Creating Sustainable Change
Many nonprofits are created to fill a void in the system, whether it’s a lack of housing, a need to protect land from development or provide healthcare for those who cannot afford it.
Recognizing that there is hunger might cloud your rosy view of Cape Cod, but the reality is there are people, especially older folks, going without nutritious meals every day. In 2021, a UMass study found Barnstable County, Massachusetts showed the greatest increase in hunger is in the senior population (65+). “The percentage of seniors who are hungry has grown to be four times what was reported before the pandemic. In January 2020, 1,945 seniors in the county needed more food. By December 2020, that number had risen to 8,121,” according to the study, which used data from food pantries.
Enter the Family Table Collaborative, a unique nonprofit whose mission is to “end hunger and improve nutritional security on Cape Cod by breaking down the barriers of access to both prepared meals and education.” FTC, initially formed as a response to the food shortages during the pandemic, is staffed mostly by volunteers who make nutritious meals and pack donated produce from local farms and grocers to be distributed free to those in need. Please read more about this amazing nonprofit in this month’s issue.
In addition, check out our Toolboxes, which provide some great business guidance and our monthly SCORE Mentoring column reminds businesses that client acquisition is a never ending process that should be constantly reviewed.
Thanks for your continued support. We’re here for you!
Food Insecurity Continues To Be A Reality
For far too many people, even here on the South Shore and Cape Cod, food insecurity is a reality. And the numbers are only increasing. It’s crucial to educate ourselves on the needs of those who face food insecurity, particularly in households with elderly individuals or children.
According to Project Bread, a Massachusetts-based food assistance organization, “Prior to the pandemic, household food insecurity in Massachusetts was at 8.2 percent. The coronavirus pandemic fueled a hunger crisis unlike any other in our lifetime, at its peak rendering 19.6 percent of households food insecure.”
While the current rate of food insecurity is lower than at the height of the pandemic, too many households continue to struggle with food access. Here are some of the numbers.
21.5% – As of early September 2022, an estimated 21.5 percent of households with children are facing food insecurity.
1 in 3 – From April to September 2022, 1 in 3 (35.7 percent) Black households with children and approximately 1 in 3 (36.1 percent) Latino/a households with children were food insecure.
16.6% – As of May 2022, 16.6 percent of LGBTQ+ households in Massachusetts experienced food insecurity, compared to 15.5% of non-LGBTQ+ households.
70% – An estimated 70 percent of households in Massachusetts that received the Child Tax Credit in July spent the payment on food, rent, utilities, or debt. The highest category was food.
Around the Region
Town of Nantucket
SOURCE: DATA.CENSUS.GOV, CENSUSREPORTER.ORG
Form of Government: Open Town Meeting
Total population: 14,255
American Indian or Alaska Native: 87
Hispanic or Latino: 1,577
Two or more races: 1,387
Total housing units: 2,485
Family households: 6,988
Average household size: 3.2
Median household income: $107,868
Per capita income: $49,918
Mean travel time to work: 13.3 minutes
Educational Attainment (age 25+)
High school graduate: 93.8%
Some college, no degree: 29%
Bachelor’s degree: 45.3%
Graduate or professional degree: 17%
Cape Cod Tech’s Adult Division Awarded $104,578 Grant
The Community School at Cape Cod Regional Technical School, one of Cape Cod’s leading
vocational schools for students seeking trade education and certification, has been awarded $104,578 in grant funding by the Baker-Polito Administration.
The grant will fund the Community School’s Winter 2023 Landscape Maintenance program, enabling The Community School to offer this program to accepted students free of charge. To learn more about the Landscape Maintenance program, visit
The Landscape Maintenance program is a comprehensive, four-month program designed to provide students with the introductory skills and knowledge needed to secure a job in the Landscape Maintenance industry. Students will complete 200 hours of training at the Cape Cod Regional Technical School’s fully equipped classroom and receive field experience with local partner employers, such as Cape Coastal Landscaping, Coy’s Brook Landscaping, E.J. Jaxtimer, Outerland and TruGreen. Applications for this program will be accepted until Nov. 29, 2022. Twelve applicants will be accepted into the program based on financial eligibility, CORI status, and individual application responses.
To request an application, visit https://bit.ly/3VRCvdM
Information sessions, covering the details of the program, will be held November 16, and 21, from 5 to 6 p.m. Cape Cod Technical High School, 351 Pleasant Lake Ave. (Route 124), Harwich.
The Career Technical Initiative grant program aims to train skilled workers to help close skills gaps and meet the needs of businesses across Massachusetts. The program provides more local residents access to career technical training by using the state’s existing resources at vocational high schools, while simultaneously helping businesses grow by increasing the population of skilled workers able to be employed in trade and construction jobs.
New Coalition Aims To Tackle Workforce Housing, Labor Shortage
High rents and housing costs have led to a severe labor shortage in the region, but a new coalition of organizations recently convened in a summit to proactively address the issue that impacts the Cape Cod economy.
The initiative, Housing to Protect Cape Cod (HPCC) is a partnership of Housing Assistance Corporation, Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, CapeBuilt Companies and the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Cape Cod. The HPCC is a community organizing initiative that mobilizes residents and local businesses in support of policies that foster year-round housing while protecting the Cape’s critical environmental resources and community character.
Speakers included local business leaders and workers along with keynote speaker Tim Cornwell, author of a new report prepared for the Housing Assistance Corporation that examines the housing and labor crisis and its economic impact.
According to his study, the Cape is losing more than 800 households a year of those making $100,000 or less a year. And nearly 50 percent of people who work on Cape Cod commute from another county. Households making a combined $200,000 are struggling to rent or buy on Cape Cod. And, with rising rental and home prices and shrinking inventory causing many workers to leave the Cape, business owners and municipalities are struggling to staff their shops, restaurants, professional practices, and town departments.
