The Workplace Shift
We’ve seen a dramatic shift in the necessity to be working in a particular place, to working from a practical place.
Home has become that practical place of work for many of us this past year. When you redefine your place of work as home, it gives you a new opportunity to fulfill those dreams of relocating to a more desirable area.
Where I live, in the village of Dennis Port, it is desolate from December to March. I can walk frequently and not see another soul for weeks at a time. For the first time in nine years, I can take a walk on any given day, and see dozens of people walking, smiling and waving hello.
Most of the people I see are in their second homes. Due to the pandemic, they’ve kept them open beyond summer, and are contributing to our community. We will eventually be forced to work through the challenges with housing prices, overcrowded classrooms and our general infrastructure due to the population changes occurring here.
But I love where I live and I believe there’s room for a few more folks in my community.
As always, we welcome your press releases and story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dale Shadbegian, CEO
Carol K. Dumas, Editor
BY THE NUMBERS
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic left an enormous impact on the economy, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the end of World War II, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Early in the crisis, many expressed hope that, with government support, employers and employees could quickly return to pre-pandemic employment arrangements. However, as the COVID-19 crisis continues, more employer/employee bonds break, amplifying the economic and societal damage.
140,000 – Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December 2020, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent.
10.7 million – In December, both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons, remained at 10.7 million. Although both measures are much lower than their April 2020 highs, they are nearly twice their pre-pandemic levels in February (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively).
277,000 – Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff increased by 277,000 in December to 3 million. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.0 million in April but is 2.3 million higher than in February.
23.7 – In December, 23.7 percent of employed persons teleworked because of the coronavirus pandemic, up from 21.8 percent in November. These data refer to employed persons who teleworked or worked at home for pay at some point in the last four weeks specifically because of the pandemic.
161,000 – In December, employment in professional and business services increased by 161,000, with a large gain in temporary help services. Job growth also occurred in computer systems design and related services, other professional and technical services, management of companies and enterprises, and business support services. There have also been increased employment opportunities in retail, construction, restaurant/hospitality, healthcare, transportation, warehousing and many other industries.
SOURCE: U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
By Frank Zona
We’ve heard many stories about how the workforce here in Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod – and well beyond – has been impacted by COVID-19.
The retail shops and the restaurant industry come immediately to mind. One industry that you may not have heard much about, though, is the salon and barber shop industry. In addition to the challenges that many industries face, namely the lack of customers due to COVID restrictions and concerns about social distancing, our industry faces a serious labor and labor classification challenge, which means a limited labor pool. This needs and deserves the attention of the administration and the Legislature.
Salon and barber shop owners who act as employers – which is to say, that they issue W2s to their workers as opposed to simply renting them a chair and treating their co-workers as independent contractors — face a significant number of challenges in the Commonwealth.
First, there is an extremely limited labor pool to draw from. Staffing during a pandemic and recovery looks very different to a cosmetology/barber employer than it does to other Main Street employers. While retailers, restaurants, banks and other Main Street businesses are free to hire any available worker, cosmetology and barbering employers are limited to those who hold an occupational license. Obtaining such a license is not easy, and the availability of existing licenses is insufficient.
You might not initially think so if you research and discover that there are more than 73,000 such licenses in the Commonwealth. However, the vast majority of these licensees are unavailable; the holders are either inactive or they are working under a form of self-employment.
While salons or barber shops appear to be the same from the street, only two out of 10 salon and barbershop owners act as employers with a payroll, ensuring compliance with wage and hour laws and providing paid leave and worker entitlements. For the other eight, steps must be taken to ensure that workers are treated fairly and that all operators are in a fair and competitive marketplace.
All individuals working in salons or barber shops must attend an extensive 1,000 hour program at a cost of between $10,000 and $20,000.
Massachusetts law does not allow employers to apprentice workers for entry-level positions, leaving the entire labor supply dependent on the accessibility to, capacity of, performance of, and price of a small number of cosmetology and barber schools. That’s the labor pool that our industry must draw from. Many individuals are excluded. Not everyone can commit to the time and expense of one of these programs to obtain the necessary licenses, but if there were a paid path to get a license it would be of great value.
Though represented by one board, the Commonwealth requires separate licenses for cosmetologists and barbers, with the primary distinction being the skill of straight edge shaving. For either a barber or cosmetologist to obtain the other license requires 500 additional hours in school. There are only four barber schools in the state.
Salon and barbershop employers serve as a responsible party for everything from pandemic response, tax withholding, wage and hour laws, worker protections and compliance with the Affordable Care Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Paid Family Medical and Leave. A pandemic has reinforced the notion that a key component to public health and safety is employer flexibility toward employees. Yet classification and licensing laws are not providing support or flexibility as they work to staff their operations.
Here are a few steps that the Legislature can take to address these inequities:
- Create an Employer Intern License which would allow employers to hire without candidates first having to go through a third-party program.
- Pay attention to – and enforce – worker classification in this industry. The widespread practice of workers being treated as contractors or tenants need attention. Even before COVID-19 fewer than 20 percent of individual cosmetology or barbering licensees were classified as employees. The Commonwealth needs to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace.
- Classify cosmetology and barbering as an apprenticeable occupation.
- Seek guidance from within the industry to assist the licensing board in making fair and informed decisions.
If you agree, want to help or just learn more, please email email@example.com.
Frank Zona owns Zona Salons in Norwell and is the chair of the Professional Beauty Employment Coalition. He has testified to both the U.S. Congress and the Massachusetts Legislature on issues around employment in the professional beauty industry.
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is trying to get ahead of an “existential threat.”
Dan McKiernan, director of DMF, told commercial fishermen at the annual meeting of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance that the term is used loosely, but when it comes to the intersection of endangered right whales with the pot and gillnet fisheries, it may be appropriate.
McKiernan said the state has gotten out ahead, facing the threat of court action in June. New regulations have been adopted, including a commercial trap gear closure from Feb. 1 to May 1 and mandating vertical lines denoting fishing pots which break at 1,700 pounds (science has shown this sharply reduces whale entanglements). The new rules are designed to meet required protections for whales and keep small businesses on the water.
The state has also received a $200,000 grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to look at how, among other things, ropeless technology might fit into the larger fisheries management scheme.
A number of groups are testing ropeless gear, removing buoys and vertical lines that stretch to the surface. Lobstermen steam to where they set their traps and then send an acoustic signal down to gear on the ocean floor so gear can “pop up” and get retrieved.
McKiernan said that ropeless gear would be costly to implement, probably around $75 million, and there are safety risks and potential conflicts with competing fishermen not knowing where traps are located, encountering and destroying gear. Most people expect that it would take years to address and possibly resolve these issues.
The town of Middleborough’s New Year’s resolution is to bring more business to town.
The southeastern Massachusetts community has launched a public-private partnership designed to support existing or start-up businesses in the town, as well as offering significant incentives to individuals thinking of relocating their businesses to Middleborough.
The initiative, Middleborough Business Resource Center (http://mbresourcecenter.org), is a division of the Middleborough Office of Economic and Community Development, partnering with private businesses, who will provide advisory services through the MBRC to businesses which are already here in town or which may be thinking of opening or relocating to Middleborough.
To incentivize and support businesses, the MBRC is developing and expanding a list of professional business advisors and service providers across a wide range of industries, who will each support every qualifying business by providing up to three hours of expertise at no cost to the business owner – and with no commitment required beyond that three-hour period.
