Happy #BankLocal Month!

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Dear Cambridge Local First Members and Friends,

LOCAL is BIG!

As a result of the national movement, the word LOCAL has become one of the best ways to attract customer attention and promote almost any business. We are all seeing it everywhere.

Cambridge Local First is celebrating its eleventh year of encouraging residents to patronize locally owned businesses and we continue to promote its many benefits for the owners, the residents, and the community. However, we all sometimes forget the extraordinary benefits of banking locally. Cambridge is fortunate to have several outstanding local banks. They are located close to our homes and businesses and they can absolutely do everything the big national and multinational banks can.

Why not keep the money in Cambridge where it can be used to improve our local economy? Here are four solid and practical reasons why you should Move Your Money to our local banks and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same:

  1. Receive the same services at a lower cost!
    Most locally owned banks offer the same array of services, from online bill paying to debit and credit cards, and often at much lower cost than big banks.
  2. Put your money to work growing our local economy.
    Small businesses create the majority of new jobs and depend heavily on local banks for financing. Small and mid-sized banks control less than one-quarter of all bank assets, yet they account for more than half of small business lending.
  3. Keep decision-making local.
    At local banks loan approvals and other key decisions are made by people who live in the community, have face-to-face relationships with their customers, and understand local needs. Because of this personal knowledge, local banks are often able to approve small business and other loans that big banks would reject.
  4. Support businesses that share a commitment to our Cambridge community.
    The fortunes of local banks are intimately tied to the fortunes of their local communities. The more the community prospers, the more the local banks benefits. This is why local banks are so supportive of Cambridge nonprofits in general and Cambridge Local First in particular!

Locally yours,
Rachael Solem and Frank Kramer, Co-Chairs of Cambridge Local First


 

CLF Member Banks
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Eastern Bank-ThumbnailNCC-Thumbnail EBSB - ThumbnailLeader Bank -Thumbnail Naveo -Thumbnail

 

Maximizing your Restaurant’s Food Purchasing: A Business Seminar

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Managing the cost of food and operations can be a challenge for any restaurant. But understanding food cost can maximize restaurant profitability. This seminar will explore topics such as lowering food and operational costs, maximizing profits, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Join us on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 9-11 AM at Cambridge Savings Bank in Harvard Square, 14 John F. Kennedy St. Light refreshments will be provided.

Gary Boudreau is the Principal of Bluefin Consultants, a Food Safety Consulting company. Bluefin Consultants provides ServSafe® courses and consultation for any foodservice establishment in operations, safety, purchasing, menu management and analysis. Gary has over 26 years of food service sales and management experience with the 2 largest Broad Liners in the nation, US Food and Sysco. He brings a unique look and perspective into how and why you purchase your goods to run your operation.

RSVP Today!

Tickets are $20 for members and $35 for non members

Sample great local Beer, Coffee, and Honey at LocalBuzz!

Cambridge Local First (CLF) is having a tasting to showcase buzzworthy treats from local and independent Cambridge businesses.

LocalBuzz will take place on Wednesday March 30, 2016 in the Venture Cafe of Cambridge Innovation Center at 1 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02142 from 5:00-8:00 pm. Come and taste different local Cambridge treats that will give you a buzz. Samples will include beer, coffee, chocolate, and honey. The first 150 guests will receive a free gift bag. Entry is free but RSVP is necessary. Guests must show ID at the door. This event is proudly sponsored by CLF members New Leaf Legal, Cambridge Spirits, and Revolution Capital.

Founded in 2005, Cambridge Local First is a non-profit network whose mission is to build a strong Cambridge economy and a vibrant community. Cambridge Local First advances this mission with several campaigns throughout the year including the annual business directory, the CLF Community Card, events, business improvement seminars, and educational materials on the benefits of choosing local first.

RSVP TODAY!

Raffle Prizes Sought for FOCRLS Fundraiser plus an update on the 100×100 Program

Raffle Prizes Sought for Fundraiser to Support CRLS Students

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The Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (FoCRLS) MayFair Raffle has become an annual tradition, and thanks to the enthusiastic support of Cambridge businesses – many of them members of Cambridge Local First – who have provided a wide array of gift cards and certificates, last year the raffle raised over $8,000!
If your business would like to donate a gift certificate or gift card as a prize for the FoCRLS raffle, please contact us at info@focrls.org or 857-235-9290 to arrange for one of our volunteers to pick it up, or you can mail it directly to FoCRLS, P.O. Box 39-1541, Cambridge, MA 02139.
Raffle tickets will be sold in April at various venues and online and at the May 1st Harvard Square MayFair. FoCRLS actively publicizes the business raffle prize donors before, during, and after the raffle, including on focrls.org, on raffle table signs, in emails, and in the nonprofit association’s Annual Report.