The study urged local, county and state governments to act with “Swift and corrective legislation…if the Cape has any hope in regaining its labor force and preventing further displacement of crucial laborers and workers.”
Sources: housingtoprotectcapecod.org, haconcapecod.org
Meet Naticia Thorpe, Owner, MiniMe Boutique
MiniMe Clothing Boutique
211 Main St., Hyannis MA 02601
What is the background of your business?
I was born in Jamaica and grew up in The Bronx, N.Y. I moved to the Cape 11 years ago. I started the business with an idea of selling little girls clothing. So often my daughter would go out and she and at least two other little girls would be elevating the same outfit. Hence that’s how I came up with the name MiniMe. After a few months came a big shift because the girls clothing wasn’t selling like I hoped, so I switched to women’s clothing and accessories, along with some makeup items and house accents like candles.
What makes your business Unique?
My boutique is unique because we are one of the only two Black-owned boutiques on Cape Cod. In addition, the items we sell are not your typical Cape Cod style.
What is the best part about your job?
The best part about my business is seeing customers shop and just being a part of the entire experience from when they walk through the door to the point where they check out.
How would you describe the “vibe” of your boutique?
Sexy, hip and fun, all in the name of fashion.
Do you have a favorite piece of clothing?
Right now my favorite piece of clothing I sell is our Camel Leather Pants. They are sexy bell bottoms that hug your curves.
CapeSpace Receives 2022 Best of Hyannis Award
CapeSpace has received a 2022 Best of Hyannis Award in the Coworking Space category by the Hyannis Award Program.
The Hyannis Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Hyannis area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
CapeSpace opened in 2016, when the concept of shared office space was relatively new. With the pandemic in 2020 closing many offices and remote work becoming a viable option for workers, more businesses, nonprofits, entrepreneurs and individuals have adopted co-working as a model for contemporary work culture. The company opened a second office in Mashpee in 2020.
CapeSpace also hosts a wide range of community events that are open to the public.
To learn more about CapeSpace, visit https://www.capespace.com/
Dengra joins KR Architecture & Interiors Team
KR Architecture & Interiors (www.krarch.com), an Abington-based architectural firm, announced that Natalia Dengra of Jersey City, N.J., has joined the professional team in the position of Architectural Designer. In this role, she will work with KR Architecture & Interiors owner Krista Manna on designing and preparing architectural plans for the firm’s many projects.
A native of Argentina, her experience includes residential work, healthcare, and educational design, among other disciplines. Her previous firms include Handel Architects, SOM, and Mancini Duffy – all in the greater New York City area. Dengra’s architectural experience also includes time in London at Reddy Architecture, where her work included both residential and office design. She also worked at Newman Architects in New Haven, Conn., and Roberto Botti & Associates in Argentina.
Cape Cod 5 News
Anna Hays and Benjamin “Ben” Wigren have recently joined Cape Cod 5’s Trust and Asset Management Team, with Hays serving as Senior Wealth Management Officer and Wigren in the role of Senior Investment Officer. Both bring more than two decades of experience in their respective areas.
Melissa Farrell was promoted to Vice President, Director of Treasury Management; Kim Howes was promoted to Vice President of Retail Services; Kelley Lauterhahn was promoted to Vice President, Senior Risk Operations Manager; and Aisling Ross, Director of Talent Management, was promoted to Vice President.
Pretty Picky Properties Hires Two, Promotes One
Pretty Picky Properties has added two new full-time team members: Stephanie Marques, Vacation Planner, and Richard Jennings, Communications Coordinator. The company also promoted Kiel Lombardozzi to the position of Assistant General Manager, working closely with General Manager Kris Ramsay.
Marques brings substantial hospitality and relationship management experience, gleaned from 20 years as general manager of a Harwich Port beachfront inn.
Jennings honed his customer service and communications skills as a reservations agent for Ocean Edge Resort and Golf Club.
Lombardozzi earned his new assignment with the company based on three years of exceptional performance as a hands-on property manager.
The company, which manages more than 180 private homes for summer vacation rentals from Sandwich to Eastham, has offices in Brewster, Chatham and Orleans.
More information at https://www.prettypicky.com/
Plymouth resident Ashley Meehan, CPA, MSA, was selected as a 2022 Women to Watch Award winner by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MassCPAs), the professional association of certified public accountants, representing over 11,000 members. The awards recognize women who have made outstanding contributions to the accounting profession, their communities, their firms or companies and to the development of women as leaders.
Meehan, an assurance manager at CohnReznick, is one of seven women selected to receive a 2022 Women to Watch Award. She is being honored in the Emerging Leader category, reserved for women with 15 years of experience or less in the accounting industry.
Meehan has more than five years of public accounting experience working primarily with nonprofit organizations, community development corporations and affordable housing entities. She provides assurance, financial statement preparation and advisory services to her clients and is well-versed in Uniform Guidance and audits performed in accordance with Governmental Auditing Standards.
Award winners were honored on Oct. 25 at the MassCPAs Women’s Leadership Summit at the Westin Hotel in Waltham.
Nimar Joins ROI Corporation
ROI Corporation, a business brokerage firm, announced that Joel Nimar of Falmouth has joined the firm as a broker.
The Montclair, N.J. native will specialize in helping Information Technology (IT) and software company owners looking to transition their business to new ownership or acquire new companies.
Nimar was the previous General Manager of ELI Inc., a computer reseller firm located in Cambridge. After serving in this role, he went on to become the founder and president of Pyramid Technology Services, an international computer reseller and IT maintenance company, which he ran for 29 years. In 2019, he sold Pyramid to TSP and remained there as a Vice President where he oversaw sales, IT strategy and operations of the PTS division. Nimar has also launched other businesses, including Matchbooks, a bookkeeping and consulting firm, and Advanced Logistics Resources, a home energy audit company based in Texas.
