THE BEDFORD BANNER  
                                                                                                              February 2017
 
HAPPY NEW YEAR
 
I want to begin by sending wishes of health, happiness, and prosperity to all in both your personal and professional lives. Thank you for your contributions through your membership, sponsorship, donations, event hosting, and volunteerism. I ask you to consider what the Chamber can do for you and your business.  This is the year of empowerment of our members and our volunteers.  Your involvement with the Chamber is what you make of it; the possibilities are endless. The time is now to get involved, stand up and make a difference in our community.  We understand that with hard work, here you can be something; this is the place to build a business, this is the place to build a home. What we are working for, in the end, is each other.  Will you join us and continue the Chamber's legacy of empowering the business community?  The opportunities are endless.    

Let's use the momentum we have gathered over the past several years to make 2017 the best year yet.

My best to you,

Maureen Sullivan
Executive Director
In This Issue
New Board of Directors
Chamber Dinner
Dash
Unsung Hero Honored
Business Development Update
From the Chamber Offcie
What the Chamber did in December & JAnuary??
Chamber Connections
Chamber Calendar
Follow us on Facebook
New Board Announced for 2017
The Board of Directors welcome new members, Sheena Santos/Barrett Sotheby's International Realty, Ethan Wagner/Elite Freestyle Karate and Caitlin Campopiano /Middlesex Community College as of January, 2017/. Longtime board member SteveTaylor/SERVPRO of Lexington/Bedford will also move onto the Executive Board as the 2nd vice president. Click here for the entire board.
Chamber Dinner ~ A Big Success

Th e Chamber's Annual Dinner & Celebration was held on February 3rd at the Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel. With close to 100 Chamber members in attendance, it was an evening of fun and celebration. Guest Speaker Colonel Michael Sullivan gave an engaging and enthusiastic talk on leadership. He also is the Boston founder of the non profit Shoot Out for Soldiers.  
Chamber award winners were:
Business of the Year- Primrose School
Business Person of the Year - Pamela Brown
Diversity Award- Caroline Larson
Outstanding Service to the Chamber
Alyssa Sandovel
                            Ray of Hope- Cameron Shelmire
 Many thanks to our Premier Sponsor Cambridge Savings Bank and silver sponsor Bedford Florist. 

Adam Schwartz, Cameron Shelmire, Alyssa Sandoval, Caroline Larson,Curt & Rachel Van Emon, Pamela Brown, Maria Porto
DASH - Bedford's New Local Bus Service 
 Off to a Good Start

 
By Meredith McCulloch


Launched in mid-September, the first quarterly report on Bedford's new local door-to-door bus service - DASH -was presented to the Selectmen on December 19 by Carla Olson of Healthy Bedford. The report was positive.
"The service is growing at a steady pace and we are pleased to be able to help residents meet their transportation needs," Olson commented to
The Bedford Citizen. DASH is a dial-a-ride service that can be booked ahead weekdays from noon to 6 pm. The van accommodates wheelchairs.
Because the contract for DASH includes a dispatcher, information about ridership is solid. It is also easier to collect information about rider's needs. Due to multiple requests, stops in Lexington have been added. It should be noted that Bedford's original local bus service, the BLT (Bedford Local Transit) is still in operation and complements the DASH schedule. (See http://www.bedfordma.gov/council-on-aging/pages/bedford-local-transit)
During the first 2-1/2 months of service the rider statistics show that DASH is serving the population forecast as most in need of transportation options - the elderly and teenagers.  Selectman Margot Fleischman described the use, "It's exciting to see this project get up and running!  I'm particularly pleased by the level of detailed data on how the Dash is being used thus far. Ridership is particularly strong among seniors and youth, and while we thought that the demand would be there, it's still really gratifying to know that the Dash is meeting a need for these age groups, and that the people who most need it are beginning to discover how the service can help them."
The statistics show that passengers over 65 made up the largest group of riders (71) with riders under 19 years  (66) and in the 56-64 age category (67) close behind.
Many trips originate from the central "town campus," picking up at the Council on Aging, the high school, the middle school, and the public library.   Alison Cservenschi, Director of the Council on Aging commented, "Many seniors use the BLT in town for local shopping trips, hairdressers, local medical rides and more. The Dash adds additional locations including Emerson and Lahey that are frequented."
Cservenschi explained "We hope that more people will take advantage of this new service, especially in the winter as the snow sets in, and enjoy the benefits of door to door rides in and around town.  I would also like to see more seniors who use wheelchairs take advantage of the Dash.  Being home can be very isolating and lonely.  At the COA we have lots of programs available as well as socialization and meals.  The BLT can be the way to the COA in the morning and the Dash can be the ride home at the end of the day!"
Economic Development Coordinator Alyssa Sandoval saw the economic benefits, "From an economic development perspective, the Dash is another boost to the local economy by giving residents and employees easier access to local businesses and services."
In November a fixed lunchtime route service on Great Road was added. It runs on Fridays from 12 noon to 2 pm. The hope is that this service will reduce traffic by providing an option other than one passenger in one car on a crowded road.
To book a ride call 781-275-DASH (3274) Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 4 pm or use the Contact Us link at www.bedforddash.com.