The MBRC will pair successful applicants to the program with advisors who will offer up to three hours of professional advice at no cost. As an example, a business in need of tax advice would be paired with a CPA who would guide the business owner in setting up the business structure. Other areas include advertising and public relations, marketing, web development, coaching, IT, human resources and more.
In addition to this specific program which pairs businesses with advisors, the Middleborough Business Resource Center offers access to and information about current national, state, regional and local business programs to improve local economies by helping small businesses locate grants, special financing programs, training and business support.
Any business meeting the criteria – that is, operating in Middleborough or planning to establish a business in town, and is interested in the program can visit www.mbresourcecenter.org to learn more details.
Town of Wareham
Form of Government:
Open Town Meeting
Incorporated in: 1739
Total population: ……. 22,641
Female: ……………………… 51.9%
Male: …………………………. 48.1%
White: ………………………. 85.7%
Black: ………………………… 2.47%
Native American: ……… 0.6%
Asian: …………………………… 0.6%
Persons reporting two or more races: ……………………………………… 5.1%
Hispanic or Latino: ………………………………………………………………………. 2.3%
Total housing units: …………………………………………………………………. 12,683
Family households: …………………………………………………………………… 63.5%
Average household size: …………………………………………………………………. 2.4
Median household income: …………………………………………………. $65,825
Per capita income: …………………………………………………………………. $38,783
Average earnings (males)……………………………………………………… $61,738
Average earnings (females) ………………………………………………….$45,045
Mean travel time to work: …………………………………………..28.3 minutes
Educational Attainment (age 25+):
High school graduate: ……………………………………………………………….. 91.4%
Associate’s degree: ……………………………………………………………………. 10.4%
Bachelor’s degree: ………………………………………………………………………. 15.9%
Graduate degree: ………………………………………………………………………….. 8.2%
ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY
What made you want to become a writer?
I call myself the accidental author. I never could have imagined being an author one day until I was thrust into the spotlight because of my investigative work in the Boston Strangler case, in which my aunt, Mary Sullivan, was the youngest and final victim. I wrote a personal memoir about my search for justice in her case which became a surprise bestseller. Thirteen books and two Hollywood films (“The Finest Hours” and “Patriots Day”) later … the rest, as they say, is history.
Who is YOUR favorite writer? What types of books do you like to read?
Ernest Hemingway is my favorite writer. I am still learning a great deal from his work. Norman Mailer’s novels and the many works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also fill my bookshelf.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on a new true crime novel called “HELLTOWN,” which tells the shocking true story of literary legends Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and Norman Mailer and their dueling obsession with the investigation of notorious Provincetown serial killer, Tony Costa, who murdered and dismembered at least four women in the late 1960s and buried them in the woods near Provincetown. “HELLTOWN” will be released later this year.
What do you like to do when you’re not working on a project? Is free time even a thing?
I’m writing even when I’m not writing. I am always working out a new project in my head well before I commit it to the page.
What has been your favorite moment as an author so far?
Attending the world premiere of the Disney film based on my book, “The Finest Hours,” at TCL (the former Grauman’s Chinese Theater) on Hollywood Boulevard, and adding a new chapter to its Hollywood immortality. Interviewing Paul McCartney for my book, “The Last Days of John Lennon,” co-authored by James Patterson, is a close second.
What would be your “dream” project?
I would love the opportunity to explore and write about the complicated brotherhood between Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, which was part friendship and part rivalry. It’s a story that I’ve been working out in my head for several years.
NEWS & MOVES
Peabody Properties is participating in the new CDC Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. Peabody Properties is one of the first property management companies to offer the COVID vaccination clinics to its senior affordable housing communities throughout greater Boston.
The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements, to facilitate safe vaccination for residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and affordable senior housing developments, while reducing the burden on LTC facilities and jurisdictional health departments.
Falmouth Road Race, Inc. has announced that ASICS, a leading sport performance brand, has committed to a multi-year partnership to become title sponsor of the Falmouth Road Race beginning with its 49th running this summer.
“This partnership represents so much more than a sponsorship,” said Alex Vander Hoeven, general manager of ASICS Fitness Apps. “It is a true example of how a world-class event such as the Falmouth Road Race can collaborate with ASICS’ global suite of products and digital services. We look forward to being on the course come race day and are honored to be part of the greater Falmouth Road Race community.”
The ASICS® Falmouth Road Race is scheduled to be held Aug. 15.
Chatham Bars Inn Managing Director Gary Thulander has been named General Manager of The Year by Massachusetts Lodging Association’s Stars of The Industry.
Thulander boasts 36 years of industry, resort and New England luxury travel experience. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire Hospitality Program and currently a member of the UNH Hospitality Board, playing a key advisory role in their Mentorship program. He currently serves as president of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce and sits on the boards of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the Massachusetts Lodging Association. Thulander is also a member of the Resort Committee for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Prior to Chatham Bars Inn, Thulander served as president and general manager of the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Vermont, worked for five years as the general manager at Landings and Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain, both in St. Lucia, and as general manager of Cap Juluca in Anguilla.. He also served as general manager at the Equinox Resort and Spa, a RockResort in Manchester, Vermont.
Dorothy A. Savarese, chair and CEO of Cape Cod 5, has been appointed for a second term by the Federal Reserve Board to serve as the President of their Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) for 2021.
The 12 member CDIAC provides first-hand input to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors about the economy, lending conditions and other related issues pertinent to community depository institutions. The CDIAC is comprised of one delegate from the advisory council for each of the Federal Reserve districts and represents a mix of commercial banks, thrift institutions and credit unions.
BayCoast Bank announces the promotion of Mitchell Brouillard of Sutton to assistant vice president, E-Commerce & Fintech.
In this role, Brouillard, working under the supervision of the first vice president E-Commerce & Fintech, will focus on the development of fintech and eCommerce systems, while seeking to improve efficiencies and provide effective solutions. His responsibilities also include project management, process and data analysis and providing guidance for E-Commerce staff members.
Brouillard has been with BayCoast Bank since 2009, joining as a Deposit Servicer.
Partners Insurance Group LLC announced the promotion of Ann Pacheco of Somerset to assistant vice president, Administration.
In this role, Pacheco, as a member of the Leadership Group, participates in developing the strategic plan and carries out the respective goals and objectives of the annual business plan.
This is the fourth promotion for Pacheco, who joined Partners Insurance Group, LLC in April 2013 as a licensed Certified Insurance Service Representative. Pacheco began her career in the insurance industry in 1987 at the Maury Kusinitz Insurance Agency in Fall River and previously worked at the F.J. Torres Insurance Agency as manager of the Assonet branch.
In addition to being a Certified Insurance Service Representative, she holds Elite and CPIA (Certified Professional Insurance Agent) designations and is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Women and the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents.
Partners also announced the promotion of Bernard J. McDonald of Fall River to vice president, Sales.
In this role, McDonald focuses on driving new commercial business while maintaining and servicing existing commercial relationships.
McDonald, who prior to his promotion held the title of account executive, Sales, began his career with Partners Insurance Group, LLC in 2015 as a licensed producer. Previously, he worked in a customer service capacity with MEDITECH in Fall River. He is licensed in Property, Casualty, Life and Health Insurance, is a Certified Insurance Service Representative and is pursuing his certified Insurance Counselor designation.
CLA has promoted Shannon Crowley of Marshfield to the position of principal in the professional services firm.
Crowley has been working in the firm’s nonprofit and education groups for the past 10 years, out of CLA’s Quincy office.
