Water Mill Tenants enjoyed the first “Game of Life” Club event focused on family finances and budgeting with guest speakers from American Consumer Credit Counseling and Hometown Bank. To learn more, contact Madeline.
Reprinted from the Sentinel and Enterprise
By Anna Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org
FITCHBURG — At the NewVue Communities 36th annual meeting on Wednesday, NewVue Executive Director Marc Dohan emphasized the importance of economic success to community success.
Their organization was founded, he said, in response to the closing of many factories in the area.
“Economic development is in our blood,” Dohan said.
NewVue Communities also focuses on housing improvements, health and wellness of local residents, and community involvement, but this year’s annual meeting centered around small businesses.
NewVue accomplishments in the past year include counseling 109 businesses, and assisting 20 businesses to secure $2.1 million in loans.
Owners of four of these businesses — Fitchburg consignment store The Man Cave, Fitchburg and Leominster barber Luxury Cuts, Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, and Fitchburg restaurant Beemers Pub — spoke on a panel at the meeting.
They shared lessons from their experience as business owners. Here are their top three tips:
1. Do your homework before you open.
“You really have to get educated as much as you can,” said The Man Cave owner Marta Albizu.
Beemers owner Pete Cote said to be aware of business regulations ahead of opening.
“I don’t care what business you’re in, the government regulations are going to kill you if you don’t do your homework,” he said.
“And make sure you have a business plan, make sure you have a bank behind you, make sure you have enough money to open.”
Luxury Cuts owner Carlos Rosado said creating a business plan was important for “exposing the challenges” of the business, to better prepare for these challenges.
Albizu agreed, saying having a plan made her “more confident” when opening.
2. Get creative when tackling challenges.
Al Rose, the owner of Red Apple Farm, deals with unpredictable factors like the weather in operating his business. He can’t control the weather, so he has instead tried to diversify the business. This means diversifying location, like selling regularly at a market in Boston, and diversifying product, like making cider doughnuts and other year-round foods.
Albizu said a challenge she has faced in the past year is not generating enough revenue to be able to pay an employee besides herself.
Her creative solution, now in progress, is to work with Fitchburg State University students looking for business internship experience.
3. Use resources in the area.
All four business owners said working with NewVue Small Business Director Ray Belanger was a huge help.
Albizu said he helped her negotiate rent with the landlord, submit a loan application, and do other pre-opening work.
Rose said making a business plan with Belanger gave him “concrete goals and a concrete direction.”
Rosado also said he found North Central Chamber of Commerce a very helpful resource. He attended several of their workshops when he was first opening Luxury Cuts, and said he learned a lot about long-term financial planning for a business.
Rosado, who Dohan said was one of the first NewVue business clients, had one extra piece of advice for would-be business owners: “Pick something you love. If you don’t love it, you’ll quit when things get hard, and that shouldn’t be an option.”
Follow Anna Burgess on Twitter and Tout @AnnaBurgess18.
36th Annual Meeting
Celebrating Small Business in No. Central Mass.
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
The location of the meeting has been changed to:
470 Main Street, Fitchburg, Mass.
*Child Care will be provided*
Hear from a panel of the Small Businesses we have work with
The City of Fitchburg is a partnering with NewVue Communities, Montachusett Opportunity Council, Montachusett Public Health Network, and the participating communities of Gardner, Clinton, and Athol to form The Montachusett Regional Lead Paint Hazard Control Program. This Grant will provide funding to low and moderate income owner-occupants and investors who rent to low income tenants in these four communities to remove Lead Paint Hazards from their homes. Applications are now being accepted for the program.
Press Inquiries: Dorothy Preston
Program Manager, City of Fitchburg
166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Applicant Contact: Shannon Erb
Intake Specialist, NewVue Communities
470 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems. Those most likely at risk are children 6 years and younger, pregnant women and unborn child, and people living in houses that are being renovated.
When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood. Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability, but often, children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms at all.
Lead dust and lead paint in old homes can poison children. When old paint peels and cracks, it makes lead dust which can come from opening and closing old windows. There are risks both inside and outside the home. Deteriorated lead-paint mixes with household dust and soil and becomes tracked in. Children may become lead poisoned by:
- Putting their hands or other lead-contaminated objects into their mouths.
- Eating paint chips found in homes with peeling or flaking lead-based paint.
- Playing in lead-contaminated soil.
The Lead Law protects families with children 6 years old and under who live in a home built before 1978. If there is lead paint in the home, the owner must use licensed professionals to make it safe.
The Montachusett Regional Lead Paint Hazard Control Program has published a brochure on Lead Paint Hazards that can be distributed freely in your community. The brochure can be downloaded as a PDF file from: https://newvuecommunities.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Lead-Paint_HUD-Brochure_NEW.pdf.
Lead Poisoning is a serious societal issue and one that all of us need to address. These are tough times. Help make them easier for a child at risk.
Twin Cities CDC marks 35th birthday with change to its moniker and mission
Sentinel & Enterprise
By Anna Burgess
LEOMINSTER — Twin Cities Community Development Corporation is 35 years old — and won’t get any older. Instead, it will move forward as NewVue Communities, a regional community-development organization. More
Leominster factory-turned-affordable-apartments renamed Water Mill New name, new beginning
Sentinel & Enterprise Article 6/5/2012
By Jack Minch
@JackMinch on Twitter
LEOMINSTER — The former Whitney & Co. factory at the corner of Water and Whitney streets that is being renovated into 40 affordable-housing apartments was Dal renamed the Water Mill Apartments on Monday to coincide with NeighborWorks Week. More