Bedford Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
Vol. 14   Issue 9
In This Issue
Discounted Health Insurance
Alewife Shuttle to Crosby Drive
Cambridge Savings Bank Senior Prom Stroll
What the Chamber did in June?
Chamber Calendar


Chamber Executives Association Introduces Discounted Health Insurance for
Small Businesses


   Long-awaited discounts for small businesses are here. The Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE) recently introduced the Chamber Health Coop, a group purchasing program that makes health insurance more affordable for businesses with 1 to 50 full-time employees. Any small business that belongs to one of the more than 60 participating chambers of commerce and other business associations is eligible to join the Chamber Health Coop. The Bedford Chamber of Commerce is among this first wave of organizations to make the program available to its members.

Our members can save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on their health insurance from Fallon Community Health Plan, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Health New England, which are each discounting several of their plans. Fallon and Harvard Pilgrim are trimming rates by 3 percent, and Health New England by 5 percent. Business with a maximum of 50 employees who work 30 or more hours a week can now enroll for coverage beginning as soon August.

"The Commonwealth is pleased to support the new Chamber Health Coop through MACCE," said Governor Deval Patrick.  "Small businesses are vital to our continued economic success here in the Commonwealth and we need more innovative programs like the coop to reduce the high costs of health care that inhibit growth and development."

"Chambers have fought for years to lower the cost of health insurance. We are pleased that Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray, and Speaker DeLeo share this aim and helped pave the way for group purchasing cooperatives," said MACCE President Tom O'Rourke. "The Chamber Health Coop will give businesses one more tool they can use to lower the cost of insurance for themselves and their employees."

In addition to offering savings on health insurance plans, the Chamber Health Coop provides wellness programs to help employees live healthier lives that in turn may help keep premium costs at bay. The health and wellness offering is free for all covered employees and their families.

The Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives represents the 100+ Chambers of Commerce in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MACCE's mission is to be an accessible and valuable resource to the chamber professionals serving our state's communities. MACCE provides a wide-range of resources and opportunities for all chamber professionals and their member businesses.


To learn more, visit or contact your certified insurance broker. 








 The business development committee is working with the 128 Business Council (  on establishing shuttle service from Alewife to the Crosby Drive area. In meeting with local companies, the lack of public transportation has been hindering their efforts to attract high quality employees who live Cambridge/Boston. We have begun meeting with these companies and the interest from their employees had been high. Please contact the Chamber office at 781-275-8503 if your company is interested in participating in this Shuttle Program and/or if you know some other companies in the Crosby Drive area that you think would be interested. 


Despite the rainy weather the Cambridge Savings Bank Senior Prom Stroll went off without a hitch in the BHS gymnasium. Many thank to Premier Sponsor Vanessa Vladasi & Jim Murphy ~ Cambridge Savings Bank, Chuck Duran- Carlton & Duran CPA, David Cormier ~ Cormier Law, LLC, Josh Cohen ~ Snap Infusion, Christine Pinney ~ Christine Pinney Marketing, Pierre Chiha~ Pierre Chiha Photography, Ken Brown ~ New England Nursery, Rich Callahan ~ Callahan Karate, Rich Warrington ~ DPW, Chief Robert Bongierno ~ Bedford Police, Jon Sills~BHS, Rev John Gobbons~ First Parish .

Best wishes to the Class of 2012

2012 prom

What the Chamber did in June?


Mens Breakfast Club ~ Jay Hartz
Summer Bash ~ John Monhan
Working Women Alliance ~ The Boardroom Bistro
Rt 128 Transportation Council Meeting
Board of Directors Meeting


Speaker Jason Hartzmensclub

Proposed Policy of Interest for
Small Business Owners

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking comments on recently proposed regulations to determine if small businesses should be required to recertify their status for long-term orders. This is an extremely important issue for small businesses that work or wish to work with the federal government, as it could finally prevent large companies from poaching federal small business contracts.

