January 2015


In This Issue
A Message from the President
Chamber Annual Dinner
10 New Year Tips for Your Small Business
Multi-Chamber Networking Event
What the Chamber did in December
Chamber Connections
Chamber Calendar
Follow us on Facebook
A message from the President
As the New Year approaches, you frequently see stories about the past year such as what were the top ten news stories, what were the most surprising developments and more. Here are just a few of the many accomplishments the Chamber had in 2014.

1. For the past several years, the Chamber has strongly advocated for the town to hire an economic development co-ordinator. This position was filled in May by Alyssa Sandoval. We have been working closely with Alyssa and you can already see the results. Bedford now has a improved perception among both businesses and real estate brokers as being a business friendly town. This will help us retaining existing businesses as well as attract new ones.

2. The Chamber was also successful on getting the Alcohol Policy updated to make it more similar to other towns. Previously you had to order a full meal before you could order a drink. This was having a negative impact on our restaurants as customers were leaving to go to restaurants in neighboring towns. The updated alcohol policy seems to be having a positive effect on Bedford restaurants.

3. The Chamber worked closely with the planning board and other town officials on updating the sign by law to make it easier for our businesses to make their presence known.

4. The Chamber provided feedback on updated zoning changes for the Crosby Drive area. The previous zoning was designed decades ago and is out of date with existing businesses needs. These changes were approved at town meeting last November.

While it's interesting to look back, now that the New Year has started, it's a great time to look forward to decide what you want to accomplish this year both personally and professionally. The Chamber is no exception. Below is an early peek at our 2015 goals. We will be reviewing these goals later this month in order to put together a more formal plan. As part of the process, we would love to get your thoughts on how the Chamber can best serve you and the needs of your business. What is the number one goal for your business in 2015 and how can the Chamber help you accomplish this? I look forward to hearing from you.

Adam Schwartz

P.S. I hope to see you next week at the Annual Chamber Dinner on January 15th at the Double Tree. This year's speaker is Celtic's Coach Walter McCarty. The is a must attend fun event and is open to the public so be sure to bring friends and family.

2015 Chamber Goals
Internal Goals:
1. Increase Total Chamber Membership to 140 by November 1st.
Home Based Businesses - There has been a lot of growth in this area. We will be making a membership push in this area. Networking, marketing ideas, best practices and other areas are important for these businesses.
2015 Vision/Areas of Focus 
1. Improve Retailer Health
 A. Best Practices For Retailers - Help Educate Smaller Businesses on Best Practices. What replaces Yellow Pages advertising. How do they spend their marketing dollars. We have upcoming speakers and workshops in 2015. We will also be exploring a ShopLocal promotion for the 2015 Holiday Season.
 B. Increase Retailer Awareness. Many local residents are not aware of the different businesses in town. Many employees who work in Bedford office parks around Crosby Drive and Wiggins Avenue are not aware of all the businesses. In many cases they drive further to adjacent towns. We will be working to providing employers and town residents with a local amenities/retailer maps as well as other methods to increase awareness.
 C. Get New Retailers up to speed. Expand on Quick Business Guide to help educate them. They are typically under capitalized and need to get open quickly.
 D. Help Establish an Expedited Zoning process for Small Projects. Includes efficient scheduling so most projects get reviewed quickly.

2. Increase Tourism
Depot Park gets lots of visitors. The issue is that visitors do not know retail and historic areas are nearby. We are currently working with the town on exploring some ways to improve this with an updated Kiosk at Depot Park will show  historic points of interest as well as nearby restaurant/shopping areas. We are also looking in to establishing a Cultural District from Depot area to town center.

3. Improved Zoning and Transportation
 A. Continue to work with Planning Board on recommendations to update zoning in the Crosby Drive Area based on business, landlord and resident feedback. This includes mixed use.
 B. Increase Transportation Options to reduce traffic and make it easier for businesses to recruit new employees. Now working with Middlesex 3 on shuttles from Alewife and other transportation hubs


Chamber Annual Dinner & Celebration
Don't miss the Chamber's  biggest night of celebration, as we honor our 2014 Award winners, enjoy a great meal and hear Coach McCarty's words of wisdom. The dinner will be held on January 15 at the Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel, 6-9 PM.
This year's award winners are
Business of the Year- Doubletree Bedford Glen Hotel, Business Person of the Year - Suzanne Koller
Outstanding Service to the Chamber - Donna Bruno
Tickets are $50.00 per person and can be purchased on line
or contact the Chamber office at
                         Sponsorship Levels available
                                  Gold (1)   - $500.00                                

  4  Dinners/ seats at the head table/program cover/website

                                Silver (5)  -  $100.00                                                         1 dinner   Inside Cover/publicity

      Bronze (unlimited)  -  $50.00     

                                  Listed in program


10 New Year Tips for Your Small Business  


To ensure success in the new year, most small businesses don't realize that the process begins long before January 1. Instead, a lot of work goes into setting your business up for a running start when the clock strikes 12. Don't wait; start now with this list of 10 New Year Tips For Your Small Business.