Crowley’s role at CLA includes overseeing audit engagements and being responsible for engagement planning, staff supervision and coordination with client personnel to ensure successful completion of projects. She also serves as a member of CLA’s Employee Benefit Assurance Services Group, specializing in oversight, planning, and implementation of employee benefit plan audit engagements, including the audits of 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and defined benefit plans.
She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.
The Cape Cod and Islands Association of REALTORS® has announced its most recent class of REALTORS® to obtain the Cape Cod Real Estate Specialist Designation.
They are Kim Arestad, William Raveis Real Estate; Marcie Smith, Kinlin Grover Real Estate; Pamela Heylin, Rand Atlantic; Amanda Bebrin, Chatelain Real Estate; Jennifer McCartin, Sotheby’s International Realty; Allison Beavan, William Raveis Real Estate; Laurian Schultz, Cape Cod Associates Real Estate; and Jennifer Peto, Today Real Estate. CCIAOR members achieve this designation through a set curriculum of classes and experiences that provide deep insight into Cape Cod real estate and training on being a professional in the real estate industry. These members all obtained their Cape Cod Real Estate Specialist in 2020 or 2021.
Bay Copy has announced the appointment of Peter Racicot of Sandwich to the newly-created position of Director of Healthcare and Strategic Accounts.
In this role, Racicot will work to further expand Bay Copy’s growing presence in the healthcare/medical field. The former Senior Vice President at Fallon Ambulance Service brings 35 years’ experience in the healthcare/medical industry to his new role at Bay Copy.
Racicot joined Fallon Ambulance in 1985 and worked his way up through the family business, starting as an EMT and becoming the company’s Senior Vice President. Under his watch, he oversaw the company’s expansion into a new facility in Quincy and the addition of a number of communities which used Fallon as their primary 911 provider. Racicot remained with Fallon Ambulance through its sale to Transformative Healthcare in 2018, and was instrumental in securing contracts recently with the City of Newton and UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Jay Packett, assistant operations manager at The Captains’ Course in Brewster, has been named director of golf operations, following the retirement of longtime superintendent Mark O’Brien.
A native of Brewster who took his first golf lesson at the town-owned course in 1986, Packett earned his bachelor of science degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Professional Golf Management from Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C. After graduating, Packett returned to Brewster where he took a position as an assistant golf professional at The Captains. In 2006, he was named assistant operations manager.
Packett’s future plans include raising awareness of the courses and Freemans Grill, the onsite restaurant, via social media, to attract and retain younger players and bring the membership together.
Nolia Mabel Studio, a new skincare spa providing professional services and products that benefit skin conditions common to the New England climate, has opened at 116 State Rd Suite 1 in Sagamore Beach.
Owner Nicole Perullo said the studio is named after her two great grandmothers, Nolia and Mabel. Nolia Mabel provides skincare treatments, facials and waxing services along with clean, eco-conscious skincare products.
A Sandwich native, Perullo has had a decade-long career as a professional esthetician.
For more information visit www.noliamabel.com
BayCoast Mortgage Company, LLC announces that Marc Walz of Westport has been hired as a senior loan officer.
Walz joins BayCoast Mortgage Company with more than 23 years of experience in the industry, most recently with a large national bank in Boston where he performed in a specialized market for high volume jumbo portfolio mortgages, condos and new construction mortgages.
Cape Cod Academy has appointed Chris Wray of Chatham to the kindergarten through Grade 12 school’s board of trustees effective Feb. 1.
Wray recently retired from a 36-year career, initially in finance and consulting, before setting up his own company in 2005 to provide commercial piloting and consultancy services to onshore helicopter operating companies. His career began in consulting at Arthur Andersen and later Andersen Consulting. From there he moved into a variety of investment banking front office technology roles at JP Morgan, Chase Manhattan and Barclays.
He earned a master’s degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University and a master’s in Finance from the London Business School.
Jill Tompkins of Falmouth has joined South Shore Habitat for Humanity as senior development officer.
Tompkins brings to the organization more than 16 years of fund-raising experience working with a diverse group of nonprofit organizations, assisting in meeting fundraising goals through capital campaigns, grant writing, stewardship, major gifts and cause marketing.
Prior to joining South Shore Habitat for Humanity Tompkins served as the director of development for the Talking Information Center in Marshfield. She earned a bachelor of arts in English Literature from Smith College and a Certification in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.
OpenCape, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Cape Cod’s 100 percent fiber optic network, has named Sean Gonsalves of Mashpee to its board of directors.
Gonsalves is a senior reporter, editor and researcher for the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. Gonsalves reports for ILSR on municipal broadband networks and what communities nationwide are doing to close the digital divide.
Previously, he was a reporter, columnist and news editor with the Cape Cod Times and a former nationally syndicated columnist in 22 newspapers, including the Oakland Tribune, Kansas City Star and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Washington Post and the International Herald-Tribune.
At the January meeting of the Cape and Islands United Way Board of Directors, David B. Smith, CFA, was elected a board member.
Smith, a resident of Falmouth, is managing director and chief investment officer at Rockland Trust, where he oversees and manages the Investment Management Group. In this capacity, he is involved in performing research and setting investment policy, as well as managing client portfolios.
Prior to joining Rockland Trust, Smith was a founding partner, Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at Mellon Growth Advisors, a subsidiary of Mellon Financial Corporation. He also held positions at State Street Global Advisors and the Tuckerman Group, a real estate subsidiary of SSgA. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and a MS in Finance from the Sawyer School of Management at Suffolk University.
Julene Augusta, owner and vice president of Falmouth Lumber, Inc., has been voted to the Falmouth Road Race Inc. Board of Directors.
Augusta, a longtime Falmouth resident, has served as a Falmouth Town Meeting member and chairman of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and has been a participant in the Falmouth Road Race.
Since 2012, Falmouth Road Race, Inc., has contributed more than $3.69 million to projects that promote the health and wellness of Falmouth and the surrounding area.
Andrea Aldana, Eastham-based Community Development Partnership’s Director of Housing Advocacy, has been elected to the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association’s (CHAPA) Board of Directors.
CHAPA, one of the state’s leading advocacy organizations for affordable housing, encourages the production and preservation of housing that is affordable to low-and-moderate income families and individuals and to foster diverse and sustainable communities through planning and community development.
The Hundred Acre School, the pre-K through Grade 1 STEM school at Heritage Museums and Gardens, will be expanding to add two new classrooms by renovating existing space in the same building as the current school.
The wing of the building currently housing The Heritage Collection exhibit will be remodeled to contain classrooms, and the addition of a connecting hallway linking the two wings of the building will make this new school building complete. The Looff Carousel, at the center of the building, will remain open to the public.
The expansion of the school will result in a total of five classrooms to offer a range of classrooms from pre-K to Grade 2 in a phased-in approach.
Now in its seventh year, the mission of The Hundred Acre School is to teach children to wonder, play, question, explore, discover and learn together while developing the habits that assure superior success as engaged and productive citizens. The Hundred Acre School engages students in active learning using Heritage’s museum collections, physical facilities and 100-acre grounds.
For more information, visit 100acreschool.org or email the director of The Hundred Acre School, Melissa Russell, M.Ed., at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Murphy of Bridgewater has joined United Way of Greater Plymouth County as Director of Resource Development.
She has 12 years of fund-raising experience including leadership roles at the Hockomock Area YMCA, The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter, the UMass Boston Fund and the Old Colony YMCA. Most recently, Murphy served as United Way of Greater Plymouth County’s Donor Engagement Specialist, conducting workplace campaigns, generating philanthropic giving, in addition to working on annual events.
