2022 July Cape Plymouth Business Cover
2022 March Cape Plymouth Business Page 02

Opportunity For All

Our region is no longer just about seafood and traditional small businesses, nor is it a seasonal place.

Thanks to an influx of immigrants, the Cape and Plymouth area is rich with a number of small businesses including ethnic restaurants. People from afar often came here as students, to help fill the summer workforce needed to serve the hundreds of thousands of visitors. The quality of life and job opportunities convinced them to stay.

Read about three such businesses in our cover story and don’t miss our feature on another small business, Cape Cod Skateboards.

Also in this issue: toolboxes to keep your small business working optimally: new contributor Maureen Hogan writes about “Leveling Up Your Customer Experience,” and Donnie Robicheau discusses The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod’s partnership with Clover, a point-of-sale system at its core. Citrin Cooperman’s Kevin Ricci imparts some strategy for nonprofits to undertake to prevent cyber attacks.

Thank you for your continued support and may the summer be a busy and profitable one!


Dale and Carol to Our Readers - Masthead


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Moving to an entirely different country takes courage. Starting a business in a different country takes a whole other kind of determination. This may be part of the reason why immigrants who dream of owning a business in America often succeed.

According to newamericaneconomy.org, data shows that firms owned by immigrants provide millions of jobs for U.S. workers and generate billions of dollars in annual income. And Harvard Business Review stated that, “According to a 2018 study by the National Foundation for American Policy, immigrants founded or cofounded 55 percent of the United States’ billion-dollar companies.”

Here are some of the numbers:

The rate at which the founding of new business by immigrants grew between 1996 and 2011.

The number of people in the U.S. who were employed at immigrant- owned businesses in 2017.

The number of immigrant entrepreneurs in 2019.

In 2019, immigrant entrepreneurs made up 21.7 percent of all business owners in the United States.

In the United States, where 13.7 percent of the population is foreign-born, immigrants represent 20.2 percent of the selfemployed workforce and 25 percent of startup founders.


Around the Region
Town of Plymouth

Source: census.gov, censusreporter.org

Form of Government: Open Town Meeting
Total population: 60,991
Female: 31,589
Male: 29,402
White: 58,597
Black: 1,538
Asian: 803
Persons reporting two or more races: 60
Persons reporting two or more races: 1,307
Hispanic or Latino: 1,887
Total Housing Units: 28,074
Family households: 45,893
Average household size: 2.43

Median Earnings:
Median household income: $97,757
Per capita income: $48,944
Mean travel time to work: 31.8 minutes

Educational Attainment (age 25+):
High school graduate: 11,980
Some college, no degree: 8,422
Bachelor’s degree: 11,781
Graduate or professional degree: 6,845

As of June 16, travelers could book flights to Nantucket via Southern Airways Express, the largest commuter airline in the U. S.

Additionally, JetBlue has returned to Cape Cod Gateway Airport in Hyannis for its eighth season of service between New York and Hyannis.

Cape Cod Gateway Airport Manager Katie Servis said Southern Airways Express plans to fly nonstop to Nantucket Memorial Airport starting with four roundtrip daily flights. Flight times are in the process of being finalized.

JetBlue’s daily flights are scheduled to arrive from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at 3:13 p.m. and depart to JFK at 4:51 p.m. (schedule is subject to change). The airline will be flying 100-seat E190s in and out of Hyannis.

Cape Air will continue its island service in and out of Hyannis with occasional flights to other New England destinations.

Tickets will be for sale at iflysouthern.com, jetblue.com, and capeair.com.


Dozens of cookie-sized fajitas, adorned with honey- and gingerinfused broccoli slaw and cornmealencrusted hake, disappeared in moments at the first “Meet the Fleet” of the year.

Hake “is a good substitute for cod – flaky, white,” Chef Lisa Whelan, of Dancing Spoons catering, told the crowd gathered in the barn of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance in Chatham.

Melissa Sanderson, chief operating officer of the Fishermen’s Alliance, agreed white hake was a perfect replacement for wellknown cod – “unless you want to eat fish imported from elsewhere, which we don’t encourage.”

Sanderson said this was the first time hake had been served at the decade-old Meet the Fleet, an event designed to introduce people to great-tasting local fish cooked by noted local chefs, joined by fishermen who catch it.

Sanderson explained that low numbers of cod in recent years has pushed fishermen to catch other species, such as dogfish, skate, and monkfish. Hake is another opportunity for fishermen to diversify.

This year fishermen got even more bad news on the Cape’s namesake.

“The cod quota could be cut by 78 percent,” Sanderson said.

Quota is the amount of fish that can be harvested, based on an assessment of how much of the stock is in the water.

Stephanie Sykes, who emceed the event along with Sanderson, helps run the Fisheries Trust at the Fishermen’s Alliance, which leases quota to fishermen at affordable prices. That day she had gotten a call from a captain who wanted her to set aside some hake quota because he had done his homework and was getting good at catching it. He was including it in his business plan.


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Wool & Bark
South Yarmouth

What is Wool & Bark?
Wool and Bark is an eStore that sells hand-dyed yarn for crocheting and knitting. Right now the yarns offered on the site are fingerling to bulky in either superwash Merino wool/nylon blends or 100 percent Merino wool, which is a soft luxurious wool.

What led you to start up the business?
In 2016, I started crocheting as a way to keep myself occupied after the loss of our beloved dog Koa. I explored different yarns on the market and fell in love with hand-dyed yarn. When the pandemic hit, I suddenly found myself with more time and learned and practiced dyeing yarn as much as I could. I fell 100 percent in love with the process of mixing colors and creating combinations; it was all I could think about. I saw inspiration everywhere, in everything.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
In between this time, my fiance and I decided we were ready to adopt another dog, knowing we wanted a shelter dog/rescue. We were drawn to the LastHopeK9 Rescue Organization, which works with Rescue Road to rescue dogs from kill shelters in the Deep South, then brings them to New England where they are put into foster homes until they get adopted into their “FURever” homes. When we met Juno, we instantly fell in love. LastHope’s method of vetting their potential adopters was intense and very thorough and we were so impressed with them. A portion of each sale on Wool & Bark is donated directly to LastHopeK9 Rescue.

What makes Wool & Bark yarn unique?
We offer fun, playful color combinations; collections that speak to people in different ways, not just by touch and feel. One of which is a pre-order collection based on different songs from The Beatles. We bring these colorways to life by telling a story about our interpretations of their songs, or some history behind the song meaning, about the mood and feelings behind a lyric, or some songs are a literal take on a song title. We have a Cape Cod-themed collection coming out this summer. In addition, we also offer other non-collection, ready-to-ship, fun and whimsical colorways as well.

What are the future plans for Wool & Bark?
Down the road, we would like to be able to offer our yarn in local yarn stores or do in-person pop-up shops to enhance the in-person experience and get to interact with people. We would also like to increase our donation amount and expand our support of similar rescue organizations like LastHopeK9 as it’s a cause we strongly believe in.

What is your favorite part about owning your own business?
As a business owner in the creative field, we can take it in any direction we’d like to with hard work and a willingness to try different things. It’s a wonderful feeling to have that kind of carte blanche in something you love.