Oliviera Named Race Director For Seaside Le Mans
Seaside Le Mans – The Race for the Cape Cod Community has named Samantha Oliviera as its new Race Director.
Oliviera has an extensive and successful background in high-level event management and promotions across various industries. In her new role with Seaside Le Mans, she will oversee all aspects of planning and producing the yearly event that surpassed the $8 million fundraising mark in 2022.
Oliviera previously served as the Senior Marketing Specialist at Holy Cross Family Ministries in Easton, and the Promotions and Marketing Director at CCB Media in Hyannis.
Her promotions and event marketing background also includes positions with CBS Radio/Philadelphia, Cumulus Radio/Providence, Citadel Broadcasting/Fairhaven, and Maine Stream Media/Portland, Maine.
The Seaside Le Mans – The Race for the Cape Cod Community is an annual event that features more than 100 drivers getting behind the wheel of Formula One Race carts on a quarter-mile outdoor track throughout Mashpee Commons. Dozens of companies and individuals compete during the endurance race while raising money for several worthy causes.
Cape Cod charitable organizations have shared in nearly $9 million in donations since the inception of the race in 2001. The 21st edition of the Seaside Le Mans – The Race for the Cape Cod Community raised just over $500,000 on Sept. 10, 2022. The 2022 beneficiaries include Cape Cod Healthcare, the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, Calmer Choice, Cape Cod Children’s Museum, and the Cape & Islands Veterans Outreach Center.
The Davenport Companies works in partnership with The Cape Cod Foundation to manage the sponsorship donations.
Cape Cod Academy Appoints Hurd
Cape Cod Academy (CCA), the only independent, co-educational, college preparatory school serving students from kindergarten to grade 12 on Cape Cod, has announced the appointment of Rob Hurd as Director of Sailing Operations.
“It is widely known that Coach Hurd has one of the best sailing minds in the country,” said Head of School Jeff Thompson. “Working with our Head Coach Russ Gasdia, I know that Cape Cod Academy will build a program that will be the best in the region.”
Most recently, Hurd was Head Sailing Coach and Waterfront Director at Tabor Academy. Over his tenure, he celebrated eight national championships and over 40 New England championships with several other podium finishes. Last year, he surpassed 500 wins as Head Sailing Coach. Hurd worked with hundreds of students in his 35-year high school career, developing many future college All-Americans.
Through CCA’s several enrichment opportunities, including its Seminar Program and Winterim, Hurd plans to introduce the US Sailing Level-1 Instructor Program into the CCA curriculum. This will make Cape Cod Academy the only school in the country licensed to run such a program. Hurd also works closely with the Massachusetts Environmental Police to conduct boating safety courses.
In addition to teaching math and physics, Hurd’s primary role will be to support the logistics of the sailing program. Cape Cod Academy runs both a fall and spring sailing program for students in grades 6 through 12. For more information, contact Coach Hurd at RHurd@CapeCodAcademy.org.
A Habitat for Humanity home under construction in Chatham will have the cost of installing a solar panel array and non-combustion air source heat pump covered by a donation from long-time Habitat supporters David and Gail Oppenheim, who also live in Chatham.
The $25,000 gift will also pay for an ERV air exchange system, which enhances indoor air quality and helps minimize heating costs. The home is one of two being built on George Ryder Road South.
The Coop Foundation Awards Nonprofit Grants
The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod Charitable Foundation Trust (The Coop Foundation) has awarded $98,000 in grants to five local nonprofit organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the region.
The grants awarded mirror the bank’s corporate giving focus areas for fiscal year 2023 – Housing Initiatives and Solutions, and Social Justice and Racial Equity.
The beneficiaries are Amplify POC (People of Color), $30,000; Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, $3,000; Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, $10,000; Housing Assistance Corporation, $50,000 and Lower Cape Outreach Council, $5,000.
Barnstable Land Trust (BLT) partnered with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce to hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 24 to open the new Michael R. Kramer Center at its 22-acre Fuller Farm property on Route 149 in Marstons Mills.
The three-season, post-and-beam barn will provide storage and maintenance space for BLT’s land management equipment, as well as workshop space to help educate the public not only about the past, but also about the future of environmental sustainability including renewable energy sources like solar power, alternative septic systems, permaculture gardening, and more.
The new barn is the result of donations from people who share BLT’s vision of preserving land in Barnstable and elsewhere. The barn itself is named after Michael R. Kramer (1936-2020), whose career was spent in public relations for AT&T and NYNEX, and who summered at Centerville’s Wequaquet Lake starting in 1944 until his passing.
The barn has a solar system, a rainwater harvesting system and an alternative septic system. For more information about the Barnstable Land Trust, visit here.
Falmouth Road Race Raises $6.5 Million
Falmouth Road Race Inc., organizers of the 50th running of the ASICS Falmouth Road Race, one of America’s premier running events, helped 183 Massachusetts-based nonprofits raise $6.55 million at its August race. This includes $616,180 for 14 Falmouth-based nonprofits through its Numbers for Nonprofits program (NFNP).
Among the local nonprofits runners raised funds for were: Big Brothers & Big Sisters of the Cape & Islands, Calmer Choice, Inc., Buzzards Bay Coalition, Cape Abilities, Cape & Islands Veterans Outreach Center, Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance, Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, Cape Wellness Collaborative, Dream Day on Cape Cod, Falmouth Educational Foundation, Gosnold Inc., May Institute, Old Colony Elder Services, Old Colony Hospice, Road to Responsibility, South Shore Stars, The Arc of the South Shore and YMCA Cape Cod.
For more information on the Falmouth Road Race, visit here.
