but how do I start? First you need to make sure you have a way for people to easily join your list.

Here are some ways to grow your contact list:

  1. Make it easy for people to sign up: Make your email sign-up form available on all of your social channels. You can include a sign up on Facebook and other social media pages, allow people to “text to join”, create a sign up tool on your websites and more.
  2. Give your emails visibility: Share your newsletters and announcements on social media and on your website to extend your reach and attract new readers.
  3. Offer an incentive: Create a special offer, discount or host a raffle or sweepstakes that encourages fans and followers to join your email list.

Now, what should you say? Keep your content useful to your readers, and you will keep them engaged in your emails:

  1. Treat Your Readers Like VIP’s– Your subscribers should be excited to receive your emails.  Alert your subscribers first to new product or sales.
  2. Keep the Content Useful– People will not open an email that doesn’t provide them with benefits.  Make sure the content you give subscribers is new and interesting.  The goal of your email should be to keep your customers happy and loyal.
  3. Show Your Personality–  Your voice, tone and sense of humor are part of the reason why your reason your customers signed up with you in the first place.  Use your personality to increase opens and drive traffic to your site.
  4. Keep Your Content Simple and Short– Write for ‘scannability’.  Mobile users prefer short emails (which will increase the click-through rate).  Emphasize key offers and messages with emphasis (bold).  Use one idea per paragraph.  Don’t write in full sentences when a phrase can communicate the idea just as well.
  5. Use the right tone of voice– Using words like “you” and “your” make the reader feel like the message was directed at them.  Try to excite the reader’s emotions.
  6. Make sure you are mobile! A recent study showed 79% of responders have their smartphones with them 22 hours per day, and today over 81% of emails are opened up on mobile devices.
At S!Y Communications we handle email marketing campaigns for a number of different clients from consumer, to business-to-business. Need help crafting your email marketing strategy and its implementation? Contact us for a review of your goals and how we can help you reach them.

Andrea Siy
S!Y Communications, Inc.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Take Advantage of Social Media

socialmedia-graphic_2017When reaching out to your markets, customers, potential or existing employees, your community, even the financial institutions, social media can give you direct contact with the people who make a difference to your business.   Usage of social media continues to grow and grow each year.   Not surprisingly over 90% of all 18-29 year olds are on social media daily but did you know that 77% of the age group 30-49 uses social media, as do 51% of 50-64 year olds*.   Even more than a third of 65 year olds and up are now on social media as well … and all these numbers keep growing year after year. *Pew Research

There are literally hundreds of social media outlets available today. It’s one of the most powerful marketing tools of the modern age, giving your company a human voice. But which ones you choose to employ vary by industry. For the manufacturing and industrial industry the four that have the most positive influence on business activity are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.   But, if you are in the retail industry for instance, you’ll want to utilize Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat.

What a sound Social Media strategy can do for you:
  • Build your personality and voice
  • Engage with your audience
  • Generate more business exposure and increase your traffic
  • Add a new dimension to your business (e.g. visual)
  • Engage customers in your products/services and allow them to be brand evangelists by sharing your content
To be competitive and contemporary with social media, you need a competent content manager with a clear strategy for your content. You can find these specialists within your Marketing Agency, among free-lancers, or by developing your own internal social media capability.

When you connect your business to social media, you want to make the best first impression that you can. Make it simple to contact you. Include easy to find links to your website, email address, phone number and blog if you have one.   Use a strong cover photo or graphic to support your message. Tailor your URL (internet address) to reflect your business name. This will help people to find you and improve your Search Engine Optimization (direct internet contacts). Add “like” and “follow” buttons to your website and other marketing materials so readers can connect easily with your social media channels and follow your progress.

Social Media is interactive. It changes every day. Every minute.   When you commit to a social media strategy, you also have to commit to keeping your content fresh and engaging for your audience. Learn about your social media followers by looking at the many analytic features that are available - such as Facebook Insights to understand who is liking you, when they are online with your pages, etc. Identify text, photos and videos that put your best foot forward with the people you are reaching, and include those materials in your social media messages.

There are several tools available to measure your performance on social media. is a free, versatile tool that lets you know every time your brand or keywords appear on online forums, new sites and blogs.  Tools like provides weekly social media analytics reports and also offers publishing and engagement features.

If you have not yet brought your company into the world of social media, there is no time like the present to get started. 

Andrea Siy
S!Y Communications, Inc.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Annual State of the City of Newburyport Breakfast...

mayorholaday_2017There are certain events that we host as a Chamber that are tops on my list of why we do what we do as a Chamber.

I would say that the Annual State of the City event given by a Mayor of a City is a fascinating and worthwhile event to attend. It give the attendees the opportunity to hear from the leadership of the City on what has transpired over the past year and where we are headed into a new one.

I invite all of you to attend our Annual State of the City Breakfast. It will be a worthwhile and informative event for all!

Friday, February 10th

7:30 - 9:00am

Nicholson Hall, 7Harris Street, Newburyport

Brought to you by: The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Sponsored by:  national grid

Ann Ormond
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to Go About Securing Your Child's Financial Future

securechildsfuture_2017January 17, 2017

The last thing parents of young children want to think about is their children growing up and going away to college, but responsible parents know they need to do life planning to secure their children’s futures. There are several contingencies you’ll want to plan for when it comes to your children’s future, and making the right financial decisions for your family is not always easy. Our suggestions should set you on the path toward making your child’s future financially stable.

1. Be a Good Role Model

The first step you can do to secure your child’s financial future is to be a good role model. This means paying down your debts, saving money, and making sound financial investments. While you don’t necessarily have to share your income and investment information with your children, you should talk about money and why you have a budget and how you work to make money to pay bills instead of buying everything that you want.

Talk to your kids early on about earning and saving money and get them involved by helping them set up a small business like a lemonade stand, setting up scenarios and engaging in play that involves pretend money and shopping at home, and giving them an allowance or paying them to complete chores. Explain that earning and saving money is key to a comfortable way of life and teach them how to have a healthy relationship with money. Of course, piggy banks and checking accounts are good tools to use with kids to save their money as they grow older.

2. Use Time to Your Advantage

Don’t put off working to secure your child’s financial future until later in life. The sooner you start and get time on your side, the more money your child’s savings accounts and college funds will gain. College tuition costs also jump from year to year, so the more you put aside earlier, the better the chances that your savings and investments will cover those rising costs.

That isn’t to say that you should make hasty investment decisions. You should consider all your savings and investment options and choose those that you are most comfortable with making. Be sure that you choose an investment option that allows you to be more aggressive when your children are young and more conservative as they reach the end of their high school career. Working with a financial advisor who can determine your investment plan and your comfort levels with investing is a good place to start if you are not sure how to go about choosing college funds and savings and investment accounts for your children. They also know how to diversify funds and choose those that are more likely to keep up with inflation and increasing tuition costs.

3. Make Sure Your Will and Legal Documents are Up to Date

Another task that parents usually put off is making sure their will and legal documents are up to date. Well-written wills provide financial protection for your children and ensure their physical well-being in the event of your death. Be sure to establish a trust so that your assets are handled properly until the children become of age to handle the assets themselves. Name guardians for your children and be sure to name an executor of your will to ensure all of your final wishes are carried out as you wanted and that your children’s best interests remain protected.

It’s also important to ensure that you have other legal documents in place to handle the transfer of your property. One such document is a Quitclaim Deed. These deeds are special forms of deeds used to transfer real estate in low-risk situations. They are a smart option for parents who want to gift real estate to their children.

4. Purchase Life Insurance Policies

Many parents also often put off purchasing life insurance policies because they think they are too expensive. Young parents often do a combination of term life policies and permanent policies in order to keep initial costs down but still ensure enough cash for their families to cover end-of-life expenses and mortgage payments and other debt payments. It’s better to work with an agent and determine your budget and the type of insurance policies that you can afford for your financial goals.

The sooner you begin to secure your child’s financial future, the better. Take steps to be a good financial role model, act now, get your will and legal documents in order, and purchase life insurance to give your children a stable financial foundation now and in the future.


Image via Pixabay by alphalight1

Jackie Waters

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yet again another song…

chamberpot_2017January 18, 2017

Happy New Year to all. I thought I would start my blog post with yet again another song….” They call you lady luck, but there is room for doubt. At times you have a very un lady like way of running out…” Have I stumped you yet?

I am sure that one of our many savvy, show tune inspired members will know that the lyrics above come from the Frank Loesser musical “Guys and Dolls.”

So you are probably wondering what this has to do with a Chamber? Well it is important to know that we have an event coming up where you can try your luck out! The Chamber every year hosts our largest fundraising event “The Chamber Pot” – This drawing helps us raise money so that we can continue to serve you our members to make this greater Newburyport region the strongest it can be…..and we want to continue to be the most impactful community group around. One of our partners in this effort to sell Chamber Pot tickets is one of our long time ticket outlets – St. Jean’s Credit Union on Storey Ave in Newburyport.

St. Jean’s Credit Union is Massachusetts first Credit Union and serves over 18,000 members in the greater Newburyport community. They offer a wide variety of services coupled with excellent customer service and a convenient location right here in Newburyport. Oh and they sell Chamber Pot tickets too! Check them out today and oh get your ticket today!

Ann Ormond
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2016 = GREAT! 2017 Even Better!

January 18, 2017

2016 marked our 50th anniversary and what a great anniversary it was! 

  • Over 120 new businesses joined the Chamber.
  • Hosted 30 networking events, 22 Ribbon Cuttings and had over 18,000 locals/tourists reach out to us for information.
  • After 50 years we introduced a new logo!

2017 is already off to a great start! 
  • Our new website is being constructed to enhance YOUR online exposure.
  • We’re hiring a new marketing professional to make sure we are promoting your business/organization even more.
  • Investing more into promoting ‘support local’ to locals and branding Newburyport as a vacation destination!

This year, you’ll notice a nominal dues increase to help us cover the increased cost of the products and services we offer. This is our first dues increase in over 10 years! We greatly appreciate your continued support and we look forward to working with you to help grow your business in 2017!

Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Small Business Tax Tips: How to Manage the Tax Filing Process

smallbusinesstaxtips_2017January 10, 2017

Small business owners often find themselves with headaches and indigestion at tax time. Nobody likes to see their money go to the IRS, but small business owners can make the process of filing taxes a little easier on themselves if they handle their taxes properly all year long. We share a few tips for small business owners looking to make the tax filing process a bit more manageable for this coming tax season.

Be consistent with your records

Small business owners cannot afford to be lax in their bookkeeping or record keeping, especially when it comes to tax documents. One of the best ways to save money on your taxes is to take legitimate deductions, but you may find yourself in a bind if you don’t have records to support your expenses and deductions.

You should have a system in place for keeping your records and tracking your income and expenses, and you must be consistent in your approach to it all year long. Waiting until tax season to get your records in order will cause undue stress and increase your risk of making a mistake or failing to meet a tax filing deadline.

File systems are one way to gather together and store your receipts, invoices, and other expense records. You should have separate files for mileage, meal costs, capital expenditures, office supplies, etc., all within your expense file. You also should have a consistent system for gathering these records in the first place, so if you have employees, you should set an expectation that they will log their mileage using a log book or app and then have a consistent process for them to follow to turn in their expenses to you.

Tracking your income and expenses becomes much easier when you have a computer program to help you handle these records properly. It is also a good idea to get W-2 software and/or 1099 software to help you handle such forms. These forms are among the most commonly used for small business owners, and having a program that enables you to input data and print and email reports can save you a great deal of time when tax season arrives.

Know how to lower your tax bill

Tax evasion is certainly not something any small business owner should consider pursuing. But, as we mentioned, taking legal deductions certainly is something that small business owners need to do to keep more money in their accounts and their wallets. One of the first deductions small business owners should consider taking is for a home office. It is nearly impossible to find a small business owner who does not have a home office, but it is easy to find several who do not take advantage of this money-saving tax method.

Home office deductions are not a red flag to the IRS as some people believe. The key is to use the home office for the sole purpose of doing business so that the IRS recognizes it as a legitimate home office space.

With a few simple measurements and calculations, you can use a portion of your home-related expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance bills, electricity bills, and more for your home office deduction. There is also a simpler home office deduction that requires fewer calculations that some people opt to use. It’s best to calculate both methods and then see which will save you more money in the long run.

Home offices are not the only deductions small business owners can pursue to lower their tax bills. All office supplies count as expenses, so hang on to your receipts for everything from printer ink to paper clips in order to offset taxable business income. Office furniture also counts as an expense, and small business owners have the option of deducting the total cost in the year of purchase or deducting a portion of the expense over seven years as depreciation.

With a little forethought for file organization, reporting processes, and legal deductions, small business owners can make the tax filing process a little smoother and save a little more money.

Julie Morris

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Monday, January 9, 2017

Ring in the New Year with New Laws!

pomeroylaw_feb2016January 9, 2017

Within the last year, Massachusetts enacted several new laws. Many of these laws went into effect on or before January 1, 2017, unless otherwise stated in this article. Some of these laws will impact business owners. This article will summarize some the recent law changes.

Increase in Minimum Wage – Massachusetts’ minimum hourly wage and service rate increased effective January 1st. The minimum hourly wage in Massachusetts increased from $10.00 per hour to $11.00 on January 1st. The service rate for tipped employees also increased to $3.75. Employers will need to change their hourly rate and review any wage and hour posters to update the notices to employees of the new hourly rates.

Public Records Law - Massachusetts amended its public record laws to provide stricter timetables for state agencies and municipalities for responding to public record requests. State agencies have 15 days and municipalities have 25 days to respond to such requests, but extensions may be granted for additional time with a showing of good cause for the delay. A judge may award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in cases where an individual takes a public entity to court for failure to comply with the request.

Regulating Ride Sharing Services - A new law requires that ride sharing service drivers, like Uber and Lyft, submit to state criminal background checks and a review of sexual offender status. Additionally, this new law requires certain inspections of vehicles and a requirement that drivers obtain certain insurance coverage on the ride share vehicles. Drivers must place decals on their cars to identify them as ride sharing vehicles.

Marijuana Laws - Effective December 15, 2016, a new law allows Massachusetts residents 21 years of age or older to possess recreational marijuana in only certain amounts. The law contains certain restrictions on the locations where individuals may smoke and the amounts they may possess in public and in their home. Just prior to the end of the year, the legislature voted to a six month delay for the opening of marijuana shops from the original date of July 2018. The law also allows employers to enact policies regulating marijuana use in the workplace.

