Harvard Square Business Association
Special Edition Newsletter
April 22, 2020

Dear Friends,

This year, the Harvard Square Business Association celebrates its 110 th year. I have been the Executive Director since April of 2006. These past fourteen years have been a fabulous whirlwind, full of excitement, hard work, assorted challenges and partnerships that were inspiring, unpredictable and until recently, always fun.  

It is hard to imagine that just 8 weeks ago, we were getting ready to welcome nearly a dozen new businesses including, Spyce, Foumami, Dig, Wachusett Brewery, Allbirds, Everlane, Topdrawer, Stoked Pizza, The Smoke House Restaurant, Source and our first recreational marijuana retail store. By the end of this year, we were expecting to have our first new building since the 1980’s and if all went as planned, the ground would have been broken for another new building on Church Street. 

Now, instead we are mourning the deaths of over 45,000 fellow Americans and praying for 830,000 men and women from across our country who have been infected with an insidious virus, while offering silent thoughts and prayers to our global friends; those who died and those impacted.

It is in that light, that we dedicate this newsletter to front line workers across the great nations of the world. From Cambridge Mass. to Cambridge England, from Boston to Beijing, we send our sincerest thanks and heartfelt  #lovefromharvardsquare to doctors, nurses, hospital staff, EMT’s, police, fire, and the millions of workers providing essential services that keep those of us sheltered at home comfortable and safe.  
As is known, Cambridge is a very special place – made so through the strong and reliable presence of students, faculty and administrators from Harvard University, MIT and Lesley University, as well as thousands of workers employed throughout the city, but particularly those working in bio, tech, pharma, research and development in Kendall Square. Collectively they represent every country in the world. Their absence is deeply missed. We miss hearing nearly every language under the sun, we miss seeing every imaginable ethnicity, hair color, style of clothing, and witnessing the daily rainbow that represents our shared humanity.    
For those of you who passed through Harvard Square, as residents, neighbors, students, workers or visitors, please know that we yearn for the recent past when we worked on your behalf to make the Square safe, clean, fun and welcoming.      

From advocating for the restoration of the Kiosk to installing Free Public Outside WiFi, from advancing the stewardship of the public space, to creating events that brought our community together, the HSBA has been a steady, reassuring and constant voice for its members, the Square, the greater Cambridge community and our global network of friends. 

As we began our 110 th year, there was so much to look forward to in 2020, from restoring the old to unveiling the new.  Our destiny is now changed. None of us know what the future holds, but please be assured of this -- the Square will continue to grow, change, evolve, and prosper with a natural churn that is expected and accepted, as constant as the change of seasons.

We humbly and steadfastly invite you to continue the journey with us as we cherish our past, embrace our present and envision a bright and prosperous future for our association, our members, for Harvard Square and people everywhere.

We send you all #lovefromharvardsquare      
Thank you and please take good care,

Denise Jillson
Executive Director
Harvard Square Business Association 
Harvard Square Cares
Acts of Kindness

In times of great adversity and crisis, history has shown that people rise to the occasion by engaging in acts of kindness, both big and small, to those most in need. 

Since the beginning of the crisis, Harvard Square Business Association members have selflessly stepped in to provide beverages, water, food and sweet treats to our front line workers, including doctors, nurses, EMT's, hospital workers, police, fire and social service agencies who are serving those in shelters and our homeless. 

Here are just a few examples of kindness and empathy that exemplify the generosity and community spirit of all our members. 

On behalf of the Harvard Square Business Association, we send our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to:

Amorino Gelato donated sweet treats to Y2Y Shelter.

Scott Diamond and Jacqueline Cebula from Anheuser-Busch donated 80 cases of Icelandic Water and energy drinks to the Cambridge Police. Anheuser has been a longtime supporter of the HSBA's MayFair and Oktoberfest.

Tommy Whelan and Alexis Erlandson from Bluestone Lane donated 20 cases of their cold brew coffee to the front line workers at Mt. Auburn Hospital.

Cabot’s Candy donated 45 lbs. of Chocolate Therapy truffles and Chocolate Moonshine Fudge bars to the First Church Shelter. 