Since 2007, federal agencies have been allowed to count orders issued against long-term contracts as awards to a small business for up to five years or the life of the contract, even if the small business is acquired by a large business or grows to be other than small. This is a loophole that enables large businesses to enroll and/or maintain their subsidiaries in federal small business programs. Over several years, this loophole allows large businesses to siphon off billions of dollars in federal small business funds.

Moreover, this allows federal agencies to count contracts awarded to large companies as small business contracts. The SBA then includes those contracts to large companies in its annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard. This misleads the public, Congress and the President on the amount of federal contracts dollars actually awarded to legitimate small businesses.

For example, during FY 2011 63 of the top 100 federal small business contractors were no longer small during 2011 but still won more than $14 billion in federal small business contracts.


 Comment on the proposal at this link  before July 16, 2012 


If you have any questions, please contact Brian Reeder  ~ American Small Business League 707.789.9575w | 775.772.8216c|




Sign Bylaw Updates: Still on track for Spring 2013 town meeting.

The group discussed and finally agreed that it would be worthwhile to make a short presentation at Fall 2012 town meeting to explain the reason for the changes to Town residents. We also discussed working with BCAT on putting together some short videos with some local retailers/businesses on how the existing bylaws negatively impact their businesses and how the proposed changes will help. As a note, BCAT has now set up a Youtube channel so the shows/videos can be viewed anytime/anywhere. This will be helpful in disseminating the information to Town Residents through email lists and other channels as we can pass specific URL's for each video. Bud has agreed to be interviewed as the first retailer/business


Bedford Alcohol Policy Updates: Pam Brown  is still waiting to meet with Town Selectman on walking through the proposed changes and explaining the impact. This is now scheduled to be completed by August 15th.


Marketing Bedford: We had a brief discussion on how the Town was not marketing Bedford as a place for companies to move to. Most of the surrounding towns do quite a bit of Marketing to attract new businesses. Many towns such as Lexington have economic development staff to work on this. It was agreed that while the Bedford Chamber is very willing to help on such efforts, the lead would have to come from the town. After some additional discussion, it was agreed that the best approach was to have Bill discuss it with the other Selectman at an upcoming meeting to figure out how the Town should proceed in this effort.


Planning Board Steering Committee for Comprehensive Plan: David Cormier  has agreed to represent the Chamber's Business Development Committee. We also had a brief discussion on adding another business owner (outside the chamber). Ideally this would be someone with interest in the business community. If you know someone who you think would be a good fit, please direct to the chamber office.


Middlesex Turnpike Pole Discussion: A lot of businesses are concerned about the proposal to make part of Middlesex Turnpike one way. This was proposed because NSTAR is behind schedule in moving the Utilities to the new telephone polls and then removing the old poles. This is holding up the construction and NSTAR does not seem to be able to make commitments on when this process will be completed. This has been a recurring problem in Bedford. A brief discussion ensured on what to do.


Alewife Shuttle Service to Crosby Drive: Adam Schwartz and Maureen Sullivan met with the non-profit 128 Business Council.  Acme Packet mentioned it would be ideal to have hourly service for the AM/PM rush. This would require 2 vehicles. The annual cost for a Shuttle Service is around 150-180K per vehicle. The member companies pick up most of the costs (fares pay for about 10-15% of the costs). Acme Packet had already polled their employees and there was a good level of interest and the Double Tree had some interest as well for some of their guests. The 128 Council also mentioned that many brokers/property owners had also bought in to this service for some of their other routes and offered it as an amenity to their local tenants. The cost for them worked out to several cents per square foot and was compelling to leases. If the route did get established, the 128 Council would then approach the local apartments nearby (Taylor Pond and Bedford Woods) to offer their residents the service so the buses would have riders in both directions. The Chamber will be polling the businesses in the area for their interest in participating.