Do you have an interesting occupation or unique business? Contact carol@capeplymouthbusiness.com to be considered for this feature.

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The Fireside Grille Named ‘Business of the Year’

The Fireside Grille, a popular Middleboro restaurant, was honored recently by the Cranberry Country Chamber of Commerce as the chamber’s “Business of the Year.”

The award was presented to restaurant owners Michael and Erin Dearing at the chamber’s recent annual meeting and awards ceremony.

The Dearing family purchased the restaurant in December 2019 and have made a number of improvements since that time. They have refurbished the building with a new roof, new paint, and an outdoor pavilion for events. They have also added outdoor dining and have boosted their take-out business.

During the presentation, chamber and legislative officials recognized the significant community commitment that Fireside Grille has shown, including giving away many free meals during the pandemic.

Rockland Trust Receives Top Honor From J.D. Power

Rockland Trust has received the J.D. Power Award for ranking No. 1 in New England in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. The bank also achieved the highest score in New England in the factors People, Trust, and Problem Resolution.

This is the third time the bank has been recognized by the global market research company, having previously received the top ranking in New England in 2017 and 2012.

North Easton Savings Bank Promotes Green to AVP

North Easton Savings Bank has announced the promotion of Jason Green to Assistant Vice President, Commercial Loan Portfolio Manager.

In his new role as AVP, Commercial Loan Portfolio Manager, Jason will be responsible for managing a portfolio of existing commercial and private banking relationships, originating new financing transactions and relationships, and in general partnering with the local business community for their credit needs.

Cataloni Joins Ryan’s

Ryan’s has announced the appointment of Ray Cataloni of Yarmouth as Director of Sales.

Cataloni will oversee the sales and execution of corporate outings, private parties, fundraisers and special functions at all of Ryan’s locations, including Ten Pin Eatery.

Cataloni brings more than 20 years of experience in sales, most recently at Pysnet Group, a business management consulting company in New York. Prior to that, he spent 15 years at Monster.com as a Regional Sales Manager.

Cataloni grew up in West Yarmouth and received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University.

Cataloni will be working with clients to plan events across all of Ryan’s 10 locations, with specific emphasis on Ten Pin Eatery in Hyannis and the Ryan’s Center in South Yarmouth, the company’s largest two venues.

Fernandes Promoted By BayCoast Bank

BayCoast Bank has promoted Olga Fernandes of Pawtucket, R.I., to Assistant Treasurer, Branch Manager of the new River’s Edge branch, located at 20 Turner St. in Fall River.

In this role, Fernandes is responsible for the administration and daily operation of the branch, including customer service, staff coordination, and product sales.

Fernandes brings more than 16 years of experience in banking, sales and supervisory capacities to her role. She joined BayCoast Bank in 2019 as an Assistant Branch Manager for the Bristol office.

Fernandes is a graduate of Faculdade Economia do Porto in Portugal where she received a bachelor’s degree in Finance. She is a Certified Notary Public in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The Coop Appoints Horton As Falmouth Branch Manager

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod has appointed Evan Horton to the position of Assistant Vice President, Falmouth Branch Manager – Small Business Specialist.

Horton, of North Falmouth, joins The Coop from Santander Bank, N.A., where he also served as a Small Business Specialist. He succeeds Rob Gillis, the longtime Falmouth Branch Manager who was recently promoted to Vice President, Retail Service and Service Delivery Leader for The Coop.

In his new role at The Coop, Horton will be responsible for developing and leading the Falmouth and North Falmouth branch teams to exceed client expectations and cultivate client loyalty while delivering an extensive suite of banking services. Horton will also be instrumental in developing relationship strategies and partnerships with local organizations, with a strong focus on community outreach and small business banking.

North Easton Savings Bank Promotes St. Andre

North Easton Savings Bank announced the promotion of Christopher St. Andre of Whitman to Assistant Vice President, Commercial Credit Administrator Team Leader.

In this role, St. Andre will support the commercial lending department by overseeing loan analysis, processing and administration functions. He has worked for the bank for six years.

Centerville Pie Opens In Sandwich

Centerville Pie has opened a second retail location in Sandwich.

The Sandwich operation includes retail space where all the favorite varieties of sweet and savory pies offered at their original location, 1671 Falmouth Road (Route 28) in Centerville, will be available as well as a full production facility where the raw ingredients are prepared, cooked and packaged for sale.

The pies are also sold at many retail locations. For a complete list, visit www.CentervillePies.com

Cape Cod 5 Eliminates Overdraft Fees

Cape Cod 5 eliminated all consumer and business overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees as of June 1, 2022.

This includes all fees associated with insufficient funds, uncollected funds and savings transfers to cover overdrafts. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cape Cod 5 temporarily waived several consumer fees.

Cape Cod 5 also introduced a BankOn-certified personal checking account in June. The goal of BankOn is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services.

To learn more, visit www.capecodfive.com

Cervone Joins Rockland Trust

Rockland Trust’s Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket bank teams have announced the addition of Vice President and Senior Loan Officer Victoria Cervone of Edgartown to their team.

In her role, Cervone will lead the residential lending team on both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Cervone joins Rockland Trust after spending six years with Santander Bank. For all six years at Santander, she was acknowledged as a company top performer and was ranked the No. 3 Mortgage Loan Officer in 2021 companywide.

Coop Partners With Love Live Local

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod has partnered with Love Live Local, an advocacy organization dedicated to educating consumers on the importance of shopping locally, to share stories of small businesses having a big impact on the community.

The Coop will provide financial support for the Shop Local Stories series, a year-long initiative to recognize small businesses throughout Cape Cod that contribute more to the community than simply providing goods and services.

The Shop Local Stories pay tribute to businesses in the region that give back to the community, provide exceptional customer service, support other local businesses or provide employment opportunities in a unique and interesting way.

Nominations for a business to be featured in Shop Local Stories can be submitted through a brief form at www.lovelivelocal.com/shoplocalstories. Selected businesses will be featured on the Love Live Local website, on its social media platforms and in a monthly email – a $500 value, underwritten by The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod.

In addition to the Shop Local Stories, The Coop is also providing $5,000 to underwrite the cost on the next iteration of the Local Matters report, a comparative survey detailing the impact of the independent and locally owned business community on Cape Cod. The goal in 2022 is to focus research efforts on business and personal services like printers, bookkeepers, and fitness centers and the impact of the shift to corporate and online commerce has had on mom-and-pop businesses in these sectors.

BayCoast Mortgage Company Names Yokell Loan Officer

BayCoast Mortgage Company, LLC has hired Steven Yokell of Berkley as a Loan Officer.

In this role, he is responsible for the development of residential mortgages to best fit the needs of customers.

Prior to joining BayCoast Mortgage, Yokell was with Santander Bank, NA where over the course of 28 years he served in a variety of roles including Credit Analyst, Branch Manager and most recently as a Mortgage Development Officer.

BayCoast Bank Promotes Terra

BayCoast Bank announced the promotion of Stephanie Melo Terra to Assistant Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer.

In this role, she will focus on small business loans, specializing in Small Business Administration Lending.