Since early April, a group of students from CRLS, led by 11th grade student, Zoe Jean-Chronberg, has been bringing freshly baked desserts to the Y2Y Shelter. Each student takes turns preparing treats which are then picked up and delivered by Zoe. The following students took part in this act of kindness: Jinho, Nora, Sophie, Adlin, Natasha, Abby, Razan, Annelise, Ava, Lili, Zoe T., Zoe G. and Maddie.

Cambridge Savings Bank has been making weekly deliveries of cases of water and soft drinks to Harvard Square shelters since the outbreak began.

Steve Welch, owner of Oggi Gourmet, has donated freshly baked bread and cold cut meats to the Y2Y Shelter in Harvard Square. On a recent cold night, he made a delicious batch of homemade soup for the guests. But this is not unusual for Steve; nearly every night throughout the year, he supplies fresh hot pizza to the homeless in the Square. We are grateful for his generosity and boundless goodwill.    

Orinoco has been raising funds to purchase meals for front line workers. By donating directly to their program, you help them accomplish two wonderful things: Firstly, it brings gratitude, support, and love to our brave first-responders on the front line of COVID-19 and some of our most impacted neighbors. Secondly, it helps keep their staff fully employed. As a member of the World Central Kitchen network of helping restaurants, and with your support, Orinoco's aim is to provide over 500 meals per week. They continue to adapt and increase the number of programs and services they can support. When the crisis is over, all remaining funds will be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank. More information available here .
Bluestone Lane donates to
Mount Auburn Hospital
Cabot's Candy Truffles
Zoe Jean-Chronberg of CRLS

Amorino Gelato
Oggi Gourmet
CRLS Student Volunteers
Kindness and Activism are imprinted in the DNA of the HSBA.
These attributes are part of our legacy;
we are pleased to provide this historical perspective.

The Harvard Square Business Men’s Association was organized in April of 1910. The Association was formed to address the difficulties encountered by Harvard Square businessmen due to the subway construction. The open-cut construction employed by the subway contractors meant that dirt and clay were tracked throughout the square and into the stores. Of Course, street construction also impairs traffic flow, and Harvard Square businessmen faced a loss of business because of the congested conditions of the street. The dirt and congestion kept shoppers away from the square, and it also made “business as usual” a difficult prospect: it was hard to keep stores and merchandise clean, and it was also difficult to make deliveries promptly. In response to these difficult and changing conditions, the Harvard Square Business Men’s Association was formed. The Association hoped to help its members increase their business through an exchange of ideas and knowledge on “the science of doing business.

After the end of World War 1, the Business Association played the part of patriotic citizens by buying Liberty Bonds "contributing to the various funds and in other ways responding to the nation's call for help." Three members served in active duty with only two returning home.

Reduce size of rotunda to reduce traffic problems in the Square

New rotunda is finished in the Square

Traffic Signal Tower to go up in the Square

The Harvard Square Business Men’s Association began to take a greater interest in world affairs. This was perhaps due to their own frustration with their inability to resolve the parking and traffic problems in Harvard Square, but probably also due to the far-reaching effects of World War II. The monthly meeting attendance continued to be about seventy people, and they heard speeches such as “Canada’s Mechanized Army,” “The Russian Situation,” and “France 1942: Fighting and Resisting.”(41) The businessmen were up in arms over a “dimout” which was in force in 1942. The dimout was observed by the association and they were concerned that they were losing business because of the lack of uniform enforcement of the regulation. This decade also marked a period of charitable contributions to the Red Cross and the United War Fund Drives.(42)

Harvard Square collected funds to help battle tuberculosis.

The Association continued it's support of the Red Cross by encouraging members to raise funds to support their efforts.

Being 'good stewards of the outdoor space' has been a tenet of the Square since it's inception. This is exemplified in a story found in the archives during the 1980s construction of the MBTA. '''Care of the Square' is a slogan used to signify community spirit by planting trees and keeping the Square tidy. During construction on the MBTA, Harvard Square has become littered and unsightly. Now that surface improvements such as new plantings and sidewalks are beginning to change the appearance of the Square, the association is prepared to do its part to make Harvard Square more attractive."