Children’s Cove, the Cape and Islands Child Advocacy Center, has launched a digital campaign called IU2U, which stands for, “It’s Up to You.” The campaign aims to increase awareness of online sexual exploitation among youth and parents/caregivers.
IU2U is comprised of several components including, a live “Virtual Block Party,” teen testimonial videos and The Pledge, which youth make to agree to engage safely online and to let someone know if they need help.
Children’s Cove works in partnership with local law enforcement, the Department of Children and Families and the District Attorney’s Office to achieve a comprehensive and coordinated response to cases of online and commercial sexual exploitation of children on the Cape and Islands.
For more information visit the Children’s Cove website.
Mashpee-based Community Health Center of Cape Cod has integrated recovery coaching into its Substance Use Disorder Program, and named Jeffrey Rose as the organization’s first recovery coach.
A recovery coach is a unique role with a strong base in trust building, compassion and empathy. Recovery coaches have lived addiction experience with long term recovery, as well as specialized training to guide fellow recoverees toward achieving their recovery goals.
As an integrated part of the Health Center’s Substance Use Disorder Program,Rose will connect with recoverees within the Health Center and the community to help remove barriers and obstacles to recovery through mentorship and guidance.
He has more than four years of experience in recovery support roles on Cape Cod, most recently as a recovery specialist for the Gosnold Emergency Department, and he holds multiple specialist and counselor certifications in the substance use recovery field.
Former interim CEO Marty Bruemmel has been named the new president and CEO of the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, effective April 1, 2021.
Bruemmel served as interim president after former president and CEO (and current board chairman) Todd Deluca left the organization late last year for a private sector job. Bruemmel has an extensive business background, including 32 years as an entrepreneur as owner of Prestige Valet Parking. In addition, he has worked for a variety of businesses on the Cape in and around tourism, hospitality and radio.
In addition to his business experience, Bruemmel is a past board member of the Cape Cod Hospitality Marketing Association, Dennis Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce. He served as the president of board of directors for both Leadership Cape Cod and The Cape Cod Community Media Center.
He attended Massasoit Community College and is a graduate of Leadership Cape Cod.
“Marty is passionate about helping businesses as we reopen the economy and looks forward to supporting local businesses along that path to success,” said Deluca.
Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, a nonprofit committed to funding scientific research, improving public safety and educating the community about white sharks, has announced the appointment of Anna R. Oposa of The Philippines to the board of directors.
Oposa is a marine conservationist and the executive director of Save Philippine Seas (SPS), an organization that mobilizes collective action and behavior change to protect coastal and marine environments through education and community-based projects. She helped to create the first shark sanctuary in the Philippines and to designate the thresher shark as a nationally protected species.
In addition to her primary role at SPS, Oposa serves as a consultant for Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, the United Nations Development Programme, The Purpose Business and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In 2018, she led environmental education workshops for coastal and marine conservation in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands for ADB. She has also served as a technical adviser to the Philippine government on climate change, marine wildlife trade, and migratory species since 2010.
Death Of A Salesman
The rules have changed in real estate sales. Here’s how to adapt your strategy.
By Katie Clancy
Traditional sales can be boiled down to one objective: getting strangers to give you money for your product or service.
It is a process which can be standardized, tracked and measured, and as long as you can fog a mirror, you can execute on it. But this concept as a culture is also the source of most of the problems in the sales industry:
- Burnout: We know strangers don’t want to be cold-called, converted, handled, etc. and it feels icky to do. We do it anyway, because eventually it works. But it’s a shallow, dirty win and it creates a cognitive dissonance internally that wears us down. Only 20 percent or so of the people who go into real estate sales stay in the job for more than two years, and the ones that stay suffer elevated levels of mental illness, depression, divorce, and suicide.
- The Loyalty Gap: According to the National Association of Realtors, 74 percent of consumers would use us again but only 12 percent do, because we don’t stay in touch. We don’t stay in touch because we are afraid they don’t want to hear from us; the truth is most of them don’t care if they hear from us or not. We have been commoditized by our own commodity.
- Disrupters: Anything that can be standardized, tracked, and measured can be done by tech at scale. For companies and industries that still rely on cold lead conversion as their main source of customer acquisition, the sky is literally falling. We can’t compete here anymore.
Since the dawn of the internet, the consumer has been gaining more and more power over the sales and marketing process. We can no longer keep secrets from them, they won’t be lied to, they won’t be controlled*, and to a great extent, they won’t even be advertised to. The people are making the rules now and if we (the brands, companies, and industries) want to survive we need to play by them.
- Make the customer the hero. From Donald Miller’s “Building a Story Brand,” “Positioning the customer as the hero in the story is more than just good manners; it’s also good business.”
- Shift focus and resources from the pre-sale process to the post-sale process. Put less emphasis on working with strangers, more on working with friends (repeat customers and referrals/ customers as a sales force). Think birthday video messages, client events, VIP Facebook groups
- Get out from behind the curtain. Your customers want you to be human and accessible. This might be the most impactful move you can make.
In short, the objective of modern sales could be described as building and maintaining meaningful relationships with people whose problems can be solved with your product or service. It’s messy, slow to get started and it takes things like courage and patience to implement. However, if you refocus all of your grind to this effort, you will build a sustainable, resilient sales business. It will fuel you rather than drain you; once you’ve got it rolling, it actually gets easier to keep going. You will work over and over with people who are the best fit, and, to borrow a phrase from RateMyAgent, a company who is already here in their sales/marketing mindset, you will be undisruptable.
Katie Clancy of The Cape House Team at William Raveis built her award-winning brand from the ashes of the recession with virtually no money. Today she leads a $30 million real estate team, is a national industry speaker, co-hosts the What’s Good Cape Cod YouTube show, and hosts The Happiest Person in Real Estate Podcast. Katie lives in Dennis with her husband, daughters, and two rude little dogs.
SPOTLIGHT ON GIVING
Access Line: 1-877-CAPECOD
Total number of employees: Cape Cod Healthcare is comprised of more than 450 physicians, 5,300 employees and 790 volunteers
Annual revenues: $979 million
Year established: 1920
To coordinate and deliver the highest quality, accessible health services, which enhance the health of all Cape Cod residents and visitors.
Michael K. Lauf
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF CAPE COD HEALTHCARE
Christopher M. Lawson
SVP AND CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER OF CAPE COD HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION
We touch people’s lives in so many places and so many ways.
From our beginnings as a single visiting nurse 100 years ago, to more than 450 physicians, 5,300 employees and 790 volunteers, we are giving patients access to superior healthcare – close to home.
Thank you for your support!
c/o First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union
200 Mill Rd., Suite 100
Fairhaven, MA 02719
Total number of employees: 6
Year established: 2014
All towns across Cape Cod
Mary Taylor Program Manager
Zoom has become a critical tool for many of us in our business toolbox. The following list isn’t meant to be critical of my own or others’ shortcomings: it was my personal improvement journey in what was important to me and helped me get to a comfort level of how I wanted to present myself on camera.
Combating nervousness. Sometimes, I would become nervous during a first meeting or a webinar. I have adopted the following habits which help calm my nerves:
- Folding hands (yes, like in school) when the other person is talking.
- Have a pen and paper at my desk and take an occasional note.
- Putting my hands on my knees. It’s invisible to the camera.
- Keep a glass of water off camera, near the desk. Use a glass with a wide base to provide stability.