Transgender Anti-Discrimination and Public Accommodations - On October 1, 2016, Massachusetts law extended protection against discrimination for gender identity to any place of public accommodation. The law already provided protection against gender identity discrimination in matters related to housing, employment, public education and credit, and the new law extended this protection to public accommodations. This law prohibits discrimination against transgender individuals for their use of public accommodations, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, in correspondence with their gender identity. The Attorney General’s office has issued guidelines for businesses regarding compliance with this law.

Pay Equity Act – The Governor signed the Massachusetts Pay Equity Act into law in 2016 and it will go into effect on July 1, 2018. The Pay Equity Act strengthens fairness in hiring and wages by prohibiting discrimination by employers in their compensation practices on the basis of gender. This includes the payment of wages, benefits or other compensation. This law also prohibits employers from asking applicants about salary history before an offer of employment with compensation, and prohibits employers from preventing workers from disclosing or discussing their salary information with other co-workers.

This article only provided brief overview of the certain Massachusetts laws. Many of these new laws will impact businesses and their employees. Anyone with further questions on how these laws will impact their businesses should seek legal advice from a business attorney. Maureen Louise Pomeroy is a business and employment attorney in Amesbury, Massachusetts. For more information, please go to

Maureen Pomeroy
Pomeroy Law

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Monday, January 9, 2017

50 for 50 (+1)!

January 9, 2017

Between August and December 2016, 51 businesses and organizations made the choice to join our Chamber

That is incredible!  We honestly couldn’t have done it without our loyal current members. So many current members recommended to fellow business owners that the Chamber is the best way to grow your business.  It’s these types of referrals that make our business community so special. 

Why is this a big deal? A few reasons…

1.      Size matters!  More members we have means the more business connections you can make.  When a business person joins the chamber you not only benefit from his/her knowledge, but you also benefit from that person’s network of connections and their knowledge.  With over 750 organizations in our membership and over 2,000 employees – that is a large network!

2.      2016 marked the Chamber’s 50th Anniversary.  We thought it would be awesome to look back on our 50th Anniversary and say ‘look what we accomplished.’

Overall for 2016, we had 119 businesses, non-profits and residents invest in their business, themselves and the community.

Now that is a strong network.

Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, December 21, 2016


blog-contentideas_2016December 21, 2016

Valuable content is one of the most important components of your business marketing strategy. Without it, it’s very difficult to build an audience and stand out from the competition. But constantly feeding the content machine can be draining and exhausting. Here are 50 topics (and ideas) to help your business provide valuable information for your audience.

  1. Tell the story of your biggest challenge (personal or professional)
  2. Answer a customer service question on your blog
  3. Serve up buying tips for your product or service (such as How to Hire a Good CPA)
  4. Use a holiday to showcase someone important to you, on your staff, or in the community (think Veterans’ Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, etc.)
  5. Write a customer spotlight about who they are and how you helped them (bonus points if they’ll write it as a guest blog)
  6. Highlight a team member’s story
  7. Talk about a charity you support and why
  8. Give an alternative use for one of your products
  9. List negative things that happen when you don’t use your service or product
  10. Share a video or images of your office and team
  11. Interview a team member about a big topic in your industry or your customers’ industry
  12. “Why we love _________ and you should too”
  13. “The worst advice I’ve ever been given”
  14.  “The best advice I never took”
  15. “10 things our competitors aren’t doing”
  16. “5 Misconceptions about our industry”
  17. “3 Misconceptions about our product or service”
  18. “5 Things I learned about this business from watching <insert your favorite show>”
  19. “Industry predictions for ______ years from now”
  20. Current trends
  21. “Best of the industry” (good review post in December)
  22. “5 things we wish people knew about our industry/product/service”
  23. “5 Tools you need to be using”
  24. “Why you shouldn’t be afraid to _____________”
  25. “Creative ways to get more <insert something your customers need>”
  26. “3 things that will change your mind about <insert the industry>”
  27. “Best _______ out there” (such as customer blog posts, industry information blogs, or something completely off topic but enjoyable like cat videos)
  28. “Business people who’ve inspired me”
  29. “My favorite business blogs”
  30. “Books I’ve read this year” (or those that had a profound effect on you)
  31. “Our hottest blog posts of this year” (great December topic or do one mid-way through)
  32. “Best free apps for productivity”
  33. “Who to follow” (customers, staffers, industry experts on various platforms. You could do a blog post for each of the major platforms.)
  34. Status of legislation affecting your industry
  35. “Advice for people who want to go into this business” (yours or one similar)
  36. “I did ______ for 30 days and this is what I learned” (Take a personal challenge and write about it)
  37. Share business resolutions
  38. Ask vendors or affiliates you work with for content/guest post
  39. Have a child interview you, asking his/her own questions
  40. Create a contest around your business (Betty Crocker holds recipe contests using their products, for instance. Post the top submissions. Bonus points if it involves cute kids. Parents will post everywhere and get their friends and family to like the posts.)
  41. Visit an image site like Flickr and let a picture inspire your next post
  42. “What my hobby taught me about business”
  43. Take an old blog post and add more information and update the old stats
  44. Write a step-by-step guide on something your audience needs to know
  45. Compare your product/service with that of your competitor (use info from their website)
  46. “Why buy from us”
  47. Create a list people will want to get involved in (this often works better on Facebook) such as a travel bucket list or favorite sports team
  48. “20 questions to ask to know you’re getting your moneys’ worth”
  49. Give your opinion on something you’ve read
  50. Recap a webinar, training, book, or other valuable resource you have attended or used. People appreciate the abbreviated knowledge.
Remember, the best way to use these blog topics is to customize them for the needs of your audience. Inspiration for blogs can be found everywhere and you needn’t be limited by words. Not feeling like writing today? Try a video blog post instead. See how it does against your written content. Periodically, take note of what your audience responds to and do more of it. These are just suggestions. You take it from here.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine,, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager Blog.

She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tick Tock…


December 14, 2016

Membership is the lifeblood of our chamber. We’re definitely not mathematicians over here, but we do know that:

More members + more activity = better business community.

From now until the end of the year if you recommend a business or organization to join, you’ll receive a $25 gift card and the new member will receive 1 free month of membership (aka 13 months for the price of 12!)

To repeat:
  • You receive a $25 gift card.
  • New member receives a free month of membership!
The clock is ticking on this deal. A Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry membership is the gift that keeps on giving!


Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chamber holds a community wide raffle...

chamberpot_2017December 7, 2016

Each Spring the Chamber holds a community wide raffle in which ticket purchasers can win a grand prize of $10,000 and several smaller prizes as well. This Chamber Pot Raffle as it has been known is an event from which monies raised help support our mission to be the most impactful business and community group around.

This coming April 6, 2017 we will pull the lucky ticket at Vasa Waterfront Kitchen & Bar right over the bridge in Salisbury! As some will say…if you don’t play you can’t win! Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at the Chamber, from one of our board members or better yet…one of our nine community member ticket locations!

Why not consider stopping by this week’s featured location - Leary’s Fine Wines & Spirits!

If you are looking for a new bottle of Beaujolais, a unique type of cheese or that perfect gift for someone…..why not grab a Chamber Pot ticket and some yummy cheese.

As a special incentive if you purchase your ticket before December 30th, your ticket will be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Newburyport Gift Card redeemable at more than 40 locations in the Greater Newburyport area. Sounds like a perfect idea…don’t you think?

Ann Ormond
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Change Delayed by Federal Court in Overtime Regulations

pomeroylaw_feb2016November 23, 2016

With only days remaining before its implementation, a federal court judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction on November 22, 2016, to delay the U.S. Department of Labor’s regulation changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These regulation changes would have increased the minimum salary levels for certain positions exempt from the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage provisions, also referred to as the “white collar exemptions.” The most controversial change would have increased the minimum salary level for executive, administrative and professional exempt positions to $47,476 ($913 per week) from the current amount of $23,660 ($455 per week). For now, businesses subject to the FLSA must maintain a holding pattern and await future court or legislative action on the FLSA regulation changes.

This preliminary injunction is the result of several states filing a lawsuit in a Texas federal court, entitled State of Nevada et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor, Civil Action No. 4:16-cv-00731-ALM, challenging certain provisions in the FLSA rules. The states argued that employers would incur substantial economic harm if forced to dramatically increase the minimum salary levels for their exempt positions. A preliminary injunction is a temporary mechanism used by parties in a lawsuit to maintain the status quo pending the outcome of the case. Parties seeking an injunction must establish, in part, that the party seeking relief would suffer irreparable harm without the court’s immediate intervention.

As a brief overview, the FLSA requires that employers subject to this law pay their employees minimum wages and overtime for any hours worked over forty hours in a regular work week. Certain FLSA regulations contain exemptions from these minimum wage and overtime requirements for positions classified by the employer as executive, administrative, professional and computer positions. These employees’ positions are referred to as “exempt” because they are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements. However, to qualify for this exemption, the employer must establish certain criteria: (1) the salary level test; (2) salary basis test; and (3) the duties test. If an employer cannot meet all three criteria, it is ineligible for the exemption.

This temporary injunction means that the FLSA rule changes will not take effect on December 1st, but the changes may be implemented in the future depending on the outcome of the case or any future legislative action. The Department of Labor is considering its legal options to challenge this injunction. For now, businesses, governmental entities, and non-profit organizations subject to the FLSA do not need to implement the changes in the salary levels of their exempt employees, but these organizations should consult with an employment attorney to determine the best course of action during this waiting period or if they have already made changes to their exempt employee’s positions or salaries.

Materials on this blog are for general informational purposes only. The information and material on this blog do not, and are not intended to, constitute legal advice. For more information please read our Terms of Use.

Maureen Pomeroy
Pomeroy Law

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Chamber Pot is back folks and better than ever!

chamberpot_2017November 20, 2016

Get your raffle tickets early. Because not only will you earn your chance at winning $10,000, you'll ensure your chance at great odds of winning the $250 early bird bonus prize AND reserve admission for you and a guest to the big event at Vasa Waterfront Kitchen & Bar on April 6th.

Stop into Strand Marketing or Connect with me on LinkedIn and grab your tickets today.


David Strand
CEO/Brand Director, Strand Marketing

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Shop Small Business Saturday - Who's going?

smallbusinesssaturday_2016November 20, 2016

We are a bit biased, but we absolutely love the diversity of shops and restaurants in Greater Newburyport.

Do your part on Saturday, November 26th to support local shops and make your gift giving unique during the holiday season.

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Young Professionals with a Purpose

Ypp-smallNovember 15, 2016

Since its inception in January 2015, our Young Professionals with a Purpose organization has been instrumental in uniting a growing demographic in the greater Newburyport area. 

Why is this important?

Many young professionals are moving to the area from larger cities and looking for ways to connect with other professionals and also find ways to give back to the community.  Those two factors are exactly why this organization was started. 

Every other month, a networking event is planned at a local establishment and young professionals from the Newburyport, Amesbury, Salisbury and Haverhill area gather to support a local non-profit and converse with other professionals that share the same interests. 

The conversations that come out of these evenings are amazing. Most attendees have "day jobs," but have an interest to start their own company on the side.  Others are looking to change careers or go back to school. Some are completely happy in their current situation, but want to expand their network. 

The non-profits that are featured benefit from increased exposure to a generation that is very interested in giving back to their community. 

For more information on YPP, please visit their Facebook page.

Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The lifeblood of any thriving community

economicdevelopment_2016November 9, 2016

The lifeblood of any thriving community is a vibrant economic development plan and commitment coupled with a community and city based Master Plan. Newburyport is very likely to have all of these components.

The Chamber has an economic development action committee (EDAC) that meets monthly to discuss numerous economic development issues for the City and the greater Newburyport region. You should know that 20 of your fellow chamber members are looking out for the economic development of our area.

The City also has a new Master Plan in draft form which has been released to the City Council for their review and discussion along with the Planning Board on Tuesday, December 6 at 7PM in the auditorium at City Hall.

You can review the draft plan via the City website.

Here is a complete list of important City and Community Meetings that you may want to consider attending.
  • Intermodal Facility Public Meeting, Thursday, November 17 at 7 PM - City Hall Auditorium
  • Coast Guard Re-Designation Ceremony, Saturday, December 3 at 11 AM - Custom House Maritime Museum
  • Planning Board Meeting (NED plan and Master Plan), Tuesday, December 6 at 7 PM – City Hall Auditorium

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
978-462-6680  x15

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Did You Know - Bloggers wanted...

bloggers-wanted_2016November 2, 2016

Did you know that the Chamber has a blog? Did you know that you as a member can contribute to our blog? Did you know that blogging is important for your business?

The Chamber does have a blog that is part of our website and regular communications. Do you like to write and want to contribute an article to our blog? We’d love to have you and thus help you promote your business! We would like to invite you as a member to be a guest blogger and write an article for our blog. We accept articles of 500 words or less in length with an image that we can promote! Blogging is fun and can really help your business. I read an article recently by Krista Bunskoek, PR and Content Manager at Wishpond entitled “Four reasons why blogging is important for your business.”

I urge you to check the article out and consider blogging today! We’d love to have you join us in the blogging world!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
978-462-6680  x15

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Make the connection…

ChamberLogo-LargeWebNovember 2, 2016

Not a day goes by that somebody doesn’t ask me "what does the Chamber do?"

Valid question.

The obvious benefits are networking events, online exposure and being a part of a community, but there is a lot more than that.

What I’m most proud about is the ability for a Chamber to connect complimentary businesses, better yet – competing businesses.

Say what?

You read that right. Take for instance the case about Bucciarelli’s Butcher Shop and Carry Out Cafe. Both businesses rely heavily on catering deals, but sometimes it’s just not feasible. A quick phone call to another reliable Chamber member and a customer is immediately satisfied. Camaraderie goes a long way. Customers really enjoy watching businesses work together to get the job done.

Or the case of LMV Productions and Anchor Hitch Media both are video production companies that are wicked awesome. LMV focuses on wedding and special events and Anchor Hitch does quite a bit of business filming. Both companies are fully capable of doing events and business filming, but they never hesitate to recommend each other to clients. One reliable business recommending another is priceless.

That is the unwritten benefit of being a member of the Chamber. You should never hesitate to contact us and ask for a connection. Oh, and when you reach out to a business, mention that you are a member of the Chamber. People always love hearing about a common bond!

Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Greater Newburyport Weekly Updates - October 26, 2016


Greater Newburyport Weekly Updates - Member Newsletter is a great communication tool to help you stay connected to your chamber, and the local business community.

What's in this week's issue:

  • Meet the Member - Meritage Entertainment
  • News Releases from area members
  • Job Postings to Greater Newburyport
  • Need or have a Hot Deal - Let us know
  • Hot off the press - this week's blogs

3 Ways Chamber Members Can Gain Recognition For Their Business:

  1. Submit free a "Member News/Announcement" >> Use your Member Login to Post Press Releases and Add Events to the Calendar and we will take it from there. Click here for member login
  2. Be Featured in a free "Meet the Member" >> Contact Anne Wilt by email or 978-462-6680 x13 to get signed up
  3. Advertising >>  click here for details

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Monday, October 24, 2016

A Chamber is only as good as its members…

ChamberLogo-LargeWebOctober 24, 2016

A Chamber is only as good as its members… and we have the best members in Massachusetts!

One of the major tenants of any Chamber operation is a vibrant and effective working committee structure. The Chamber has many committee including the Board of Directors, Executive, Finance, Economic Development, Retail and Restaurant, Marketing, Golf and several ad hoc committees.

At this point I am looking to expand our golf committee as well as starting a special events committee that will help the staff with several events including the Chamber’s largest fundraiser – The Chamber Pot raffle, Annual Meeting and other events. If you are interested in helping out on a committee, meeting some new people and having some fun, please call 978-462-6680 or email me. We’d love to have you join us!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
978-462-6680  x15

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Combat Stress to Maintain An Ideal Work-Life Balance

combatstress_oct2016October 19, 2016

Stress, unfortunately, is a sensation that occurs in everyone. In a world of uncertainty and constant change, stress is our body’s way of alerting us that something is causing us concern and affecting our thoughts and feelings. As bad as it is, it is necessary and inevitable. When we remain under constant distress, our body and mind takes a major hit. But if it is managed correctly, it can become an effective tool. In small doses, stress can help you perform under pressure, and is a great source of motivation.

When it comes to your work-life balance, reducing stress is a major player that can greatly improve or destroy your handle on day-to-day activities. Some of the benefits include a greater focus and concentration, higher levels of job satisfaction, and more opportunities to participate in family and social circles and pursue personal goals and hobbies. Check out some of these tips on stress management and maintaining a good work-life balance.

Identifying Sources of Stress

Internal or external forces can cause stress. External causes are things like major life changes, work, being too busy, or financial problems, while internal causes can mean anything from negative self-talk to perfectionism. Here are some signs that one of these stressors has been triggered:

  • Mental: Trouble thinking clearly, memory problems, can’t concentrate, poor judgment, racing thoughts
  • Emotional: Moodiness, short fuse, overly sensitive, inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, depression
  • Physical: tight muscles, aches and pains, headaches, trembling, sweating, loss of appetite, lack of sleep
  • Behavioral: isolating yourself from others, increased and/or inappropriate drug and alcohol use, nervous habits
Once you have picked up on signs and symptoms, and identified the cause, it becomes easier to manage.

Know Your Body
  • Understand and identify your triggers
  • Intercept your early warning signs and symptoms and act
  • Practice relaxation techniques or meditation
  • Eat healthy and balanced
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes a day (consider adding equipment to your home)
  • Get around 8 hours of sleep every night

Change Your Frame of Mind
  • Worry less about the things outside of your control, and set aside time to deal with the things you can control
  • Set smaller goals that are manageable rather than overwhelming
  • Consciously choose a positive attitude
  • Visualize yourself in a calm and peaceful place, and think about yourself and your achievements in a positive light
  • Don’t compare your personal success to the success of others
  • Have a sense of humor

Start Walking the Walk
  • Plan ahead to give yourself enough time to complete your to-do list
  • Keep a list and prioritize duties
  • Be open and honest with people about how you feel; don’t harbor your feelings
  • Give yourself time for relaxation and your interests
  • Reward yourself when you reach your goal
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol (that includes caffeine you coffee lovers)

Work-Life Balance
  • Compartmentalize: Set a boundary line between work life and personal life. When you leave work, your tasks, office gossip, and worries stay at work
  • Find ways to make work more enjoyable: invest in your coworkers, spruce up your cubicle, or bring a little snack every now and then
  • Build up your support team: Everyone needs help, so accept it when it’s offered. It’s okay to delegate it too
  • Do your body a favor: Exercise regularly, eat healthy, and sleep!
  • Fake it ‘til you make it: train yourself to think in a positive mind frame

Julie Morris

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Best is Yet to Come…

New-Member-Mixer_2016October 18, 2016

There is nothing better than attending an event with a community of like-minded individuals. Energy, enthusiasm and a bit of nervousness fills the room. It’s similar to the first day of college. You made the decision of what organization to join. You filled out the paperwork. Now it’s time to get to work.

Starting with one of our favorite events of the year – the New Member Mixer! This is an opportunity for you to:

  • Meet other members that joined this past year
  • Learn how you can be more involved with the Chamber and in your community
  • Understand the resources available to you
In the past year, we’ve had over 100 new businesses join the Chamber! Our Chamber of Commerce is in the business of connecting individuals and that is exactly how we will help your business or organization. Whether you are an online business, business representative or brick/mortar we are your source for information in the Greater Newburyport community.

If you are a new member, we hope you are able to join us Monday, October 24th from 5:30 – 8:30pm at The Grog Restaurant. The best of your membership is yet to come!


Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Haul out the holly...

lamppost-sponsorOctober 19, 2016

“Haul out the holly, put up the tree before my spirit falls again.” If you are a lover of Broadway musicals like I am you will know that line from the Broadway musical “Mame” written by Jerry Herman.

Well we could use your help hauling out the holly, finding a tree and decorating downtown Newburyport. It’s that time of year again that we ask all of you to help us by taking part in our Sponsoring a Lamppost program. For a donation of $100 we will decorate a lamppost with fresh garland, red bow and a gift tag with your business name and address.

Oh and if you know of a Christmas Tree for Market Square that would be great as well. All we need is a 35 foot tree! Please call me if you know of a tree in the greater Newburyport area. Now, I need to start my Christmas shopping!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
978-462-6680  x15

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Thursday, October 13, 2016

We all need some inspiration...

kelley-tuthillOctober 13, 2016

Every once in a while we all need some inspiration to keep moving forward, to make a tough decision, to overcome a challenge that has been presented to us. I am sure that we have all had one of those moments.

The Chamber invites you to come and join us for a special Chamber luncheon at which you will hear the story of one woman’s inspiration. On Friday, October 28th, we will welcome Kelley Tuthill, former WCVB Television reporter who will share her journey, and speak about life after breast cancer, and discuss why there are so many reasons to be hopeful at ‘Celebrating Survival’, a luncheon co-sponsored by Gerrish Breast Care Center at Anna Jaques Hospital and the Institution for Savings in conjunction with the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce.

The luncheon will take place from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at Nicholson Hall on Harris Street in Newburyport. We hope that you will join us for a informative and moving luncheon!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Lesser Known (But Equally as Important) Member Benefits

ChamberLogo-LargeWebOctober 5, 2016

You all know about the major benefits of membership – networking events, online and social media exposure, exposure in our community, but did you know:

  • We have a postage meter available for use if you’re doing a bulk mailing project? Not to mention, Anne Wilt, is a wizard when it comes to knowing the specific mailing instructions for these mailings. 
  • Did you know that our conference room is available to rent (for free)? That’s right – if you need a quiet place to meet or work we have a conference room available for up to 15 people. Wifi, whiteboard, projector, etc. all at your fingertips! 
  • Need a projector? Borrow ours! It’s easy to set up and easy to use. 
  • Let us know if you have commercial real estate/office space for rent or sale. We’ll add it to our website! 
  • Speaking of website, don’t forget to post jobs, press releases and hot deals! In the SEO world, the more times your business is listed the more exposure you’re going to get. 

Would love to meet with you so we can discuss how your membership can work for you! Email me at or call 978-462-6680 to set up a time.


Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Director, Membership Development

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Who’s Counting All the American Jobs Walmart’s Committed to Creating?

walmart_sep2016September 28, 2016

As an ad guy, I like the true-grit TV ads. They’re well-produced and inspiring. But after a couple views on Monday Night Football and Dora the Explorer, I couldn’t help but notice that the steel being turned in the new Walmart “Creating American Jobs” campaign resembles more of a fork truck’s fork being made than the plastic dinnerware or garden rake I might pick up at Walmart.

So I became curious: how will we know if Walmart succeeds in their job creation quest? And who’s substantiating their public pledge to step up purchases of U.S.-made goods by $250 billion over 10 years into 2023? Detractors are quick to remind us, that Walmart, a $478 billion firm driven to offer customers rock-bottom prices, has been widely recognized as being instrumental in pushing factory jobs from the U.S. to China (and other low-wage countries) for years. Not to mention leading an “invest the register receipts now, pay for it later” supply chain financial model that has turned the product in manufacturing today into an unstable loss leader for many publicly traded and private companies.

Walmart announced its job creation pledge in January 2013, as rising factory wages in China were helping make U.S production of some goods more attractive, and with manufacturing employment here rising for the first time since the late '90s. Since 2010, the national economy has added nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs. But that's a fraction of the 5.7 million lost from 2000 to 2010 — 1 out of every 3 manufacturing jobs the country had at the start of the decade. (Source: Milwaukee-Wisconsin Sentinel)

The Boston Consulting Group says that $250 billion in added spending over 10 years could create 1 million jobs. Indeed, Walmart says the initiative is expected to create 1 million new U.S. jobs with 250,000 in direct manufacturing and 750,000 in support and services. But how exactly, I mumbled aloud recently while sampling my daughter’s latest TV snack idea (peanut butter and Pirate Booty) will we know?

Of course, I hope, for her especially, that Walmart is sincere and successful in its efforts to fulfill the pledge. But the fact that they are releasing no numbers leads even the most trusting to be doubtful.

It Just Doesn’t Add Up.

All Walmart will say is that they are “on target.” Their annual reports include no such breakdown. But an Alliance for American Manufacturing press release (June 2016) reports that 80 percent of Walmart’s suppliers are still located in China. The Journal of Commerce reports that for several years (2012-2015), Walmart has been the single largest U.S. importer of consumer goods, surpassing the trade volume of entire countries. They have increased their foreign shipping containers by 10% since 1999.

2012: Walmart ranked No.1 at 720,000 TEUs
2013: Walmart ranked No. 1 at 731,500 TEUs
2014: Walmart ranked No. 1 at 775,400 TEUs
2015: Walmart ranked No. 1 at 795,900 TEUs

In America, estimates say that Chinese suppliers make up 70-80 percent of Walmart’s merchandise, leaving less than 20 percent for American-made products. (Source: Walmart China, Frontline, The Atlantic)

You Can’t Just Say, “Made in USA.”

There is another relevant issue, with regard to Walmart’s Made in America pledge, that being their past misuse of the “Made in USA” label. Fortune reports that in October 2015, Walmart was forced to remove “Made in the USA” logos from its e-commerce site after an inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission into its labeling. The retailer avoided FTC action by “voluntarily” cooperating.

But ad watchdog group Truth in Advertising reported in June 2016 that Walmart’s website is still “replete with false and deceptive U.S.- origin claims.” The group compiled over 100 of these cases from June 2016. They reported baseball caps and safety vests that were labeled “Made in the U.S.A.,” yet were in fact produced in China. In some cases, products had parts made outside of the U.S., but were likewise labeled “Made in the U.S.A.”

The “Made in USA” mark is a country of origin label indicating the product is “all or virtually all” made in the United States. The label is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I personally think it’s time for us all to hold it up with an increasing amount of reverence and respect if we expect change from Walmart, or anyone else for that matter.

A Positive Note: The Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund

Launched in 2014, the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund focuses on the development of domestic manufacturing with a specific goal of advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the U.S. Over the next five years, the fund will provide a total of $10 million in grants.

Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and the United States Conference of Mayors recently released a third round of Requests for Proposals (RFP) for 501 (c) (3) organizations and public universities that are instrumentalities of a state government interested in receiving support for applied research from the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund. For this cycle, the fund prioritized textile manufacturing activities with an emphasis on sustainability.

In 2015, five leading research and academic institutions were awarded a total of $2.84 million in grants by the fund for work focused on innovations in textile manufacturing. U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant winners include:

  • Clemson University for energy and effluent reduction through innovative dyeing of polyester fabrics
  • Oregon State University for environmentally conscious dyeing of fabrics using continuous digital printing and drying of biopigment inks
  • University of Texas at Austin for on-loom fabric defect inspection using contact image sensors
  • North Carolina State University for developing a non-stop tying-in process/approach to improve weaving efficiency
  • Cornell University for recycling post-consumer textile waste and a raw material substitute for new textiles

The 2014 Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant winners were:

  • Georgia Tech Research Corporation for innovation of thread-count-based fabric motion control, a critical enabling technology for the automated production of sewn goods.
  • Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) to advance and accelerate the industrial implementation of metal 3-D printing for the manufacturing of plastic injection tooling as an alternative to current metal-shaping practices.
  • North Carolina State University College of Textiles to address challenges to manufacturing of furniture cushions in the U.S. by implementing new technologies in both fabric printing and cut-and-sew automation.
  • Oregon State University to develop two novel alternative mold fabricating approaches, and evaluate for functionality, precision and cost reduction potential.
  • Texas Tech University to support collaborative research on cotton breeding and biotechnology, cotton production, and various aspects of textile manufacturing, dyeing efficiency and specialty finishes.
  • University of Texas at Arlington to develop a novel manufacturing system that will autonomously prepare small motor sub-systems and assemble the motor components.
  • University of Georgia Research Foundation to develop an innovative approach to fabric dyeing that will greatly reduce, and perhaps eliminate, the need for water in dyeing cotton and cotton/polyester fabrics and yarns.

americanjobs_sep2016We must credit Walmart for any effort to promote and develop domestic manufacturing and advance the production or assembly of products in the U.S. Will they succeed in their pledge to step up purchases of U.S.-made goods by $250 billion over 10 years? Only time will tell. With no numbers forthcoming from the retail giant there’s no way of knowing.

