BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY & SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON
Chamber to Launch Member to Member Discount program in the new year
The Bedford First Program will encourage more than 150 Chamber-member companies and their 5000 plus employees to prefer other Chamber members when making buying decisions. The offers will be valid for both corporate and personal purchases. A Bedford First card will be available to Chamber members and their employees and the card will entitle members to many valuable discounts, from restaurants and accommodations to local attractions. There is no fee to participate in the program. Information on how your business can participate in this program will be mailed with your Membership renewal letter next week.
Last-minute holiday tips for your business
Attracting customers, staffing, and managing inventory are often cited as challenges faced by small business. During the holiday season, these challenges may become even more pronounced. Here are some practical tips to help your business run more smoothly - and profitably - throughout the holiday season, along with suggestions for how to make the most of your time at work and at play all year long.
Boosting your profile
Here are some ways to maximize the promotional opportunities that the holiday season brings.
Send holiday cards to customers and prospects. This is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to stay in touch with your customers and remind them about the value of your business. Including a personal note is a nice touch.
Use your customer database to its fullest by sending personalized greetings and thank-you notes to key customers on a year-round basis.
Gift generously. Did you work with a business mentor in the past year? Did someone send a nice chunk of business your way or provide you with some quality leads? The holidays are a great time to network with business contacts, and to remember those who have helped your business, by treating them to a nice lunch or sending a special gift, such as a bottle of wine or box of chocolates.
Get involved and give back. Adopt a local charity such as a food bank, seniors' home, or other community group close to the hearts of you and your employees. Consider volunteering, providing financial support, or donating your business services to the cause of your choice. Holding a charity event, such as a clothing or toy drive, is a good way to get your customers and employees to participate.
Over the course of the year, there are many ways to reach out to the wider community and boost the visibility of your business: Take part in local business events. Join local boards. Sponsor a sports team. Do pro bono work that highlights what your business does best.
Generating more sales
Use these helpful tips to build your business at holiday time, or year-round.
Offer gift certificates or gift cards. Gift cards and certificates have never been more popular - and for good reason. They offer convenience to your customers and can help generate sales well into January, and beyond, when gifts are redeemed. They've also been shown to reduce the amount of returns (since the giftee makes his or her own selection) and to lead to purchases beyond the face value of the card or certificate.
Market last-minute specials. For last-minute ideas to boost holiday traffic, consider offering discounts on your website for select products or services. If you don't sell online, a printable coupon or simple flyer can help bring customers to your door.
If you have an email list, a carefully crafted message targeting last-minute shoppers might be worth considering.
Get the help you need
Staffing is a big issue for every small business, and it's particularly evident during the holidays, especially for retail. To handle last-minute staffing issues, you might want to look into temporary placement agencies or student employment centres, as many students like earning extra cash over the holidays. Don't forget to tell friends and contacts that you are looking for some immediate help.
SUZANNE & CO. HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR
Save the date for Bedford's annual Suzanne & Company Holiday House Tour, Sunday, Dec 9 from 1 to 4pm. Get into the holiday spirit and jingle all the way while visiting a variety of delightfully decorated homes in Bedford.
One of the notable homes on the tour this year is the former Fitch Tavern, one of three taverns in Bedford during Colonial times. The Fitch Tavern is known as the meeting place of the Lexington and Bedford Minutemen on April 19, 1775. After being alerted to the movement of British troops, they met for a hurried breakfast before marching to the North Bridge and joining the Battle of Concord, prompting their captain, Jonathan Wilson, to remark, "It's a cold breakfast boys, but we'll give the British a hot dinner; we'll have every dog of them before night!" The room that served as their meeting place still has the original paneling and looks much the same as it did in 1775. And spring visitors may think they've entered a time machine as local re-enactors are welcomed for breakfast each April before recreating the historic battle.
Lea Ann Knight and her family have lived in this historic home for the past nine years, and while they have re-done many of the rooms to accommodate modern family living, they have been careful to preserve the unique character of the house and as much of the history as possible, including the original structural footprint. The house has three different wings - the initial structure which was built in the 1700s and served as Fitch's Tavern until late in the 18th century; the kitchen wing or "L" which was added in the 1850s to modernize the kitchen at that time; and the west wing added in the 1890s to house the Fitch law office and library.
Walks and Rides in the Country Round About Boston by Edwin M. Bacon, published in 1898, notes "this house was probably standing when the town was incorporated in 1729...and became a tavern upon its purchase by Jeremiah Fitch, Jr., in 1766." Expanding into the poetically-named Stone Croft Farm, the home was eventually relegated to the status of a summer home and remained in the Fitch family (and their descendents) until the 1950s. Since that time, two additional families owned this slice of Bedford history for approximately thirty years each until Lea Ann and her family became the fifth family in the tavern's history to take up residence nine years ago. That first winter they were in the house, they participated in the Holiday House Tour. Since that time, they have renovated the kitchen, working with Kevin Latady [http://www.latadydesign.com/], a local architect specializing in historic homes, to maintain the Colonial feel while creating a workable space. They added large wooden beams from a barn in Vermont, a soapstone counter and wooden floors. The home is also the setting for the novel Fitch Tavern Tales #1: A Colonial Adventure written by Lea Ann.
Lea Ann is a long-time member of the Chamber of Commerce and is still working on her decorating plans, though with seven fireplaces, she promises many mantel decorations and abundant evergreens keeping in line with the look and feel of the house.