Have an outline ready. Print a cheat sheet of the basic things that apply to you, in simple bulleted form. Review and make sure each item is properly addressed in advance of your meeting. Remember to write a few major bullet points if it is a discussion such as recognizing sponsors or thanking people who helped with the Presentation.
Record yourself in advance. Evaluate lighting, sound, your physical mannerisms and your verbal communication skills.
Hygiene and dress. I’ll point out the obvious. Do everything you would do as if you were meeting a client at their office. You want to feel refreshed and great. Wear clothing that makes you feel comfortable and confident.
Lighting. If you are unable to purchase professional lighting options, Zoom has a built-in lighting and complexion correction function.
Sound. Poor sound is hard to get past when digesting the concepts that are being communicated to you. I picked up a reasonably-priced Blue Yetti Mic that did the trick for me.
Background. Remove any non-professional items from your background, such as laundry, trash cans, pet food, empty bags, dirty cups and dishes, etc.
Establish A Zoom Base. It’s really important to find a quiet and comfortable place in your home to set up a permanent Zoom shop. That includes an outlet for your equipment. Your Zoom base should have only what you need, uncluttered, and ready to go. There’s nothing worse than the panic of being late for a meeting and moving equipment around.
Interruptions. OK, maybe just the pets. The room I am Zooming in is equipped with a door and I place a sign that reads: “On a Zoom meeting until (insert meeting end time ]. If you have a service worker such as a plumber, carpenter, etc., text them in advance in case they come early.
Arrive Early. Early is on time; on time is late. Plan to be 15 minutes early at your Zoom base and test your devices. Have a backup plan such as a phone in case your primary hardware fails. Test your lighting, sound and be ready to roll at least 5 minutes before your meeting starts.
Camera Position. Place your camera at or slightly above eye level. This alleviates dark areas on your face and is generally considered a complementary angle.
Internet Connection. Make sure you are connected to the correct Wi-Fi. There have been a couple occasions when my laptop grabs a neighboring, unlocked Wi-Fi. You may not realize the poor quality of the connection until you start presenting.
Invite a co-worker or colleague to watch or join. Let them join or meet with them a few minutes early. They will be able to verify the sound and video is working well. Consider a co-host, perhaps a co-worker. Having a cohost on a webinar provides a more dynamic atmosphere and can help if you have hardware failure mid-presentation. Make sure you have a shared cloud based presentation you can both access if you run into screen share issues.
In addition to cloud-based presentations, if your internet connection starts to become unstable, switching to a local version may help. It will also help if you run into issues accessing the cloud-based service. Your co-host should have access to cloud and local versions as well and can run the presentation for you if you run into trouble.
Dale Shadbegian is CEO of Cape & Plymouth Business Media and 118Group. He can be reached at email@example.com
Steve Boutin is passionate about clean air. In fact, the CEO of Sensible Medical, based in Hanover, believes that clean air environments are more crucial now than ever before. Sensible Medical offers surgically clean air solutions for office settings, clinics and the operating room, and has become a distributor of the JADE air purification system.
JADE provides superior air purification through a combination of HEPA filtration, non-ozone producing UV-C germicidal light, odor-eliminating carbon filtering, and negative ion generator technologies. The result is a high-volume air flow purification capacity.
“I was familiar with the JADE air purification system due to my background in medical devices and operating room HVAC requirements,” said Boutin. “With the advent of the SARS CoV-2 COVID-19 pandemic, we needed to determine the best affordable, portable medical filtration device to represent. We selected the JADE as the only six-stage, medical-grade air purification device to protect frontline workers in the medical and business community. The JADE can capture, contain and eradicate the SARS viruses, bacteria, mold, VOCs and other pollutants.”
Boutin’s company vetted many systems and found that the JADE air purification system is the most advanced and effective portable air purification system on the market today. It’s designed to capture 99.2 percent of aerosolized particulates that can carry the SARS viruses which are greater than .0025 -microns, and 99.998 percent of all that are greater than .1 microns. This room air purification is accomplished by continually “scrubbing,” or exchanging the room with purified air.
“JADE can control indoor ambient air to medical grade status – exchanging the air in a hospital patient’s room is 6 ACH (Air Exchanges per Hour) and 15 times per hour for an operating room. With respect to SARS viruses, the JADE captures and prevents the viruses from finding a human host, specifically the lungs.” Boutin said.
Sensible Medical focuses on medical-grade, clean-air solutions for offices, clinics and hospitals, he added. The JADE-Room Air has the most versatility for use in all of these areas. “We also distribute the Operio/SteriStay for operating rooms and a new product, the SCONE, which is a patient negative pressure device used on individuals in a hospital setting,” he added.
According to Boutin, the JADE air purification system was developed after the last SARS virus in 2003. Following that pandemic, the CDC did a study to determine which medical professions would be most susceptible to viral cross contamination from aerosolized particulates. It was determined that oral surgeons and dentists were the most vulnerable to any viral transmission, as they actually add aerosolized particulates to the air via the procedures they perform. That resulted in the use of the JADE technology in over 7,000 dental offices and surgical suites, such as Tufts England Medical Center in Boston, medical clinics and schools, such as Northeastern University which purchased over 200 units this year.
“The scientific reality, now supported by the CDC and many university studies, is that the virus has the ability to infect people via sub-micron aerosolized particulates, such as COVID-19, which are .06 to .14 microns,” said Boutin. “It is scientific fact that these viral particulates can remain airborne for up to 16 hours in a poorly ventilated room, as viruses are approximately 100 times smaller than bacteria. This made us realize that the need for a clean air device like the JADE, that can actually capture, contain and eradicate these aerosolized particulates as small as .0025 microns, is what we need in the medical arena and also for other small businesses to protect staff and provide the sense of security for customers to return and keep businesses open.”
No other air purifier on the market has a six-stage filtration system that includes HEPA-RX, carbon filter, UV-C Light and negative ion generation, he said. The superior room air volume exchange capacity meets or exceeds CD and EPA guidelines, with an air exchange rate of 6 to 20 times per hour depending on which one of the 4 fan speeds selected and utilizes JADE’s HEPA-RX filter which surpasses a MERV 16 filter rating capturing 99.2% of all aerosolized particles as small as .0025 microns.
The JADE system, while originally intended for medical use, is now also available for residential use.
Sensible Medical currently ships its products anywhere in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii, through a national network of independent representatives. However, it remains specifically focused on the New England region and the current needs here in Massachusetts.
“We have donated the use of the air systems to local assisted-living communities during vaccination programs,” Boutin said. “Additionally, we’ve provided them for our local food pantry volunteers for the past several weeks, and to a local daycare that had shut down twice with outbreaks. As we grow, we look forward to doing more in the community.
“Even with vaccinations for COVID now underway, we are a long way from recovery and, unfortunately, this and future viral infections will continue to be a menace to our wellbeing,” he added. “It is not uncommon for viruses to mutate. The takeaway is that viruses are here to stay and individuals should take the precautions necessary to protect themselves with proper PPE and air purification systems such as the JADE. Our mission is to spread the word that cleaning the air in confined spaces is not only doable, but affordable and can save lives.”
Boutin’s hope is that people will recognize the safety and utility of proper room ventilation and the use of air purifiers like the JADE to promote a healthy environment to work, play and gather. The key message, he said, is that whatever the variant or mutation that comes along, we purge the air of aerosolized particulates that host these viruses providing a clean air environment for everyone to enjoy.
By Carol K. Dumas
The state’s renumbering of Route 6’s exits may have escaped the attention of many commuters confined to home during the past year.