At least we’ve made some inroads with regard to factors that will determine their success or failure. We plan to keep tabs on Walmart and promise to let you know of any new information we may find. We’ll revisit the topic in a few months. Stay tuned for our next installment, which will celebrate National Manufacturing Day and Massachusetts Manufacturing Month by discussing how to bring back American jobs and pump up American manufacturing with national and industry-led efforts that connect to relevant education programs.

David Strand
Strand Marketing

The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
The Chamber Blog - Newburyport NOW!
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What it means to be a top 10 Chamber

ChamberLogo-LargeWebSeptember 28, 2016

David Letterman’s Top 10 is probably the most well-known ‘Top 10 List,’ but every year The Boston Business Journal puts out a list to which the chamber of commerce world pays close attention.

That list is the top-25 chamber of commerce offices in the State of Massachusetts. Once again, we are proud to come in at #10! 

What does this mean?

Great question. 

The editors make the list based on the number of members. Our membership of 750 businesses and organizations is pretty impressive when you look at the chambers ahead of us (Worcester Chamber of Commerce is number one and Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce is number two).  It also means that our business community is alive and strong!

We greatly appreciate the continued support of YOU, our members.  As we continue to focus on making the Greater Newburyport area a great place to do business, please don’t hesitate to make suggestions on how we can improve. 

Thank you again!

The Chamber Staff
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Are you using your member benefits?

ChamberLogo-TransparentSeptember 27, 2016

We hope that you are gearing up for an outstanding October! The Chamber is hard at work gearing up for a solid and successful 4th quarter for our members and the Chamber. I have a couple of questions for you today?

First - Do you want to get the word out about your latest business news? Has someone joined your organization? Are you celebrating some new venture? Are you planning an event? Well the Chamber wants to know! Every day we receive press releases from many members sharing their important news. We want to share more of that news with all of our followers on social media, our newsletter readers and the communities we serve at large. It’s easy, just add us to your communication list and we will share your news! Please send us information, press releases and the alike to and we will spread the word! Click here to see what other members are sharing.

Second - Did you know that the Chamber offers free job postings on our website? The job postings page gets more than 1200 hits a month from job seekers. Why not send us your open job postings? You may never know when the right person for your organization will be on the Chamber’s website. Please send your job postings to or use your member login to post yourself. Don’t delay do it today!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Did you know - New Overtime Rules and Pay Equity Law...

toddnewman_sep2016September 21, 2016

Happy September! I know that many of us are busy running our businesses, taking care of family and perhaps exercising and trying to eat right. But with all of that comes the need to look at what is on the horizon for our companies.

Did you know that there are new regulations released this past May by President Obama. The Department of Labor’s final rule updating the overtime regulations, which will automatically extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation will go into effect soon. This legislation will effect virtually all businesses, profit and non-profit.

The Chamber is hosting a Lunch & Learn next Wednesday, September 28th at 11:30 AM featuring chamber member Attorney Todd Newman, of the Law Office of Todd A. Newman, P.C. Attorney Newman will break down the law and help all of us understand what it means for our businesses! This is a free event that you do not want to miss. Lunch will be provided as well. Please register today for this very informative and important event!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Did You Know...

DidYouKnow_sep2016September 14, 2016

Did you know that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers businesses training grants of up to $250,000? Did you know that there are 32 one-stop career centers in the Commonwealth? Did you know that in addition to posting your open job positions on the Chamber website that you can also post them on Mass Job Quest?

I suspect that many of you are so busy running your business that you do not have time to find the answers to these and many more questions that you have. Well I am happy to report that the Chamber has the answers and can help you access important information about job placement, career services, training programs and workplace safety! The Chamber hosted a one-stop meeting with state officials who could answer all of your questions…and now the Chamber can answer them too. If you have a need for any of the above mentioned services please feel free to call 978-462-6680 x 15 or email -- me! I would be happy to help you get connected…. as one of the speakers stated today, “it all starts with a conversation” Let’s have a conversation!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

‘Grand’ is an Understatement!

grandtasting_2016September 7, 2016

The fun never ends in Newburyport! From September 22 – October 1, our award winning restaurants take center stage for Savor Newburyport Restaurant Week!

When a town has such an outstanding group of restaurants the local Chamber of Commerce really has to pull out all the stops for an outstanding kick-off event.

That’s exactly what we’ve done…

The Grand Tasting on Inn Street kicks off an epic 10 days of culinary delights. On September 22nd from 5:30 – 8:30 pm, one of the top four most beautiful streets in the country is going to come alive with lights, festive decorations, more local food than you can imagine, local libations, live music by LUX the Band and even a fashion show put on by our local retailers!

In essence, this is a celebration of our Newburyport. Summer in our city is visited by thousands of tourists and sometimes you can’t get your favorite table at your favorite restaurant, or it might take you a few extra minutes to get across town. And dare we say the ‘P’ word? PARKING! The Grand Tasting on Inn Street is a way for us to get together as a city, say hello to your favorite chef, celebrate the beginning of fall and say ‘wow – do we really live here?!’

Limited tickets are now available for this amazing event! Visit for more information, to purchase tickets and see the growing list of Restaurant Week special menus from local restaurants.

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What a summer we have had…

marketsquare_feb2016September 7, 2016

What a summer we have had… the beautiful weather… the longer days…. time away with families and friends – it’s been a “keeper” and a Chamber of Commerce kind of summer. Now we are back to business – work, school, meetings etc.

I did enjoy a week’s vacation in late August as I headed south to destinations that my family visited when I was a bit younger (insert wink here). I spent some time in Narragansett, Block Island and Newport RI topped off with a visit to the tip of the Cape and Provincetown. Throughout my trip I kept noticing the similarities in the many downtowns and destinations that I visited. I am happy to report that our little neck of the woods, the greater Newburyport region, does really have it all. My stops were beautiful and quaint but none can compare with our beautiful and stunning beaches, rivers, downtowns and boardwalk!

On the last day of my adventure as I was gearing up to come home, I stopped into a local coffee shop and overheard the gal behind the counter exclaim to a local in a rather loud voice for all to hear, “I will be so glad when September is here!” needless to say I was dismayed that she was clearly over all of the visitors and our request for coffee. My thought was: “I hope that we never say that here in Newburyport!” I for one am thankful for overcrowded parking lots, busy streets and a packed boardwalk…. that will usually mean that money is being spent and our economy thriving!! So let’s all agree to never wish away business and welcome the good, the bad and September!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Newburyport Summer – A tribute to the heartbeat of Newburyport!

newburyportnight_2016August 30, 2016

“Every day you live here you’re going to feel like you’re on vacation.”

Those are the words that our realtor said to us the day we bought our house in Newburyport.  Many years later, those words still ring true.

As part of our ongoing summer blog, we’ve written about alternative lunchtime locales, exploring the waters, the cultural district, the history, The Tannery, craft beverage producers, volunteer opportunities, and talented photographers. If there were an equation for what a perfect town looks like, the accumulation of all those factors would score pretty high!

So what’s left?  What else can we possibly blog about? There is quite a bit, but here’s one aspect we’ve not yet discussed: the people who have poured their heart and souls into local businesses and organizations!

The people are what make this community special. Many business owners in town have quit their cushy corporate job to open a business and support a community they love. On the other hand, many locals have avoided Amazon and big box stores to support local businesses. It’s that symbiotic relationship that makes us proud to do our jobs. Nothing makes us happier than visiting local businesses owners and hearing about their successes. 

Thank you business owners and thank you local businesses supporters.  Without you, Newburyport would be much different!

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

You don’t want to miss the boat!


August 11, 2016

“You don’t want to miss the boat!” Yes, I am talking to you….the Chamber’s annual boat cruise is set to sail next Thursday, August 25th and you don’t want to be left waiting at the pier!

This annual event is a great way to relax and unwind with fellow chamber members and friends aboard the beautiful Captain’s Lady. Many companies make this an event for many of their employees! Not only will you enjoy a great dinner prepared for you by Starboard Galley, you can listen to the tunes of Mystic River Band while enjoying a drink and beautiful scenery!

It’s going to be a great night and I hope you will join us as we celebrate a great summer and welcome a fabulous fall. Sign up today!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Savor Newburyport 2016

savornewburyport_2016August 11, 2016

As many of you know I am a BIG fan of Broadway musicals….so when I sat down to write this blog post the song that was running through my head was a tune from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” – “Something’s Coming” – the words to this tune are very appropriate for an exciting event that we have planned for late September!

We hope you will consider joining us for Savor Newburyport’s Grand Tasting on Inn Street. This event will kick off a 10-day Restaurant Week that will feature our region’s restaurants, caterers, fashion, art and more.

If you are a restaurant or a caterer - consider joining us. If you want to taste and enjoy as an attendee, I hope you will join us for a fabulous tasting celebration and 10 days of food and more. Check out our website for more information.

We hope you will join us in savoring Newburyport!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Newburyport Summers: Photographers

photographer_aug2016August 10, 2016

We are fortunate enough to live in an area that has many talented photographers. Whether you need a special family photo, celebration photos or anything else – Newburyport area photographers have you covered.

In fact, they are so talented that they often book up well in advance. So if you want a special family photo for your holiday card you better book now!

But I have my own camera, why would I hire a professional, you ask?

It’s likely that you also have a hammer and nails – are you going to build your own house?! Doubtful.

These professionals know lighting, landscape and other ‘tricks of the trade’ that will make your beautiful family look better than ever. They also know how to edit to eliminate all the snafus - although they hardly ever use it because their photos are so good!

We’re proud to have many photographers in our Chamber of Commerce. For a complete listing of those photographers and to checkout their work please visit our website.   

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer in Newburyport Blog: History is Alive and Well in Newburyport!

clipperheritagetrail_aug2016August 3, 2016

One of the coolest parts of Newburyport is its history. 

No world-changing events occurred in our streets, but some really cool ‘Did you know?’ things did. Local Historian, Ghlee Woodworth, followed in her father’s footsteps and has created the go-to guide for Newburyport history buffs. 

Boston’s North End may have the Freedom Trail, but Newburyport has the Clipper Heritage Trail. Ghlee’s mission was (and continues to be) to bring local history to life. She researched and created a trail complete with a website, mobile website, guided maps (available at City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce office) and historical markers. These markers are engraved granite blocks with ‘Clipper Heritage Trail’ and can be found throughout town. A quick glance at your map will explain what historical occurrence happened there. 

The maps are separated by sections of town. You can view the complete list of tours by visiting the ‘Tours’ page on the website. 

The Chamber of Commerce greatly appreciates our history and the work Ghlee is doing to keep history alive. We also appreciate the local businesses and organizations that are helping to create the future of Newburyport!    

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Busy Summer for New and Expanding Businesses

August 3, 2016

The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce has been busy this summer celebrating new & expanding businesses in Greater Newburyport. 

Check out where our Big Scissors have been:

seabags_aug2016Sea Bags – 6 State Street, Newburyport
Not just your ordinary bag.  Sea Bags designs and handcrafts tote bags and accessories from recycled sails that have sailed around the world. Have an idea of a bag you have always wanted, Sea Bags will customize a bag just for you.  Once a sail, forever a Sea Bag.

makofitness_aug2016Mako Fitness – 251 Low Street, Newburyport
Newburyport's premier location for all your fitness and wellness needs. Offering a variety of classes from barre, cycle, yoga and various HIIT workouts.  The studio is available for rent for private functions and small groups. They are happy to create an inspired movement or spa experience for special events such as birthdays, wedding, team-building or other celebrations.

spangledusa_aug2016Spangled – USA – 20 Pleasant Street, Newburyport
Bringing fashion lovers the highest quality American-made clothing and accessories. American Made, American Style, Always on the Move!

seaportsignworks_aug2016Seaport Signworks – 18 Graf Road, Unit 10, Newburyport
New, bigger and state-of-the-art equipment. Seaport Signworks has moved from their Salisbury location to the Industrial Park.  You need signage – they have you covered: Llarge format digital printing, signs, banners, posters & decals. Vehicle graphics, truck lettering, magnetics, site signs/construction signs, A-frame signs, electric/neon/LED signs, Real Estate signs, carved signs, directional/wayfinding signs. No job to large or to small.

Vaalbara_aug2016Vaalbara Designs – 1 Water Street, Newburyport
Specializes in unique, vibrant and environmentally conscious bags handcrafted in California and Newburyport. Thought to be Earth's first supercontinent, Vaalbara is a symbol of the connection between people, environment and culture. Each bag is made with this idea in mind. Our fabrics are collected from every corner of the world and our inner lining is made with recycled plastic bottles.

northshoreacupuncture_aug2016North Shore Acupuncture & Wellness – 10 Prince Place, Suite 101, Newburyport
A small acupuncture clinic based in both Eastern and Western medicine, specializing in Stress & Pain Management. Abigail is trained in both Chinese and Japanese acupuncture styles, Orthopedic acupuncture, and Shakuju Therapy.  With this range of treatment styles, she is able to meet a broad range of patient needs.  Whether you have a stubborn musculoskeletal complaint, or are overcome with anxiety; whether you are a seasoned acupuncture patient or are terrified of needles, Abigail will be able to offer you a variety of treatment options (even non-insertive techniques!).  

prettylittlethings_aug2016Pretty Little Things – 8 Inn Street, Newburyport
Specializing in the latest fashions, shoes, and accessories. They cater to young modern women looking to shop the latest trends with great quality, affordability and customer service. Pretty Little Things’ goal is to help you look amazing. From handpicking every item we sell, to searching high and low for the most fabulous new trends, we spread our love for beauty and fashion to you!

whenpigsfly_aug2016When Pigs Fly – 1 Merrimac Landing, Unit 3, Newburyport
Offering over 30 varieties of freshly baked Artisan & Natural breads as well as a variety of quality products that accompany breads such as butters, olive oils, and balsamic vinegars. Don’t forget the cookies, bread puddings, and authentic Bavarian Pretzels.  They’ve got you covered!

hairwego_aug2016Hair We Go Studio – 73 Main Street, Amesbury
Yes, it’s true, Hair We Go Weddings has recently expanded to their own hair salon providing a relaxing salon experience for their clients. From haircuts and coloring to wedding or prom hairstyles and make-up for those very special occasions, Hair We Go Studio and Hair We Go Weddings will make you look and feel beautiful!

tidewater_aug2016Tidewater at Salisbury - 191 Beach Road, Salisbury
A beautiful community of brand-new apartments with a spectacular view of the beach in Salisbury, MA. Pick from a variety of one- and two-bedroom floorplans featuring in-home washers and dryers, dishwashers, and a private patio. Enjoy covered parking, a swimming pool, and a community fitness center. Then take a short walk or jog down to the Salisbury Beach State Reservation and enjoy the natural beauty of the ocean whenever you like.