Terra, who is fluent in Portuguese, joined BayCoast Bank in October 2017 as a Credit Analyst. She was promoted to Credit Analyst II Officer in January 2020, a title she held until her most recent promotion.

A graduate of the New England Institute of Business, Terra is a resident of Westport and is actively involved with the Maddox J. Almeida Foundation.

Cape Cod 5 Promotes Two

Daniela Morais and Lauren Robert have been promoted to the roles of Mortgage Loan Officer at Cape Cod 5.

Morais will serve customers throughout Cape Cod and Robert will serve customers in Falmouth and on Martha’s Vineyard.

Morais has served as an Internet Lending Coordinator at Cape Cod 5 since 2014 and previously worked in retail banking for a national bank. She moved from Brazil to Cape Cod with her parents and siblings in 2005 and attended Cape Cod Community College after graduating from Barnstable High School in 2009.

Robert joined the bank in 2015 and has served as Residential and Consumer Lending Administrative Manager. She previously worked in retail banking at Cape Cod 5 and a regional bank and earned a bachelor of science degree in Retail Marketing and Management from Johnson & Wales University. Robert also attended the New England School for Financial Studies at Babson College.

Rich Named Marketing Director At Hy-Line

Betsy Rich has taken over full responsibilities as the Director of Marketing for Hyannis Harbor Tours, Inc. (Hy-Line Cruises).

Philip Scudder, a managing partner of the company with his brother, Murray, had held this title since the late 1980s when he took over for his wife, Sherrie.

Rich has been with the company for more than 25 years and has worked closely with Scudder and his family in the Marketing Department for most of that time.

Hyannis Harbor Tours Inc. was founded in 1962. The company currently employs approximately 120 persons year-round. In the high season, total employment has reached 350.

North Easton Savings Bank Introduces Down Payment Assistance

In an effort to support those buying a home, North Easton Savings Bank has added a Down Payment Assistance Program to its stable of home financing solutions.

For 2022, North Easton Savings Bank has allocated $500,000 to the Down Payment Assistance Program to provide qualified borrowers up to $25,000 in down payment assistance towards purchasing a home. Borrowers may also benefit from lender-paid closing costs or a closing cost credit depending on their income levels and correlating credit score.

In addition to the new Down Payment Assistance Program, the bank has also introduced several new bespoke loan programs to fit borrowers from all income levels, including options for first-time buyers, veterans, front-line workers and those with unique financial circumstances.

For more information, visit NorthEastonSavingsBank.com

Caramanna Promoted At Seamen’s Bank

Carl Caramanna, a North Truro resident, has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Residential Lending at Seamen’s Bank.

He has more than two decades of experience in banking and residential lending, most recently holding the position of Director of Residential Lending at the bank. Prior to joining Seamen’s Bank two years ago, Caramanna held senior level managerial positions with two prominent banks in the Boston area.

In this new role, Caramanna will be responsible for leading the Residential Lending Team to provide quality loan products and services that will enhance the overall customer experience.

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Coxe Joins HAC

Stefanie Coxe has joined Housing Assistance Corporation, overseeing the company’s marketing, communications, advocacy and government affairs activities.

As a Smarter Cape consultant, Coxe successfully passed zoning bylaws in most Cape towns to allow accessory dwelling units. As the Executive Director of the Regional Housing Network of Massachusetts, Coxe led the charge during the pandemic to advocate for meaningful reforms and resourcing of the state’s emergency rental assistance program, which resulted in preventing over 80,000 evictions statewide.

As a private citizen, Coxe serves as the Acting Chair of the Yarmouth Finance Committee and helped the town recently take a significant first step towards building critical wastewater infrastructure.

Coxe also worked as an aide for two state representatives and a U.S. Congressman representing the Cape over her career and owns Nexus Werx LLC, a political consulting and lobbying training company.

As a consultant for HAC, she co-authored the organization’s 2018 report “Housing on Cape Cod: The High Cost of Doing Nothing.”

In addition, HAC hired Ann Schiffenhaus to work under Coxe as the Director of Community Relations and Advocacy. As a former high level account executive, she will use her entrepreneurial skills and mindset to help employers engage in housing advocacy. Schiffenhaus joins Scott Lajoie, Director of Government Affairs, in the External Affairs Department.

Lopes Names To Board At Community Connections

Community Connections of South Yarmouth has named James Lopes to its board of directors.

Over the course of his career, Lopes has held various roles in public accounting, internal audit, planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions, operational analysis and competitive intelligence before joining RogersGray as Chief Financial Officer in 2012.

Prior to RogersGray, he began his insurance career at Liberty Mutual Insurance where he spent 17 years, in positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s corporate, commercial market, international and agency market operations. Lopes, who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), received his bachelor of science degree from Bryant University and his MBA from Boston University.

Community Connections Inc. provides life-enriching services to promote optimal independence for people with disabilities throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. The nonprofit serves more than 800 individuals with on-site and remote services, employment supports and supported living services.

Cooney Named To Lead Martha’s Vineyard Chamber

Vineyard small business owner and entrepreneur Carolina Cooney of West Tisbury has been named the new executive director of The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce.

The former programming coordinator for the Oak Bluffs Library, Cooney developed a number of popular community events while creating a successful retail website, SilverSahara.com

As a community leader Cooney brought her considerable organizational and leadership skills to the Martha’s Vineyard COVID-19 Community Corps and assisted with on-island volunteer efforts to combat the pandemic. In addition, Cooney brings to the chamber a number of “vital” skills including developing business plans, grant writing, social media and public relations experience, copywriting and graphic design.

Cape Cod Museum Trail Receives MOTT Grant

The Cape Cod Museum Trail is a recipient of a Massachusetts Travel and Tourism Recovery Grant of $25,000 for the proposal, “Passport to Cape Cod.”

CCMT plans to promote visitation to Cape Cod museums, historical societies and cultural centers in a day trip or staycation through advertising, digital/social media, with the organization’s website featuring more than 70 Cape Cod museums.

The Travel and Tourism Recovery Grant Program aims to strengthen the economy of Massachusetts through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism industry.

The Cape Cod Museum Trail was founded in 2015 to support the more than 75 museums and historical societies on Cape Cod. For more information, visit www.capecodmuseumtrail.com

RTR Receives Flutie Foundation Grant

Road to Responsibility, a nonprofit organization supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has received a $7,220 Allison Keller Education Technology Grant from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.

The funds will allow RTR to implement assistive technology in ten of the organization’s residential programs to create a de-escalating/calming area for individuals with autism.

The calming areas will be outfitted with an Amazon Echo Show device as the main hub, which will provide auditory and visual calming. The device can also pair with Amazon Echo Buttons to custom record directives for non-verbal individuals. The calming areas funded through the grant will include Nanoleaf Light panels to offer a sensory friendly environment.

Ennes Named CFO For OpenCape

OpenCape Corporation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the 100 percent fiber optic network on the Cape, Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts, has named Eric Ennes as Chief Financial Officer.