But not Kathleen Giorgio, who seized the opportunity to launch a new product line.
After receiving an enthusiastic response from Red Nun Exit 11 products last year, Red Nun owner Mike Giorgio’s wife Kathleen spun the idea into a standalone concept called EXITMERCH.
Based in Harwich, EXITMERCH is a line of merchandise and apparel from stickers to trucker hats to tees to can koozies and more. Giorgio and her business partner Mike Silvester worked with local artist/designer Mary Catherine Starr to create a few variations of the exit logo – including a Cape variety, a Bay State variety, along with the traditional simple numbered exit.
The new exit numbers reflect the distance from the beginning of Route 6, on the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border. Annoyingly, for some travelers and the countless businesses that have carried the same exit numbers on directions for years, the exit numbers are not consecutive as the previous exits (numbered 1 through 12). For example, the former Exit 6 is now Exit 68 and former Exit 7 is Exit 72.
“Exit 11, for example, was my beacon, growing up, since I used to come to the Cape from Boston when I was in college,” said Giorgio, who describes her business as a “side hustle,” as she is a full-time social worker in Barnstable Public Schools and also helps out with public relations and marketing for The Red Nun.
EXITMERCH is selling directly through its website [exitmerch.com] and social media [@exitmerch] as well as wholesale to retailers. Additionally, they offer co-brand options and are in connection with hotels, restaurants and retailers who wish to combine branding for their own custom lines.
“The winter 2020 exit renumbering project has accelerated interest among many and reminds us that exit is so much more than a number,” said Giorgia. “The associations we have with ‘our’ destination exits connect us home – they take us where we want to go! EXITMERCH celebrates that association.”
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation said the changes comply with a federal mandate. Federal funds will pay for 90 percent of the cost of changing sign numbers. The former exit numbers will remain on the newly numbered signs for a year.
Massachusetts was among only three states (Delaware and New Hampshire are the others) that had not converted to a mileage-based highway system.
EXITMERCH merchandise is made in Concord and at Kaleidoscope Imprints in West Yarmouth.
“It’s been fun,” said Giorgio. “The business is evolving and we’ll see where it goes.”
Pandemic-Fueled Real Estate Market Changing Region’s Demographics
By Carol K. Dumas
Last year, a perfect storm of sorts swirled in the real estate industry, a storm that’s still swirling into early 2021.
A drop in mortgage interest rates created a record-setting seller’s market in residential real estate. A year ago, fears of the spreading pandemic closed offices in Boston, Hartford and Providence, increasing the remote workforce in some sectors. Suddenly, escaping the cities was an attainable goal for many, young families as well as older workers on the cusp of retirement, as both groups saw no reason to delay their plans to moving to less-congested areas offering a quieter lifestyle. Coastal communities on the South Shore and Cape Cod have particularly felt the metro migration.
The Cape’s regional planning agency, The Cape Cod Commission, said the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in “unprecedented changes to the way we live and work, citing anecdotal evidence that, due to the pandemic, more people are choosing to either remain in their second homes for longer periods of the year or move to the region full time during the peak summer season and in the off-season.
“With the pandemic, people freaked out… realizing that life is short, ‘lets go buy that house on the Cape we’ve been thinking about,’” said Katie Clancy, a Dennis Realtor with The Cape House Team at William Raveis. “People were looking for places for the whole family… including grandma.”
“Real estate has been insane,” agreed Susan Winslow of Team Alberti with Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Orleans, which had the most sales and highest increase among towns on Cape Cod. “We sold all our listings, except for one (as of March 4) and we’re trying to build our inventory back up. Now there seems to be a deepening desperation with buyers, concern they will be shut out of the market. We’ve had lines of people waiting to go into open houses, people making offers from 6 percent to 10 percent over the asking price and buying without home inspections.”
On the South Shore, units of sales in 2020 were up slightly, but because of price increases of 12 percent overall volume of homes sold was up about 11 percent, said Realtor Carol Bulman, president and CEO of Jack Conway & Co. in Norwell. Average prices in the area rose to nearly $500,000, and represented an increase of 18 percent over 2019 prices. The main driver was low interest rates.
“We experienced a ‘flight to the suburbs’ when the pandemic took hold, as well as buyers looking for at-home schooling, home office and home gym space. This significant ‘seller’s market’ set the stage for a buying frenzy causing stress among the large buyer pool.”
On Cape Cod, Cod and the Islands Association of Realtors CEO Ryan Castle said they had reports of homes getting more than 50 showings in a weekend and more than 10 offers.
“The 2020 market broke and then rebroke records in nearly every key measurable category, setting new historic highs for median sales price, dollar volume and transaction volume,” Castle said. “Closed sales ended the year up nearly 20 percent for single family homes, and median sales price ended the year up 17.8 percent. Market activity was unusually brisk through the winter, reflecting continued strong demand for homes on Cape Cod.”
The median sales price was $570,000 for single-family homes and $369,400 for condominiums. Last December, 438 homes (353 single-family homes and 85 condos) sold at a median price of $435,000 for single-family homes and $292,500 for condominiums.
At the end of January, there were only 654 single-family homes and condominiums listed for sale in the Cape Cod and Islands Multiple Listing Service, a 56.5 percent drop in home sales from January 2020.
What will be the impact on communities due to population shifts? It’s not an easy answer.
The Cape Cod Commission said that understanding population shifts is complicated by the changes to our daily lives, such as working or schooling remotely. To evaluate the effects on the Cape’s population, staff looked at a number of indicators, such as changes in traffic, outdoor recreation, household water and electricity use and changes in school enrollment. (See sidebar Page XX).
The Commission plans to conduct a homeowner’s survey in 2021 to collect primary data from people who have moved to Cape Cod in 2020, as well as those who are spending more time in the region, in a home they already own or rent. This data will help to fully understand the potential increase in the region’s population, as well as whether the increase is a short-term impact or can be anticipated to continue for the long-term.
Peter Forman, CEO of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, said that the most common concern with new growth is the impact on schools.
“The reality is that most new housing, especially multi-family housing is having very little impact on local schools since most towns have a declining population of school-age residents,” he said. “More valid concerns tend to be around local traffic or in some cases water/wastewater issues. Many local leaders welcome new growth because they realize current demographic trends will ultimately threaten the tax base and local services. Many businesses are helped by a larger customer base or a larger talent base for hiring.”
The South Shore, particularly Quincy and Plymouth, have been popular with metro migrants, said Forman, who observes that many businesses have found their customer base has expanded as a result.
“It is hard to make a direct tie between business location and new residential growth but ultimately an active area with potential customers or employees helps attract businesses,” he added. “The great unknown will be how COVID-19 leads to more Boston companies looking to relocate. Then we may see companies choosing where in the suburbs to move based on the workforce strength of an area.”
“With commuting less of a consideration for some, people are willing to move farther away from the city, which has driven interest higher and inventory lower in communities outside of Route 128,” said Bulman. “School systems, recreation and active lifestyle decisions are driving interest.”
While many office workers became remote last year, there has been a growing interest in getting back to the office, now that the pandemic seems to be ebbing.
Kevin Pape, managing director of Commercial Realty Advisors Inc. in Hyannis says the commercial market is very strong and similar to the residential challenges of finding inventory, with some exceptions.
“Office demand for larger (for Cape Cod) spaces, as well as restaurant interest, remains soft,” Pape said. “Demand for ‘industrially oriented’ properties, such as warehouses and business bays, is off the charts. Interest in and activity of income producing properties remains strong, as investors seek stability. Buyers of all sorts, investors and end-users alike, continue to take advantage of the historically low interest rates, but are finding many challenges to do so, with the aforementioned lack of inventory.”