Are you a new business to Greater Newburyport, expanding or relocating your business?   Let us help you celebrate!  We are excited to showcase your new accomplishments. Contact Anne Wilt at 978-462-6680 x13 for details.

Terry Thompson, Vice President of Operations
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Weekly Recap & More - Summer Events...

savornewburyport_2016August 3, 2016

I hope you are all enjoying this perfect Chamber of Commerce weather day!

We are in the midst of a great Yankee Homecoming and there is much more to come….waterfront concerts, the famous bed race, fireworks and to cap it all of the parade on Sunday!

Now I don’t want to rush the summer, but I do want to let you all know that we are busy planning for the 2016 edition of Savor Newburyport! Mark your calendars for our Grand Tasting event on Thursday, September 22 followed by a 10-day Restaurant Week celebration. Please watch your inboxes for more on this upcoming event!  

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2016 Yankee Homecoming is Upon Us

yankeehomecoming_2016July 27, 2016

As locals, we all have various opinions of Yankee Homecoming. Visitors rush to our gorgeous city, traffic comes to a crawl, and parking spaces are hard to come by. With all this said… This 9-day festival has so much to offer for all. Residents – leave your cars at home and enjoy a stroll to the various activities. Employees – once you get to work; leave your cars parked and get out for that lunch break, and take it all in or stay late and take in the city at night.

Some of my fondest memories as a child are when my father would take me to these events. It became a tradition to meet up with extended family, kick back and just have some fun. I continued this tradition with my children, and now grown; we still meet for some of our favorites.

So, take some time to see what is happening in your backyard. You may be surprised.

A few of my favorites:

Waterfront Concert Series: This event takes place at Waterfront Park with seven evenings of concerts. Families bring blankets, chairs, a picnic supper, or patronize local vendors and enjoy the entertainment on our beautiful waterfront.

Family Day at Maudslay State Park: Start off our Super Saturday with good family fun! Many local businesses, organizations, and non-profits take part in Family Day fun, offering free crafts, games, activities, and handouts. Sit down for some lunch and listen to the band playing on the main stage or watch one of the performances taking part throughout the park.

The Greek Food Festival: This annual event is famous for its delicious Lamb Shanks as well as Gyros, Moussaka, Chicken & Lamb Kabobs, Loucanico, Keftethes (meatballs), Spinach Pie, Pastichio, Greek Salad, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Fish "Plaki" (Friday only), and Greek Pastries. So grab your co-workers and enjoy.

Yankee Homecoming 10 Mile and 5K Road Races: This marks the 57th year which now has approximately 3,000 runners between the 2 races. Make it a family affair, run with your kids, challenge yourself to meet a personal goal, or sit on the sidelines of the course and cheer the runners as they pass by.

Sidewalk Sales: Enjoy old fashioned, outdoor (& indoor) shopping throughout downtown Newburyport, The Tannery Marketplace, and Port Plaza. A great opportunity to support our unique local merchants while shopping for some great deals. Grab your friends and start that holiday shopping.

Fireworks: Bring your blanket or chair, sit and relax, listen to the concert and get ready for the oohs and aahhhs. A spectacular fireworks display is being planned for your enjoyment. Come early and enjoy the evening! Want to help support this always beautiful display? Take a chance in the raffle and you could win a ski vacation or even some $$.

Parade: Celebrate the final event of Yankee Homecoming. The parade starts at three roads and continues down High street to Marlboro Street. There are bands, entertainment, floats, non-profit groups, and a collection for the Jimmy Fund.

Terry Thompson, Vice President of Operations
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waterfront Movies Series 2016 Lineup Is…

waterfrontmoviesJuly 26, 2016

I can’t believe that July is almost behind us. Before we know it the kids will be back in school and we will be consumed with assisting with homework and shuffling them from one activity to the next. So take advantage of your August summer nights and enjoy entertainment outside with the family. The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & lead sponsor, Chase & Lunt Insurance has the perfect opportunity with the 7th Annual Waterfront Movie Series. Grab a blanket, family and friends and head on down to Waterfront Park to watch a movie on a 40-foot inflatable movie screen with an HD Blue Ray Projector and BOSE professional sound system.

Movies begin after sunset, at approximately 8:00 PM. But come earlier with friends and family to grab your spot, enjoy dinner or snacks in the park. If your business would like to become a sponsor of this fun-filled event, click here for an application or contact the Chamber for more information.

This year’s lineup is one not to be missed, so save these Wednesday nights.

movie_willywonka_2016August 10Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Rating G  |  Release Year 1971
Promoted as a family musical by Paramount Pictures, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is more of a black comedy, perversely faithful to the spirit of Roald Dahl's original book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Enigmatic candy manufacturer Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) stages a contest by hiding five golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. Whoever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats: the fifth is a likeable young lad named Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum), who takes the tour in the company of his equally amiable grandfather (Jack Albertson). In the course of the tour, Willy Wonka punishes the four nastier children in various diabolical methods -- one kid is inflated and covered with blueberry dye, another ends up as a principal ingredient of the chocolate, and so on -- because these kids have violated the ethics of Wonka's factory. In the end, only Charlie and his grandfather are left.

movie_aladdin_2016August 17Aladdin
Rating G  |  Release Year 1992
Robin Williams's dizzying and hilarious voicing of the Genie is the main attraction of Aladdin, the third in the series of modern Disney animated movies that began with 1989's The Little Mermaid and heralded a new age for the genre. After a sultan (Douglas Seale) gives his daughter, Jasmine (Linda Larkin), three days to find a husband, she escapes the palace and encounters the street-savvy urchin Aladdin (Scott Weinger), who charms his way into her heart. While the sultan's Vizier, Jafar (Jonathan Freeman), weaves a spell so that he may marry Jasmine and become sultan himself, Aladdin discovers the Genie's lamp in a cave, rubs it, and sets the mystical entity free, leading the Genie to pledge his undying loyalty to the dazzled youth. Aladdin begins his quest to defeat Jafar and win the hand of the princess, with the Genie's help. Monsters, Disney's trademark talking animals, and a flying carpet all figure into the ensuing adventures, but Williams' Genie, who can change into anything or anybody, steals the show as he launches into one crazed monologue after another, impersonating figures from Ed Sullivan to Elvis Presley.

movie_insideout_2016August 24Inside Out
Rating G  |  Release Year 2015
Emotions run wild in the mind of a little girl who is uprooted from her peaceful life in the Midwest and forced to move to San Francisco in this Pixar adventure from director Pete Docter (Up, Monsters Inc.). Young Riley was perfectly content with her life when her father landed a new job in San Francisco, and the family moved across the country. Now, as Riley prepares to navigate a new city and attend a new school, her emotional headquarters becomes a hot bed of activity. As Joy (voice of Amy Poehler) attempts to keep Riley feeling happy and positive about the move, other emotions like Fear (voice of Bill Hader), Anger (voice of Lewis Black), Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) make the transition a bit more complicated.

Terry Thompson, Vice President of Operations
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Weekly Recap and More...

HealthWellness_2016July 27, 2016

For a community, political and sports junkie like myself….this is my time of year! So much to do and see. From watching the political conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, to taking in all that the annual Yankee Homecoming celebration brings to our great neck of the woods, to the start of the Olympics in Rio! It doesn’t get any better than this!

We are also busy prepping for a great fall lineup of programs and events! Watch your weekly Monday and Wednesday newsletters for news and updates on all things Chamber related. One special event of note is our September 15th Health & Wellness Event! If you are a member that is in the health, fitness and wellness field then this is the event for you. The low cost and high return of this event is a “win win!” Here is the application for more information!

Need an idea for how to make the most of your participation - contact Janet Cena, the Chamber’s Events Coordinator for more information on how you can get involved!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Health & Wellness Day... It's time to get serious

HealthWellness_2016July 13, 2016

There are many folks out there, and like me - they may be a bit obsessed with “getting your steps” in…  I will readily admit that I wear a Fit Bit every day and am obsessed (no I have not picked up the Pokemon Go obsession yet and don’t plan on it anytime soon).

Keeping healthy and well is important for so many of us, and we at the Chamber have many members who are in the health and wellness business. If you are one, you may be interested in getting involved in our upcoming Health & Wellness Day on Thursday, September 15th at the Senior Community Center. We have moved the event to a Thursday afternoon to be more welcoming to the many potential audiences that want to attend!

Our Health and Wellness Day event will feature dozens of booths from a wide variety of vendors who are there to share samples, to demonstrate their product or service, or to offer educational materials and conversation. Kids will have an opportunity to engage with experts in fun and interesting ways regarding safety practices, nutrition, and more, while the rest of the family can explore things like positive options or programs for themselves, their children, or the senior citizens in their lives. Mark your calendars: strolling through this event is a great way to refresh, revitalize, and to keep yourself updated on the latest practices in health and wellness!

Contact Janet Cena, the Chamber’s Events Coordinator for more information on how you can get involved!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The biggest sale of the season!

SidewalkSales_2016July 20, 2016

Newburyport retailers pouring their merchandise out onto the streets! Inside Out Sidewalk Sales is your chance to find bargains and treasures from your favorite Newburyport shops. A wide range of goods from fashion, jewelry, home décor, culinary, and gift items all at deep discounts.

If you work downtown, take your lunch break and stroll downtown. Make that Christmas list and receive huge savings on all the gifts for your family.  Grab your friends and make a lunch date of shopping and dining!  There will be something for everybody.

Inside Out Sidewalk Sales in August 4th-August 6th 10am – 7pm during Newburyport's favorite time of year, Yankee Homecoming! Don’t miss it!

Janet Cena, Special Events Coordinator
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Newburyport Summer – Tour of Newburyport Area Craft Beverage Producers

CraftBeverages_July2016July 20, 2016

Waaaaaayyyyy back in the day, there was a rum producer in Newburyport that was known throughout the world - Caldwell’s Rum. What made them world renown? When ships would leave Newburyport they would stock up on rum for their long voyages. Made from Molasses, this rum could withstand long trips.

Fast forward a few decades, and the Newburyport area is once again producing world class adult beverages that are being recognized all over the place.

North of Boston Visitors & Convention Bureau recently created a ‘Sip, Suds & Spirits’ Guide to many of our local breweries, wineries and distilleries. It’s a great guide to pick up if you want to explore the flavors of New England. Make it a day trip with friends or out of town guests [with a designated driver].

We’d like to feature a few of our favorites:

Mill River Winery – Located 10 minutes from downtown Newburyport on Route 1, they are celebrating their 5th year in business with many new releases and special events throughout the year. What not to miss: their new artist series with artwork on the label from local artist David Ten Eyck. Oh, and ask about their Wine Club!

Newburyport Brewing Company – Located in the Industrial Park, they aim to capture the essence of Newburyport’s quaint seaside character across a line of great tasting handcrafted ales. They celebrate being local, with live concerts, local art and special events! What not to miss: Das Kolsch and their ‘1635 Small Batch Series.’

Riverwalk Brewing Company – They have been brewing their own brand of unique beers in Newburyport, MA since 2012. Building on the traditions of the great brewing cultures of the world, RiverWalk is a family owned business with strong ties to the community. What not to miss: Their flagship IPA and Winter Porter.

These three businesses have helped to, once again, put Newburyport on the map for craft beverage connoisseurs. If you aren’t able to get ‘right to the source’, most of the local restaurants and package stores are proud to support these local businesses and serve their beverages!  

*The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry urges you to please drink responsibly. 
Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

FiredUpNBPT - Wednesday, July 20th

FiredUpNbpt_2016July 13, 2016

It has been said that “It Takes a village to raise a child” – in the case when businesses suffer a devastating fire – it takes a community to come together to help each other. The greater Newburyport community has reached out to the businesses that suffered significant losses last month during the Liberty Street fire.

As usual, the community of Newburyport has rallied together as a community that cares and takes care of each other when something bad happens. Thus…Let’s get FiredUP NBPT – Join the City of Newburyport, the Chamber and the Firehouse Center for the Arts along with members of the Newburyport business community have come together to plan a fundraising event entitled “Fired Up NBPT” to assist with financial needs that will not be covered by the business owner’s insurance.

On Wednesday, July 20, downtown Newburyport will be the centerpiece of this fundraising event. The Firehouse will offer musical entertainment from 5 – 9 PM. Billed as a “musical open house” – three local bands have donated their time and talent to offer entertainment for the event attendees.

In addition to the entertainment, a raffle of local retail items and beer and wine (donations suggested) will be available as well. Suggested donation for the event at the Firehouse is $25 per person.

In addition to the musical open house, local restaurants and retailers will offer percentages on the proceeds from their sales that day to the relief fund. You can listen to some great music, enjoy fabulous dining, shopping and services all while supporting our neighbors and benefiting a great cause.

For more information on the event go to the FaceBook page – FiredUpNBPT – A Community Unites

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer in Newburyport: Get in Touch with Your Cultural Side!

CulturalDistrict_July2016July 12, 2016

In 2015, Newburyport was named a ‘Cultural District’ by the state – one of only 32 in the state!  

According to the Mass Cultural Council, “These cultural districts help local arts, humanities, and science organizations improve the quality and range of their public programs so that more local families can benefit from them. They enhance the experience for visitors and thus attract more tourist dollars and tax revenue. And they attract artists, cultural organizations, and entrepreneurs of all kinds - enhancing property values and making communities more attractive.”

Now that is something to celebrate! Stop by our office and pick up a cultural district map and explore the many cultural sights and sounds in our community. You can read more by visiting our website

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Smart Growth, the MBTA, and the Developer: A Blueprint for Overarching Success in Massachusetts Housing Development

BlueprintForSuccess_July2016July 7, 2016
Reposted from Strand Marketing

During his nearly 45 years in the real estate business, Lou Minicucci, the founder and president of MINCO Corp., a commercial real estate company based in North Andover, Mass., has learned what it takes to make a project come to fruition.