Power Of the Purse Raises $28,000 For WE CAN
The Cape and Islands United Way recently held its fifth annual Power of the Purse, an event designed to encourage, enlighten and engage women, children and families in the community.
The event is supported by Women United, an arm of the United Way that works to create awareness and funds for programs and collaborations that help women and families. This year’s special appeal was for WE CAN.
WE CAN’s Executive Director Lisa Guyon addressed the evening’s guests, and she shared the exciting news of a new program site opening in Hyannis in early 2023.
The new location will increase access to WE CAN’s programs and services for women working and living on the Mid-Cape. This second site will be in addition to their longtime Harwich Port headquarters.
Selling Starts With Good Questions
All businesses need new customers, repeat customers and more sales to grow. The process of client acquisition is never ending since all customers, no matter how loyal they are, will eventually leave to be sourced by a competitor. Planning for sales growth needs to be an on-going activity.
Examine your client list to assess on-going activity. Is it growing, declining or staying stagnant? Examine your sales records to determine what is selling and what is not. A one month decline can be corrected, but a three month decline becomes more difficult to reverse. Do some products or services sell better than others? Are there some offerings that do not sell at all? On the Cape and Islands there are most definitely seasonal variations in sales. What do you do to modify your business model to adjust to these eco-issues?
Rackham and Huthwaite, in “SPIN Selling,” contend that every sale has four stages: Opening, Investigating, Demonstrating Capability and Obtaining Commitment. Every sales call’s objective is to advance the selling process to get one step closer to closing the deal. This applies to direct as well as retail selling.
In order to increase your sales, you need to know your customers – age, income, education level and what triggers their buying. It is all about problem solving. Selling both products and services is more complex today with the introduction of digital channels. But it is still the relationship between a buyer and a seller that is critical to close transactions that have lasting impact. The buyer needs to develop trust in the seller. In order to address increasing sales, you might look at how you sell. How you target your customers, keep current customers returning and becoming loyal fans.
One approach is Neil Rackham’s “SPIN” selling. SPIN is an acronym for S – Situation, P – Problem, I – Impact, N – Needs/Payoff. To execute a good sales strategy it requires asking good questions.
S – Situation. What is the buyer’s situation? What problem do they need solved? This is where you are seeking facts called Situation Questions. The answers help understand where the buyer is related to where they want to be so you can offer a reasonable solution or proposal. If you are in real estate, a good Situation question might be, “What is it you are looking to change in your living environment?” or “Will having the down payment be a problem?” When you formulate your questions, ask yourself – what do I need to know to understand their need, want or desire when I ask a question?
P – Problem. What are the difficulties and dissatisfactions the buyer is experiencing and focus the buyer on the pain they are experiencing while clarifying the issue? “Tell me about the type of flooring you want for your renovation project.” Using “tell me” sends a signal to the buyer that you want to hear more about the problem they want solved. The more experienced you become in selling, the more problem questions you will ask. The sooner you ask these questions, the more focused your solution selling becomes.
I – Implication. What are the effects of the problem? Then assess the seriousness of it which will increase the buyer’s motivation to buy. These types of questions are used before any solution is proposed. Selling involves linking the relationship between problems and solutions and the implications of the problems the buyer is facing. If you can make the link, then accepting the solution becomes an obvious next step for the buyer.
N – Needs-Payoff. This gets the buyer to tell you about their explicit needs and the benefits your solutions offer rather than having you explaining the benefits. Needs-Payoff questions are about values, importance and usefulness of a solution. An example: “If we can show you how to eliminate the brown spots in your lawn by adopting the five step maintenance program, would you be interested in learning the details of this solution?” The Needs-Payoff questions are a mirror image of your implication questions. These questions get the buyer to address the benefits of your solution as they see them, not as you see them. Since there are no perfect solutions to any one situation, you need to know how your solution is received by your buyer.
To increase your sales, you need to practice your sales skills and process. It all starts with better understanding of the prospect’s needs, wants and desires that will lead to buying. You have to become a problem-solving organization that believes it is more important to understand your customers’ needs than to persuade them to just sell more products or services.
Contributed by Marc Goldberg, a Certified Mentor for SCORE for the Cape & Islands. Contact SCORE for free and confidential mentoring to increase your sales at email@example.com, or 508/775-4884. Ask us about Friday, weekend and evening appointments. We go where you are! Visit www.capecod.score.org for more information.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands
684 Main Street, Suite #3
Hyannis, MA 02601
Total number of employees: 8
Annual revenues: $760,142
Year established: 1974
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands is to partner with under-resourced families to provide their children with transformational, one-to-one profession-ally-supported relationships with caring adult mentors, so that their children will thrive.
Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Wareham & Plymouth
Become a Big! With a waitlist that sometimes reaches over 100 children, the need for volunteer mentors, especially male mentors, is always needed. Join a Committee! Our fundraising committees are looking for individuals who are passionate about raising funds to further our mission. Join our Leadership! On both the Cape & MV we are seeking leaders to join our boards to help further our mission.
Cape Cod Museum Trail
PASSPORT TO CAPE COD FOR ART, HISTORY, AND CULTURE
The Cape Cod Museum Trail sponsored by First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union is both a physical journey, and digital initiative that provides history-related prism into Cape Cod Life and Culture. The mission of the Cape Cod Museum Trail is to support and promote the image, wellbeing and financial health of Cape Cod Museums, Cultural Centers and Art Exhibitions by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration and educational programs in Barnstable, Plymouth, Bristol, Nantucket, Norfolk and Dukes County in the State of Massachusetts.
Is Burnout A Motivating Factor For Business Sellers?
By Denis Mezheritskiy
It’s been a long couple of years in the business world, and even more so for those contemplating buying or selling businesses.