Most recently, Ennes served for more than a decade as Managing Director and Global Controller for Barings, LLC, which has nearly $400 billion in assets under management. There, Ennes ran all accounting operations including internal reporting, group consolidations, tax, and policy, for over 100 domestic and foreign subsidiaries, while also leading other financial stewardship initiatives for a multinational organization.

MV Charitable Foundation Awards Community Impact Grants

Martha’s Vineyard Bank Charitable Foundation has announced its Community Impact Grant recipients for 2022. A total of $20,000 was awarded to four organizations each receiving a $5,000 grant: two on Martha’s Vineyard and two in Falmouth.

This year’s recipients are:

• Foundation for Underway Experiential Learning (F.U.E.L.)
• Island Grown Initiative/Island Food Pantry
• Falmouth Together We Can/The Osprey Project
• Woods Hole Public Library

The community nominated nonprofits on Martha’s Vineyard and in Falmouth to be considered for Community Impact Grants, nonprofits that they felt made an impact in 2021. This year there were 37 nominees on Martha’s Vineyard and 11 nominees in Falmouth.

For more information visit community.mvbank.com

MassDevelopment Awards Grants To Community Health Centers

Two Cape Cod and one Martha’s Vineyard community health centers were among 22 that received grants from MassDevelopment.

MassDevelopment has awarded grants totaling $1,056,010 to 22 community health centers across Massachusetts through its Community Health Center Grant Program.

The Community Health Center Grant Program is funded by the MassDevelopment/Massachusetts Health Educational Facilities Authority (HEFA) Charitable Trust. MassDevelopment offers other financing options to community health centers, including tax-exempt bond financing and TechDollars, a loan program to help nonprofits buy and install technology equipment.

Community Health Center of Cape Cod, Inc. received $50,000 to expand and implement an access control security system and targeted camera upgrade to increase visibility in vulnerable areas at its locations in Bourne, Centerville, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich.

Island Health Care, Inc., Edgartown received $50,000 to construct a dental center, including building out three operatories, a laboratory, and additional space for employees and patient services.

Outer Cape Health Services, Inc., Provincetown received $50,000, which it will use for upgrades and renovations to its Provincetown Health Center, which will include moving and expanding pharmacy operations to a different location within the health center.


New Housing Coming To Hyannis

MassDevelopment has partnered with BankFive to provide $11,873,784 in loan financing to Standard Holdings, LLC, a real estate holding entity that will use funds to build and equip a 53-unit mixed-income apartment complex at 850 Falmouth Road in Hyannis, to be called Residence at 850.

The three-story, 72,000-square-foot complex will consist of 43 market-rate units and 10 affordable units rented to households earning no more than 50 percent of area median income ($48,600 for a four-person household). It will be located on the site of the former Whitehall Nursing Home, which opened in 1967 and was vacant for roughly 15 years before being demolished in 2019. MassDevelopment is providing a $6 million loan, while BankFive is providing a $5,873,784 loan that MassDevelopment enhanced with a loan guarantee.

“The addition of Residence at 850 will have an impact in addressing the need for more year-round workforce housing on the Cape,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera.

Residence at 850 complex will comprise 44 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units and nine one-bedroom, one-bathroom units. Each unit will have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and smart home technology. Amenities include elevators, a mail and secure package room, climate-controlled self-storage, access to high-speed 5G fiber optic internet, a rooftop solar farm, an electric auto charging station, fitness center, common lobby, and a pet-friendly policy.

Standard Holdings, LLC is a real estate holding entity owned by Timothy Telman and Robert Carleton. Telman, a local entrepreneur on Cape Cod, is best known as the former CEO of Bank of Cape Cod, which he founded in 2006, operated for 10 years, and then sold to Rockland Trust. Carleton has more than 35 years of experience in the construction field and has developed, built, and managed large-scale housing and commercial projects.

Waypoint Academy Project Receives $3 Million Bond

MassDevelopment has issued a $3 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of the Cape Cod Collaborative (CCC), an educational organization that will use proceeds to renovate and equip the former Laurence MacArthur Elementary School located at 1175 Route 28 in Yarmouth.

Renovations will include improving electrical and lighting systems, adding or upgrading bathrooms, building out classrooms, improving handicap access, modernizing the kitchen and cafeteria and upgrading infrastructure.

Once renovated, the building will house Cape Cod Collaborative’s Waypoint Academy, an approved public, special middle and high school program currently located in Sandwich that provides an alternative school environment for students with identified needs best met in a specialized environment.

Constructed in 1950, the former Laurence MacArthur Elementary School closed in 2014; the building is currently owned by the Town of Yarmouth and leased to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance on behalf of Bridgewater State University, which operates a satellite campus called BSU Cape Cod from the building. Cape Cod Collaborative will use the entirety of the building on weekdays for its Waypoint Academy, with BSU also continuing to use the property on evenings and weekends. This move will enhance Cape Cod Collaborative’s established partnership with BSU that allows the organization’s employees to access college-level courses at the university related to teacher licensure and professional development.

TD Bank purchased the bond.

Cape Cod Collaborative was established in 1975 by the school districts of Cape Cod and the Islands to provide high-quality services to students whose needs could be best addressed through multi-district efforts. The Collaborative is comprised of 19 member school districts.

By Marc Goldberg

At some point in the first five years, 90 percent of all start-ups fail. Launching a business for an immigrant entrepreneur is different and definitely more challenging. Here are some things to consider to achieve business success.

Know the four C’s of underwriting: Character, Credit, Cash Flow and Collateral.

Using alternative sources of investment capital is certainly a solution for many potential borrowers. Working with a lender to get a first loan and a rigid repayment discipline will set the stage for higher levels of funding. Persistence is the number one criteria needed to acquire the capital needed to launch and grow a new enterprise. Lenders have heard hundreds of pitches for financial support. Don’t give up. There is a lender out there for every sound business plan.

Research your initiative.

Use the Business Model Canvas (www.strategizer.com) to begin the research needed to assure that you have identified the problem to be solved and that there are customers who will pay for your solution. Begin with your Value Proposition (what need, want or desire is being fulfilled?), Customer Segments (for whom is the solution aimed?) and Channels (how will the customers be reached?). Then validate the idea with potential customer segments. Not friends or family. Understanding the market, its dynamics and why its customers buy is fundamental in building a new business. A business plan is a must to act as a guide to achieve success.

Ask for help.

Another active ingredient in small business success for the immigrant community is to seek outside help. Because there are so many moving parts in giving birth to a small business, looking for and finding a mentor to guide the process is sound advice. All beginners make mistakes, but they can be avoided by having subject matter experts guiding the launch and growth making those mistakes less likely to be expensive.

Reach beyond your comfort zone.

Small business ownership is a lonely proposition for anyone, especially when venturing into a new frontier that is outside of one’s comfort zone. That is why programs like incubators and accelerators are so valuable especially for immigrant populations. Getting advice and counsel from mentors at SCORE or from cohorts at EforAll work to break through the comfort barriers.

Adopt a goal-oriented mindset.

Goals and objectives are critical to being successful in launching a startup, followed by measuring those goals and objectives. Hard work is not enough. Passion for the mission through focused, time-oriented, quantified goals and objectives is the driver for starting up a business in a new culture and economic environment where the language may even be different. Any new business must identify the problem it is solving and stay focused on that mission.

