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News from the Chamber of Commerce

chambernov09execs
The North End Chamber of Commerce held its November meeting this week and discussed several issues and activities.

HOLIDAY RETAIL STROLL
The annual retail holiday stroll will be on December 4th this year from 7-11pm. WHERE Magazine is also planning a North End stroll after the holidays.

NEIGHBORHOOD CLEANLINESS
Chris Young is working with NEWRA’s Clean Streets. One specific item is to install 4 new doggie poles. These poles will have baggies and receptacles for dog waste placed at strategic locations. Clean Streets continues to get more barrels on the streets.

PROPOSAL FOR COMBINED GROUP ON LICENSING
President Joanne Prevost Anzalone discussed the re-scheduling of a joint meeting with the President of the neighborhood council (NEWNC), Stephen Passacantilli, President of the residents association (NEWRA), Mark Paul, as well as State Representative Aaron Michlewitz, City Councilor Sal LaMattina and Nicole Leo from the Mayor’s office.

The Chamber is proposing that license applicants present to one combined group instead of the individual organizations. After this joint meeting, each of the 3 organizations (NEWRA, NEWNC, Chamber) would vote separately at their own individual meetings. License applicants say the cost to go through the current process can reach $5,000. The proposed group would be made up of 4 individuals each from NEWRA, NEWNC and the Chamber.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS
Due to budget constraints, the Chamber will not be doing Christmas lights this year. Neighborhood businesses will to do their own displays, as many have done in the past.

3829669-4661199-thumbnailRADIO ADVERTISING
Gary Risutto, a new Chamber member, presented a plan to start a radio campaign highlighting the North End. The focus is to expand the branding of the North End beyond Italian restaurants, targeting a female demographic that would visit retail stores and boutiques. Gary noted how folks used to visit Downtown Crossing during the holidays and would like this advertising to bring such folks to the North End.

The Chamber would sponsor the commercials, although individual establishments would also be featured in each spot. Nicole from WCBS suggested a plan of using Mix 104.1 and an Oldies station. Mix 104.1 has a 70% female, affluent demographic in the 25-54 age range. The spots would change weekly and the near-term focus would be on the holidays. The oldies station switches to pure holiday music near Christmas. The cost would be $63/spot or about $2,500 for 60 spots in total. A motion to go ahead with the radio ads was made and received a unanimous affirmative vote.

MEMBERSHIP
The Chamber is looking to attract new businesses to join and to have existing ones renew. The membership drive would help boost the Chamber’s finances.

3829669-4661215-thumbnailBILLBOARD
Plans were discussed for a holiday billboard sponsored by the Chamber. It was noted that the space near the former Pat’s Pushcart is available.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Executives highlighted the safety of the North End neighborhood and the recent Forbes ranking of Boston as the 4th safest city in the U.S.
  • The Chamber is looking at adding more content to its website.
  • Angelo Buonopane encouraged members to attend City Hall hearings and to write letters in support neighborhood business issues.

The Chamber of Commerce meets on the first Monday of the month at 5:00 pm at the Nazzaro Center.

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One Reply to “News from the Chamber of Commerce

  1. While I agree that making someone appear at leastFOUR times before neighborhood groups (NEWRA ZLC committee, NEWRA monthly meeting, NEWNC monthly meeting, the C of C monthly meeting is crazy and expensive, I do not think Ms Anzalone’s proposal is viable. The interests of the business community (the majority of business owners do not actually live in the North End) and the needs of the residents of the North End do not always mesh. In addition, it denies the full membership of NEWRA and the full NEWNC to ask questions of the petitioner before they are asked to vote. At times people other then the officers of both groups ask questions that are very relevant and shed a different light on the issue.
    First, I do not understand is WHY anyone seeking a license has to go before the Chamber of Commerce? Of course they will support any business coming before them, that is what C of Cs are supposed to do. The Chamber itself has added to the costs to get neighborhood support for a license OR development approval.

    I suggest that NEWRA and NEWNC finally merge into a new Civic Association ( The Beacon Hill Civic Association as a model?) to represent the interests of all of the people who live here. Each group does some things very well. Together they could be a powerful voice. Too often, the groups take opposite votes on the same issue. It is time to present a united front!
    I am not suggesting that the business community have no voice. They are and always have been welcome to attend the meetings of both groups and express their opinion. If a business owner is a resident of the North End, he/she can join NEWRA and/or run for a seat on the council.

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