In my line of work – helping bring business buyers and sellers together – I am asked a lot of questions about businesses, including what motivates a seller to sell and a buyer to buy. One question I was asked recently was if “burnout” is a factor in business transactions. Are would-be buyers looking for a change because they are burned out where they work, and did the whole COVID remote versus in-office work situation factor into this?
Actually, we don’t see burnout as a factor with individuals seeking to purchase businesses. It may exist somewhat, however, on the seller’s side of the equation.
Why is this?
Consider first the large number of baby boomers looking to transition businesses. In fact, a Forbes article states that the number of baby boomer businesses account for 40 percent of businesses in the United States today, and that 10,000 baby boomers retire each day. In many of these family businesses the next generation is not always ready to step up and take the reins.
And then there is the COVID effect. COVID-19 caused a great deal of uncertainty for business owners. In March 2020 no one knew what would come next, how long pandemic restrictions would last, and what impact there would be on businesses and their owners. Two and a half years later, we have a better handle on all of that. And it’s probably fair to say that some portion of business owners, having been through the challenges of COVID-19, may feel a desire to put it behind them and transition their businesses to new owners. Put in context, though, it’s probably a small portion of business owners who fit into that category. People sell businesses for all different reasons.
And who’s buying?
A Business News Daily article cites freedom, satisfaction and flexibility as among the key reasons people seek to purchase businesses.
We see prospective buyers coming from several groups. There are the private equity companies wishing to buy profitable businesses. Another group is the executive or “MBA buyer,” typically men and women in their early 50s who have held executive positions, were able to earn some good money and are now interested in a new opportunity. While this group of buyers may not be “burned out” from their current positions, they may have some level of concern that if the economy hits roadblocks their salaried positions could be eliminated. Employees in this group may typically think “I can do this on my own.”
Add in the “COVID-19 factor.” Working from home has opened the eyes of many corporate workers who have tasted the sense of flexibility that they believe could be theirs if they ran their own businesses.
The environment for purchasing businesses is positive, despite interest rates on the rise. Many see the market positively, and understand the advantages of stepping into an existing business with a positive cash flow and a team of employees in place, as opposed to having to “go it alone” and start from scratch.
As people take a breath after the last two years of COVID restrictions, prospective buyers will find a strong market with many opportunities to purchase businesses across a wide range of industries. We see people on both sides – sellers and buyers – coming out of their shells and giving the market another look.
Denis Mezhiritskiy is president of ROI Corporation, http://roibusinessbrokers.com, located in Rockland.
Prioritize Cybersecurity Vigilance
By Paul Forni
Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the United States in October serves as an annual reminder for consumers and businesses to assess vulnerabilities and risks for cyberattacks and breaches. We must be vigilant every minute, hour, day and month throughout the year.
Cybercriminals are on the prowl constantly from around the globe, enticing consumers and businesses with online ads, offers and emotional appeals often “too good to be true.” These malicious tactics are designed to capture password information, financial and bank account data, credit card numbers and other sensitive personal information to facilitate identity theft quickly and easily.
Through the years, cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated, rendering even the most experienced and savvy technology users vulnerable, underscoring the necessity of identifying security weaknesses and staying abreast of the latest scams.
Current scams that are commonplace include vishing, which is a fraudulent practice of making phone calls or leaving voicemail messages from a supposedly reputable source to lure individuals into revealing personal information. Phony calls regarding expiring car warranties are a ubiquitous example of vishing.
Of course, phishing, whereby the fraudulent requests of personal information are made through email and text messages – notices about compromised PayPal or Amazon accounts are common – remain a serious cybersecurity threat.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost $5.8 billion to phishing and other fraud in 2021, a 70 percent increase from 2020. Astounding.
At The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, we are committed to ensuring that customers’ private information is safe and secure. To help protect the private information of our consumer and business clients, we recommend: creating strong passwords; reviewing bank accounts often; using caution when surfing the internet; using up-to-date operating systems and software that are supported by the manufacturer; installing manufacturer recommended updates to computers and mobile devices; installing and maintaining firewalls and real-time antivirus/anti spyware software; securing computers and mobile devices when not in use; and learning to spot the signs of potentially fraudulent attacks.
The American Bankers Association (ABA) earlier this month revamped its #BanksNeverAskThat campaign and website. The program offers a treasure trove of information and hints to learn how to spot fraudulent texts, emails and phone calls by knowing the questions and requests a bank would never ask. I highly recommend a visit to www.BanksNeverAskThat.com – a few minutes on the site could save you a lot of money and misery.
Remember, preparation and knowledge are the best way to protect sensitive information to prevent an individual or business from becoming the victim of a cybercriminal.
Paul Forni is Information Security and Red Flag Officer for The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod.
Jonathan Thompson: The Power Of Positivity
By Bill O’Neill
JT Thompson’s gift for spreading positivity led to a successful career as a motivational speaker.
After years of posting brief upbeat talks online, he’s getting steady gigs as a speaker at Cape Cod schools. Earlier this year, he finalized nonprofit status for JT’s Chronicles, which he says will allow him to raise funds to reach and inspire even more kids.
It all started with pep talks for his son Daryan’s youth football team.“I would always get the kids pumped up,” he said.
“I would lead chants and all these six-year-old kids, seven-year-old kids are jumping up and down and holding hands. The other team would be like, ‘What is going on over there?’ I just helped them become a family. We would talk about different things, and some things had nothing to do with football. It was about how to be a better person, how to get up today and make your day a little bit better.
“It continued as Daryan was going through different grades. One day one of the other team’s coaches asked, ‘Can you come talk to my kids about school and life?’ By that time, my son was at DY [Dennis-Yarmouth Regional] High School. I started to put some talks together and people told me I was good at it. Sometimes you need other people to help you see you’re good at something.”