“The saving grace for the office market on Cape Cod remains the outflow of urban workers to their second homes and rentals,” he continued. “Many face logistical challenges within the confines of spaces that were designed for leisure, not remote working or remote learning, as it turns out. As a result, demand has been fairly brisk for the leasing of shared office spaces and private office suites.”
CapeSpace offers private office rental, meeting room rental, communal workspace memberships and virtual offices (mail services) in Hyannis and Mashpee. While the pandemic did impact their communal workspace, President Robbin Orbison said there has been an increase in interest from summer vacationers and the company is also seeing those vacationers staying longer – into September, October and even November.
“We also are seeing an increase in inquiries from remote workers who are spending more time (if not full time) in their second homes on the Cape year round,” said Orbison.
“We have pretty much been sold out of private offices from the beginning,” she added. “We did have some people drop their offices last summer over the worst of the pandemic shutdown period, but they were filled up again pretty quickly. We currently have a waiting list.The negative impacts of the pandemic for us have been the communal workspace memberships and the meeting rooms – anything that involves multiple people sharing the same airspace.”
Is the traditional office dead?
“The hassles of commuting and density of public transit will make it challenging to justify metro offices going forward,” observed John Ciluzzi, president, John Ciluzzi’s Premiere Commercial, Centerville, who describes the commercial real estate market as “healthy.” “Even within our submarket here on the Cape and Islands, numerous scaled employers are examining what their remote work culture will look like in the future.”
Sadly, the increase in prices for single family homes is shutting out many buyers.
“Those getting squeezed out of housing in today’s market are those who traditionally could afford to buy on Cape Cod,” said Castle. “They simply cannot compete with the addition of a new demographic of buyers who are looking towards the Cape as a result of the pandemic. We need to incentivize the creation of market rate middle income housing construction that is elusive to build due to a combination of regulation, and the costs of permitting, land, materials and labor.”
“My biggest cause is to figure out how to get entry level housing, places where our kids can live for a while,” said Clancy. “There is a need for entry-level workforce housing without impacting our natural beauty, environment on Cape Cod. Some 26 percent of Cape workforce commutes from over the bridge as they can’t afford to live here.”
The South Shore has been proactive in addressing the workforce housing shortage with the formation of the initiative, South Shore 2030: Choosing Our Future, a long-range plan to make the area more competitive for economic growth. The initiative is led by the South Shore Chamber’s Forman and Chris Oddleifson, CEO of Rockland Trust Company.
Forman pointed out that one of the impediments to a stronger regional economy is demographics: more people retiring than entering the workforce.
“We immediately realized the key to changing that was to diversify our housing stock – to create more of the housing that younger people were looking for if we were going to attract them,” said Forman. “Essentially our agenda was to promote more of the product that the housing market was looking for (smaller lots, multi-family) rather than the larger detached, single family homes that zoning promotes.”
“Thoughtful housing policy is essential for a healthy economy which, in turn, creates wins for families, communities, businesses, and the commonwealth,” added Oddleifson.
Clancy is excited that the demographics of Barnstable County — which has one of the oldest populations in the country — could change due to pandemic-fueled migration here– and Cape Cod could see more young families relocating here.
“It could be a real plus for the Cape: young people who are going to frequent restaurants, shops, who are interested in the arts, culture too; New young blood into politics, leadership. We need the vitality of the guts of the population here.”
Data that may indicate changes in population
- From March 2020 through the end of the year, overall traffic was lower than in 2019. This is likely due to the fact that people generally were driving less—whether because they were working remotely or simply weren’t traveling as much given closures and restrictions—even if, perhaps, there were more people staying on the Cape.
- Vehicle crossings over the canal bridges decreased in 2020, compared with 2019, most significant in spring 2020, beginning in March, but returned to a closer to normal number throughout the summer and fall.
- An increase in traffic was reported from Route 6 at the Wellfleet/Eastham town line) in September and October 2020 compared to 2019. It is unclear whether the increase in activity is from people staying in the area long-term, short-term visitors, or residents who typically spend their winters in warmer climates who decided to remain in place.
- Bicyclist and pedestrian activity along the Cape Cod Rail Trail increased 22 percent compared to 2019. Activity was up even more in the fall and winter months—up by nearly 50 percent in September and double or more for October through December.
- Preliminary available data show a year-over-year increase in residential energy use from April 2020 through September 2020.
- During that same time period, commercial energy use appears to have declined. These findings may indicate a shift to time spent at home and the more limited operations of our commercial establishments.
- Many public schools saw a decline in enrollment (when comparing October 2020 to October 2019). With parents potentially shifting to homeschooling or private schools due to the pandemic, it is difficult to determine if there are more school aged children on the Cape. It is also possible that school aged children that are spending time on Cape Cod may be remote learning through their home district, off-Cape.
Source: Cape Cod Commission
Scituate SF, 4BRs, 2BAs, 2,085SF, $799,000
Whitman SF, 3BRs, 2 BAs, 1,795 SF, $825,000
Hanson SF, 2BRs, 1BA, 950SF, $325,000
Plymouth CONDO, 2BRs, 3 BAs, $479,000
Lakeville SF, 2BRs, 1BA, 1425SF, $269,000
Hingham SF, 5BRs, 4BAs, 3,500SF, is $1,399,000
Source: Jack Conway & Co. Inc., Norwell
By Mary Lenihan and Donnie Robicheau
We’re in a brand-new calendar year, and business owners are turning their attention to planning and setting new goals. Those tasks might seem daunting, especially after the challenges of 2020. Many of our clients start by asking us, “What’s the first thing I should do?” To help maximize the New Year, we’ll walk you through our four best tips by learning from 2020, record keeping, communicating, and aligning yourself with the right resources.
Make Sure Your House Is In Order
Before diving into 2021, it’s important to look back on 2020. For starters, get your books in order. Once that’s set, you can reflect on what worked and what didn’t. COVID-19 threw everyone a curveball, but it’s important to take those lessons and incorporate them into planning for 2021. For example, business owners should think about their needs in terms of everything from equipment to supplies and to hiring. Many businesses, especially in construction, had trouble fulfilling services because it was difficult to get the supplies they needed in 2020. The situation became a domino effect. Everybody’s waiting on everybody else, and that slows things down. To the extent that you can anticipate and line things up, that will help things go more smoothly for your business.
Upgrade Your Record Keeping
To start, look at what resources you’re already using. Do you use accounting software? How much of the software features and tools are you taking advantage of? And have you spent any time on that software learning how to maximize its benefits? If you’re not using any sort of software, do you have a ledger book? Do you have bookkeeper support, and do you have an accountant who is available to help with questions that inevitably come up? The final question is to ask yourself, “How are those resources helping me achieve the goals that I’ve set on an annual basis?”
Keep Communication Lines Open
In order for your business to stay relevant and competitive, it’s crucial that you are proactive. Review any contracts with your vendors because COVID-19 changed the way we do business. You want to make sure that you’re incorporating any of those new provisions into your contracts; things that we didn’t think about a year ago are relevant now. With other service providers, find out whether you’re taking advantage of their best offerings. And your bank is one of the most important relationships because that’s where you live – that’s where your checking and savings accounts and loans are. It’s essential to reach out to your clients. Social media, emails, and phone calls will help keep your business front and center with clients.