 
Jessica Casserly honored at Hanscom
 
C h amb er member, Jessica Casserly was recently honored as an "unsung Hero" for her work on Hanscom Air Force Base.  She has seamlessly taken on the community engagem ent role for Hanscom Air Force Base. Her can-do attitude and pleasant demeanor has improved working relationships with our surrounding communities - a critical role that's often overlooked. She leads PA's efforts in this area, including engagements with industry titans and high-level state and government leaders. Working diligently behind the scenes, Jessica set smooth paths for interactions with our governor, many members of Congress and other community leaders. She also highlighted Hanscom/state partnerships through a number of feature articles that showcased collaboration. She vets potential oppor tunities for Airmen to participat e in community eve nts, ensuring our military members are consistently presented in the best light. More notably, she personally prepare d the base commander and other senior leaders for dozens of key community interactions, providing precise details and perceptive insights, ensuring that Hanscom always put its best foot forward. Because of this selfless, often-unseen dedication, Jessica Casserly is clearly the absolute epitome of an "Unsung Hero."  

Business Development Update
Review of Great Road Market Study Plan. 
Alyssa Sandovel provide a list of about 35 items as a result of the Study plan with the goal being to assign parties and dates to each item to ensure they get done. It was agreed that it was important to make businesses aware of the study. A brief discussion ensued and it was thought  awareness of the study can be increased by providing the study to Commercial Real Estate brokers in the surrounding areas. The second action item revolved around outdoor events. There are lots of events by different groups but there does not seem to be a lot of co-ordination between groups in terms of marketing and complementary planning.

A.
Pam to compile a list of Commercial Brokers and provide to Alyssa who will distribute.
1. Great Road Zoning Update 
"The Great Road consultants summed up their efforts to date identifying the study area, data gathering and interviews with several stakeholders. They're planning to meet with study author Peg Barringer to coordinate their efforts with the market research study so as not to duplicate efforts.The key take away from the consultants presentation is that we've scheduled a Comprehensive Plan-like, workshop for Saturday, March 4 from 10-1 in the Town Hall multi-purpose room. They are hoping to get the word out on many fronts. The planning board is looking for the Chamber to help spread the word. Planning Board would like get some local restaurants to donate food and businesses to perhaps donate coupons or some other item(s) that can be raffled.

2.
Bill and Alyssa provided additional details on the consultant presentation. We followed this with a long discussion on how residents have expressed a strong desire for smaller businesses. We talked about how some of the zoning and related barriers have made it difficult for small businesses to open. For example a special permit is required for Gooseneck Outdoor Lights. Most of the surrounding towns do not require a special permit for this but Bedford does. Since most of the special permits for Gooseneck Outdoor Lights are eventually approved, we seem to be asking businesses to jump through unnecessary hoops. Several other examples were also provided such as outdoor dining (which is highly sought after by residents). It was thought that the new zoning initiative is a good opportunity to address many of this issues and getting small businesses involvement in the process (i.e. steering committee) would be worthwhile.
A.
Alyssa to check with Bedford Planning Director Tony Fields about setting up a meeting with the Chamber to discuss the importance of businesses having a voice in this process and how to best accomplish this.
B. Adam to reach out to Chamber members to find several businesses that wish to be an advocate in this process. Bud has expressed interest but thought it would be worthwhile to have several people to ensure coverage. A couple of Chamber businesses were suggested including Bedford Farms, AFC and Quinstance.
D.
Pam to come up with a list of approximately ten zoning based recommendations that will make it easier for small businesses (ultimately less costly and more timely). From this it may be worthwhile to develop a white paper. Town residents want more small local businesses ... Here are ten simple changes Bedford can make to attract and keep them.

