April 2017
By Lizzie Siebert
 Bedford residents voted to ban plastic bags, with a thickness of 2.5mils or less, by all business establishments. While this law does not have tax implications for Bedford residents, many residents questioned its economic implications.
On the other side of the plastic bag debate, residents commended the Finance Committee for stating that they did not wish for the Bedford government to regulate town businesses. Residents were also concerned that banning plastic bags would cause businesses to dispense paper instead, which has its own environmental impacts. Similarly, residents wondered if restricting the ban to plastics under 2.5mils would be enough, or if Bedford should instead encourage restricting all plastic bags. The plastic bag bylaw passed by a majority vote.
Bedford residents also voted to approve the zoning bylaw that regulates marijuana dispensaries. See:  
In This Issue
Women's Speed Networking
Keep More Profits in Your HOme Business
Business Spotlight
2017 Workplace Safety Summit
Multi-Chamber Networking Event
Business Development Update
What the Chamber did in March?
Who Wants to Be on TV?
Chamber Calendar
Follow us on Facebook
Women's Speed Networking
Cafe Escradrille
Date: April 26, 2017
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM EDT
Chamber Members ~ $15.00
Non- Chamber Members ~ $20.00

Join area business women for a fun, no pressure speed networking event. Bring plenty of business cards and plan to meet 20-30 new people.  When you arrive you'll be asked to fill out a short form with key facts about your business.  After some casual networking you'll join a table of 8 or 10 other business women and when the speed networking round starts you'll use those key points to introduce yourself and your business to the others at your table.  When the round is complete you'll move on to another table and introduce yourself to that group.   Each round will last approximately 15 minutes and there will be 3 rounds. There will be plenty of time for casual networking and socializing afterwards.

Cafe Escadrille will provide delicious complimentary appetizers and there will be a cash bar.  

Hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Bedford Chamber of Commerce, Lexington Chamber of Commerce, Winchester Chamber of Commerce and the Woburn Business Association.


Keep More Profits in Your Home Business

 5 Tips to Run Your Home Business on a Budget

Running a home business involves some financial investment; however, with savvy business management strategies, you can keep your expenses down and your profits up. Here are tips to running your home business on a budget.
1. Know what brings the most bang for your buck.
Many home based entrepreneurs don't track what's going on in their business. As a result, they waste time and money on that don't lead to results.
Saving on expenses in your home business requires that you know what expenditures are pulling their weight and which aren't. Are you running Facebook ads? Do you know if they're leading to sales? If you're not generating profit from your Facebook ads, it's time to stop running them.
Go through all your business expenses and determine which are giving you results and which aren't. For those that aren't producing, determine if you can tweak what you're doing to make them work better or eliminate them.
2. Use What You've Got.
I like to buy new office stuff as much as the next entrepreneur, but you're better off to "shop" at home for things you need before heading out to the office store. For example, do you really need a new bookcase or can you use one from another room in your home? This is especially true organizational items. Go through your home, attic and garage to find boxes, shelves and other items you can use instead of buying them.
You'll not only save money, but you'll keep from cluttering your home more.
3. Focus on publicity over advertising.
It doesn't hurt to use both publicity and advertising, but since publicity offers a bigger bang for your buck (it's free) and people are more likely to respond to a PR piece than an ad, you should put greater emphasis on publicity.  Don't just focus on news outlets. Podcasts, blogs and trade resources (i.e. association newsletters and trade magazines) need expert tips and story ideas as well.
4. Use free resources if it doesn't compromise professionalism.
Today, there are many great tools and resources you can use in your home business that are free and low cost. However, you need to weigh the "price" of free against your professional image. For example, free websites have more difficult domain names and often run third-party ads that can detract from your business. For that reason, spending the money on a domain and web hosting is recommended. However, you can use a service like MailChimp, which is free for the first 2000 subscribers, to start your newsletter. A service such as HootSuite offers free social media management and scheduling.  In fact, there are many ways tomarket your business for free.   
But marketing isn't the only area you can save.
If Microsoft products aren't required in your work, use free tools such as Open Office  or Google Docs. Create graphics using GIMP or the free resources through Canva or PicMonkey. There are ways to get tons of stuff free including furniture, financial software and more.
5. Borrow or barter. 
If you don't need an item forever, or if you can't afford a service, look into borrowing or bartering. You may have friends or family willing to lend you an extra phone or desk until your business is up and running. Or barter for help. For example, if you're a bookkeeper you can offer a graphic designer bookkeeping help in exchange for logo creation.