1. Revisit Your Business Plan

If it has been a while since you examined this critical document, now's the time to get to it. Review it to ensure it's still aligned with your current company goals. Change what needs changing. And if you never had one, use to develop one online for free.

2. Set Your Business Resolutions

New Year's resolutions are not all about losing weight. It is beneficial to lay out what you want for your business in the coming 12 months. Be specific, so you can actually measure results and see whether you accomplished them by year's end.

3. Build a Promotions Calendar

Sit down with a calendar and start looking at all the holidays or events you want to build promotions around. This will give you ample time to plan your social media updates, blog posts, advertising campaigns, etc.

4. Consider Your Hiring Needs

If your business is getting increasingly too busy for you to run with a skeleton crew, start planning your hiring strategy for 2015. Consider temps, freelancers, virtual assistants, and part-timers as alternatives to full-time employees if your budget is tight.

5. Invest in Technology

If you've been putting off that computer or software purchase, now's the time to go ahead with it. You'll be more efficient, if you have a computer that doesn't take an hour to load.  

6. Create a Conference Plan

Attending conferences and industry trade shows can be so beneficial for you as a business owner. Not only can you meet others in your field (or potential customers) but you also learn from leading experts. Do some digging to see what's available to attend in 2015, and put them on your calendar.

7. Reassess Your Online Brand

Google yourself! Is it time for a new headshot or website refresh? What worked for you in terms of marketing this year? This is a great time to tweak your online strategy so that you identify the tools that helped your business grow, and cut back on those that don't.

8. Get Organized

If you're like a lot of business owners, your desk is cluttered, and so is your desktop. Spend a few hours throwing away and shredding things you don't need and organizing your computer files by year, i.e. Contracts 2015.  

9. Refresh Your Employees' Skills

If you do have staff, now's a fantastic time to offer supplementary training to refresh their skills or give them new ones. Maybe they're not all using your customer relationship management software. That's the perfect topic for training.

10. Get Smarter

Your employees aren't the only ones who could learn more. If the end of the year is quiet for you, build in reading time. Read industry blogs, books, magazines, and anything else you can get your hands on to be on top of the trends in your industry.

     February Multi-Chamber Networking Event

You're Invited!
Multi-Chamber Networking
at the Crowne Plaza Hotel - Woburn 

February 4, 2015 

5:30-7:30 p.m.  

Optional Pre-Networking Session 

"Qualifying Prospects: Could this person be wasting my time?"

4:30-5:30 p.m. 

And...Vendor Tables/Space Available


Come join us all for a great networking evening; these multi-chamber events yield many attendees/prospects/contacts, so bring lots of business cards! There will be a pre-event seminar hosted by Jason Hartz of Sandler Training from 4:30-5:30; immediately after the session, the networking session begins. There will be vendor tables available if you'd like to promote your business.  There is no charge for the space, but there is a limited amount of tables/space, they are 3 vendors/companies per table, and are available on a first-come/first-served basis that evening, so arrive early to ensure that you get a space! 


We hope you'll join us for this special evening! There will be great appetizers and a cash bar.



             There is no charge for the event but you must register to attend 



What the Chamber did in December

Board of Directors Meeting

Suzanne & Co. Holiday House Tour

Ribbon Cutting -Evanesce Sclerotherapy LLC

Chamber Holiday Party - Thank you Pamela Brown for hosting!

Donation to "Friends of Hanscom"





 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


Brookline Bank 

Kristen Presley/Bedford VA

Karen Kenney/ OrganizingWorks

JRM Antiques 





January 8 

Board of Directors Meeting
Flint Room
7:30 AM  

January 15
Chamber Annual Dinner & Celebration
Doubletree Bedford Glen
44 Middlesex TPKE
Bedford, MA

6-9 PM

$50.00 per person
Open to Public
Click here to purchase tickets


January 21
Men's Breakfast Club
Brightview Concord River
199 Concord Rd
Billerica, MA
7:30 AM

Speaker- Oliver YU
Click here to register

February 4
Multi -Chamber
Crown Plaza
Woburn, MA
4:30- 7:30 PM

Click here to register


February 12 

Board of Directors Meeting
Flint Room
7:30 AM   


February 19
Working Women Alliance
Brightview Concord River
199 Concord Road
Billerica, MA
7:30 AM
Mamak Charepoo



2015 Chamber Members


Atlas Real Estate

Baldwin Insurance

Bedford Orthodontics

Bernstein Development 

Brown & Brown, P.C.
Cafe Luigi
Callahan Karate Studio
Carlton-Willard Village 


Danielle Beck NP-C-LLC

Debbie Spencer
Design 2 Order 

First Parish in Bedford

Great Road Gallery & Framing

Hanscom Federal Credit Union

Kennedy Family Dental
North Road Chiropractic 

Oscar DePriest DMD
Patriot Pediatrics 

Primrose School of Burlington

Salem Five

Simply Natural Nails

Slak Chiropractic

Strawberry Hill Associates

The Higgins Group
The Well Effect 


Membership renewals 
 have been emailed

Renew today on line