Chamber News

September 02, 2020 Likes Comments

Introducing the Newton-Needham Dining Collaborative


Newton-Needham Dining Collaborative
In May, the chamber invited a group of Needham and Newton restaurateurs to participate in a Zoom call to discuss the struggles facing their industry.
What began as a one-time meeting, soon became a weekly conversation. And that morphed into an agreement among some of the hardest working business men and women you’ll ever meet.
Their conclusion? That they’ll be stronger if they worked together.
That’s pretty remarkable, considering that these folks are also competitors at a time when restaurants are fighting for every customer in order to survive.
Over a series of meetings, they discussed the need to create an-ongoing, sustainable way to promote all of our local restaurants (not just those attending the meetings) and a way to connect with other merchants to keep our local economy strong.
They even gave themselves a name “The Newton-Needham Dining Collaborative.”
This week, the Newton-Needham Dining Collaborative is launching a new social media campaign, designed to encourage more dining, more often.
If you’re a restaurateur please email Tiffany Chen and she’ll send you a list of quick, simple and free ways you can participate.
And if you’re super active in social media circles and want to lend a hand helping our restaurants, contact Tiffany and she’ll let you know how you can help make our #KeepMakingMemories campaign viral.
As for the rest of us, our job is easy: Just get out there and eat!
Brookline mandates face shields for non-mask wearers
We’ve all seen the news reports about shoppers who refuse to wear face masks, including those who, not always credibly, claim to have a medical exemption.
Starting Monday, Brookline has a message for those medically exempt from wearing a face covering: Wear a plastic face shield instead.
“We want to alleviate the hazard on the retailers, but also provide another level of protection...just in case people were using it as an excuse,” Brookline Health Commissioner Dr. Swannie Jett tells NBC 10 Boston .
Mayor Ruthanne Fuller says Newton is not considering a similar measure at this time. I asked the same question in Needham and will let you know when I hear back.
Covidiots on the MBTA
And speaking of face coverings, here’s a sampling of troubling responses Colman M. Herman at Boston Magazine received when he asked MBTA employees on the Green Line why they weren’t masked up:
  • “ It’s none of your business. Leave me alone."
  • "Oh, I don’t know. A lot of passengers aren’t wearing them either. So what’s the use?"
  • “You ought to mind your own business. Report me if you want. You want the phone number to call?"
BTW, that phone number to call is 617-222-3200.
$300 unemployment bump coming
Expanded unemployment payments will land in the bank accounts of many jobless Massachusetts residents this month, the Globe reports.
Anyone eligible for a minimum of $100 in weekly unemployment benefits for the three weeks ended Aug. 1, Aug. 8, and Aug. 15 will get an additional $300 for each of those weeks. Many payments will arrive this week. All will be delivered by Sept. 15.
Massachusetts had the nation’s highest unemployment rate in July.
Any employer who concerned about any possible unemployment related fraud can report fraud concerns here.
Grant opportunities
  • Applications are now being accepted for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Innovation Challenge, an innovation pitch competition to identify and grow innovative solutions to help slow the spread of COVID-19.The program will culminate with a virtual pitch event and a $25,000 prize to help kick start the commercial development of their products or services. Applications are due Sept. 18.
  • The Foundation for MetroWest has a grant program designed to support arts and culture organizations that contribute to MetroWest’s vibrancy and economic strength. Grants up to $25,000 may be used for general operating, program specific or capacity building requests. Guidelines here. Applications due Oct. 2
  • Massachusetts’ Vacant Storefront Program helps municipalities drive local economic development by offering an incentive for businesses to occupy vacant ground floor storefront in downtowns or other commercial areas Learn more about this program here.
Answers to common questions about our 'Business People of Color' list
We’re getting lots of nominations but also some questions leading up Friday’s deadline for the 50 Most Influential Business People of Color in Greater Boston’s western suburbs list. Here’s a few answers:
How do I know if someone has already been nominated?
You can’t. But there’s no harm in having someone nominated more than once. In fact, multiple nominations will likely impress our judges, so don’t hesitate.
What if I don’t know a lot about my nominees’ career?
Share what you do know and what impresses you. Let the judges take it from there.
How do you define “most influential”?
That’s really in the eyes of the beholder. But even if your nominee has been a leader on a small team, your department, your small business, your nonprofit board, or your block, tell us why you think he or she is influential.
Do you allow self-nominations?
Will you be publishing the names of the people who submit nominations?
No. That information is there to help our judges. Your name will not be made public.
The deadline is this Friday, Sept. 4. Please reach out if you have other questions. Here’s the link to the nomination form.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
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