As MINCO recently gained unanimous approval of the Newburyport Planning Board to build the city’s first Smart Growth development – One Boston Way – Minicucci says success is a matter of collaboration:

“You have to work together to find what makes economic sense at the same time as you address the vision that the city has in mind. That is what we did. We jointly designed this project.”

Here is a blueprint for what it took to establish a Smart Growth District in Newburyport and secure support for the associated One Boston Way:

I. Laying the groundwork

In the spring of 2013, MINCO submits a bid to purchase 11 vacant acres of land by the MBTA commuter rail station near the Route 1 traffic circle, an area that for years has been eyed as an ideal candidate for establishing Newburyport’s first Smart Growth District in accordance with Chapter 40R of Massachusetts General Laws.

With its proximity to public transit, the Clipper City Rail Trail, and the Newburyport Business and Industry Park, the underutilized space off Parker Street features the key components needed to create a dense, walkable, vibrant, mixed-use Smart Growth neighborhood.

The bid is submitted with the expectation that the city will follow through on the Smart Growth objectives spelled out in the 2001 Master Plan and 2013 Newburyport Housing Needs Assessment (the 2014 Master Plan reiterates the city’s commitment to Smart Growth).

As MINCO is designated the successful bidder, the company releases tentative plans for a residential development with affordable units. In November, MINCO and MBTA sign the purchase and sale agreement. The agreement includes a provision that each additional unit over 60 adds $23,000 to the price tag.

II. Building consensus

Throughout 2014, MINCO officials meet with city representatives, including Mayor Donna Holaday and Planning Director Andy Port, to informally discuss MINCO’s Smart Growth development, named One Boston Way. Much of the discussions center on aligning the financial viability of the project with the city’s vision in preparation for the launch of the Smart Growth initiative. The city proposes a few significant changes:

  • Increasing the percentage of affordable units to 25 from 20. This is important since it would, according to the Smart Growth statute, allow the city to count all rental units, even those priced at market rate, toward its affordable housing stock. In 2014, that amounted to 7.6 percent.
  • The addition of the One Boston Way apartments would greatly boost the city’s effort to reach the state mandated 10 percent. Until the state mandate is met, there is a possibility the city  could be subjected to a development according to Chapter 40B, the state’s affordable housing law, which gives the city much less control over the development.
  • Devoting the first floor to commercial space.
  • Raising the floor-to-floor ceiling height of the first floor to 12 feet. The city also wants 9-feet ceiling heights for upper floor living spaces.

Compromise 1: In order to sustain the costs of the city’s proposals in addition to other concessions such as installing 1,000 linear feet of sidewalk, widening the Parker Street sidewalk to 10 feet, providing Juliet balconies, and making the windows extra-large for lighting and ventilation, MINCO says more units need to be built. A month later MINCO presents city representatives with a revised rendering that includes five floors.

Compromise 2: Instead of first-floor commercial space, MINCO proposes live-work units and shared office space. First-floor commercial space would, according to MINCO, be uneconomic since the rental rate needed to sustain the building exceeds the current market rates for the location. The live-work units as well as shared office space, on the other hand, would be modeled after the concepts of the Cambridge Innovation Center and WeWork. Each live-work unit would have its own exterior entry and could easily be converted into full commercial space.

In December, 2014, city officials finally launch an initiative to create a Smart Growth District around the Route 1 traffic circle.

III. Reaching out to the community

Although details of One Boston Way have been well documented by the local media since the designation of the purchaser by the MBTA, MINCO decides to try a modern approach to spread the word on the project.

In the spring of 2015, the company publishes a series of informative blog posts on its website. The posts are also shared on social media and feature details on the scope of the project, architectural renderings, an interview with the architects, answers to commonly asked questions, and a look at the experience of other communities that have leveraged Chapter 40R. Readers learn, for example, MINCO’s proposed Smart Growth development will include approximately 80 apartments and 3,500 square feet of shared office space and live-work units as well as the preservation of 9 acres of open space.

Companies typically use blogs to attract customers, build brand awareness, and position themselves as industry leaders. Using a blog and social media to communicate with the public – without the intention of converting them to customers – is a new take on that trend.

In a press release, Minicucci explains the purpose:

“Open lines of communication with the community are important to us. We want to be transparent and provide as much information as we can about this exciting initiative to help the public understand both 40R and our intentions. The blog should be seen as a complete information resource.”

As part of the outreach effort, Minicucci also writes an opinion piece that is published in the Newburyport Daily News. In the op-ed, he writes, “providing housing for people from all walks of life has been the driving force of my career” and argues “more rental units will help the city stay true to its working-class roots while also catering to single professionals, young couples, and empty nesters who may want to downsize.”  The op-ed contains details on the One Boston Way proposal and how Newburyport stands to benefit from the establishment of a Smart Growth District.

IV. Gaining Smart Growth District Approval

Public hearings on the city’s first Smart Growth District kick off in March of 2015 with a joint public hearing and informational meeting in the City Hall auditorium. The well-attended meeting brings together city and state officials for presentations on the benefits of Smart Growth and an overview of the local district. The meeting features a conceptual rendering of One Boston Way.

An additional three public hearings take place before the Planning Board in August of 2015 which recommends the approval of the 40R Smart Growth ordinance to the City Council. A month later, the City Council approves the creation of a Smart Growth Zoning Overlay District. The approval means the city qualifies for zoning incentive payments of up to $600,000 in addition to a density bonus of $3,000 per unit constructed in the district, pending 40R approval by the state (the state officially approves the Smart Growth District in January, 2016). The payments come with no strings attached, enabling the municipality to allocate the money as it sees fit.

As a side note, the 40R district receives an additional boost when the city in 2015 receives a $2,000,000 MassWorks award that municipal leaders say will primarily be used for upgrades to the Graf Road lift station that serves the Smart Growth District as well as other parts of the city. The state notes, “the infrastructure improvements will support a $16.5 million 80 unit mixed-use development located next to the MBTA commuter rail station and enable the future construction of 440 units in the 40R District.”

With the Smart Growth District in place, MINCO is able to move forward with One Boston Way, filing an application with the Planning Board in December.

The details of the proposal have – as explained above – been carefully ironed out in collaboration with city officials and include a single multi-family, five-story, wood-framed building on the corner of Parker Street and Boston Way, featuring a total of 84 units. Twenty-five percent, or 21 units, will be designated affordable (In Newburyport, it means they will be reserved for families or individuals who make less than 80 percent of $98,100, the Fiscal Year 2016 area-wide median income. However – and this is important – all 84 units – even those priced at market rate – would by nature of being rentals count toward Newburyport’s stock of affordable housing which currently amounts to 7.6 percent. In raising the percentage of affordable housing to 8.5 percent from 7.6 percent, Newburyport gets closer to the state’s goal of 10 percent. Municipalities that meet the 10 percent threshold automatically gain more control over further additions of affordable housing developments in their community. The first floor also includes 2,500 square feet of innovative common areas, comprised of shared office space and other resident amenities.

V. Listening to the public

Between March and May, 2016, six public hearings address One Boston Way. By the time the final Planning Board decision nears, MINCO has submitted five design iterations, added rain gardens for drainage retention and illumination at the Rail Trail entry point, completed a shadow study to ensure the building will not block the light of abutters, ensured no more than 12 inches of concrete will be showing above grade, and reexamined entry and pedestrian travel patterns. The changes are in addition to the widening of sidewalks and other concessions discussed earlier.

In a letter to the Planning Board, Minicucci re-affirms MINCO’s commitment to the project and the community:

“We’ve happily addressed every reasonable request made by the Planning Board. And this project carefully meets every guideline established by the Smart Growth zoning ordinance while aligning with the vision that the Mayor, City Planner, Planning Board and City Council have communicated over a two year public hearing process…

“I feel that we have arrived at a thoughtful design that will proudly serve as a gateway to the City and provide much needed resources. In our experience, pivotal projects such as One Boston Way are also the catalyst to change.”

VI. Planning Board Approval

A few weeks later, the Planning Board unanimously approves One Boston Way. The decision reads:

“This project’s architecture, landscaping, lighting, and pedestrian-oriented spaces have been designed to create a livable and vibrant new center in Newburyport. The Project, once complete, will greatly enhance the character of this underutilized area.”

To learn more about the road to success in Newburyport’s Smart Growth district, visit us on Facebook.

Reposted from:
Strand Marketing
10 Railroad Street, Newburyport, MA  01950

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Weekly Recap - It Takes A Village

FiredUpNbpt_2016July 6, 2016

You may know the African Proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, in Newburyport the quote could be changed to read: “It takes a village to help our neighbors and friends who have suffered after a fire.”

This is so true, as the Chamber, city and numerous local businesses are indeed coming together to help!

Mark your calendars for July 20th for a potpourri of music, shopping, and dining events in Newburyport.

Planning is underway for this event, which will be centered at the Firehouse Center for the Arts and later branch out to our many great restaurants, shops and businesses. Check this Facebook page for more information!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Newburyport Summer – Explore our Rivers and Seas!

SummerWater_2016July 5, 2016

Maritime activities play a huge role in our community. Our city was literally formed around ship building! Now, many captains and sailors continue the nautical traditions by offering sightseeing tours, fishing charters and sailing trips.

Yacht Trips & Sailing Tours

Compass Rose Yacht Charters – Capt. Gig Michaud is ready to take you and your crew on a very special tour. You and five friends can board his 35’ Tiara Yacht “Gia” and take a leisurely tour through the Merrimack River or be adventuresome and head to Isle of Shoals, Rockport, Annisquam River or anywhere else along the Northshore coastline!

Schooner Thomas E. Lannon - Picture yourself relaxing on the deck of a beautiful 65-foot schooner as she sails out of Gloucester harbor on a light southwesterly breeze. These two-hour tours are bound to be a memorable adventure for you and your family. Private charters and group rates available!

Ninth Wave Sailing Charters - Not all who wander are lost! That could be the slogan for the Ninth Wave. Set sail aboard this beautiful 48’ Catamaran for a two and a half hour tour. They leave through the mouth of the Merrimack River and sail to no particular destination along the coastline or directly out to sea while choosing the best wind angle for maximum speed. Also great for private parties!

Newburyport Whale Watch - Climb aboard the spacious, 106′ Captains Lady III to begin your whale watching voyage! Your journey departs from downtown Newburyport, where you’ll travel out the Merrimack River into the Gulf of Maine. This is the feeding ground for a variety of marine life including, but not limited to, Humpback, Finback, and Minke Whales as well as Porpoise, Seals, Sharks and an array of Sea Birds. The open ocean holds many species of diverse wildlife, making every trip a unique and exciting experience.


Two Captain’s Charters – Captain Ed and Captain Jeff will make sure your day is filled with fun, exciting and memorable moments. They take you out on a very well-equipped sport fishing vessel that includes rods that they make! In fact, you may have seen these rods on the show Wicked Tuna. You feel every nibble, bite or strike helping you catch all the action. From baiting your hook to cleaning your fish, they have you covered.

Rocky Point Fishing Charters – Captain Bill Jarman will take you and your friends out for a day of Striper or Bluefish fishing off of Newburyport, Salisbury, Plum Island or Ipswich Bay! He offers ½ day, full day, ‘After work specials’ or sunset cruises. Reserve today – the best dates go early!

Captain’s Fishing Parties – Have a large group of friends that want to catch a lunker? Captain’s Fishing Parties have you covered. Their vessels can handle over 100 individuals and are pros at finding fish. They launch their ships from Plum Island Point. You are bound to have a great time on this one!

River Cruises

Yankee Clipper Harbor Tours - The Yankee Clipper is a fun, family-friendly way to experience the Merrimack River and Newburyport Harbor. Their Newburyport Harbor and Great Salt Marsh Ecotours bring 15,000 years of natural history to life, spanning the end of the last ice age to the 21st century. On a one-hour narrated tour, you'll meet the resident plant and wildlife of the area, and your crew will weave together the area's natural, economic, and maritime history with the ecological significance of one of the world's most beautiful and scenic natural resources. Beer, wine, soft drinks, healthy snacks and activities for kids are all available on board.

Merrimack River Tours - Join Captain Bill who has three decades of experience doing history and ecology tours of the mighty Merrimack and its environs. This one hour voyage treats you to vistas of great beauty, including views of several towns, islands, bridges, water fowl, and picturesque waterfront homes. It’s no wonder that writers and poets of yesteryear were moved to write about this jewel of a river.

Essex River Cruises & Charters – Since 1992, Essex River Cruises & Charters have been offering interesting and informative river cruises! Discover the beauty and heritage of Essex, Massachusetts and the Great Marsh, as you cruise the pristine sheltered waters of the Essex River. Tours depart from Dodge Street in Essex, MA. A short 20 minute drive from Newburyport!


Plum Island Kayak – If small self-powered vessels are your style then Plum Island Kayak is your place. They offer a wide variety of guided Kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board tours. Not interested in a group tour? Then why not rent or arrange for a private tour or private instruction. They also organize unique "Peddle & Paddle" adventures.

Newbury Kayak & Canoe – Located on the Parker River in Newbury, this renovated outdoor sport shop also has a boat launch right on the property! Before or after your adventure, do a little shopping and pick up something special for your fellow outdoor sports enthusiast or for yourself.

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Newburyport Summer – Rainy Day? Tannery Marketplace Has You Covered!

TanneryMarketplace_2016June 28, 2016

Nobody likes a rainy day during the summer, but unfortunately – it happens. 

Instead of having your kids, dogs and other family members dirty your floors, head over to The Tannery Marketplace and dirty their floors!  The Tannery Marketplace, located at 50 Water Street, has a plethora of rainy day activities for kids of all ages.


Pottery Isle – You and your kids can express your artistic talents!  Pick out your own piece of pottery and decorate it to create a unique gift.  Sure to be a keepsake for years to come.  No appointment necessary.  *accepts Newburyport Gift Card

Eureka Toy Store – An awesome combination of classic toys, stuffed animals and modern toys for kids from 0 – 100 years old.  They have plenty of toys on display that kids can play with and try out before buying!

Jabberwocky Book Store – We are so fortunate to have this great independent book store in Newburyport.  Two different sections of kid’s books are available for you to look at.  No matter what your preference, there is a book for you.  Put down the Kindle and pick up a book!

Beach Plum Too – Floral designs and decorations that will brighten anybody’s day.  They also feature pop-up shops including Mill 77 Trading Company and Simply B custom invitations and stationary. 

