Plenus Group Expansion in Lowell

Last month, the Lowell City Council approved a Tax Increment Financing Agreement (TIF) agreement with Plenus Group, Inc. which allows them to expand and stay in Lowell.  This project will result in the purchase of the existing building at 101 Phoenix Ave. In addition, Plenus Group Inc. will expand its food manufacturing facility that will double the size of their current facility to a total of 32,000 square feet. This project represents $4.6M in private investment.
The Plenus Group Inc. is a family-owned business established in 2002 as a manufacturer of soups and sauces, growing to over $14m in sales. Their famous clam chowder is still served in Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace and their product portfolio includes nationally known Boston Chowda Co. and East Coast Gourmet brands. The company expects to retain all of its existing  52 full time employees and expects to create an additional 30 jobs within the first five years of occupying their expanded space.
The Plenus Group agrees to make efforts to hire locally by working with the Economic Development Office, the Lowell Career Center, the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Middlesex Community College. Supporting the retention and expansion of the Plenus Group in the City of Lowell also satisfies our Master Plan goals and objectives which state that "Lowell will maintain a diverse and robust economy with a variety of business development and employment opportunities located in healthy industrial centers and redeveloped commercial districts."

To learn more about the Plenus Group Inc. and why they choose to do business in Lowell, check out this video

Amazon in the Merrimack Valley?

The City of Lowell, Billerica, and Tewksbury, with support from Middlesex 3 Coalition, worked collaboratively on a regional proposal application for Amazon's second headquarters in North America.  The application is centered around Riverside Technology Park, which is a former Raytheon site.  The Billerica site is a 130 acre property off of Billerica Avenue and also includes Tewksbury and a small bit in Lowell.  The property bisects the commuter rail and is within minutes to major highways.

Rob Anderson, Billerica's Community Development Director, with assistance from Lowell's Economic Development Office and other community partners, turned in a 66 page application to Amazon earlier this month.  "My belief is we can be competitive," Rob Anderson says.  "We can attract the right talent, and we have the colleges and universities right here.  Being close to Boston gives us an advantage over some other cities that don't have that benefit,  We have a diverse community.  We have recreational and cultural amenities in the region.  We have a good story to tell."

Amazon is looking for a population center to be within 30 miles of the proposed site (Boston), major highways within two miles (Interstate 495 and also near Route 3 and I-93), access to an international airport within 45 minutes, and direct access to rail, train, and bus routes. 

The project could mean a $5 billion investment from Amazon that would bring as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs into the winning region. 

Fall Storefront Maintenance Tips

Summer has come and gone and it's time to prepare for the upcoming season.  In every business, regardless of the industry, cleanliness has a major impact on the customer experience.  Once a negative perception has been formed, it can be difficult to overcome - even if it's inaccurate. Follow these tips to help you make a good first impression with your storefront.
  • Remove stray leaves and branches daily to prevent debris accumulation during the fall season.
  • Clean all windows and doorways regularly to maintain a neat and attractive appearance
  • Refresh any chipping paint and exterior finishes.
  • Include inviting lighting to make the entire area feel more welcoming. Consider leaving some lights on throughout the night to increase safety and for continued store advertisement.
  • Prepare for the possibility of an early snowfall.
  • Double check to see if your smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire exits are functioning and up to code.


For any other concerns about your storefront, please use the "See Something - Say Something" as a reference guide. 

Economic Development Partners Spotlight:

Lowell's economic success depends on strong partnerships.  The City of Lowell's Economic Development Office is fortunate to work with some great local and regional organizations.  Together we offer a wide variety of services and assistance to Lowell businesses.

                                                         Laura Scarlett-Tavares
Associate Director, Interise
Could you talk a bit about your organization and the resources it provides to local businesses?
Interise is a national non-profit organization that operates in eighty U.S. cities, and Bermuda. Our mission is to revitalize low- to moderate-income communities through job creation and wealth generation, and foster community leadership by empowering owners to strengthen and grow their small businesses. We offer a six-week Streetwise 'MBA' program that covers financial education, sales and marketing, and human and financial resources. Businesses exit the program with a three-year Strategic Growth Plan and on average increase their sales by 40-50%.
Though our program is based in Boston, we want Lowell business owners to know that our resources are absolutely still available to them! Interise has had programs in Lowell in the past and hopefully we will be back with a Merrimack Valley-based program in the near future.
How long have you worked for Interise?
I have been working with Interise for the past seven years.
What business sectors do you work most closely with? 
We work with every industry, but most frequently the manufacturing, construction, and professional service sectors.

At what stage of business do your services come into play?
Interise focuses on second-stage growth companies in lower income communities.  These are companies that are past the start-up stage and are posed for the next stage of growth.  The businesses we work with must be at least three years old and make over$250,000 in gross annual revenue.
How does Interise partner with the Economic Development Office?
We have worked with the Economic Development Office since we first came to Lowell in 2009.  We've participated in events and panel discussions, and the Economic Development Office has referred many Lowell-based businesses to our program.  Additionally, small businesses participating in the small business retention program can utilize grant or loan funds for the StreetWise 'MBA' tuition.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working with the diverse array of business owners.  A lot of people talk about small business as the backbone of our economy - but what you don't hear often is how committed small business owners are to their employees and community.
For more information about Interise, please visit their website .

Welcome to Lowell!
JCW Title

JCW Title, located at 25 Hurd Street, specializes in Real Estate Conveyance. JCW Title works closely with buyers, sellers, and lenders to help achieve their individual real estate goals.  Click here for more information about JCW Title.

Warp & Weft
Warp and Weft, located at 197 Market Street celebrates the fabric of Lowell by offering fresh twists on traditional cuisine from across the world - international comfort food. It's the meals loved most when shared with family and friends, that have withstood the test of time and feel like home. Layered on top of this is craft brews, cocktails and wines to pair perfectly with the meals.

Community Teamwork Inc:
Financial Education Center & Merrimack Valley Small Business Center
Congratulations Community Teamwork, Inc. for the grand opening of the Financial Education Center and Merrimack Valley Small Business Center at their new home at 165 Merrimack Street!

The Resource Center staff are knowledgeable about programs and services available at Community Teamwork and across the region that can help you meet your immediate needs and achieve your goals for the future.

Stop by 165 Merrimack Street and check out the programs they offer or go to their website.

Upcoming Partner Events

Tuesday, November 7th - Foolproof Fundraising

Downtown Events
Ring in the holidays in Lowell and join us for City of Lights 2017!

Take the afternoon to stroll downtown Lowell streets and enjoy the fun, as we celebrate the season! From kids activities and live performances to holiday shopping, photos with Santa, AND the crowd favorite, the Annual Hot Chocolate Competition, City of Lights 2017 will make you feel merry.

The daytime fun leads to the nighttime extravaganza -- The City of Lights Parade and City Hall Lighting -- which marks the City's official start to the holiday season!  Click here to see the schedule of events.

Check out Like Lowell's calendar for many fun activities throughout the city.

Student Discounts

Schools are back in session and Downtown Lowell is once again filled with high school and college students.  If your business would like to offer student discounts, make sure students know about them.  Consider adding signage that welcomes students to your doors and promote sales on social media.  You can also  email the Economic Development Office and we'll help spread the word.
Click here to read full Lowell Sun article

Do you have news, announcements, or need assistance regarding your business?  Please email Lowell's Economic Development Office and we are happy to assist!

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