Sort Through The Noise
Information needs to flow inbound to a business as well, and there seems to be no end of resources. To help you digest all that information, get involved with industry groups that are specific to your business; visit your local chamber of commerce website; sign-up for newsletters; check government sites, like the Small Business Administration; and build a relationship with your banker and check your bank’s website. We recommend picking a couple of sources to use on a daily or weekly basis. When it comes to social media, you need to understand what or who the source is. Is it well-vetted information? Many challenges are being thrown at business owners, but if you can, create a discipline where you lift your head up – whether it be an hour a day or an hour a week, whatever you can spare – to stay informed.
We all learned in 2020 that technology needs to be our friend, and it’s important to improve that relationship this year, from record keeping to client outreach to keeping yourself informed. Though it may seem difficult at times, setting up and sticking to a routine will make it easier. And remember, your banker is one of your most vital resources to help you strategize for the future and benefit from the latest services and programs.
Mary Lenihan is a first vice president commercial relationship manager and Donnie Robicheau is a vice president branch manager, small business specialist with The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. Learn more at mycapecodbank.com or call 508-568-3400.
By Emily Richi
Forecasting for 2021 will be drastically different from any planning and projection work done in prior years.
In previous years, forecasting or planning for the coming year was often completed by looking at how history unfolded and applying new factors to the actual results, but the general operations of the company remained the same or with limited alternative factors applied.
However, in 2020, most companies had to completely reinvent themselves. Perhaps a new e-commerce distribution channel was created or strengthened, new customer bases were targeted, or products and service offerings were altered to significantly change margins or turnover rates. These pivots will require companies to remain flexible and dynamic going into 2021 by using both short-term and long-term models, applying probability estimates to a host of scenarios, ensuring that forecasts were easy to use and update to account for constant changes in expectations, and reviewing budget to actual at least quarterly to allow for less reactive and more proactive behavior.
What Should Be Considered?
In order to adapt 2020 results to 2021 forecasts, users must consider all of the aspects that may have contributed to 2020 being a different year. Cost pools are likely to have changed drastically with the elimination of discretionary costs such as travel, advertising, bonus or profit-share, and office expenses offset by the addition of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, office cleaning, and software or hardware investments to enable employees to successfully work remotely. Furthermore, there may have been one-time cash inflows, such as Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan proceeds and other assistance grants, or reductions to cash outflows through deferral of payroll taxes, debt, or lease payments. Balancing the unusual cash flows and timing of expense levels will require additional consideration this year.
Who Are The Users Of The Forecasts?
Another nuance of 2021 forecasting is that there will likely be many more users interested in the company’s forecasts and therefore, the use of multiple scenario models will be helpful. A worst-case scenario may be used internally to manage decision making for capital expenditures, resumption of paused benefits, and cash flow management. A best-case scenario can be used for internal motivation, goal setting, and creative thinking. An expected scenario which blends these two will be used for multiple third parties such as investors, bankers, and accountants, as well as the owners.
How Will The Forecasts Be Used?
Investors will use these expected scenarios for planned or potential buy or sell decisions. Business owners will use the forecasts for tax planning which becomes increasingly important with the political landscape and potential changes to tax rates.
From a financial statement perspective, forecasts will be used to determine valuation allowances against excess inventory based on sales projections. Fifteen-month cash flow forecasts may also be required to support going concern issues for those companies that suffered a decline in 2020, with new requirements to show positive cash positions one year from the date of financial statement issuance. Further, management has a choice in accounting standard regarding PPP loan proceeds. Forgiveness income may be recognized as income in the year the covered expenses were incurred (i.e., 2020), or when forgiveness is awarded (likely 2021). Scenario modeling of bottom-line results and financial covenants is vital to ensure that the proceeds produce the best financial answer for businesses. Beyond a simple bottom line or EBITDA calculation, debt covenants projections should be incorporated into the forecasts in order to determine when the forgiveness income should be recorded, given that companies have a choice in accounting standards.
Regardless of 2020 results, the overall pulse of the lending industry is increasingly stringent. Banks will be looking at forecasts and cash flow projections now more than ever to help determine loan amount, both for new debt and renewals.
Forecasts are a vital tool to successfully running your business and making sound decisions. Despite all of the intricacies and challenges that may arise with 2021 forecasting, being prepared will pay off in dividends. There are a lot of factors to weigh and users to balance. It may seem overwhelming and a bit of a “what comes first” situation, but that is where leaning on your trusted business advisors can help you excel. At Citrin Cooperman, we have experience with various client situations and we can present questions or points for consideration, as well as help with forecast modeling and decision support.
Emily Richi is a partner at Citrin Cooperman. For more information visit https://www.citrincooperman.com/
By Mike Hardman
If you are an employer, why should you hire Americans with disabilities? In a nutshell, it is very good for business and something, if you aren’t already doing, should be part of your hiring process immediately.
“The companies we work with already know this and have learned the value of hiring Americans with disabilities,” said Alan Hubbard, NTI Inc.’s chief operating officer. “You are getting employees who are dedicated and hard working. Our data shows they will stay with you longer and increase your productivity.”
NTI, which was recently featured in the New York Times on working at home during COVID-19 and on the Scripps’ Media national show, ‘The Race,’ offers training and job placement services to Americans with disabilities to allow them to find work in at-home call centers for government organizations, Fortune 500, and large and small companies. You can register at www.ntiathome.org.
Reason No. 1: If you aren’t hiring Americans with disabilities, you are limiting your talent pool and leaving top-level candidates out. “This is something we tell people all the time,” said Hubbard. “It isn’t easy to find top candidates, so why would you want to leave out a group of people? The people we train end up being at the top of the lists in the companies they work for.”
An Institute for Corporate Productivity report said that three out of four employers ranked their employees with a disability as good or very good on work quality, motivation, engagement, integration with co-workers, dependability, and attendance.
Reason No. 2: By hiring Americans with disabilities, you are increasing your market share showing you are aware of their needs and are including them in your company. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the disability community represents a trillion-dollar market segment, and they become your loyal customers.
“This is just good business for businesses,” said Hubbard. “This is a market that goes unnoticed too often by companies.”
Reason No. 3: Studies show that hiring Americans with disabilities makes for a better corporate environment and improves job morale.
“You are adding highly motivated people to your team,” said Hubbard. “They want the job, and they are willing to work hard to keep it. That rubs off on the rest of your employees.”
Reason No. 4: You are getting employees who tend to stay with a job for a long period of time, so you aren’t re-hiring after six or nine months. NTI’s research shows that people they place in jobs are more dependable and make themselves available when they are needed to be at work.
“Our research shows that our people stay longer and move up in the company,” said Hubbard. “They won’t be looking for another job when they start working for you. This allows you to keep your recruiting and training costs down, and that is good for the company’s bottom line.
“You are getting employers who you can count on when you need them. We have heard countless times from our business partners that a people we sent them has stepped in on a last-second notice to pitch in and help out.”
Reason No. 5: Your company may be eligible for tax credits and receive tax incentives for making your business more accessible to Americans with disabilities. Certain federal contractors are required to hire them.
“There are a lot of advantages for companies to hire Americans with disabilities,” said Hubbard. “As a business, you owe it to yourself to check out what is available for your company if you are hiring Americans with disabilities.” The U.S. Department of Labor provides guidelines for employers hiring Americans with disabilities.”
Mike Hardman is a content marketing associate for NTI@HOME. NTI Inc. helps Americans with disabilities find work-at–home opportunities in call centers for government organizations, Fortune 500, and large and small companies by offering free job training and job placement services.
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