The March Current
Farewell Message, Chamber News, Member Spotlight, Happenings & Events
Farewell Message from President Pam Staneski
To the membership of the Best Darn Chamber in the state of CT;
I am honored to have had the opportunity these past two years to have worked with a forward-thinking board of directors that understands the role that the chamber plays in the community’s growth and economic development. They have been instrumental in ensuring this chamber is on the right path and I am confident they will continue the momentum that we have all built together; supporting businesses through connectivity, resources, education, and advocacy.
The vitality of our chamber lies in its members and the Milford Regional Chamber is home to the best group of members who contribute significantly to the vibrancy, health, and cohesive spirit that our community enjoys. I ask that you remember that and buy local because these businesses are the ones giving back to our schools for prom, for baseball programs, and supporting things that need funding.

It has been a tremendous honor to work with such a phenomenal community, board of directors, and chamber membership over the past two years. In reflecting on the time that we have spent together, I am most struck by all that I have learned from each of you. Whether it be at general meetings, or conversations in passing, each of you have taught me a little something. As I finish my last few weeks, I am reminded of a Dr. Seuss quote, "don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened." Many thanks to the board and entire membership for their support. I have enjoyed every moment with this Chamber and am certain that the search committee will find the perfect person to lead the Chamber. Those interested in the position can send their resume to the Chamber at apply@milfordct.com.
 
Fondly,
Pam
Chamber News
Two-week Window Exclusively for “Mom and Pop” Businesses to Apply for PPP

The White House announced targeted changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide minority-owned businesses, “mom-and-pop” businesses, and very small nonprofits with access to the support they need.
 
Businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees will have a two-week exclusive window to apply for PPP loans starting Wednesday, February 24. This period of exclusivity will give lenders and community partners more time to work with the smallest businesses to submit their applications and ensure these organizations are prioritized.
 
Other changes include:
·    Self-employed and sole proprietors can now use gross income (versus net income) to calculate the PPP loan amount, increasing potential loan size.
·    Business owners behind on their federal student loan payments are now eligible for PPP loan forgiveness.
·    Clarification that non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents can use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP
·    Small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions are no longer excluded from applying for PPP loans.
 
Click here to read the announcement and learn more about the steps that are being taken to promote equitable access to this important program. The SBA website also includes tools to help you get matched with a lender or find lenders in your area.
 
I encourage you to act quickly. Unless the federal government extends the deadline, the PPP will expire on March 31, 2021.
Recorded (Must See) Small Business Webinars Just For You!
What's New with PPP and Other Relief Options for Small Businesses
Recorded January 21, 2021. After months of waiting for much-needed relief, small businesses are finally getting renewed support from the federal government. Watch Now.
Disaster Preparedness for Small Businesses

Recorded December 29, 2020. It’s not a question of if, but when the next disaster will strike. Is your business prepared for the next major disaster event? Watch Now.
The 5 Step Marketing Strategy During a Pandemic
Recorded December 8, 2020. If you're still using last quarter's marketing plan, you may be missing opportunities to reach your current customer base. Watch Now.
Cheers to 100 years!
Arciuolo's Shoes is turning 100 years old and they are celebrating by giving away a $100 gift card to a local business each month for the entire year! While every Arciuolo's customer is automatically entered to win, if you've never shopped at Arciuolo's now is certainly the time to do so!

You can even shop from the comfort of your home! Arciuolo's is now selling shoes online!

Check out their site at www.arciuolos.com.
Member Spotlight: Business Owner Frank Colacurcio Jr. of Driveway Sealing Call Frank
How many years have you been in business? 

I've been in business 23 years.

What is a typical day like for you? 

A typical day for me starts with a morning huddle with the crew, then estimates as well as project managing.My day finishes off scheduling jobs for the next day. 
 
What motivates you? 

Making customers driveways and parking lots look beautiful and functional motivates me.
 
Why are you a Chamber member? 