Taking Care of Business: Reducing Theft in Harvard Square
The HSBA and Cambridge Police created a 23 page handbook on ways to combat theft in the Square. Topics included: fraudulent credit cards, collection notices, check writing and more.

As part of the Harvard Square Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, businesses showcased pink displays, touting pink desserts, and creating special pink drinks like Rialto’s “Raspberry Lemontini” or Noir’s “Femme Fatale,” which the bar described as a “passionately pink concoction.” Money raised went to funds for breast cancer awareness.

On December 2nd, 2007, the Harvard Square Business Association initiated the installation of three holiday trees in Winthrop Park.
The three little trees, purchased from our local Cambridge Boy Scout Troop, were lit during our tree lighting and Sparklefest kickoff event on December 2nd. The Harvard Square Business Association purchased over 50 gifts which were placed in weatherproof bags and tied with big red bows – the gifts included hats, scarves, gloves, and socks.

The HSBA encouraged people in need to help themselves to the items on the tree. This initiative was started up again in 2018 and continues to be a big success.

Go Green, Wear Green, Get Rewarded Initiative
The HSBA, in partnership with Green Streets Initiative, held a Green breakfast encouraging citizens to walk, bike or take public transportation.

Walk for Haiti
Walk for Haiti was sponsored by Partners In Health, a Boston based charity organization spearheaded by noted Harvard University professor and anthropologist, Dr. Paul Farmer. Partners In Health helped provide education and health care to the people of Haiti. Proceeds from the walk were disseminated to the construction and maintenance of schools, hospitals and shelters. In addition, funds help supply medicine, clean water and food programs and elevate the standard of living for Haitians.

Likes for Bikes: Celebrating Community Commitment to Eliminate Childhood Obesity
Specialized Bicycles’ “Likes for Bikes” campaign was launched in 2010 on Facebook. For every 1,000 people that “liked” the iamspecialized.com Facebook page, they donated one bike towards a CYCLE Kids program that was given to a Cambridge school.

Harvard Square Bake Sale for Japan
The HSBA and UpStairs on the Square raised funds by hosting a bake sale. All proceeds went to recovery efforts in Japan after the deadly earthquake and tsunami.

Harvard Square Helping Haiti
The Afya Foundation, in partnership the HSBA, collected and sent medical and humanitarian supplies to help displaced refugees living in tented cities in Haiti. 

Harvard Square Launched Creating Art to End Homelessness
Partnering with Youth On Fire, a drop in center for homeless youth in Harvard Square and a prevention program of the AIDS Action Committee, local artist and homelessness advocate Anthony Pira photographed Youth On Fire members who range in age from 18 to 24. This art installation explored the concept that “Youth are homeless for three reasons: home doesn’t exist, home isn’t safe, or home isn’t supportive.”

The theme of the installation was “It only takes one courageous person to make a difference.” The Outside In Project invited the public to enter into a dialogue about solutions to ending youth homelessness – both on site and on-line.

Harvard Square Businesses Use Leaf to Collect More than Spare Change for the Homeless
Leaf, creators of the world’s first tablet that is purpose-built for commerce, launched a partnership with the HSBA to support charities that aid the homeless in Harvard Square. People helped provide food, clothing, shelter and other services for the homeless in Harvard Square by making credit card donations at local businesses.

Harvard Square has invigorated its free outside Wi-Fi access
The HSBA launched a free public outside wireless network service to accommodate the Wi-Fi needs of millions of visitors to the Square each year. They announced that this launched a more robust system that will allowed for higher throughput.

Nepal Disaster Relief in Harvard Square
Eight businesses in the Square and the HSBA came together to raise much needed funds for relief efforts in Nepal after a devastating earthquake killed more than 9,000 people and injured more than 22,000.

Harvard Square Coat Drive to Benefit the Homeless
The HSBA coordinated an effort with CASPAR to raise funds and collect new and gently used winter coats for the city's most vulnerable.

James Gets a New Wheelchair
James Lappin is the well known and much loved “gent in the wheelchair encamped in front of the Cambridge Trust Company in Harvard Square.” James is an amputee and has a severe speech impediment. David Torres, who studied mathematics and physics at Harvard, noticed that James' wheelchair was in a state of disrepair. Thanks to George's fundraising campaign and support from the HSBA and member businesses, they were able to purchase James a new wheelchair.