“ Passion for the mission through focused, time-oriented, quantified goals and objectives is the driver for starting up a business in a new culture and economic environment where the language may even be different. Any new business must identify the problem it is solving and stay focused on that mission. ”

Become part of the community.

Knowing the market is fundamental, but understanding the preferences and buying behaviors of the people in the immigrant’s new community helps understand how to sell and serve it. Learning the language, joining the local chamber of commerce, networking group or Rotary Club are ways to become part of the local culture. This is the way new immigrant businesses comprehend how to sell to their target customers.

Immigrant business success depends on capital formation, assimilation into the community and differentiating their offerings, but most important is being customer focused. Listen to everything the customer says about the business and how it performs, then act on what is heard. Leadership needs to be a lifelong learner so that every day the owners learn something new to assure that their launch becomes a growing profitable enterprise.

Marc L. Goldberg is a Certified Mentor at SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands. For free and confidential mentoring, contact SCORE Cape Cod and the Islands, www.capecod.score.org, capecodscore@verizon.net, 508/775-4884. 123RTF.COM/VARIJA

Marc Goldberg

By Marc Clerc

For business people, buying – or selling – a business can be the opportunity to realize your dreams, whether it’s embarking on a new entrepreneurial adventure or planning your retirement. Be sure that you have your bases covered, both legally and with other advisors, to help bring that dream to reality.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a business, you should first assemble a strong team of professionals to guide and advise you on what may be one of the most important transactions of your life.

This team should include a trusted business broker who understands the market. For the seller, a broker can help avoid the “rookie errors” of trying to go it alone and act as a much needed buffer between the buyer and seller. For the prospective purchaser, brokers frequently look to add qualified potential purchasers to their rosters, so as a prospective purchaser you may be a welcome addition to their database.

Buyers and sellers should have a strong relationship with a business banker who can guide them through the process of financing. Buyers in a competitive bid for a business have a distinct advantage if their financing is locked in place prior to the start of negotiations. There is also the matter of business banking, lines of credit and other financial tools that business owners should have at the ready.

Another key team member is the CPA, who knows the ins and outs of tax laws, how to advise on what is a reasonable value of a business and who can work with sellers and purchasers throughout the entire process, including the critical due diligence component. An insurance professional is another valued team member who can advise as to needed coverage (workers’ compensation, liability, cyber insurance, and more).

Completing the list is a business attorney who will protect your interests, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Here are a few points to consider.

1. Confidentiality rules! Whether it’s an owner considering a sale or a buyer making a bid, rumors of a pending sale can have a negative effect on employees, vendors and customers. All negotiations and discussions must be conducted in the utmost of secrecy until an agreement has been reached, and perhaps even until the transaction has closed. An important safeguard is the nondisclosure agreement (NDA) for all parties: buyers, sellers, and trusted team members.

2. Have a clear understanding of what is included in any sale. What licenses, permits and approvals are necessary to run the business? Are they transferable or will the buyer need to obtain his/her own? Are there contracts with existing customers in place to increase the likelihood that they remain customers of the buyer? Is there real estate that goes with the transaction? If so, is it leased or owned? If leased, will the buyer be able to assume the existing lease? Will the key employees remain with the entity? Are there employment agreements or contracts to confirm this? What intellectual property goes with the sale? For every business, there are unique circumstances and it is vital to spell out in as much detail as possible what is included and what is not.

“ Buyers and sellers should have a strong relationship with a business banker who can guide them through the process of financing. Buyers in a competitive bid for a business have a distinct advantage if their financing is locked in place prior to the start of negotiations. There is also the matter of business banking, lines of credit and other financial tools that business owners should have at the ready. ”

3.What will the relationship be between the buyer andseller post-sale? Will the purchaser want the former ownerto remain for a period of time to assure a smooth transition? Akey part of transactions include non-solicitation and/or non-compete covenants. Part of the value of a business is the assurance that the former owner will not compete against the newowner, so non-competes are very common and usually specifya period of time and a geographic region. A non-solicitationwould spell out what the former owner cannot additionally do,such as doing business with former customers (even outsideof the geographic range of the non-compete) or hiring formeremployees. Each situation is unique and the documents should reflect that uniqueness.

4.From a financial standpoint, will the transaction be a stock deal or an asset deal? What are the pros and consof each? Is there an up-front payment or earn out over time?Will there be any seller financing? Your attorney and CPA canadvise jointly on this one.

5.Contractual agreement. Everyone always hopes andexpects that once finalized and the deal is concluded, everyone will live happily ever after, but it is important to have a contractual agreement in place for how to resolve disputes that mayarise, and they can arise for any number of conditions.

Marc Clerc is the founder and owner of Clerc & Associates, P.C. (http://clercandassociates.com), a practice specializing in the purchase and sale of businesses and business law, with offices located in South Easton.

Sheply March 1
Associates Elevator 50


YMCA Cape Cod
2245 Iyannough Road · West Barnstable, MA 02668

Total number of employees: 190 Employees and 65 additional seasonal camp staff
Annual revenues: $10,900,000
Year established: 1966

in our core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

Geographic Area
Cape Cod

42% Child Care
31% Contributions & Grants
17% Program Income
10% Membership


Stacie Peugh

David Botting

2022 Goals
To fund current scholarship awards of $1,030,000 through our Annual Campaign and other funding sources. To secure $1 million in major gifts to fund capital development projects. The Y is an association of men, women, and children of all ages and from all walks of life joined together by a shared passion: To deepen community connection so all people can thrive. The YMCA Cape Cod’s program and service delivery includes an array of health and wellness programming as well as chronic disease management and prevention programming. Collaboratively with our diverse network of community partners we are working together to combat childhood obesity, the achievement gap, childhood hunger, and diabetes.

Cape Cod Children’s Place
10 Ballwic Road · P.O. Box 1935 · North Eastham, MA 02651

Total number of employees: 32
Annual revenues: $1,808,663
Year established: 1995

Geographic Area
Cape Cod & the Islands

34% Federal Grants
31% State Grants
14% Early Education and Care Tuition
13% Individual Donations/Fundraisers
7% Foundation and Corporate Grant


Cindy Horgan

Scott Finnegan

Your Support Provides:
• Free Family Programs, Services, and Supports
• Early Childhood Education and Care/ Tuition Scholarships
• Early Education and Care Community Engagement/Advocacy
• Initiatives: Cape and Islands Maternal Depression Task Force; Fathers and Family Network; Building a Culture of Resilience; Parents as Leaders

Champ Homes
82 School Street, Hyannis, MA 02601

Total number of employees: 6 full time
Annual revenues: $630,000
Year Established: 1991

Champ Homes- Places of Hope, Built on Faith It is our ongoing mission to provide transitional housing to adults on Cape Cod who are homeless or near homeless in a safe, compassionate, respectful environment, where we instill confidence and hope through providing life skills, mentoring, vocational opportunities, and self-advocacy, while building faith in one’s God, one’s self, in others and beyond.