Proceeds of this raffle and all FoCRLS fundraising enhance the academic and social development of Cambridge’s public high school students through Student Travel Fellowships, Faculty Innovation Grants, Unsung Heroes, It Takes a Village College Success Program, Faculty Distinction Awards, and Scholarships for further education. For more information about Friends of CRLS, please visit focrls.org.
Thanks in advance to the members of CLF for your support of Cambridge Rindge and Latin students!


Friends of CRLS Reaches First Annual Goal  of $10,000 for the “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community Scholarships!

Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (FoCRLS) is thrilled to announce that their nonprofit association has reached the first annual  “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community Scholarship Fund goal by raising $10,000 before the end of 2015 to award to members of the CRLS Class of 2016.  The Class of 2016 “100 by 100” Scholarships were made possible by the generosity and community spirit of the Founding Donors, many of whom are members of Cambridge Local First, are listed below.

The Cambridge Chronicle & Tab recently featured the success of the “100 by 100” with a photo taken at CLF business Broadway Marketplace and an article.

This community partnership has both immediate and long-term benefits to the local economy by highlighting the commitment of local businesses to the success of CRLS students, and by providing students with educational funds that reward commitment and achievement and help to reduce the burden of debt.

Starting with the CRLS Class of 2016, scholarships from the fund will be awarded to graduating seniors aspiring to higher education in the five STEAM fields:  science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. Applicants submit personal essays, evidence of progressive engagement in the STEAM disciplines, and family income information.

“The outpouring of support from the business community is energizing,” said Elaine Schear, FoCRLS’s Executive Director. “Business leaders are showing us that they care deeply about the future of CRLS students. This is a meaningful and forward-looking community partnership, a win for all.”

Founding Donors have not only given generously but have openly embraced the opportunity to invest in the future of Cambridge.  Read what they say:

We all know the challenges facing parents and students planning for college. It truly takes a village to help our students achieve their potential, and it’s great to be a part of a business community that wants to make a difference. CRLS students and families give back every day by supporting local businesses, and the “100 by 100” initiative is the perfect opportunity to say thank you. 

– Charlie Bougas, President
Broadway Marketplace

The smartest investment a Cambridge business can make is in our up and coming workforce and leaders.  Donating to the “100 by 100” will make all our futures brighter.

– Paul Lee, Owner
Hong Kong Restaurant

We are pleased to be able to support our local scholars, wherever their academic pursuits take them and hope they return to Our Fair City to share their successes with all of us!

– Rachel Solem, Owner & General Manager
Irving House at Harvard and Harding House

Both my partner Alex Slive and I are alumni of the former Cambridge High and Latin School. The high school in Cambridge helped to form us and give us the tools to establish a business here in our home town. We believe that the FOCRLS “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community Scholarship Initiative will help current students re-invest in their community.

– Doug Hanna, Partner
S+H Construction

We are continually inspired by the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that exists here in Cambridge.  The “100 by 100” program dovetails beautifully with Marriott’s core commitment to training and educating the next generation.  We’re grateful to Cambridge Rindge and Latin School for opening this channel to support our vibrant community and its future leaders.

– Alan Smith, General Manager
Boston Marriott Cambridge
“100 by 100” Founding Donors  
   

Silver Donor Circle
(Over $1,000)

The Barrett Family
Fitzgerald Donor Circle
($500 – $1,000)

Austin Architects
Broadway Marketplace
Cambridge Innovation Center
Chestnut Hill Realty
Grendel’s Den Restaurant and Bar
Irving House and Harding House
Marc Truant & Associates
S+H Construction, Inc.
Trademark Tours
Falcon Donor Circle
($250 – $499)

Boston Marriott Cambridge
Cambridge Auto Center
Cambridge Trust Company
Dickson Bros. Hardware Co.
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty
Hong Kong Restaurant
Longleaf Lumber
M. F. Keane Contracting
Newbury Comics
Nine Athens
Porter Square Books
Sheraton Commander Hotel
Rindge Donor Circle
($100 – $249)

Arams #2 House of Pizza
ARC / Architectural Resources Cambridge
Bagelsaurus
Barrell Plumbing & Heating Co.
Beat Brasserie
Black Ink Gifts
Bonny’s Garden Center
Broadway Bicycle School
Cambridge Bicycle
Cambridge Printing Company
Carlone & Associates Architecture and Urban Design
Charles Hotel
Club Passim
Courthouse Seafood
Crema Cafe
Custom Eyes
Daedalus Restaurant
Didriks
Fleming Printing Company
Formaggio Kitchen
Forty Winks Lingerie
Four Burgers
Gnomon Copy
Harvard Book Store
Harvard Square Business Association
Klibaner & Sabino Law Offices
Local Root
Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub
Noble, Wickersham & Heart LLP Law
OPositive Coaching & HR Services, LLC
Pann Home Services & Remodeling
Petsi Pies
RV Print Solutions
Susanna Women’s Clothing
TAGS Hardware
Tayrona Jewelry and Gifts
Trinity Property Management, Inc.
University Stationery Company
Zoe’s Restaurant

 

To contribute online to the “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community Scholarship Fund for the Class of 2017, please visit focrls.org/100by100.  To contribute by mail, please write “100 by 100” on the memo line, include your name and email address and your business’s name, and send to:  Friends of CRLS, P.O. Box 391541, Cambridge MA 02139.