Harvard Square Business Association Members Give Back On Earth Day
Volunteers spent hours cleaning and beautifying the Square, in celebration of Earth Day! Throughout the day, teams from 20 businesses removed stickers from lampposts, picked cigarette butts out from the brick crevices, cleaned & swept sidewalks and picked up trash. The association holds this event bi-annually.
Dear Friends,

We are so pleased to announce that Councillor Patty Nolan has submitted a council order that will stop the abuse of our local restaurants by delivery services .

Please read the policy order below so that you can fully understand the dilemma our restaurants are in, particularly now, but have been dealing with for the past couple of years. The current crisis has exacerbated the situation and we need to act now.

Here's how you can help!

Please email your support to the council as soon as possible and kindly cc me at   djillson@harvardsquare.com

City Council email list:
General email, seen by all council members CityCouncil@Cambridgema.gov

Mayor Siddiqui -  ssiddiqui@cambridgema.gov
Councillor Mallon -  amallon@cambridgema.gov
Councillor Carlone -  dcarlone@cambridgema.gov
Councillor McGovern -  mmcgovern@cambridgema.gov
Councillor Nolan -  pnolan@cambridgema.gov
Councillor Simmons -  dsimmons@cambridgema.gov
Councillor Sobrinho - Wheeler -  jsobrinhowheeler@cambridgema.gov
Councillor Toomey -  ttoomey@cambridgema.gov
Councillor Zondervan -  qzondervan@cambridgema.gov

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. This issue will be heard on Monday, April 27th.

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of the 100+ eateries in Harvard Square. 

Please take good care,
Denise Jillson
Executive Director
Harvard Square Business Association   

The City of Cambridge has long been dedicated to supporting locally owned or operated businesses and the character and diversity they bring to our city; and

The Governor’s Stay at Home Advisory on March 23rd declared that all restaurants may only be open for takeout and delivery in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19; and

Restricting restaurants to takeout and delivery has placed a sudden and severe financial strain on small businesses that already operate on thin margins under normal circumstances; and

Third party delivery services, with which local restaurants have very little bargaining power, charge restaurants commission fees of up to 30% of the revenue from any order placed on their application or website; and

Restaurants already struggling have experienced an increase in orders through delivery apps from a low percent of total sales (5%-20%) to as much as 80% of total sales, which leads to an inability to cover costs and multi-billion companies getting excess fees from small local businesses; and

Some recent promotions put on by third party delivery services lack transparency; including some advertised as supporting local business during the COVID-19 crisis, which are deceptive since the promotions  do not lower the fees  charged to the restaurant; and

San Francisco’s supplemental COVID-19  emergency declaration  capped fees for delivery apps to 15% and New York City lawmakers are proposing a cap of 10%; and

If immediate action is not taken, the City of Cambridge is in danger of losing the diverse range of its local restaurants to the COVID-19 crisis; now therefore be it

That the City Manager is requested to work with relevant departments to determine the feasibility of restricting third party delivery services from charging restaurants a fee per online order for use of its services that totals more than 10% of the purchase price of such online order; and further be it

That all delivery services be required to disclose how the dollars for each purchase is allocated, to ensure that consumers know where their money is going; and further be it

That any restriction would last at least through the duration of the “Stay at Home Advisory,” until restaurants are allowed to serve customers dining in their establishment at full capacity, at which point the cap of 10% will be reassessed.
The office is open, virtually, but fully staffed and available to help clients with all sorts of new and challenging situations. Many clients have called with issues re: their ability to either make rent payments or, as commercial owners, deal with non-payment of rent and pending mortgage payments; clients with medical tenants dealing with positive Covid-19 employees and dealing with questions of how to manage cleaning, building access, and the like. Zoning cases are temporarily on hold until the City comes up with a public process that can proceed online.