New Business Brochure 
The group is also working with the town to develop a brochure to help attract new businesses to Bedford by touting all the unique opportunities for retail and restaurants.  
The business development committee would love to get additional feedback from Chamber members. Please email schwartz@couponsurfer.com for more information.
 
From The Chamber Office
Boy Scout Troop 114 here in Bedford is in need of equipment storage space as well as meeting room space.  The troop has been located at the VA in Bedford for decades.  Currently they are undergoing expansion and can no longer host the troop.  Hence we are looking for space. 
 
Regarding equipment storage we currently occupy about a 1 car garage type of space.  Having space to store Boy Scout equipment is essential for the troop.  It would be beneficial to the troop if we could find a place in town to store the equipment either in an existing building or land where we could locate a storage container (Eagle is vendor that is typical in this area), dimensions of container are 8 feet wide by 20 feet long by 8.5 feet high.  We need to find space soon as I believe the VA needs the space in early January.
 
Regarding meeting space.  This is a place for the troop to meet  once a week, it has been on Tuesday evening from 7 to 8:30 PM.  The space is used for meetings, and teaching by demonstration (e.g. tying knots or how to set up a tent, etc.).
 
If your business can help out this toop, please contact Larry Murphy at
lawrencemurphy1@comcast.net
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
  We will be filming Chamber Connections on 2/22 and are still looking for one more business to interview. If you would like to promote your business on local cable, please call the office at 781-275-8503 
What the Chamber did in
December & January 
How many of these events did you attend ? 


2nd Annual Walk about   
 

Board of Directors 
  
Chamber Holiday Party
   
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  Ribbon Cuttings

Barre 3

AFC Urgent Care
Those are some BIG scissors! 
 
CHAMBER CONNECTIONS 

 
 
_________________________________________________________________
CHAMBER CALENDAR

February 2
Chamber Dinner & Celebration
Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel
Bedford, MA
6-9 PM


February 9

Multi Chamber Networking
Crowne Plaza
15 Middlesex Canal Park
Woburn, MA
5-7 PM
Click here to register

February 22
Chamber Cnnections Taping
Old Town Hall
South Road
Bedford, MA

March 4
Comprehensive Plan Great Road Workshop 
Multi Purpose Room
Town Hall
10-1
All welcome

March 15
Catch the Net
Chestnut Dental
41 North Road
Bedford, MA
5-7






 
Welcome Our New Chamber
 
49 Great Road
Bedford, MA
781-572-6781

Ryan Webster
77 4th Ave
Waltham, MA
781-808-6094


Membership renewals are now due 
 
2017 CHAMBER MEMBERS


AFC Urgent Care
Atlantic Capital
Baldwin Insurance
Barre 3
Baudanza Electric
Bedford Historical
Bedford Research Foundation
Bedford VA Research Corp
Brown & Brown, P.C.
Callahans Karate Studio
Carlton & Duran, CPAs
Chestnut Dental
Cil Cangiano
The Debbie Spencer Group
Doubletree Bedford Glen
DSA Publishing
Elite Freestyle Karate
EMD
Extend Barre Burlington
First Parish
Formulatrix
Fujifilm Microdiscs
Gorgeous.etal
Great Road Gallery & Framing
Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Harold Nichols Insurance Agency
Insperity
Leary Auto
Live Life Well
Middlesex Savings Bank
Metller Toledo
Middlesex Community College
Middlesex Savings Bank
New Engalnd Nurseries
North Road Chiropractic
Patriot Pediatrics
Quinstance
Red Heat Tavern
Salem Five
The Goddard School
The UPS Store

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