Chamber News

October 29, 2020 Likes Comments

We're losing another local favorite

The loss of any local business is hard. But this one really stings.

After seven years in Needham, Stacy Madison of Stacy’s Juicebar announced yesterday that she will be closing her much-loved shop on Nov. 25.
 
“I want to personally thank you for your patronage and friendship,” Madison wrote on Instagram. “It has truly been a remarkable experience creating memories that will last a lifetime. The Juicebar, as well as the team, have been my home away from home and will be missed dearly.
 
"We have been proud to provide a place where people can easily make healthy choices and feel we have achieved this goal. This is our true definition of success.”
 
A veteran of the health food industry since 1996, Madison was the founder of Stacy’s Pita Chip Company, which PepsiCo, Inc. acquired in 2006. (If you don’t know Madison's full story find time to listen to this segment from NPR’s “How I Built This.”)
 
After several years of traveling and working with other food companies, she opened the Juicebar on Highland Ave as a way “to focus on building something local.”
 
Madison also became a mentor to other food entrepreneurs and start-ups; always willing to share her story and the hard lessons she’s learned (really, listen), as she did at a chamber event back in January,
 
Her decision to close the Juicebar just goes to show how fragile things are right now and how important it is to rally in support of even those businesses that we might think are doing okay these days. (Big tips help too!)
 
“We look forward to supporting our neighboring small businesses during this difficult winter season,” Madison added in her goodbye post, noting that she plans to continue to develop her line of BeBold Energy Bars.
 
We knew this was coming
 
Germany and France are returning to lockdowns.
 
Connecticut, New York and New Jersey would rather we stay away.
 
In Rhode Island -- where hospitalizations are 100 percent higher than last month --Gov. Gina Raimondo will announce new restrictions Friday, the Globe reports.
 
“I’m looking at everything: more restrictions on workplaces, reducing the social gathering limit from 15 to a lower number,” Raimondo said. “Everything is on the table as we try to evaluate the best, more targeted things we can do to get Rhode Island in a better place.”
 
Raimondo said contact tracing shows that the virus is spreading because of casual gatherings where people take off their face masks.
 
“If we are doing what we are supposed to do, when we call, your contact list should be a pretty short list. But the truth is we are calling people and they are telling us they have 50 close contacts. No one should have 50 close contacts right now.”
 
Gov. Charlie Baker has repeatedly said informal gatherings are the primary source of spread in Massachusetts too. “We’re playing a really different game [managing COVID] at this point than we were playing in the spring," he said yesterday
 
“The biggest thing that’s different is we know a lot more about where cases are coming from, and we have way more testing capacity, tracing capacity, and knowledge and understanding about the virus than we had then. We also have rules for basically every employer that’s open -- which we didn’t have -- about how to operate safely.”
 
As I wrote yesterday, if we ultimately need to pull back on the economy here, the state should release the data that supports doing so.
 
Many of our small businesses and nonprofits won’t survive a second shut down. Any pull back must be dictated by science.
 
More on those Galen Street labs
 
The BBJ’s Catherine Carlock has some added details about the Boston Development project I wrote about earlier this month for a proposed a 450,000-square-foot life-science campus on the Watertown-Newton Line.
 
Boston Development Group expects to break ground on the project’s first phase, a 200,000-square-foot office and lab at 66 Galen Street with surrounding green space, sometime next year.
 
The Newton Centre-based developer would build the facility without a tenant. The second phase will depend on market conditions.
 
“You have to build on spec in the life-science world,” Bob Doherty, VP of leasing for Boston Development told Carlock. “No life-science tenant will commit that far in advance. They’ve got to see the steel going up, they’ve got to know there’s an end game. It’s just the nature of the beast.”
 
Today’s helpful bullet points
  • The Mass. Office of Travel & Tourism will host a 90-minute virtual workshop on the My Local MA campaign on Monday (Nov. 2) 10 a.m. The workshop will provide an overview of the statewide campaign, and provide examples for local involvement using toolkit materials. Register here.
  • Bruce Johnstone a senior marketing investment strategist with Fidelity Investments will be talking about the current state of economies around the globe, with a focus on prospects for US corporate profit growth at a Needham History Center day-after-the-election event on a Weds, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. Details here.
Ouch, 108 fraud cases just in Needham
 
COVID-19 isn’t the only thing surging in Massachusetts. Unemployment fraud, a big problem back in July, is also on the rise.
 
A review of Needham police logs by 25Fox News found at least 108 people reported unemployment fraud since the end of September.
 
But the problem extends well beyond Needham, with reports of unemployment fraud in at least 23 communities in the greater Boston.
 
If you believe someone has applied for unemployment benefits using your personal information, use the state’s secure fraud reporting form or call (877) 626-6800. More information here
 
And here’s specific information for employers regarding handling fraudulent claims.
 
They're just a bunch of hills again
 
It’s official. Heartbreak Hill won’t be breaking any hearts this April. The Boston Athletic Association won’t be holding the Boston Marathon this Patriots Day. It hopes to reschedule the race for later in 2021, possibly in the fall. (Boston Globe)
 
Actually, sometimes Plexiglas is 'the answer'
 
In a year when the unimaginable has become every day, is it surprising that plexiglass has become political?
 
But for those businesses in need, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections is offering plexiglass and sneeze guards and other products manufactured at MCI-Shirley. If interested, call Steve Cristol at774-235-5099 at MassCor Industries. Delivery is free.
 
Employers: Please find ten minutes for this
 
The chamber is joining in an effort with the state to collect information from employers on their employees’ childcare needs. Please take ten minutes today to complete this survey. The results will help inform the business community, general public, and policymakers about the views, interests, and needs of the community at this critical moment.
 
This Budd’s for us!
 
Finally, let's say how great it is that Justice Kimberly Budd has been nominated to serve as the next chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court.
 
Budd would become the first black woman to lead the court in its 328-year history, and only the second black chief justice. She is the third African American to serve as a justice on the SJC. At 54, she would also be the state’s youngest chief justice in 150 years.
 
And she lives and raised her family in Newton.
 
Okay, more tomorrow.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
617-244-1688
Your chamber is here when you need us.
Dine out. Take out. Shop locally. And tip generously.

 

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