Adam Burnett

Mark Boudreau

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary we look to build capacity and continue strengthening relationships with our community partners that serve as incredible resources for our Champ Homes’ participants.

Who We Are
Gosnold is a nationally accredited non-profit leader in the prevention, treatment and recovery of mental health and substance use disorders.

Volunteer Opportunities
We will continue to respond to changing conditions as it relates to COVID-19. Please refer to our website for current volunteer opportunities.

Topcoat Services July
Mid Cape July

Feature Story

By Bill O’Neill

When you’re starting a new business, it’s helpful if customers can find you via Google search. It’s even more helpful if you learned the ins and outs of search engine optimization from some of Google’s first employees.

That’s one of the secrets of success for Tommy Wrenn, owner of Cape Cod Skateboards. With nearly three decades of experience in high tech, when he wanted to create a new business, he was able to hit the ground … rolling.

During the early days of the pandemic, Wrenn, his partner Rachel and their four children moved from Newton to the Cape, where their family’s had homes since they were kids.

“There wasn’t a lot of work to be had and I needed to keep my skills sharp,” he said. “I fell into that whole bucket of people that were like, if you’re going to do something new, just do something you love.”

Wrenn, 49, has been skateboarding since he was 7 and has taught kids and parents alike to skateboard. “I realized that there really wasn’t a core skate shop on Cape Cod. There are places that sell surfboards, snowboards, scooters and sunglasses, but there wasn’t anything that was pure skateboarding.”

He planned to open his shop in May 2021, but he said a fraudulent board manufacturer stole hundreds of thousands of upfront money from several local shops. When his credit card company and his local bank were able to get his money back, he decided to change the shop’s focus, specializing in custom-made boards produced in the USA, rather than carrying established brands that were made in China. “The supply chain issues made obtaining product too difficult,” said Wrenn.

Former pro skateboarder Robbie Gangemi, owner of Boston-based Popmaster Innovations, was able to build the boards by hand and Scott Boilard, a lifelong friend, came up with illustrations.

“When I started this brand, I wanted to work with my friends and primarily skateboarders,” said Wrenn. “Scott was the epitome of that because we were both born in the same house in Worcester, back in 1972. He went the fine art route after college and I went the commercial art, digital media and web development route. I called him and asked if he was interested in doing some graphics for my skateboard manufacturing company. I said, ‘Skateboard companies are really cool because you can do anything you want.’ We worked on some creative and discussed where I wanted to take the company.”

The result was an iconic Jolly Roger logo that Wrenn said is “reminiscent of Cape Cod and the whole underlying pirate mentality of skateboarding.” Boilard’s striking board designs include The Atomic Monster and The Mermaid vs. The Giant Squid.

Gangemi was able to get boards manufactured by last fall. With boards in hand, Wrenn, who studied graphic design and web development at UMass Amherst, set about doing his thing.

“Being able to build my own website, produce my own graphics, make my own videos, manage my own social media accounts and handle all my digital marketing made the project an easy lift – that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life,” he said.

“We started off with a run of 50. Then we did a run of a hundred and now we’re up to doing 200 at a time. The brand caught on, and now we have five different pro models and a team behind it all representing the brand.”

Wrenn said having a long history in the sport is paying off.Custom Skateboards July

“In skateboarding, everything is grassroots and everything is real. You don’t get street cred in this industry unless you’re actually a skater. If I was just some soccer dad trying to start a skate company, it would’ve been a whole different ball game. But because I’ve been a skater for 40-plus years, I’ve skated with most of these people at least once or twice in their lives.

“You can be anywhere and you see someone skating, you can walk right up to that person and say ‘What’s up? I skate, too,’ and you instantly have a common bond because you share the same trials and tribulations that every skateboarder experiences.

“Every skater knows that the essence of skateboarding is getting back up. It’s all about perseverance. You fall, dust yourself off and get back at it. That’s life. I learned that from skateboarding.

Cape Cod Skateboards
2022 May First Citizen


The Incredible Journey

It wasn’t easy to get there, but these businesses founded by immigrants are thriving
By Carol K. Dumas

Opening your own business is part of the American dream, the ideal for which equal opportunity is available to any American. That dream has also attracted aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world. The Cape Cod and Plymouth region is full of many of these successful entrepreneurs who came to the area from other countries. As we celebrate Independence Day this month, we take a look at their journeys.

Island Cafe & Grill
251 Iyannough Rd, Hyannis

When your roots are Jamaican, but you’re setting up a restaurant where the Cape Cod tourist market craves fish and chips and other traditional seafood specialities, what’s the business strategy?

At The Island Cafe & Grill, Patrick and Erica Sterlings’ recipe is to cater to the tourists and locals but also offer tastes of Jamaican spices and dishes.

The couple first came to Cape Cod from Jamaica in 1998 on an H2B visa and fell in love with the region and the opportunities for work and a quality of life they couldn’t have in their native country.

The Sterlings decided to stay, eventually becoming U.S. citizens and raising a family. Patrick had worked 22 years as a manager at 21 Atlantic at the five-star Wequassett Inn and Resort, while Erica earned her restaurant chops at Schooner’s and The Riverway. They shared a dream of owning their own restaurant and in 2017 they opened at a former sub shop located near the railroad tracks on busy Iyannough Road.

“Our own experience in the business paved the way for us, but when it’s your own place, it’s definitely a different monster,” said Patrick. “It requires patience and the ultimate goal is to have the customer return, to know you have good food to bring them back again and again. Restaurants are tough business and everyone has challenges. You have to do the best you can.”

“I didn’t think it would be this hard,” echoes Erica. “The overhead was insane.”

The Island Cafe & Grill began with traditional breakfast and lunch fare, but it has added in some Jamaican dishes over time and is now open for dinner, too. Jamaica’s famous jerk spice (Patrick uses Walker’s Wood Jerk Sauce (sourced from Jamaica) is added to some traditional dishes such as Chicken Alfredo, a Chicken Wrap and the Island Burger. Diners can also sample some more exotic dishes like Curried Goat, Braised Oxtail, Rasta Pasta and Escoviche Red Snapper with Fried Plantains.

Like most restaurants, the pandemic’s restrictions on businesses were difficult times. “We thought we’d have to close at one point,” recalls Erica.

But they offered to-go meals, installed an outside seating area and in 2020 opened The Island Hotdog Bar, with totally walk-up service, in a space adjacent to the restaurant.

All their hard work has paid off, Erica said; the business has been well received by both tourists and the locals, the latter who often enjoy special off-season discounts. In fact, The Island Cafe & Grill was recognized by the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce as 2021 Small Business of the Year.

This entrepreneurial couple is always looking to grow their business and lately have dived into catering.

“We put a lot of love in our food, we have a passion for this and you have to love what you do and that makes a big difference,” said Erica.

Shelly’s Tea Rooms
51 Court St., Plymouth

It might not seem like too much of a cultural change for a pair of Brits to travel across the pond and set up a business in America, but it turned out to be more of a challenging journey than Sean and Shelly Sinclair had envisioned.

The Sinclairs had owned and operated two tea rooms in England for more than 10 years until a vacation in the U.S. changed their career plans.

“We fell in love with America!” said Shelly.