If you or anyone who may have legal needs, please do not hesitate to contact,  Sarah Rhatigan at Trilogy Law, LLC.
CARES Act Seminar for Business Owners
Presented by Tom Crowley of Edward Jones.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the
Families First Coronavirus Response Act contain important provisions to
help business owners cover critical operating costs and provide tax relief
as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Tom Crowley of Edward Jones invites you to join him for a CARES Act webinar that will examine various aspects of the act and how they may impact and assist you as a business owner.

This webinar will be offered twice - Monday, April 27th at 9am and again at noon.

Please email Tom at  tom.crowley@edwardjones.com  or call 617-491-1190 for a formal invitation.

We hope you'll be able to join us for this virtual event.
Support Your Favorite Harvard Square Businesses
The following is a list of Harvard Square businesses that are open and operating within the guidelines set forth by federal, state and local authorities. We recommend checking in with them to ensure their availability, as changes are inevitable.  

Among those restaurants, the following are providing malt and wine for off-premise consumption:

Additionally, the following businesses are open for your retail needs and operating within the guidelines set forth by federal, state and local authorities. We recommend checking in with them to ensure their availability, as changes are inevitable.  


The following businesses are open for online shopping:

Abodeon –  abodeon.com

African Gift Items –  africangiftitems.com

The Andover Shop – The Andover Shop is conducting sales online and orders via phone (617) 876-4900. theandovershop.com

Anime Zakka –   animezakka.com

Banana Samba –  amazon.com

The Big Skinny –  bigskinny.net

‘Bob Slate – To Go’ – is accessed by email to  NewBobSlate@gmail.com . In stock products are available for contact-less pickup from 12 -5 on Monday – Saturday, or via shipping by USPS Priority Mail. This is a unique opportunity to organize papers, or explore new ideas by journaling or reach out to loved ones from afar with a hand-written greeting card.

BoConcept –  boconcept.com

Broadway Marketplace –  broadwaymarketplace.com/shop-now

Bryn Mawr Bookstore –  abebooks.com

Cabot’s Candy –  cabotscandy.com

Cambridge Artists Cooperative – We at CAC are hoping everyone is staying safe & following the stay-at-home guidelines. While you are home we thought you might enjoy browsing our lovely handmade art & crafts.
For your added convenience we have added Gift Cards for use in our online shop. These cards are available in $25, $50, $75 & $100 denominations. When you purchase a Gift Card, it will be emailed to your recipient for use in our Online Shop –  cambridgeartistscoopshop.com

Cardullo’s –  cardullos.com

Crimson Corner – Free shipping for all orders $40 or higher.   crimsoncornerharvardsquare.com

CVS –  cvs.com

Esmeralda –  esmeraldastore.com

Fjallraven –  fjallraven.com

Follow the Honey –  followthehoney.com

Forty Winks –  shopfortywinks.com

The Gap –  gap.com

Good Vibrations –  goodvibes.com

Gym1 –  gym1.net

Grolier Poetry Bookshop –  grolierpoetrybookshop.org

Harvard Book Store –  bookshop.org

Harvard Cooperative Society –  store.thecoop.com

The Harvard Shop –  theharvardshop.com

The Hempest –  hempest.com

Hunt’s Photo & Video –  huntsphotoandvideo.com

Joie de Vivre –  joiedevivre.net

Leavitt & Peirce –  leavittandpeirce.com

Lush –  lushusa.com

Market Square Jewelers –  marketsquarejewelers.com

MBTAgifts –  mbtagifts.com

Mint Julep –  shopmintjulep.com

Moleskine –  us.moleskine.com

Motto –  mottoharvardsq.com

Newbury Comics –  newburycomics.com

Nomad –  nomadcambridge.com

Origins –  origins.com

Planet Records – We sell online through  Amazon.com  and 
Discogs.com  (a record collector’s site). Customers can access our offerings by going through our website  planet-records.com .

Ray-Ban –  Ray-Ban.com

Rebekah Brooks –  rebekahbrooks.com

Swiss Watchmaker –  swisswatchmakerharvardsq.com

When the crisis is over, our fervent hope and desire is that you and yours are safe and well, that businesses of every size, but particularly our small businesses, are made whole and that the economic vitality of business districts across our state, across our great nation, and across the world is completely restored.  
Harvard Square Business Association
Two Brattle Square, Mezzanine
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 491-3434