He enjoys speaking to children as young as fifth grade, “because they’re open, they’re figuring stuff out and they’re sponges.
“I remind them that they know right from wrong. ‘You can be a better person and what’s going to happen is you’re going to attract like-minded people.’ We talk about everything from bullying to loving yourself – real stuff. One kid wrote to me and said, ‘I wish you could come back every week because the bullies weren’t mean to us after you left.’”
Having nonprofit status will allow him to reach new geographic areas with his talks, he said.“The plan is just to be out everywhere, wherever I go is my community. From Plymouth and Wareham to Boston and just keep going to New York and Chicago.”JT continues to post his daily inspirational video, “JT’s Chronicles,” which can be seen on his Facebook page and YouTube channel
“It doesn’t matter your religion, it doesn’t matter your race, it doesn’t matter your age or how much money you have – every day, it’s all about positivity.”There are a lot of other ways people know JT.
As a nurses’ aide at Cape Cod Hospital, JT assists the operating room staff, but perhaps his most important role is his direct interaction with patients.
“I come in early so I can visit the open-heart patients and get them comfortable,” he said. “I’m kind of like their adopted child for the time being. Sometimes we pray, sometimes we sing, sometimes we just talk and get to know each other, and it puts them at ease.”
He was the MC for the first few years of Dancing With the Docs, a fundraiser for Cape Wellness Collaborative. In 2019, he shifted gears and was the dance pro who guided hospitalist Dr. Mary-Amanda O’Neill to victory. He was also recognized that year by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus during Black Excellence on the Hill, a celebration of Black culture, excellence and achievement in Massachusetts.
In the early days of the COVID pandemic, JT, who was part of an ’80s dance group called Young Generation, posted a video on Facebook, where he showed off some dance moves to the theme from “Footloose.” The video went viral and drew a response from “Footloose” actor Kevin Bacon.
“This guy HAS THE MOVES,” Bacon wrote on his Facebook page. “I hope this brings you as much joy as it does me. Also we’re so lucky to have so many special folks like him working so hard to keep us safe and well during this time.”
“I felt pleased, happy, overjoyed, blessed,” JT said. “I want my message – one love, one family, one community – to be heard and that’s happening. I’m just trying to pass on positivity.”
For more information about JT’s Chronicles. email JTChronicles@gmail.com, call 774-836-0038 or visit www.jtschronicles.com
Family Table Collaborative Expands Its Outreach
By Carol K. Dumas
Family Table Collaborative, which grew from distributing free, nutritious prepared meals during the pandemic, is continuing to expand its outreach.
Founded in March 2020 by Jeni Wheeler and Harry Henry, the Family Table Collaborative was created in response to the immediate needs of families and seniors who faced food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Helped with volunteers from truck drivers to chefs to people packaging meals, the organization distributed meals at announced locations around the Cape.
Not only did they help people without means to buy nutritious food, they fed the front-line healthcare workers who were too busy to go home and cook a meal after their endless hospital shifts. Nurses and doctors told Wheeler and Henry. It was the only nutritious meal they had had to eat all week.
“The need was unbelievable,” said Henry. “It was staggering, what we learned. We decided we needed to help them more.”
What makes Family Table Collaborative unique, Wheeler says, is that it’s a creative business model. Both she and Henry hold master’s degrees in Business, Wheeler’s with a focus on social entrepreneurship from Babson. Henry is an experienced high-tech marketing executive and entrepreneur. Wheeler, Executive Director is founder and Chief Culinary Artist of Jeni’s Joy, a boutique prepared foods, private chef and catering company. The Collaborative is a meld of their collective business experience, colored by Wheeler’s recent personal experience.
Some years ago, Wheeler suffered a serious fall that left her with a traumatic brain injury, unable to work. She lost her income and her home. Before the accident she’d been on the verge of opening her own business. She was introduced to the Cape through her best friend’s family in Barnstable who took her in during her rehabilitation at Spaulding.
“I know what it is firsthand to lose everything,” she says. “This community showed up for me and I’ll spend every day trying to pay the community back.”
In fall 2021, the Collaborative moved into the former Riverway restaurant in Yarmouth, which it hopes to purchase through a capital campaign to fulfill its wider mission of community engagement, although its mission remains the same: “To end hunger and improve nutritional security on Cape Cod by breaking down the barriers of access to both prepared meals and education.”
Since its inception, the Collaborative has recruited an army of more than 200 volunteers, has established partnerships with Whole Foods Market, Chatham Bars Inn Farm, Cape Abilities Farm, Cape Cod Organic Farm, Gustare Oils and Vinegars, Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance and others, as well as with local fishermen, to secure produce and other staples to make their meals. Partnerships with social agencies have increased their distribution range to more needy clients. Funding from the Cape Cod Foundation and Cape & Islands United Way has allowed them to grow their reach as well. To date, the Collaborative has prepared and distributed more than 97,000 meals, soups, and other food items for and into the community.
“Last year, we did our Fund a Need at our annual gala, Best Night, to benefit Family Table Collaborative and $75,000 was raised,” said Mark Skala, President and CEO of the Cape and Islands United Way. “Our donors made it possible for the Family Table Collaborative to jump start its efforts at the former Riverway Restaurant and now the home for FTC. The need in the community is great and the will of the FTC to make it happen is even greater. There is so much potential impact yet to be discovered.”
The Collaborative also sells to the public grab-and-go homemade meals, soups and baked goods made on the premises out of the Riverway, and recently started hosting a Woolfie’s Bakery pop-up on Saturday and Sunday mornings, starting at 8 a.m. Groups can also rent the space for their events and Wheeler teaches cooking classes, in-person and virtually, to teenagers and adults. Items from local makers are for sale inside the lobby.