The couple returned several times and explored both coasts and many states in between. They chose Plymouth for their American tea shop after learning about the town’s ties to England via the Pilgrims. They applied for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, part of the family of U.S. visas available to citizens or nationals of more than 30 countries that have trade treaties with the United States. Individuals with significant funds to invest can come to the U.S with an E-2 visa to set up a business, practice or office.

Everything was going according to plan and they signed the papers in January 2020 to buy a former insurance company space at 51 Court St., in bustling downtown Plymouth. But the pandemic hit in March, making it impossible for the Sinclairs to come abroad and creating a lot of headaches. They persevered through endless permitting (“There were fees for everything!” Sean said), the visa application process, business insurance, and remotely designing the interior of the space and buying furniture. Not to mention they had to find a house to buy in an tight and expensive housing market and catch up with vaccinations required for their son to attend middle school.

They were able to build up anticipation for their eventual opening with a banner proclaiming “the British are coming” outside the tea room.

A month after finally securing their business visa, Shelly’s Tea Rooms opened on Feb. 23, 2022, Massachusetts’ first authentic English tea rooms, and the Sinclairs have been well-received by customers and working seven days a week since. The welcoming space seats about 40 people. All food is made on the premises including the clotted cream. Besides delectable scones, cakes and tea sandwiches, the many choices of a tea would make any patron’s head spin, but Shelly, decked out in her polka dot frock and broad smile happily explains it all. Customers can also browse the small gift area, filled with British tschotskes and pose by a picture of Queen Elizabeth near the loo. Two clocks on the wall indicate London and Plymouth time.

“It’s turned out better than we hoped,” said Shelly. “We’re still trying to get the hang of when the busy times will be.”

Another issue was that the flour is different here (higher protein content) than what’s used in England and Shelly had to experiment to get the best one for her trademark scones, for example.

While they speak a common language, the nuances between British and American English words and pronunciations can be amusingly confusing.

“Your roads here are a doddle!” exclaimed Shelly, meaning “easy.” They’ve found the local traffic quite nice compared to the busy streets where they lived in England. (They have not ventured onto Route 95, however…)

“I was surprised the cars stopped at the crosswalk to let me walk across the street,” said Sean. “That would have been unheard of in Cambridge, England!”

New England Wellness Solutions Inc.
90 Rockland St.,

Jimmy Chung Duong was just a toddler when his parents and his six siblings left Vietnam in 1986, part of the “boat people” exodus. It took three years for the family to arrive in the U.S., after surviving 28 days in the South China Sea, heading to Macau, where a British ship picked them up.

“We were running away from the Vietnam War, not chasing the American dream,” Duong is quick to explain. “We were casualties of war. We had no food. Agent Orange had wiped out all the crops. My father built the boat that carried us.”

But Duong is, in fact, living the American dream. After graduating from college, he was hired by Johnson & Johnson as a financial analyst. “But it wasn’t my career path,” he said. “I wanted to make a difference and not just do numbers.”

Duong was increasingly drawn to helping people more than making profits for a corporation. Interested in drawing on his roots in Eastern medicine, he returned to school and obtained Board Certified as a clinician in acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is president and CEO of his own company, New England Wellness Solutions Inc., managed by his brother. Jimmy Duong is taking on cases for the first time in four years. ( “Difficult cases only please.”)

Educating Americans who are so entrenched in Western medicine has been a process, but Duong has found that due to the Internet and the availability of information, more people are open to explore alternative therapies such as acupuncture and cupping therapy instead of relying solely on drugs when their pain management has reached an impasse.

“We inspire hope for families, for people who cannot get free of pain,” he said. “Every person who walks through the door has a dose of skepticism. It’s often their last option. Patients often don’t see other options, they are not given. Your health is so complicated, but you are in charge of it.”

Duong has returned to Vietnam several times, mainly to visit his grandmother, who died a few years ago at age 105.

“Our life is so different from a typical American because of what we went through,” Duong reflected. “We’re so blessed to be here and we value everything. Just having a meal together is a blessing.”

Danl Webster Inn

Business Toolbox

By Donnie Robicheau

Business owners – regardless of how big or small the business may be – face a seemingly endless stream of decision making. The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod’s business clients are no exception, particularly during a busy summer with a multitude of issues to address – labor shortages, supply chain glitches and how to keep pace with rapidly changing technology. It’s no wonder we often hear business owners say, “There just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything on my plate done.”

As a community bank, one of the most important things we do is support our business clients in their success and growth. And that goes far beyond typical financial products such as checking accounts.

Our latest endeavor to support the business community is a partnership with Clover, a point-of-sale system at its core, but one that offers so much more. Its flexible, intuitive, all-in-one system addresses many of the challenges we’re hearing from businesses.

For starters, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Every industry and business needs solutions custom fit for them. Maybe you need a handheld POS for curbside pick-ups or for you to wait for staff to take payments right at the table. Maybe you’re a landscaper who wants to collect payments on the job site. Or you’re an accountant who works from home and invoices clients electronically.

Maybe you’re a large-scale retailer who needs a full-scale POS system with multiple registers. We start by doing a deep dive into our client’s business to tailor fit a system right for them.

It’s also flexible. Business needs ebb and flow along the way. As your business grows and consumer behavior changes, your needs will change. The system is designed to be flexible enough to change with you … easily.

Clover also helps a business keep up with the constantly evolving digital payment methods like Apple pay, Google pay and Samsung pay, along with traditional credit cards. And its portable units can work with Wi-Fi or LTE, so you can take payment

“Our latest endeavor to support the business community is a partnership with Clover, a point-of-sale system at its core, but one that offers so much more. Its flexible, intuitive, all-in-one system addresses many of the challenges we’re hearing from businesses.”

from your customers wherever they may be.

It’s more than a Point of Sale system, though, and that’s what gives it a real edge. It’s a full-scale, business management solution that can tackle everything from inventory management, employee schedules and payroll to maintaining a waitlist and scheduling clients. The system is complemented with 500 apps designed to meet the unique needs of restaurants, retailers and service businesses. So, essentially it can fulfill roles like bookkeeper, receptionist, accountant, scheduler and inventory manager, to name a few. Clover can take a lot off a business owner’s “to do” list.

To learn more about The Coop-Clover partnership, please visit mycapecodbank.com/clover for additional information and two dedicated episodes of the Business sCOOP video series.

Clover is just one example of the type of products and services The Coop offers business clients. If your relationship with your bank is purely transactional, you’re missing out on a wealth of resources at your disposal. Your banker, especially your community banker, is invested in your success and growth. If you haven’t talked to them lately, now is a great time to start a conversation. You might be surprised how much they have to offer.

Donnie Robicheau is Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager for The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod.

By Maureen Hogan

Summer is here! And so is the seasonal business surge.

The main goal is to delight your customers with an exceptional experience. In the age of online self-service, it can be a struggle to provide that human touch of customer service.

You have the opportunity to stand out with a winning combination of automated, outsourced, and direct customer service. Go beyond offering convenient browsing and online booking, and elevate your customers’ experience with a degree of added guidance and personal care.