 Each month, Executive Director Maureen Sullivan tapes the Chamber Connections at the Bedford Tv Studio. Check out the links below of who she has interviewed and if you are  interested in being a guest, email her at


Madeline Altman ~ Bedford TV

Linda Stimson ~ Inner Visions Interiors


Adam Schwartz - Business Development

Mara Briere - Grow a Strong Family

The UPS Store


 Joan Turnberg - Live LIfe Well

Dr. Jean Marc Slak ~ Slak Chiropractic Group

Lea Ann Knight ~ Garrison Knight Financial


The Goddard School


Brookline Bank

Kristen Presley/Bedford VA

Karen Kenney/ OrganizingWorks

JRM Antiques





Chamber Calendar 


July 12
Lowell Spinners
7:05 PM

Ticket includes a hot dog, beverage and ice cream.

15.00 per person

Only 28 Tickets left


July 25
Catch the Net After Hours
Bedford Childrens' Center
402 Concord Road
Bedford, MA
5:30 -7:00 PM

 August 16

Working Women Alliance
Get in Shape for Women
328 Great Road
1:30 PM

September 12
Multi Chamber Networking Event
Hilton Woburn Inn
Woburn, MA
5:30 -7:30 PM

September 13
Board of Directors Meeting
Bedford Police Station
7:30 AM



JULY 12, 2012
7:05 PM


Ticket includes a hot dog, beverage and ice cream.

15.00 per person


We only have a couple of tickets left!!





Welcome to New Chamber Member

Mettler-Toldeo Thorton
36 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, MA 01730 






Acme Packet Inc

Advanced Media Web

Atlantic Capital Stregies
Atria Longmeadow
Baldwin Insurance
Baudanza Electric
B&D Agency
Baer Chiropractic and Wellness Center

Bedford Acupuncture Center
Bedford Car Wash
Bedford Center
for the Arts

Bedford Children's Center
Bedford Farms

Bedford Funeral Home, Inc
Bedford Historical Society

Bedford Plaza Hotel

Bedford Motel
Bedford Orthodonics
Brightview Concord River

Brookline Bank
Brown & Brown, P.C.
Cafe Luigi

Callahan's Karate Studio
Calling All Pets

Cambridge Savings Bank
Carlton & Duran CPAs

Carleton-Willard Village

Christine Pinney MArketing

Cranberry Hill Associates


Design 1 Kitchen & Bath

Design Photo

Dr. Dianne Brisgeman

Dr. Kiana Kaymanesh

Dr. Oscar DePriest

DSA Printing

Edward Jones
Elm Brook Place

EMD Millipore

Enterprise Bank
Family Growin Stronger

First Parish
Flatbread Company
Frank Webb's Bath Center

Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A.
Garrison Knight Financial Planning
GE Infrastructure Sensing, Inc.

Genetti's Wine & Spirits, Inc
Get In Shape for Women
Great Road Gallery & Framing
Grow a Stronger Family
Hanscom Federal Credit Union
Harold Nichols Insurance Agency
Heritage at Bedford Springs

Inner Visions Interiors
JRM Antiques

Inside Outside Staging
Kamate Fitness

Keller Williams Realty
Kimberly Bee Design

Latady Design
Leary Auto Repair

Lexington Symphony

Live Life Well
Massage Therapy Associates

McColough Associates, Inc
Middlesex Savings BAnk

Minuteman Volkswagon Inc.
New England Nurseries, Inc.

North Road Chiropractic
Organix Spa & Salon
Panospin Studios
Patents Etcetera and Minuteman Legal Services
Patriot Pediatrics
Peter Quinn Insurance Agency

Progress Software
Pulte Homes of New England

Quality Database Design

Rental Car Momma
Richard Egan Insurance Agency

Right At Home

Salon Alfonse
Salon OZ
Scotia Lights
Serenity Yoga
Slak Chiropractic Group
Spencer Company

St. Michael's Parish Center
TD Bank
The Bedford Minuteman
The Boardroom Bistro

The Divorce Collaborative
The Edge Sports Center

The Goddard School

The Higgins Group
The MITRE Corporation
The Tired Dog

The UPS Store
Town Planner

Vela Ventures

Watson Law Offices
William Raveis Real Estate