Chamber News

July 23, 2020 Likes Comments

Partnership to document and encourage a diverse workforce in western suburbs

Today we’re announcing that the chamber has formed a strategic partnership with Colette Phillips, and her companies Colette Phillips Communications and Get Konnected!, to celebrate, document and encourage a diverse workforce in our western suburban communities.

Phillips is widely recognized as one Greater Boston’s most extraordinary leaders and authorities on building and championing diversity, equity and inclusion through her networking, consulting and marketing efforts.
Four years ago, Phillips published the GK100; Boston’s first comprehensive list of the 100 Most Influential People of Color.
After that came the GK 50, Boston’s Most Influential People of Color in Healthcare and Life Sciences; the GK25, Boston’s 25 Most Influential Millennials of Color; the GK50 Attorneys, Boston’s 50 Most Influential Attorneys of Color and the GK25LGBTQ+ The 25 Most Influential LGBTQ+ People of Color.
Phillip’s GK lists of leaders have done wonders to shine the spotlight on those who contribute so much to our economic and cultural vitality but also to expose gaps.
They’ve become a resource for the media, corporations and nonprofits looking to hire, for board members, for expert commentators, for thought leaders and panelists.
And today we’re announcing that the chamber is partnering with Phillips to create a brand new GK list: The Newton-Needham MetroWest 50 Most Influential Business People of Color.
We see this as an opportunity to showcase the individuals and employers who are making a positive contribution to the economic and social fabric of our west suburban businesses and nonprofits.
We also want it to be a way to start a conversation about where we fall short and how we can do even better.
To qualify, nominees must work and/or sit on a board for a business or nonprofit that is physically located in Newton, Needham, Watertown, Waltham, Wellesley, Natick or Framingham. A seven-member committee, appointed by Get Konnected! and the chamber, will review all nominations and select the honorees.
Nominations will open next week. The final list will be published this fall.
There will also be a virtual event to celebrate the honorees and the region’s diversity. (If your company may be interested in partnering with us by sponsoring the 50 Influential People of Color in Greater Boston’s Western Suburbs list contact Lise Elcock.)
More details coming.
Needham offers some fee breaks
An update: The Needham Select Board agreed Tuesday to cut 2021 liquor license fees by 50 percent in “recognition of the significant disruption in the food service industry.” You can see the full breakdown on page 50 here.
And here’s something I missed when it happened back in April. Needham’s Board of Health gave Tim McDonald, the town’s director of Health and Human Services, discretion to reduce the permit fees for food service establishments if the COVID-19 pandemic is still impacting businesses. (I think we can agree on the answer to that.)
The permits run Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, so they have not been reduced yet. But it's likely that the food establishment permits will be reduced by 25 to 50 percent.
Baker feeling good about reopen strategy
More than two months after Massachusetts embarked on its gradual economic and social reopening plan, the rate of positive COVID-19 tests is lower than it was before pandemic-shuttered businesses first began stirring back to life, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday, according to State House News (paywall).
"We actually had a higher positive test rate two and a half months ago than we have today, which speaks not only to the strategic decision-making that went into developing and implementing that plan, but it also speaks in a very big way to the work that's continued to be done by the people in Massachusetts to do the things that we know are most successful in containing the virus and reducing the spread," Baker said.
Those strategies, Baker reiterated, include wearing face coverings, keeping distance from others and choosing to spend time outdoors instead of indoors when possible.
Baker said his administration is "currently doing a pretty deep dive on all of our test results from the past few weeks," [including reports of non-face mask wearing by some] and will "have more to say about it later this week."
Tripadvisor offloads brands
Back in the spring when Tripadvisor CEO Steve Kaufer announced layoffs, furloughs and other measures to offset a downturn in the travel business, he also announced plans to offload a series of eight brands focused on travel under the SmarterTravel umbrella. That buyer is travel startup Hopjump, based in Cambridge. The BBJ has details.
A few more things to share
  • The Department of Family and Medical Leave has released its final regulations governing the administration of the state’s Family and Medical Leave Program. The final regulations include important changes regarding intermittent leave, applicability of job protections to private plans, and the treatment of employees with multiple employers.
  • The Pioneer Institute will host a virtual policy briefing, "Hard-Hit Industries: Rebuilding Restaurants, Retail, and Travel & Hospitality” on Weds. July 29 at 3 p.m. featuring Mary Connaughton, the Institute’s Director of Government Transparency and Director of Finance and Administration. More Information
Where you can, where you can’t, eat
Oops. Yesterday’s email included the incorrect link to Eater Boston’s list Bay State restaurant closings. This link is better. also has a list. As does the Herald. And Hidden Boston.
But here’s the lists worth paying attention to: Local restaurants offering takeout and delivery. Local restaurants offering outdoor dining. All chamber member restaurants.
Wondering why this matters? Watch this.
Have a good day.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
Your chamber is here when you need us.


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