All profits from the café and tavern, local makers’ market, kitchen space rental, special events and classes go to running, sustaining and growing the Family Table Collaborative.
“In order to create sustainable change, I believe we have to offer nutritious meals,” says Wheeler, who laments the fact that so many people don’t eat well. She feels an educational approach is what’s needed. “Most people don’t eat a wide variety of foods. The more you diversify your food sources, the more you increase your nutritional density and health.”
The nearly hundred cases of produce received each week from Whole Foods Market and in-season from local farms are made into nutritional, ready-made meals in the commercial kitchen. Volunteers pick through the produce and repackage the best quality items (Wheeler calls it food rescue) for agencies that do the actual food distribution.
“We are not trying to duplicate the great work that the agencies do, but we have the ability to amplify their offerings,” Wheeler emphasizes. “The food system is broken in the U.S. Our focus is nutritional security. Working outside the system gives us more flexibility.”
The kind of food donated determines what’s made into prepared meals. One day, a fisherman offered a whole tuna, which was carved into steaks; another time the Midnight Our fishing boat donated sea scallops. There’s always a soup of the week and Wheeler is famous for her chicken soup (all the soups are gluten-free). “Soup is food for the soul!” she says.
When the property at 1338 Route 28 in South Yarmouth is purchased, Jason Siscoe, the “community-minded” owner, will loan back $500,000 in operating capital to the Family Table Collaborative, which will cover more than a year and a half of operating expenses. The property is valued at $2 million.
The ambitious future plans can be seen inside the Collaborative, where conceptual drawings show plans for an eight-bedroom workforce housing, a teaching community garden, a community kitchen for more in-person and online classes, and renovations to the existing dining room, kitchen and tavern.
To learn more about the Family Table Collaborative, make a donation, volunteer or to collaborate, visit https://www.familytablecollaborative.org/support-us
Three Strategies To Alleviate Supply Chain Disruptions
By Itamar Chalif
If you own or operate a small business — especially one that specializes in producing and selling goods — then you’re well aware of how integral the supply chain is to keeping everything running smoothly. Despite its pivotal role, supply chain issues can sometimes arise unexpectedly. And there’s little a business can do in reaction to disruptions after the fact, with no plan in place. However, taking a holistic approach in managing finances can help hedge the risks that businesses face when it comes to their supply chain.
There are core strategies that can preempt the negative effects of a disruption:
1. Find new supplies (before original supply chain sources have experienced challenges)
If your normal source for materials (raw, manufactured or otherwise) dries up, you’ll need to look elsewhere for those items. It’s a good practice to have a diverse group of suppliers so you aren’t putting all of your eggs in one basket. With this larger network, you’ll have other resources to tap into if times happen to get tough.
2. Order inventory earlier and in larger quantities
Sometimes the best policy is simply to be prepared. Should you read in the news or through some other reliable source that there could be an interruption in your supply chain, you’ll be able to better weather this snag by dipping into your reserves. This approach does not come without its own risks, however. You’ll want to work with banking advisors to mitigate any cash flow issues (e.g. investing too heavily in a good you may or may not need right away), storage constraints (will you have to increase your warehouse space, for instance, should you decide to carry more of a certain material), securing these goods from theft and protecting them from getting damaged.
3: Take out a business loan to free up cash
You can increase your working capital through lines of credit or permanent working capital loans. While the former provides the business greater repayment flexibility, the latter allows the business to fix the rate and avoid potential higher financing costs. It could be wise to take advantage of both types of financing if possible for your business.
It’s always important to free up cash to hedge against setbacks. For example, when a contractor is building a development, they have multiple different suppliers working on the project with them all at once. In the scenario that the plumber is experiencing a shortage in piping and is unable to complete their work, the contractor consequently cannot sell the development as expected. The contractor still needs to pay the other suppliers for their work, as well as other carrying costs.
State of the supply chain
Virtually every industry can feel the effects of a disrupted supply chain. In fact, regardless of size all businesses are affected, particularly those in the manufacturing and production industries. It also depends on where your business operates in the supply chain phases.
Issues could arise, for instance, at the warehouse level, during transit at the transportation level, or could occur farther upstream where businesses procure raw materials. Each phase holds its own specific issues, and small business owners should familiarize themselves with each level intimately.
The business bankers at Rockland Trust work with clients to troubleshoot common supply chain issues so that their businesses can thrive, despite potential setbacks.
Itamar Chalif is Vice President, Business Banking Officer at Rockland Trust.
Cape Cod Gateway Airport Continues To Evolve
Katie Servis, Airport Manager of Cape Cod Gateway Airport.
By Katie Servis
Cape Cod Gateway Airport is more than just a place to catch a flight to a destination, it is a destination in itself. And you don’t need to fly here to utilize it.
In addition to aviation transportation activity, the airport is also a space for the community. We host events at the airport including Cape Cod Young Professionals’ Back to Business Bash, Duffy Health Center Gala and Electric Car Show, to name a few. We also recently embarked on a new campaign with a focus on near-monthly community-based events held at the airport. We are thrilled to be opening our doors and inviting residents and visitors alike to experience events in this unique setting.
Recently, the airport hosted over 375 regional high school students from Cape Cod and southern Massachusetts for the Southeastern Massachusetts Aviation Career Fair. The students were joined by aviation specialists from every sector of the industry – from mechanics to airlines to the military. We were also particularly excited to have inspiring resources like representatives from the Aviation Maintenance Technology Program at Cape Cod Community College, National Aviation Academy, various airport planning and engineering firms, local airport businesses such as Atlantic Aviation, Griffin Avionics, Atlantic Aero Support and specialists from Cape Air to assist us in pulling this program together for the community.