To volunteer with FoCRLS on the “100 by 100” Cambridge Business Community Scholarship Initiative, please email info@focrls.org.  Please indicate if you would be able to reach out to businesses, work on media and communications, assist with mailings, and/or help with events.

To learn more about Friends of CRLS’s six programs, get involved with fundraising or events, become a career mentor for a CRLS alum, or make a donation, please visit focrls.org, email info@focrls.org, or call 857-235-9290.

 

This article is a guest post by CLF Member FOCRLS, views expressed in this article as entirely that of FOCRLS, and may or may not reflect the views of CLF. 

Free Tax Prep Office Hours

Are you prepared for the stress that tax season brings? The City of Cambridge is partnering with Cambridge Local First (CLF) to help ease your tax worries!

On February 23, 2016 you can meet with a professional tax and accounting consultant for free. These tax prep office will take place at 344 Broadway, in the 2nd floor conference room from 3-5 PM. The appointments will be free of charge and confidential. But these sessions are limited in quantity and are first come first serve, so book now! Schedule your free half-hour appointment before they run out!

The tax professionals include CLF members Alamir Hajiani of Hajiani CPA and Carole Bellew from Bookkeeping Plus More.

REGISTER TODAY

Book your appointment before they're gone!

Plastic Bag Ban: Q&A Session

With the plastic bag ban fast approaching and a $300 daily fine for violations, it is important that businesses have a plan in place. Many local retailers are still unsure about sales tax and exemptions, and some restaurants still do not know how this law applies to them.

Get answers to these questions and many more at a joint Q&A session with city officials. We will discuss what you need to do to stay compliant, as well as how you can file for extensions and exemptions. We will also have a list of compliant vendors for attendees. 

The Q&A will take place at the Lombardi Building, 831 Massachusetts Ave, Basement Conference room on January 20 from 10-11AM. This is a FREE event, however, space is limited so reservations are required.

Register Today

This is a FREE event, however, space is limited so reservations are required.

CLF bids farewell to Board Member Gerry Wolf

Cambridge Local First was founded ten years ago by a small group of local and independent business owners who were passionate in their belief that our businesses are in large part responsible for giving Cambridge its character, uniqueness and economic strength. Although most of our founding members remain on our Board, a few of them have either retired, sold their businesses to new local owners or found it necessary to move on for personal reasons.

So it is with some sadness and significant gratitude that we must bid farewell to Gerry Wolf, founder and former owner of  the 1369 Coffee Houses in Inman and Central Squares, now Cambridge institutions. Although he remains personally dedicated to our goals, Gerry has decided that it’s time for him to retire from our Board. As treasurer and Chair of our membership committee he has been one of our strongest contributors. His business wisdom and focus on the fulfillment of our mission has kept us on target as we have grown from our humble beginnings to our present citywide recognition as spokesman for 380 locally owned businesses. Wherever he has seen a need, he has offered and put in his own time and effort to help us get it done. Gerry’s sound thinking and humor will be sorely missed.

 

 

 

 

 

38,000 Local Businesses and Independent Business Advocacy Groups Launch “Shift Your Shopping”

This is a guest post by Laury Hammel, Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network and Former CLF Board Member

On November 14 the 5th annual Shift Your Shopping holiday campaign launches the 2015 season, encouraging individuals and businesses to “shift” more of their visits for holiday shopping, entertaining and dining to local independent businesses. More than 180 local business organizations across the U.S. and Canada, collectively representing more than 38,000 locally owned and independent businesses, are participating in this collaborative campaign.  The campaign continues through December.

Shift Your Shopping was created five years ago by Cambridge Local First and Somerville Local First and its mission is to “build a tradition that strengthens local economies, expands local employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding holiday shopping experience.”

Grassroots groups like Monadnock Buy Local, the Louisville Independent Business Alliance and others will execute campaigns with their own local flair, using Shift Your Shopping templates as well as incorporating campaigns like Plaid Friday and Cider Monday (pro-local antidotes to the chain-centered Black Friday and “Cyber Monday”).

The campaign also encourages people to employ the energy and resources of Small Business Saturday as part of season-long outreach.