The tour includes a number of other homes throughout Bedford, highlighting the heritage and range of architectural styles represented here. An identical holiday item will be placed in each home - the first three people to correctly identify it win tickets to next year's house tour.
And in the course of visiting the homes, guests are invited between 2 and 5pm to gather at the Congregational Church on Great Road for refreshments and holiday cheer, including the annual wreath raffle and the opportunity to shop for those special people on your gift list at the holiday bazaar.
This is the tour's 12th year and proceeds support the activities of the Chamber of Commerce, including scholarships awarded to local students.
Tickets are $20 in advance ($15 for seniors, $8 for children), and $25 day of the event - available at the New England Nursery at 216 Concord Road, Great Road Gallery & Framing at 363 Great Road, and online at bedfordchamber.org.
What the Chamber did in November
FLAVORS OF BEDFORD
Congratulations to the 2012 Best of Flavors
Best Entree - Blue Stove
Best Appetizer - Dalya's
Best Presentation- Atrial Longmeadow Place
Best Dessert - Carriage House Cafe & Bakery
Many thanks to Premier Sponsors Brown & Brown P.C. & The Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel
Photos by Chris Gambeon
Learn the Lessons of Succession Planning
Maximize your business by planning for tomorrow.
Tuesday December 4, 2012
5400 Computer Drive
Westborough, MA 01581
As a business owner you are aware of the importance of planning for daily operations, but have you taken the time to plan for the future? By learning about succession planning, you will not only operate your business more effectively, but also increase its value today. Middlesex Savings Bank's Business Success Seminar will provide you with valuable insight on succession planning. Our panel of experts will highlight the financial, emotional, legal and logistical implications involved in the process.
Moderated by Middlesex Financial Group's Jonathan Hoy, our panel will include an expert business broker, along with
two business customers who will share their real-life experiences of buying a business and the implications of inheriting a family business.
Please register by November December 2, 2012 by visiting
We look forward to seeing you at our Business Success Seminar.
The Bedford UPS Store
will be extending the hours to include
Sundays 10-3 between 12/2 -12/23
Bedford UPS Store
Would you like to be to advertise at Rotary's Breakfast with Santa?
Please let us know by or before Wed., Dec 5.
- placemat ads(start at $50)
- silent auction contributions - gift certificates and 1 of a kind services
- It's not too late! (get us your ad copy by or before 12/5)
Warm Holiday Wishes to you and yours!
Melinda & Christine
Co-Chairs Breakfast with Santa
PR Chair Rotary Club of Bedford
Treat your Staff, Coworkers, Friends and Family to Cafe Luigi Party Platters, a great solution for
Your Holiday celebration.
Delivery service available.
CAFE LUIGI' S ~ 781-271-0666
ALEWIFE SHUTTLE TO CROSBY DRIVE
offers guaranteed ride home program
Did you know the 128 Business Council's offfers guaranteed ride home, along with several other member benefits such as
- DEP Rideshare Regulation Compliance
- Guaranteed Ride Home
- Commuter Benefits Events
- Shuttle Bus Services
- Transportation Advocacy Programs
128 Business Council could be your one-stop resource for alternative transportation and pro-sustainability solutions for the 128 West region. Their shuttles connect major employers, institutions and communities to public transit (MBTA stations), making commuting more effective and reducing Route 128 West and related roadway congestion.
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.
Suzanne & Company
Holiday House Tour
Celebrating Business Failures
727 Marrett Rd
Lexington, MA 02421
just 3 spots left
Board of Directors
Invites next week
AD Hoc Sign Bylaw Meeting
Bedford Town Hall
Working Women Alliance Pot Luck
Edward Jones Investments
50 Mall Road
2012 Chamber Members
Acme Packet Inc Advanced Media Web
Art Smith & Associates
Atlantic Capital Strategies
Bedford Acupuncture Center
Bedford Car Wash
Bedford Center for the Arts
Bedford Children's Center
Bedford Funeral Home,
Bedford Historical Society
Bedford Plaza Hotel
Bedford Montessori School
Bedford Research Association
Bedford Rug Company
Brightview Concord River
Brown & Brown, P.C.
Callahan's Karate Studio
Calling All Pets
Cambridge Savings Bank
Carlton & Duran CPAs
Christine Pinney Marketing
Cranberry Hill Associates
Design 1 Kitchen & Bath
Dr. Dianne Bridgeman
Dr. Kiana Kaymanesh
Dr. Oscar DePriest
Edward Jones/Britton Wilson
Edward Jones/ Barb Davis
Elm Brook Place
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
Inside Outside Staging
Keller Williams Realty
Leary Auto Repair
Live Life Well
Massage Therapy Associates
Mettler -Toledo Thorton
McCullough Associates, Inc
Middlesex Savings Bank
Minuteman Volkswagen Inc.
New England Nurseries, Inc.
North Road Chiropractic
Organix Spa & Salon
Patents Etcetera and Minuteman Legal Services
Peter Quinn Insurance Agency
Pulte Homes of New England
Quality Database Design
Rental Car Momma
Richard Egan Insurance AgencyRight At Home
Servpro of Lexington/Bedford
Simply Your Home
Slak Chiropractic Group
St. Michael's Parish Center
Stonebridge at Burlington
The Bedford Citizen
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
Watson Law Offices
William Raveis Real Estate
Women's Financial Network