Gentry’s Boutique - An amazing consignment shop that has clothing for any style.  They feature a collection of top end labels and a pleasant staff that is there to make you look your best!

Newburyport Olive Oil & Port Plums - A foodie’s heaven.  On one side they have 50 varieties of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. On the other side, they have one-of-a-kind and locally made kitchenware as well as all your essentials.  It’s a one-stop-shop!

Wishbasket - There’s a reason they named this store ‘Wishbasket.’  It’s because you’ll wish everything was in your shopping basket!  Unique housewares that will make your home the best decorated in the neighborhood.

Riverside Cycle – Set your sights on a new pair of wheels for those sunny days!  You can also set up bike rentals and tours. 

And don’t forget your four-legged friends! Quinn’s Canine Café is a doggie’s dream. Freshly made and healthy, Quinn’s treats are known throughout the dog-kingdom.


Chococoa Baking Company – Home of the world famous Whoopie!  These all natural treats are absolutely amazing.  It’s a café, so stop by for an afternoon pick-me-up!  If you have to get some work done, take advantage of their ‘Coffice!’

Edible Arrangements – Known for their fruit arrangements, this place offers so much more.  Including the freshest smoothies you can possibly imagine.  Also a great place to pick up some chocolate covered strawberries!

Revitalive Café & Juice Bar – healthy eaters unite!  Their award winning organic, vegetarian and vegan food, will re-energize you and get you through the day.  A wide range of breakfast, lunch and dinner options available.

Newburyport Farmer’s Market – Did we mention they have a farmer’s market every Sunday (rain or shine!)  You can support your local artisans and farmers from 9am – 1pm in the Tannery parking lot.  While there enjoy music from a local musician!

Next time it rains, don’t be bored in your house – get out and explore The Tannery Marketplace!

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership Development
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Weekly Recap and More - Yes, it's been Chamber of Commerce Weather!

SummerSunrise_2016June 27, 2016

I have heard over the past few days….even this morning while getting ready for work from Matt Lauer on the Today show – that is has been “Chamber of Commerce” weather over the past week. It is indeed “Chamber of Commerce” weather in our area of Greater Newburyport! I trust that whether you are a realtor, banker, accountant, captain, restaurateur or retailer that you are busy and getting ready for the summer! Even though we don’t have any control over the weather…we do have control of what is happening on many levels in YOUR Chamber!

Last week was a busy week here at the Chamber. Some highlights of the week for us include attending member events, such as the Atria Merrimack Place Longest Day fundraiser at the Deck, to a special Rotary Club of Newburyport Coast Guard Luncheon to a great event with more than 80 Young Professional attendees at Surfside in Salisbury. In addition we held a Lunch & Learn on Mediation and a meeting of the Chamber’s non-profit members. I attended an important meeting with the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission to hear their plans for a region wide economic development blue print. Finally on Friday we hosted City planners from local Gateway cities that are interested in the history of our urban renewal and how we as a Chamber help to attract tourists and residents from around the region to come to the greater Newburyport area! It was indeed a busy week!

As we begin this final week of June and more “Chamber of Commerce” weather, we look forward to continuing to plan our new music series starting on July 7th – “Music in Market Square” and making the final touches to our "Waterfront Movie Series" which begins on Wednesday, August 10th!

Happy Summer! Let’s make it a great one!

Ann Ormond, President
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Newburyport in the Summer: Alternative Lunchtime Locales

SummerLunch_2016June 22, 2016

This is part of a series of weekly blog posts with ideas how you can enjoy the beautiful Newburyport summer season!

Get out. 

That’s our advice to you. 

You’ve all heard the slogan, ‘If you don’t like the weather in New England … just wait a minute.’  That is exactly why you should take every advantage to get outside during your lunch break.  It’s amazing what a little bit of fresh ocean air, warm summer breezes and sunshine can do for your psyche.  All of a sudden work doesn’t seem that bad!

Here are some ideas where you can get outside, enjoy your lunch and watch the world go by:

·         Market Square/Inn Street – An obvious choice if you are the ‘people watching’ type.  It’s really cool to think that you live/work in a town that people come to on vacation.  How lucky are we?!  With the addition to the new splash pad on Inn Street you can now dip your toes in the water on those hot days! 

·         Boardwalk – Nothing more relaxing than listening to the boats rock and the sounds of a busker singing tunes.  Grab a bench, watch the boats in the river and relax. 

·         Joppa Flats/Cashman Park/Maudslay State Park/Moseley Woods/Atkinson Common – We are blessed to have so much open space within a stone’s throw of downtown.  Here are five ideas of places where you can escape the office and enjoy nature. 

Almost all the restaurants in town offer call ahead/takeout service, so if you forget to pack your lunch – no worries! 

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Monday, April 25, 2016

Economic Development Advice from the Pros: Think Global, Act Local and Rally Together

Newburyport-economic-development_042516April 25, 2016
By Dave Strand

Fresh off a webinar put on by the Northeast Economic Developers Association (NEDA) on April 21st, I thought I’d share my takeaways and thoughts as the city of Newburyport and the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce are actively engaged in an economic development plan as part of the city’s master planning process.

The title of the webinar was “Understanding Innovation & Entrepreneur Eco-Systems for Economic Development” and the presenters were: Maria Meyers, Founder, U.S. SourceLink; Catherine S. Renault, PhD, Innovation Policyworks, LLC; and Don Macke, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. The one-hour webinar was enlightening and encouraging on many levels. The good news is Newburyport’s assets, which include human capital, location, and connection to trends, are very positive. The challenge appears to be, like it is in so many other communities, balancing a combined government and volunteer effort to organize around and affect change while agreeing on a common set of core values and beliefs. For the purpose of this blog, I’m going to state up front what my beliefs are, and I invite others to join in and offer their own points of view, so that we might make this a thread that helps become a catalyst for progress and change.

As a marketing and branding professional, I’ve always thought that Newburyport’s reputation as a historic shipbuilding and manufacturing hub is an extremely under-utilized asset. While I commend our Custom House Maritime Museum for their hard work and dedication in keeping our local history alive, it’s far from enough when one realizes what an important part of our community this element is. I also believe that Newburyport’s burgeoning commitment to being “green” is worth continual investment and exposure. This has nothing to do with my politics, by the way. I’m a firmly committed Independent (if there is such a thing). This is about opportunity and social consciousness. Finally, if one looked under a map of the world at Newburyport it would show deep roots of cultural and economic strength. Roots connected to a legacy of worldwide maritime commerce, medicine anchored by Anna Jaques Hospital, industry represented by the work of the Newburyport Area Industrial Development group (NAID), and roots to hospitality and waterside tourism as represented by our charming stores, restaurants, museum, inns, and annual events that draw people (with their wallets) to our community. I’ve coined the phrase “Newburyport―Historic, Green, and Growing” as my guiding thread while I put forth my community volunteering efforts.

With this tidy and handy thread in mind, I plucked two tidbits from the webinar:

  1. We are not Boston, Austin or even Portsmouth. We are the city of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Our assets are different. Our local banks are the “investors.” Our small, one-to-five-person businesses and work-from-home workforce represent a huge part of our business base and labor market. And while we have North Shore Community College, there are no major university/incubator/innovation centers that organically create offspring, etc., etc. The point: We have to overcome our small-city limitations by focusing on other strengths, as opposed to expecting similar organic results that are achieved in other places.

  2. The ecosystem of our community matters. Building on point one, as one looks at economic growth, we should be asking “Growth of what?” Every city has a baseline. In my opinion, Newburyport’s baseline is as I’ve stated above. To realize the value of this in terms of being an ecosystem, we must nourish it. Here are a few ideas and strategies:

  1. Create a common calendar of events—whether the chamber or city takes the lead the benefit to the community, and to fostering collaboration, of a group calendar is extremely high. The data support it as does first-hand observation I’ve had personally.

  2. Support “Meetups”—Chamber mixers are a start, but there’s value in fostering a meetup mentality around the region that covers key business issues, growth issues, and necessary interconnections, that may or may not include Chamber members. This could be a way for the Chamber to say “Hey, yes, we are a membership organization. But we’re also a community organization.” And wink, wink, nod, nod, it may be a great way to attract new members.

  3. Make commitments and see them through: Newburyport-economic-development2_042516Leaders and volunteers in and around any community endeavor must never bite off more than they can chew. They also need to resolve to get to an end game. Nothing plagues a community more than long-drawn-out “ideas."

  4. Think beyond the idea of a first-floor co-working space at Minco’s future One Boston Way Smart Growth district apartment building and pick up the playbook used by nationally recognized commercial real estate innovator wework ( By keeping our finger on the pulse of the future of the way people work, we’ll be considered a place to come to work. What do you say @New England Development? Can we make something like this happen on a broader scale in the ‘port?

  5. Recreation is key. For the love of God, can we please stop cherishing the thought of a soon to be completed rail trail and finish it already so we can move to the trails in the city forest and common pasture? Have you seen the vistas out there? Of course not, you’ll be covered in poison ivy. But bring in a few goats and let’s get people moving all around this wonderful city from Plum Island to the interstate. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing another person taking care of themselves and enjoying the great outdoors.

  6. Bring a buddy’s work to work (in Newburyport). Have a friend with a business somewhere else? Have a favorite shop in another town? Be an ambassador. Many of us also work at some pretty great companies, too. What say you REI, Timberland, Whole Foods, and Medtech guys drop some serious hints with the boss about Newburyport, eh?

  7. Put a solar panel array on your roof. It’s like a hat. It’s functional and keeps you (and us) looking smart.

  8. Invest in Plum Island. Save the rusty bolt and sewer debate for another day and consider the vitality of a re-invigorated and active Plum Island point and Plum Island Center. In their heyday, these places were a mecca for family recreation, enjoyment and commerce.
The final bit of advice I took away from the webinar was that even small rural communities today have to think on a global scale. High-speed Internet connectivity, ecommerce, global promotion of your resources and businesses, and general goodness oozing out of your community online is just good juju that attracts people far and wide. Who’s got a friend in Vietnam who’d like to come for a visit and stay for a lifetime? Maybe open a new restaurant here? We could sure use the diversity in the food and fabric of our community.

Dave Strand is CEO and Brand Director of Strand Marketing of Newburyport and founder of the Facebook group Newburyport Forward. He can be reached at

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

a diamond in the rough

17hands_mar2016March 22, 2016

Would you buy a new house, and let complete strangers stay there for the weekend? What irreparable damage could be done? By not placing a high value on hiring the right people to run your business, you are leaving your cherished investment vulnerable.

Whether you run a Fortune 500 or a local boutique, your people are the face of your business. The actions and behaviors of your employees shape the perception of your brand, and create a public persona that will stay with you, for better or worse.

With that said, it is not often that an amazing candidate just falls into your hands. Think about many times has the perfect candidate walked through your front door and applied for a job on their own volition? How often do you open your e-mail inbox and think, 'this is the one!', when someone applies via an internet ad?

Contrary to popular belief, finding and keeping top talent is a labor of love. All too often, business owners are unwilling to invest time and money in to finding the right people, instead filling positions in the most convenient and cost-effective manner possible. They call it, 'finding a body'. Yes, that is a real phrase that business owners use. Many have gone so far as to request I help them 'find a body'. Without judgement, let's pause for a minute and reflect on that one. I a recruiter or a body snatcher?

I have cringed, many times, watching companies pass up that perfect candidate, in favor of a passable one, with the intention of saving a nominal amount of money. After making the wrong hire, turnover inevitably ensues. Money is lost, hand-over-fist, when trained candidates turn and leave. Despite the clear solution, this cycle repeats itself, creating a 'turnover wake' that seems never-ending.

Understandably, it is a hard stone to turn: where does one find talented, affordable, game-changing candidates that have future potential? Many business owners have excellent intentions, yet lack the time it takes to truly delve in to the hiring process, often missing red flags that could have saved them valuable time and money.

That said, some recruiters think the key to finding top talent lies in the mechanical process, of sorting through resumes and cold-calling. While those are valid tools, successful recruiting, which ultimately results in higher retention rates, is a much more organic process. The foundation of people management lies in communication, not administration.

Though, at times, the candidate with the amazing resume turns out to be the one, there are also times when that 'perfect on paper' candidate turns out to have a notable lack of 'the kwan'. What is the 'the kwan' you ask? The passion, coachability and magnetizing social skills that will enable a candidate to excel in nearly any role. Checking off boxes might work for some recruiters in the short-term, but a candidate's true colors will surely reveal themselves down the line, often at the expense of the business.

Talent sometimes presents itself in unusual places. Some of my strongest, longest retained hires have been cross-industry recruits, and candidates who may not have won the resume contest, but had that indescribable quality that made them the right fit for the role. They are gifted with traits that one cannot teach. These candidates are passionate, eager to succeed, and have an excellent foundation of professional and personal skills that set them up for success in the roles they are stepping into.

The message behind all of this is simple: though the easy choice is making a quick and convenient hire, it is our willingness to dig deeper and view hiring as a long term investment that will earn us a 'diamond in the rough'.

Republished from:
Bonnie Larity Carson
Newburyport, MA   |   (978) 778-4609

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Monday, March 21, 2016

We love when our members combine talents to create a memorable event!

glennlivermore_mar2016We love when our members combine talents to create a memorable event. 

One of the premier photographers, Glenn Livermore Photography, captured a wedding that featured great hair styles done by Interlocks Salon + Spa and great scenery provided by Spencer Peirce Little Farm  and Clark Currier Inn.

Checkout the great moments that Glenn & April Livermore captured here.

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Monday, February 15, 2016

Perspective of a New Resident in Newburyport

marketsquare_feb2016A few weeks ago, we hosted local historian, Ghlee Woodworth, and her presentation on the Urban Renewal in Newburyport during the 1970’s.

As a six year resident of Newburyport, it was eye opening to see the rollercoaster of history that this town has endured. When my wife and I moved here, we called it ‘the quintessential New England town’ and our realtor told us ‘if you live here, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation every day!’

Six years later…we still feel this way.

A few years after living here, we were shocked to hear that our quaint little town had a rough and tumble past.

Wait…the Tannery was an actual Tannery?

All these stores were boarded up?

You could buy a mansion on High Street for less than a million dollars?!