AFC URGENT CARE provides occupational health and workers' compensation services

Are you an employer in the Bedford or surrounding area and need a medical facility that can provide exceptional, efficient, cost-effective occupational health and workers' compensation services for your employees? AFC Urgent Care Bedford can fulfill these needs and much more.
AFC Urgent Care Bedford is a state-of-the-art emergency room alternative with full lab and x-ray services onsite. We can provide immediate care to an employee injured on the job, with little to no wait, at a fraction of the cost of the Emergency Room. Our board-certified physicians can treat most non-life-threatening injuries such as slip and fall accidents, cuts and lacerations, sprains and strains, chemical burns and exposure.
In addition, AFC Urgent Care Bedford can provide:
*Pre-Employment Physical Examinations
*Annual Physical Examinations
*DOT Physical Examinations
*Fit-for-Duty Examinations
*Regulatory and Compliance Examinations
*Employee Wellness Examinations
*Return-to-Work Evaluations
*Spirometry (Pulmonary Function Testing)
*Respirator Fit Testing
*X-Ray Services
*Drug Testing
*Lab Testing
*Immunizations and Vaccinations
*Travel Medicine
*Health and Wellness Education Programs
Additionally, AFC Urgent Care Bedford can treat your employees and their families for acute aches, pains, illness and injury that are non-work-related such as colds, viruses, infections, burns, sprains or strains. The health of your business depends on the health of your employees. At AFC Urgent Care, we'll get them back to health and back to work...quickly!
No referral or appointment is necessary at AFC Urgent Care Bedford walk in clinic, your emergency room alternative. We have board-certified ER physicians available to treat your employees every day of the year from 8am to 8pm. Let us take care of your employees and get them back on the right road to good health.
Questions for AFC Urgent Care? We are here to help! If you aren't feeling well, please stop by our location in Bedford at 154 Great Road. If you are an employer and wish to learn more about our occupational health and worker's compensation services, please contact our Business Development Manager, Shannon Connolly by phone: 781-430-8161 or email:

The 2017 Workplace Safety Summit

Multi-Chamber Networking Event
April 27
You're invited to MEET, GREET & NETWORK with over 200 member professionals from several local area Chambers. Please join us for an evening of delicious appetizers, beverages and remember to bring plenty of business cards. Tabletop space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for Chamber Members Only at no additional cost.
Register today and join us on Thursday, April 27 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 420 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA  
 Networking: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Chamber Members ~ $10.00
Non Chamber Members ~ $20.00 
There is no additional charge to members for use of the table space.
Cultural District & Business Development Update

The Cultural District Committee's primary group goals are 
o   Banners, youth art 
o   Community-wide utility box art program by local artists 
o   Commercial space - using windows, etc. to showcase public art 
o   Cultural and Arts Events 
o   Cultural Map 
o   Cultural District 
o   Wayfinding 
 The Committee will be outreaching to MCC on level of effort for lead organization, Town Center, to Sean Hagan at Bedford High school, to the Library Director, Richard Callaghan for interest level. 
Article will be written for Bedford Byline and Bedford Citizen on group and activities.  
MCC, Cultural District website for those of you who would like to find out more information on other districts, the process, and criteria for cultural district designation.

Next meeting is scheduled for May 24, 2017 at 9 am, Town Hall 2nd Floor.