Start with customer feedback. You would be surprised how few businesses actively seek customer feedback. What did they love? What could you do better? Your customers will be happy to hand you the keys to what will move your business from good to exceptional. You can set up a free survey at Survey Monkey.

Proactively check in on guests and travelers, before, during, and after their stay, making their lives a little easier and enhancing their experience. Respond to feedback and reviews and ensure that positive reviews are acknowledged and shared, and negative reviews are acknowledged and resolved.

Add automation so you can be there 24/7. Customer queries come in at all times of the day and night, but with the help of automation, a chatbot for example, you could solve many inquiries even during off hours and save time and money by automating routine actions to be executed in common support scenarios.

To add live chat or chatbot to your website, check out HubSpot for a free solution.

Select and train your team for excellent customer service. Train your customer service team to ensure they respond with timeliness, kindness, and empathy, all while being personable and professional.

Hire a student to keep your social media fresh. Students are looking for summer jobs and they are naturals with social media.

Provide sales training so agents can identify cross-selling opportunities and deliver personalized recommendations that convert into bookings.

The main takeaway is that automation is expected, but where other businesses stop at automation, you have the opportunity to elevate your customers’ in-person interactions and experience by maximizing the benefits and insights automation offers.

Maureen Hogan is founder of Scout+, a Hyannis customer service outsourcing firm delivering a human customer experience and content moderation to modern brands, 24/7/365. Learn more at scoutplus.com

By Kevin Ricci

With budgets stretched to the breaking point and the pandemic wreaking havoc on operations, the last thing a not-for-profit (NFP) organization needs is the catastrophic expense of a ransomware attack.

With one errant click or keystroke, an email attachment from a cybercriminal can unleash a payload that can quickly spread throughout an organization, rendering computers and servers useless in a matter of minutes. From there, the options are very limited: the NFP can pay the attacker in the hope that they are provided with the key to removing the ransomware or go through the arduous process of wiping and restoring systems so that they are once again functional.

There is, however, a third option: prevention. The following efforts are examples of what not-for-profits can do to proactively fortify their cyber defenses and exponentially increase their chances of remaining safe and secure.

Cybersecurity Risk Assessments: Completing a cybersecurity risk assessment will help you identify your most critical systems and data, recognize and prioritize gaps, and build a roadmap to a safer and more secure environment.

Security Awareness Training: Once you have established a cybersecurity awareness training program, it’s critically important to then incorporate a trust but verify approach. The best verification method to ensure all employees can identify spear phishing emails is to simulate these types of attacks. These simulations will reinforce the training concepts and identify those employees that need additional guidance.

Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessments: A misconfigured network device or missing security patch can open the door for cyber criminals to enter your business. Conduct penetration testing and vulnerability assessments on a regular basis to simulate what a hacker can see to identify and address any vulnerabilities before an actual attacker can leverage them.

Threat Hunting: Threat hunting involves searching for hidden or undetected cybersecurity threats within a network that have circumvented endpoint security protections. Using various methods, threat hunters scrutinize a company’s technical assets for anomalous behavior that may be indicative of malicious activity.

Conn Kavanaugh 1

Last Word

By Karyn H. Rhodes

As you grow and need workers to support your expansion, it can be challenging to know how to hire the best candidates for your organization. That’s why it can be a good idea to create a systematic hiring process for your business. With a plan in place, you and your HR team will be better able to attract and bring on high-quality employees.

Identify your need. Start by understanding what you’re looking for and what you’re trying to achieve with the new employee. Do you have a gap you need to fill from a recent vacancy? Are you trying to expand into new markets? Do you need to better distribute tasks and work among employees by bringing on additional help? You’ll want to consider how the role aligns with your goals and plans.

Determine your recruitment strategy. Create a standard method for recruiting. Consider, for example, which channels you’ll use to promote the position, how you’ll determine the candidates you want to interview, and who will actually interview applicants, among others. Knowing this upfront will speed and streamline the process.

Write a job posting. When writing a job posting, it’s important to craft one that will attract top talent while limiting the number of unqualified applicants, so you have a focused pool of candidates to review. Start by making a list of the skills, qualifications, and characteristics you’d like the ideal candidate to have as well as their job responsibilities. Then compile this information along with company-specific details such as the potential for advancement, salary and benefits information, and cultural attributes.

Advertise. Once you’re happy with your job description, publicize it. Know your outreach strategy ahead of time. Do you plan to post the role in professional associations, in trade publications, at colleges, through job search websites, via your local department of labor and training, or through your personal network – or all of the above? In today’s tight labor market, it’s important to tap all available resources to spread the word.

Review submissions. As you sift through resumes, eliminate candidates who don’t meet the minimum requirements for the job or otherwise aren’t the right fit. Once you identify some qualified applicants, have a second reviewer take a look to evaluate whether they’re a promising applicant worthy of an interview. If your company has an applicant tracking system, that can take care of some of these steps.

Conduct interviews. Be sure to prepare a list of questions, being careful to avoid those that could prompt a discrimination lawsuit. You’ll want to keep the questions the same for each candidate so you can compare them fairly. When you start each interview, begin with general information about the company to make the candidate feel comfortable. When you ask questions, be sure to pay attention not only to what they say in response but how – their non-verbal behavior like eye contact – as well as to the questions they ask.

Perform assessments. Depending on the position you’re trying to fill, and the skills required, you may want to have applicants complete standardized tests or assign them a task. For example, if you’re hiring an editor, you may want to have the applicant perform an editing exercise. Keep in mind that these assessments can also be done before you conduct interviews if you’re looking to further refine your list of potential candidates.

Check references. While most candidates wouldn’t list a reference without first knowing that they’d get a positive recommendation, it’s still a good idea to contact an applicant’s references to confirm their duties, job performance, and workplace conduct. You may want to ask if the reference would hire the candidate again to gauge the experience with them.

Make your decision. Once you’ve reviewed your short list of candidates, you and anyone else involved in the hiring process should consider the applicants’ attributes, skills, and potential for cultural fit to identify your top choice as well as your second choice in case your first pick doesn’t accept the position.

Extend an offer. Highly qualified candidates are typically not on the market for long, so extend the job offer quickly once you’ve decided who to hire. Include information regarding salary and benefits. Keep in mind that you should prepare for some likely negotiation during this phase so you will want to decide upfront which factors you’ll be flexible on like salary or the ability to work remotely.

Run background checks. Background checks remain an important tool to help you avoid a bad hire by enabling you to review several pieces of information such as criminal convictions, motor vehicle violations, credit (where allowed by law), education and work experience, and military records. Usually, you’ll do this after you extend an offer that’s contingent on successful completion of a screening.

Onboard. Once a candidate accepts the job, that doesn’t end the hiring process. The last step is onboarding, which is the process of bringing them into the company, assimilating them into your culture, and ensuring they have the tools to ramp up quickly. Steps involved at this stage include introducing the job and performance expectations, sharing procedure manuals, explaining work rules, providing the employee handbook, introducing the employee to their work areas, providing benefit information and required notices, and collecting completed forms from the employee.

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

2022 April Citrin Cooperman
2022 July Cape Plymouth Business Back