But above all else, Cape Cod Gateway is first and foremost an airport. We connect residents to worldwide markets and destinations and play a part in sustaining Cape Cod’s rapidly expanding population and business community. We are a vital link to the regional, national, and international markets that drive our emerging economy.
As documented in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division CY2019 (FY2020) Economic Impact Analysis, Cape Cod Gateway Airport, in conjunction with its tenants and associated businesses, provides employment opportunities for 1,724 people and a regional economic output in excess of $157.2 million. In addition to the 25 airport employees that operate the facility here on Cape Cod, the Airport is also home to over 65 businesses/private users, with Cape Air, Atlantic Aviation (formerly Ross Aviation), Griffin Avionics, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) making up the bulk of employees on the airfield.
Formerly known as Barnstable Municipal Airport, the airport underwent a name change in 2021, shedding its county reference to reflect a more welcoming and transparent title. Its broad area of service is easily accessible to the ever-growing year-round population, as well as to visitors from all over. It serves as a distinct commercial transportation hub for the residents of Cape Cod. We have both commercial and private transportation and provide very affordable and economic travel opportunities to/from Hyannis to/from other major destinations across the country. Recent studies completed in 2018/2019 show that approximately 215,000 Cape Cod residents access the air transportation system via off-Cape airports, and another 200,000 arrive on Cape Cod, again using off-Cape airports. We would like to change these figures and developed goals in June 2018 through the Airport’s Business Plan and Marketing Plan to identify better opportunities to accommodate these Cape Cod residents and visitors by working with our existing and new potential airlines partners to enhance existing and develop new commercial service moving into FY2023 and beyond.
In May 2022, we completed an update to ensure that the facility can continue to meet current and future aviation safety and efficiency requirements. The goal of the Airport Master Plan is to provide the framework needed to guide future airport development that will cost-effectively satisfy aviation demand while considering potential environmental and socioeconomic issues.
To learn more, visit the project website at https://flyhya.com/environmental-assessment/
Katie Servis is Airport Manager of Cape Cod Gateway Airport in Hyannis and a licensed pilot. She is the first female manager of the airport, which was established in 1928. She employs 25 full-time staff members in three different departments (Airport Operations, Airport Maintenance and Airport Administration).
Engaging Your Team While Giving Back
By Karyn Estrada
In the continued tight labor market, you’re probably anxious about employees leaving your workplace and eager to find ways to combat attrition. One approach that may help is corporate giving. That’s because corporate philanthropy has been found to help build a sense of community that results in engaged employees who are more likely to stick around.
Corporate philanthropy is the effort a company voluntarily undertakes to responsibly manage and account for its impact on society. These can include investments of money, donations of products, in-kind services and technical assistance, employee volunteerism, and other business transactions to advance a social cause, issue, or the work of a nonprofit organization.
Monetary investments can either be outright donations directed to organizations that reflect the values of your company, such as Mastercard’s funding of Junior Achievement in many regions throughout the world, or you can match a gift to a nonprofit by one of your employees. One of the advantages of matching gifts is that they give the choice of charity to the individual worker.
Your company can allow organizations to submit donation requests for items. For example, nonprofits may ask for food for an event, goods for an event auction, or technology for their offices. Many large companies offer this option, including American Eagle Outfitters, who donates gift cards for programs or events that support youth and teen initiatives.
In-kind services and support: While physical goods also fall into the category of in-kind gifts, what we’re talking about here is your time and expertise. Some of the more common donations are legal, accounting, or consulting services. Just be sure to get an acknowledgment from the organization if your in-kind gift is valued at more than $250 for tax purposes.
You may decide to provide volunteer time off that allows employees to volunteer for an organization that’s meaningful to them. Or you could choose to identify volunteer opportunities, like building a home through Habitat for Humanity, and organize a group of volunteers to take part. This option allows you to learn more about your employees on a personal connection and share an experience.
No matter which option(s) you choose for your program, the key is to make sure that your philanthropic work is tied to well-thought-out objectives so you’ll want to think about your goals. For example, you may not only want to create a more positive work environment and greater employee engagement but also enhance your public image or customer relationships. We’ll get into more of the benefits of corporate philanthropy next.
A corporate philanthropy program can provide several important benefits to your company. These include: enhanced relationships with customers and stakeholders, better recruitment, a
deeper personal connection with employees, stronger brand awareness and increased employee engagement.
To create a meaningful corporate philanthropy program, you’ll want to take a number of steps.
- Decide on your giving elements. Select the opportunities you want to include in your program and where you want to direct your efforts. You may want to establish a committee to gather feedback to determine the types of causes that are important to support.
- Make it simple to participate. Don’t create too many steps for employees to take part. Instead, make sure any sign-up tools or request forms are simple so it’s as easy as possible to get involved. Provide various options they can choose from and be sure to offer ways for families to get involved also.
- Communicate. Whether you use flyers, internal newsletters, or other methods, be sure to promote your program so employees are aware of the corporate philanthropy opportunities available to them. As you complete activities, highlight any important statistics you have so that your team can see their contributions and their impact such as the total amount funded or number of volunteer hours. Showing off the good work will also inspire employees to participate.
- Reward good work. Some companies choose to offer a reward like a dress-down day or early Friday release when they reach a philanthropic goal as a way to say thank you. You may want to consider this approach.
- Make philanthropy part of your corporate culture. This starts with leading by example so be sure management takes part. However, it shouldn’t stop there. To make corporate philanthropy part of your organizational culture, don’t let your giving be a one-and-done but make sure you commit to ongoing initiatives.
Karyn H. Rhodes is vice president HR Solutions at Complete Payroll Solutions. She specializes in all areas of human resources, including strategic planning, employee and labor relations, recruiting, compliance, training and development, compensation and benefits, policies and procedures, organizational development, executive coaching, workforce planning, and affirmative action plans. More info at completepayrollsolutions.com.