Business Development Update

1.Bedford Swap N Drop - This event  is  scheduled for May 20 th from 11am-2pm (10:30am drop off) at Brown and Brown at 110 Great Road. Karen Kenney will check if the hard drives on donated laptop computers will be securely wiped.
 2. Key Bylaw/Zoning Based Recommendations - Pam Brown provided a second draft of 8 different recommended changes. The group then had a detailed discussion of each of these items as well as providing additional feedback. The discussion focused on making bylaw/zoning improvements to Illuminated Signs, Assisted Living Locations, Outdoor Dining, Movable Freestanding Signs, Incubator Space and Wetlands Protections. The consensus was that we should prioritize the list of changes and get feedback. There is an opportunity that several of the changes can be addressed by the Great Road Study Plan. A third draft to the group and then present at the next Chamber meeting on April 13 th
to garner feedback. The thought then would be to get it out to all Chamber members for additional feedback.
3. Great Road Market Study Plan. The last meeting was canceled due to weather. Bud Koor and Erin Sandler have joined the group. There was a brief discussion on the benefits of adding 1-2 additional Chamber members (ideally restaurant/retailers) to the Study Group and it was agreed that would be beneficial.  
What the Chamber did in
How many of these events did you attend ? 

 Board of Directors 

Doubletree Fire & Ice
  Town Meeting

We are so excited to offer our members another new FREE benefit!   We are partnering with o ur friends at Bedford TV to produce a monthly show called CHAMBER CONNECTIONS .  In addition to promoting our events/activities, Chamber members will be interviewed providing great exposure for their business. The show will be broadcast on Public channel and also through their website.  Contact the Chamber if you are interested in learning more.

Check out your fellow Chamber members

AFC Urgent Care

Chestnut Dental

The Learning Express Toys & Play



April 8

Pole Capping Intersections of The Great Road, Concord Road and North Road
10:30 AM

April 12
Board of Directors
Shawsheen Room
Town Center
7:30 AM

April 26
Crosby Drive Business Meeting
 Crosby Center
22 Crosby Drive, Bedford, MA
10:00 AM

April 26
Women's Speed Networking
Escradrille Cafe
26 Cambridge Street
Burlington, MA
5:30-7:30 PM
Click here to register

April 27
Multi-Chamber after Hours
Hilton Garden Inn
420 Totten Pond Road
Waltham, MA
5:30-7:30 PM
Click here to register

May 15
 Workplace Safety Event
By the Middlesex District Attorneys Office
Middlesex Community College
8:30AM-12:15 PM

May 30
Cambridge Savings Bank Sr Prom Stroll
Town Center
3:45 PM

May 31
Leadership Luncheon
It Pays to be Happy
Waxy O'Connors
Hartwell road
Lexington, MA
11:30AM-1:00 PM
Click here to register

Welcome to our Newest Members

 Josh Franklin
 Merrill Lynch
25 Burlington Mall Road
Suite 21
Burlington, MA


AFC Urgent Care
A Place for Words
Atlantic Capital
Baldwin Insurance
Barre 3
Barrett Sotheby's Realty
Baudanza Electric
Bedford Children's Center
Bedford Citizen
Bedford Family Connection
Bedford Farms
Bedford Florist
Bedford Funeral Home
Bedford Historical Society
Bedford Orthodontics
Bedford Research Foundation
Bedford VA Research Corp
Brown & Brown, P.C.
Callahans Karate Studio
Carlton Willard
Carlton & Duran, CPAs
Chestnut Dental
Christine Pinney Marketing
Cil Cangiano
Davidson Law
The Debbie Spencer Group
Doubletree Bedford Glen
DSA Publishing
Elite Freestyle Karate
Extend Barre Burlington
First Parish
Fujifilm Microdiscs
Great Road Gallery & Framing
Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Harold Nichols Insurance Agency
Heritage Springs
InConcert Web Design
Kimberley Bee Design
Learning Express & Play
Leary Auto
Lincoln Liquors
Live Life Well
Middlesex Savings Bank
Metller Toledo
Middlesex Community College
Middlesex Savings Bank
New England Nurseries
North Road Chiropractic
Patriot Pediatrics
Quality Database Design
Red Heat Tavern
Right at Home
Salem Five
The Goddard School
The UPS Store
The Well Effect
Waxy O'Connors