When even marketers whose business is promoting Black Friday report that 79% of their website users don’t like to shop on the day, you know the times are changing! Jen Risley, Executive Director of Monadnock Buy Local, a New Hampshire advocacy group notes that “Shift Your Shopping promotes the community-centered alternative to the consumer frenzy that descends upon us each November.”

The ShiftYourShopping.org website provides a gateway to resources from many community campaigns and includes easy-to-use graphics and activities that allow participants to spread the critical message easily where they live.

A 2015 National Retail Federation survey projects $805 in holiday spending per person this year and sustained “buy local” campaigns have demonstrated their capacity to shift sizable portions of that spending from chains and remote businesses to local entrepreneurs.

Earlier this year, the Institute for Local Self Reliance gathered sales data from more than 3000 independent business. That data revealed independent businesses in communities sustaining year-round “buy local and independent” campaigns run by grassroots groups saw revenues grow 9.3% in 2014. That nearly doubled the 4.9% increase for businesses in areas without such an alliance (see graph for survey results over 3 years).

Becky McCray of Small Business Survival said, “We can opt out of the crowds, and choose when we want to spend our money with local businesses that support our family and community throughout the holidays instead.”

Jeff Milchen, co-founder of the American Independent Business Alliance, adds that, along with creating local jobs, “We also want people to patronize independents for selfish reasons – enjoying the more relaxed and personal experiences at their local merchants and perhaps connecting with neighbors while doing so.”

See ShiftYourShopping.org for stories of pro-local campaigns, templates for easy customization, and the roster of participating organizations.

Shift Your Shopping co-sponsors include Small Business Survival, Independent We Stand, Shop for Good and the American Independent Business Alliance.

See http://shiftyourshopping.org/2015/welcome/

Harvard Square Cash Mob – Small Business Saturday

A Cash Mob will be crowding the Harvard Square on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. Cambridge Local First will ask Cash Mob shoppers to pledge to spend a minimum of $10 at local businesses that day. 

Cambridge Local First (CLF) will be in Brattle Square Plaza during 10:00 am-2:00 pm, to hand out shopping maps to let people know where they can shop, eat, and support locally. This map will feature local business’ deals and sales. The first 200 shoppers will receive a complimentary Cash Mob tote bag. The shoppers supporting the most local businesses that day will be able to enter a raffle giveaway for a $100 gift card to Cardullo’s. The Cambridge Community Chorus will be performing at 11 am. This event is graciously sponsored by CLF member, Nift.

Cambridge Local First invites the Cambridge community to do their holiday shopping by supporting local business. CLF encourages everyone to shop locally and remember that, when you chose a local business, nearly every dollar you spend in your city, stays in your city.

About Cambridge Local First
Founded in 2005, Cambridge Local First is a non-profit network whose mission is to build a strong Cambridge economy and a vibrant community. Cambridge Local First advances this mission with several campaigns throughout the year including its annual business directory (now in its 10th edition), events such as the Cash Mob, the CLF Community Card, business improvement seminars, and educational materials on the benefits of choosing local first.

About Small Business Saturday®
American Express founded Small Business Saturday® in 2010 to help business owners with their most pressing need – getting more customers. Today, the nation has embraced the day as part of the holiday shopping tradition. Shoppers, businesses, government officials, local organizations, and corporate partners come together to celebrate their neighborhoods on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

WHEN
Saturday, November 28, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EST) 
WHERE
Brattle Square Plaza (In front of Crema Cafe) - 27 Brattle Street Cambridge, MA 02138 -

Cambridge Local First Celebrates Local Economy Week!

Cambridge-City-HallThe City of Cambridge, in partnership with Cambridge Local First (CLF), has declared the week of November 8-14, 2015 as Local Economy Week. This annual week-long celebration started in 2010 to recognize the hundreds of diverse locally owned and independent business in Cambridge.

Cambridge Local First will commemorate the 5th annual Local Economy Week with City officials on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 in front of City Hall. CLF invites the newly elected City Council members to commemorate Cambridge as a “Local Economy Community.” What does being a Local Economy Community mean for Cambridge? It means the City’s focus became, and has proudly stayed, even more local than before.

Later in the evening, CLF is throwing a party to celebrate 10 years of supporting and promoting local and independent Cambridge businesses and organizations. The Local Music Celebration will take place on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at The Sinclair in Harvard Square at 52 Church Street, Cambridge MA 02138. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. Music will start at 7 pm.  Performances will feature Dan Blakeslee, a local award-winning folk musician, and David Johnston, a Cambridge-based blues and folk musician. Guests will be able to meet local business owners, enjoy light refreshments, and appreciate great folk music. This event is proudly sponsored by CLF Members, Irving House at Harvard and New Leaf Legal. RSVP here > >

At the event, CLF will be launching the 2016 Business Directory. CLF encourages the Cambridge community to use this directory to choose local first, especially during Local Economy Week.