I joined the chamber 2 years ago and it's been nothing short of amazing with connections I've made as well as friendships that have developed. I also think it's important to feel a sense of community.
What is an interesting fact about your business most people do not know? 

Interesting fact about my business is we are a full service asphalt maintenance company. we are able to replace driveways as well as seal them. Parking lots we can build new or repair and seal and stripe. 
Do you have any advice for business owners? 

My advice to new businesses is to keep your brand simple and direct.

 
When you are not working, how do you like to spend your time? 

I'm an avid fisherman as well as a classic car collector/enthusiast. I also love to spend time with my family and have 3 beautiful girls as well as a beautiful wife of 26 years married.
The Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Our New Member:
1590 Boston Post Rd, Milford, CT 06460
(770) 821-1900
Opening in April
Member Happenings & Events
Join us for our first Wellness Wednesday Webinar: Staying Active in the Winter
Mark your Calendars for our next Wellness Wednesday Webinar:
Topic: Drazen Rubin Present Estate Planning for Business Owners

Wednesday, March 10, at 12:00PM
Food For Thought
25 Ways to Become a Fun Business

Do you want to appeal to a younger demographic? Want to get people talking about you? Maybe you want to attract an ultra-cool influencer or celebrity customer? If you do, rebranding and becoming a “fun” company may be just the way to get more attention.

Why are we suggesting “fun”? With Gen Y being the largest generation in the U.S. in 2019, with an estimated population of 72.1 million, they have strong purchasing power. They also enjoy experiences and tend to tell others about products and businesses they like.

If you want more customers, becoming a “fun” business with an identifiable tone and brand, can help you build a loyal audience that enjoys talking about you.
How to Become More "Fun" in Your Business

1. Clearly communicate business goals and desired content tone to your employees. Then give them a little leeway to post, share, like, and comment on social media. Point out examples of posts and comments you love so they know what voice you want for your business.
2. Host contests on social media.
3. Share posts and images that aren’t all business. In fact, your goal should be getting to know your audience not bragging about yourself.
4. Rewrite your web copy in your new company voice.
5. Invite people to post on your page.
6. Create a Facebook group around your product or service. Make it a fun escape not a group to brag about yourself.
7. Do more video. Help customers get to know people at your business.
8. Showcase fun things about your most loyal customers.
9. Encourage people to share creative uses for your product.
10. Host a challenge or other form of experiential marketing.
11. Create spotlights of your employees featuring “fun” facts very few people know about them.
12. Invite people to decorate their desks in a manner that reflects their personalities or (while we’re all at home) ask your employees to record a quick video walkthrough of their at-home workspace.
13. Start a club at work for people who like the same hobby or form of exercise.
14. Record some of your online staff meeting, like the beginning icebreaker and add the video to your website.
15. Share your favorite things on social media or on a blog post; create fun posts like “10 Things I Can’t Live Without.”
16. Record a song parody that fits your job or industry.
17. Make a JibJab video and share it in your company newsletter.
18. Create a bloopers reel of flubs on video.
19. Create a video about funny things that only people in your industry or state could understand.
20. Ask employees to record a video of a little known/weird skill they have. Show them doing it.  
21. Celebrate all those zany “National” holidays like “Talk Like a Pirate” Day. Make videos of how your company is celebrating.
22. Bring a really old item into your business and record your employees guessing what it is.
23. Allow employees to bring their pets to work.
24. Celebrate small wins and big wins. Post your video celebrations so others can partake in your joy.
25. Rename your job titles to speak to the end goals like “engagement officer” for your social media person.
Culture can make a big difference in getting referrals, more engagement, new hires, more customers, and creating a loyal employee base. Some of these ideas may seem a little too much for your business. But know that whatever you decide is right for your business and industry, the point behind this exercise is to let your customers and potential customers get to know you better. After all, customers buy from those they know, like, and trust.
Milford Regional Chamber of Commerce | (203) 878-0681 | www.milfordct.com