Ghlee’s presentation was both eye opening and inspiring. To think that our city was built up, torn down, built up, burnt down, boarded up and rebuilt is absolutely astonishing. It made me think, no wonder lifelong residents of this city have such pride in what they’ve created! As one attendee joked to me “I’ve lived here for 40 years and I’ve applied for citizenship, but was denied…”

The purpose of this post is to say thank you to those that made the right decisions in 1970 and also to motivate the ‘newbies’ in this town to continue the tradition of being both innovative and respective of the history of Newburyport. We live in a really really REALLY special place.

Chris Johnston, Director of Membership
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Monday, February 8, 2016

Dear Newburyport Area Businesses


Dear Newburyport Area Businesses –

We have a confession to make. We’ve had a crush on you for the last 50 years. You all are so great at what you do and it makes the hair on the back of our necks stand up when we think about the fact that you are all members of the Chamber! As we start our 50th anniversary year, we are proud to promote your Valentine’s Day specials for the world to see. Consider this online flirting ;)

Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Monday, February 1, 2016

New Year, New Massachusetts Laws!

Republished from Pomeroy Law, Amesbury, MA
January 26, 2016

pomeroylaw_feb2016Welcome 2016! Another year, and some new laws to look forward to in Massachusetts. There are a couple employment law changes in Massachusetts that took effect on Jan. 1, and one proposed federal regulation change that will likely be implemented in 2016.

This is always a great time of year to review your personnel policies and handbook for the different changes in the laws that may affect your business. Here are three reasons to do such a review.

As you know, the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law that requires employers of employees who work primarily in Massachusetts to provide their workers up to 40 hours of earned sick time. Whether it's paid or unpaid sick leave depends on the number of employees. This law went into effect in July 2015, but the attorney general announced a safe harbor period for employers with preexisting time-off policies that met certain requirements. That safe harbor period expired Jan. 1 and all employers must now have sick time policies that are fully compliant with the Earned Sick Time Law.

The second law change for Massachusetts involved a wage and hour law. Effective Jan. 1, the minimum wage in the state increased from $9 to $10 per hour. For tipped employees, the service hourly rate increased to $3.35 per hour. This service rate applies to employees who receive tips of more than $20 per month, and the average hourly tips when added to the service rate equals the minimum wage. This is the second of three wage increases that were enacted by the Legislature. On Jan. 1, 2017, the third increase will take effect, increasing the minimum hourly wage to $11 per hour and the service rate to $3.75 per hour.

I also want to warn about an upcoming change in 2016 that will require all states to comply with the expected change in the Fair Labor Standard Act’s regulations. The Department of Labor previously announced a proposed rule change in 2015 that is expected would be finalized this year. While not yet effect as of this week, the amendment to the regulations will likely require employers to quickly react to the change as it relates to the overtime regulations.

The FLSA provides certain exemptions from minimum wage and overtime for executive, administrative, professional and computer employees, also known as “white collar” exemptions. One of the requirements to qualify for this exemption is that the employer pays the exempt employee a certain minimum set salary amount (salary basis). Under the proposed rule, the salary basis for these exempt positions under the FLSA will increase to $50,400 a year, or $970 per week. This more than doubles the current minimum salary basis of $455 per week or $23,660 per year. The rule change also provides for a mechanism to update the salary and compensation levels in the future.

When this rule is finalized and adopted by the Department of Labor, any employee in a previously qualifying exempt position will need to be paid the $50,400 per year salary basis in order to continue to be eligible for the white collar exemption. If the employee no longer qualifies for the exemption, that worker will need to be paid in accordance with the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA and any applicable state laws.

While this proposed regulation change is not in effect at this time, the Department of Labor is expected to enact it this year and it may come a little too quickly for some businesses. This change will likely impact many businesses. In anticipation of this rule change, business owners and managers should consider reviewing job positions classified as exempt under the FLSA to determine if they may be impacted by this rule change.

Business owners should review their policies and practices in view of these law changes and consult with an attorney to understand the implication that these changes in the state and federal laws will have on their businesses.

Maureen Louise Pomeroy, Pomeroy Law
100 Main Street, Amesbury, MA 01913

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tools for Being a Better Listener When Your Customers Aren’t in the Room

Image via GraphicStock

Blog_1_ImageMost of the time being a better listener means closing your mouth and not thinking about what you will say next. But the real listening help most small business owners need in today’s business climate is digital.

Why Being a Good Listener is Important

In addition to people feeling more valued when they believe you’re listening to them, being a good listener helps you find sales opportunities, solve customer frustrations before they escalate, learn about your competitor’s customers’ complaints, and build a loyal customer base. Here are some tips on how you can find out what’s being said about you, your business, and the service you provide or product you sell.

Assemble a Toolkit
There are plenty of options when it comes to social media and digital monitoring. They run the gamut on expense as well from free to hundreds of dollars a month for a large enterprise solution. Most small businesses can get by with the free options, at least in the beginning. The only reason to upgrade to a paid platform early on is out of a desire to have an integrated dashboard for monitoring and not have to use several tools to accomplish the results you’d like.

Google Alerts
This is an extremely easy way to be alerted on people taking about any subject you’re interested in. Go to, enter in a word or phrase you want to monitor for, and then decide how often you’d like to be notified, what source you want Google to scan (news, blogs, etc.), the language, region, and how many results to report on. The results you receive will be emailed to you based on your preferences. At the very least you should set up alerts on the following:

·         Company name and variations (set this alert to “as-it-happens”)

·         Names of C-suite, owners, or anyone with a highly visible profile within your company    (another as-it-happens)

·         Industry you serve, product you make, service you provide

·         Problems you help with (for instance “flooded basement”)

·         Competitor’s name and variations (as-it-happens)

You can also use alerts to do research on how often someone is talking about a service or product.

If you’ve ever attempted to search on Twitter or Facebook, you realize how unreliable the results are and that’s why you want to use a third-party tool to do it. If someone is talking about you (without using your handle), you don’t want to run the risk of missing it.

Twilert and Tweetdeck
These sites allow you to monitor Twitter in much the same way you monitor the web through Google alerts. Twilert will serve up alerts to your inbox while Tweetdeck places them in a stream on their site for you. Twilert offers a 30-day trial but is a paid service with plans starting at $9 a month. Tweetdeck is free. Some people prefer Hootsuite to Tweetdeck.

SocialMention turns up things you don’t find elsewhere such as videos and audio recordings. You can run manual searches or use their alert feature. Also check out TalkWalker.

Mention will also deliver alerts to your inbox. It’s free for a limited number of mentions delivered per month. After you reach the limit, it stops delivering them for that month or gives you the option to upgrade to a paid plan. If people talk about you often, you’ll need to be part of their paid plans. The nice thing about this service is that you can review the mentions and tell the site whether they are relevant or not.

Paid Services
In addition to the paid versions of the free platforms above Radian6 (part of SalesForce) and Nimble offer more than just alerts, they provide insights and analysis.

A Final Word About Listening
Listening is one of the most critical things to your business’ success in social media. If people are talking about you and you’re not part of the conversation you’re missing a sales opportunity and a customer service avenue. Thanks to companies like HP and BestBuy, people are conditioned to expect faster service from Twitter than a phone call so this must be a priority for you.

When someone is talking about something you can help with offer your expertise, not your business card. Help them out the way you would a friend not a salesperson. Look to have a conversation before you try to sell. If you overhear something and force a salesy conversation, it will feel creepy.

Look for opportunities to help. If you do, they’ll come back when they are ready to buy.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine,, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager’s Blog.

She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

Photo credit:  GraphicStock

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Monday, January 11, 2016

The 1 Change You Need to Make in Your Business in 2016

Reprint from Frank J. Kenny

1thingin2016_jan2016At the risk of sounding like an infomercial, if you make just one change to your business in 2016 you’ll open up a new door to an even greater level of success. It’s a very simple concept. You don’t have to go get an MBA or Master’s in marketing.

You simply have to refocus your offerings from you want to say to what your ideal customer wants. Help your customers get what they need.

All marketers will tell you to reframe your sales approach from features to benefits, but that’s not enough. That’s only the beginning because you’re still seeing your business through your eyes.

You need to think larger. Your customer wants what you offer (hopefully) but they don’t do that in a vacuum. Their wants and needs are larger than your service or product.

Switching from You/Business-Centered to Customer-Centered
If you think of your customers’ purchases in a narrow focus, you are missing opportunities to be of greater use to them. Let’s take the retail giant Walmart as an example. Granted Walmart sells a large selection of products but if you visit their website you’ll note a “Tips & Ideas” section. There they have a plethora of ideas on various topics like beauty, health, entertaining, and more.

They are meeting customers’ larger needs by asking, “why do buyers purchase this product? What is it they really want?” and creating content that addresses those needs. For instance, why does anyone want to wear a pedometer? Because it’s stylish? No, generally they are trying to make a commitment to their health. If you sell pedometers, talking about features may be helpful if there’s a big differentiator between models, but most of the time there isn’t. If all you’re doing is providing the features of the item you sell, you are as unremarkable as your competition.

However, if you provide resources on fitness, best practices, tips, and ways to meet your goals, you are giving your customers something they need above and beyond a product. This is how you become a resource for them and build loyalty. Customers also share what they find valuable with friends and family.

Help Them Choose You
No one wants to be sold to. Look at how the automobile industry has tried to adapt from their hard sell attitude to a “no-haggle” approach at many dealerships. Creating resources that help your customers find what they need leads them to you. If you’re creating that content it can also be done in a way that steers them to you in a subtle fashion. For example, a bank may create a resource that helps people select the best credit card for their needs at the same time they are running a special on their card. The content could tell people about conditions it’s important to look for and it just so happens their credit card meets those conditions. They’re already on your site so help them find what they want.

Now Look Bigger
Let’s get back to the pedometer example. You realized your customers looking for a pedometer just want to make healthier changes and let’s assume you created content that would give them tips on better health practices and goal setting. Now take it to the 30,000-foot view. How can you help them do more? Provide a list of professional resources in your area like gyms, fitness instructors, and weight loss clinics. Bring in someone to do a fitness or cooking demonstration. Work with these professionals to give discounts to your customers. Create a network that provides more business for everyone involved.

Now your business sells more than pedometers. It becomes an invaluable resource for healthier living through providing what your customers are ultimately seeking.

Make your customers’ lives easier and give them more of what they want. Extend offerings and you’ll draw in a larger crowd. People will begin talking about you and you will stand out from the competition.

The one thing you can do in 2016 to grow your business is to stop looking at your customers’ buying decisions in a vacuum. Think larger. Understand that they have a life and the more you can be a part of it by providing the answers to their questions and meeting their needs, the more you can endear your business to them through utility and increase revenue.

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine,, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at and the Event Manager’s Blog.

She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.

Photo credit:  GraphicStock

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A pat on the back for one of our Members…

By Chris Johnston

During this season of giving, there is nothing like giving a compliment to a fellow professional.

Tiffany Learned, owner of Detailed Engagements, recently told us about a great experience she has with Maureen Pomeroy, Esq., owner/lawyer at Pomeroy Law.

"As a small business owner it is very important for me to align my business with professionals whom I can fully trust and rely on. Like many others I thought that I would only need a business lawyer if something "bad" happened but bringing on Maureen Pomeroy to set my business up for success before anything has happened has been one of the best decisions I have made.

She is a friend of the small business owner and truly understands all that it takes to run a successful business. She is very easy to work with and knowledgeable on all small business law. From contract review to handling the hiring of new employees she has been there every step of the way with me. This has given me a great sense of security knowing she has helped me do all I can for my business to succeed.

I am happy to say that Maureen is a now an integral part of the network I have set up to support my business and hiring her has been one of the best decisions I have made for Detailed Engagements."

If you had a remarkable experience with a fellow chamber member please let us know so we can recognize their hard work.

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Sunday, December 20, 2015

Top Local Business Daily Newsletters

By Chris Johnston

Today there is no way to peruse all the different business e-newsletters that are available to you. It could be a full time job! So how do you sift through the plethora of e-newsletters and figure out ‘ok, I have 5 minutes to read local news. Where should I go?’

Answer: We did it for you!

boston-business-journal_dec2015Boston Business Journal – Your best source for the most in-depth coverage of Massachusetts business news. They do a great job covering news from Boston, North Shore and South Shore. In addition, you’ll get a grasp on ‘people on the move,’ a little bit of legal news and business reviews.

CrainsBoston_dec2015Crain’s Boston – Again, it arrives in your inbox every morning with the top 3-5 headlines from the Greater Boston area.

Daily-News_dec2015Newburyport Daily News – Obviously, this news source extends beyond the business world, but you’ll get important news from the Greater Newburyport area. Always good to know what is going on in your own backyard!

MVM-Noteworthy_dec2015Merrimack Valley Magazine Noteworthy – (Delivered on Sunday morning.) The new kid on the block, MVM has done a great job collecting all the ribbon cuttings, non-profit news and information on local business in their new e-newsletter. Check it out!

After reading these four e-newsletters you should be ready to go!

Newburyport Now
Newburyport Now
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Newbury Kayak & Lincoln Kayaks

By Chris Johnson

There are a quite a few things that we love about being the Chamber of Commerce for the Greater Newburyport Area.  Hearing compliments from visitors, watching our businesses grow, but the collaborative nature of our professional community is what really makes us tick.

We recently visited Newbury Kayak & Canoe to see how their season went and to checkout their new products. 

Among the new products are:

  • Nigel Dennis Designs from the United Kingdom.  NKC is one of two places in Massachusetts to purchase these beauties. 

  • Sherpa Adventure Gear & Laundromat Clothing – Not only will you look good wearing this clothing, but you’ll also feel good.  Why?  This is fair-trade clothing made in Nepal. 
Two new products that we thought were really cool are actually made right in our area.

  • Kurgo – This cool company recently built a new headquarters in Salisbury, MA.  What’s really cool about it is that the headquarters is made out of cargo containers!  Their products are highly quality, affordable and will definitely get a ‘woof woof’ from your dog(s).

  • newburykayak2_dec2015Lincoln Kayaks – This is REALLY exciting.  Lincoln recently moved to Amesbury from Maine and our area welcomed them with open arms.  Their canoe and kayaks are stunning.  It’s literally like seeing a really nice car drive by and saying ‘wow – what’s that?!’  Lincoln and NKC collaborated and now NKC is going to carry their entire line of small watercraft! 

Newbury Kayak is only one of the many examples of local companies collaborating to make our area well known for many different reasons.

This week’s high-five goes to NKC!