2022 March Cape Plymouth Business Front
2022 March Cape Plymouth Business Page 02

Time To Dine

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) released its 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report and here are the takeaways:

  • Consumers are making a comeback
  • Outdoor dining dominates and meal subscription services surge
  • Strong tech is a game-changer
  • Delivery is here to stay
  • Staffing and food costs are still throttling restaurants

With all this in mind, this month’s cover story examines two restaurateurs who are achieving success in this post-pandemic time: Two owners who are opening a second restaurant this year and another who opened before the pandemic and thrived.

Don’t miss our popular Toolbox articles, focusing on tips to know when hiring your relatives and the smart way to craft a business
plan; marketing tips from SCORE and a couple of great reads about two enterprising business owners (interior organizer and a pet treats shop.)

Thanks for your continuing support!

Dale and Carol to Our Readers - Masthead


Cape & Plymouth Business Media is a full service marketing firm with a dedication to building a thriving business community. To contact us about our monthly or custom publications, sign up for our newsletter, connect on social, fund business events, or to be found on our network, please call 508-827- 1065 or visit capeplymouthbusiness. com Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the written consent of the publisher. Although every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy of the content of this magazine and advertisements, Cape Business Publishing Group LLC cannot assume responsibility for any errors or omissions including placement of advertisements.

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2022 WATCHLIST February Edition Cape PlymouthBusiness Media 05

While more restaurants are happily welcoming back customers now that the pandemic has taken a downturn and mask mandates are being lifted, there are those who continue to struggle with staffing, leading to longer wait times to be seated and served, customer and staff frustration, and other issues. To attract new staff, restaurants are offering better wages, and even benefits like 401Ks. Here are some statistics to provide an idea of the ongoing struggles the restaurant industry faces.

As of Jan. 1, 2022, tipped employees who work less than 40 hours per week must be paid a cash wage of not less than $6.15 per hour,
according to Massachusetts & Federal Minimum Wage Laws.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.9 percent of the workforce within the food industry quit in November of 2021, totaling nearly 1 million people.

As of Jan. 1, 2022, tipped employees who work 40 hours per week must be paid a cash wage of not less than $14.25 per hour, according to Massachusetts & Federal Minimum Wage Laws.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, fast food workers or counter servers had the third-lowest compensation in the state at $29,680.

The 10th lowest on the list was restaurant host and hostess at $31,040.


Around the Region
Town of Tisbury
Source: census.gov, censusreporter.org
Form of Government: Open Town Meeting
Total population: 2,418
Female: 58%
Male: 42%
White: 93%
Black: 1%
Asian: 1%
Native American: 0%
Persons reporting two or more races: 2%
Hispanic or Latino: 3%
Total Housing Units: 2,457
Family households: 1,068
Average household size: 2.2

Median Earnings:
Median household income: $95,351
Per capita income: $52,086
Mean travel time to work: 11.4 minutes

Educational Attainment (age 25+):
High school graduate: 98%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 44.3%

The board of directors of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance has strongly endorsed efforts to stop any discharge of radioactive water into Massachusetts Bay as part of decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant.

The board has joined many across the Commonwealth in speaking out against the proposal from Holtec International to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which suggests dumping about a million gallons of water, with low-level radioactivity, into the marine environment.

“Holtec has no right to use our Commonwealth’s marine environment as their dumping ground. While the company says there will be no environmental or health impacts, their proposal invokes a strategy that has been discredited time and again: The solution to pollution is not dilution.

“At the very least, disposal of radioactive water from the decommissioned Pilgrim site into fishing and aquaculture habitat creates a serious negative perception for consumers, which would certainly damage one of the state’s most important industries,” reads the letter to Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, as well as to U.S. Rep. William Keating, all of whom are against the idea.

For 30 years, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance has represented hundreds of small-boat, conservation-minded commercial fishermen. Members include shellfish harvesters and growers as well, with thousands of community supporters.


The Baker-Polito Administration has announced a $75 million small business relief program that will be focused on small businesses that employ between two and 50 people.

Some $25 million will be directed toward businesses that did not qualify for previous Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation grants because of a lack of revenue loss in 2020 and $50 million will be directed to businesses that reach underserved markets and historically underrepresented groups, or are minority-, women-, or veteran-owned businesses, or are owned by individuals with disabilities or who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Applications for each grant program will be accepted now through Monday, April 4, 2022 and will award grants ranging from $10,000 to $75,000. Eligible uses of these funds include the following:

  • Employee payroll benefits costs
  • Interest on other debt obligations incurred after March 3, 2021
  • Cost to pivot company due to COVID-19 pandemic
  • Business mortgage or rent and utilities

For more information about each grant program, visit these links:

For the New Application Grant Program, supporting businesses negatively impacted by COVID that have not previously received financial relief from MGCC’s COVID-19 Relief Grant Programs: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/new-applicantgrant- program

For the Inclusive Grant Program, supporting businesses negatively affected by COVID that are also socially and economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented, underserved markets, and businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, or those that identify as part of the LGBTQ+
community: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/inclusive-grant-program

For more information, contact mgcc@massgcc.com

SOURCE: HTTPS://WWW.MSBDC.ORG/SEMASS/https://cam.masstech.org/mmap

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2022 March Cape Plymouth SEO Services

Christie RobshamMeet Christie Robsham

Flourish Organizing Company
Plymouth: 508-404-0103

What led you to start your own company?
After graduating from Bridgewater State University with a social work degree in 2017, I pursued my social work license and began the job search. However, when a job opportunity presented itself, I felt disappointed. I discovered a celebrity home organizing company through social media and immediately fell in love with their work. I couldn’t believe home organizing was a possible career path; although I had never considered the entrepreneurial route, I immediately knew I wanted to take it. I was determined to learn all there was to know about organizing. I read books, listened to podcasts, took online courses, and practiced organizing with family and friends. In 2019, I launched Flourish Organizing Company and have loved every minute of it since!

What do you do for clients?
My mission is to provide clients with the beauty and functionality of an organized home without adding anything to their to-do list. I offer an all-inclusive service that includes sorting, editing, and measuring their space; researching and purchasing products, designing solutions that accommodate your space, lifestyle and routine; creating custom labels, and coordinating with other service providers to fulfill any project needs. We work with young professionals, busy families, downsizing seniors, and those tackling home renovations and moves.

What are some organization tips for employees who work from home and set up an office in limited space?
1. Less is more! Especially when you are limited on space. Declutter your office supplies and determine what you actually use, what you need to keep, and purge the rest.
2. Do you wake up and make your bed each morning? If you answered yes, consider applying the same concept to your workspace. At the end of each day, tidy your desk and give everything a home. It’s much more inviting and motivating to wake up to a clutter-free work space each day.
3. Create a system to avoid the build-up of paper clutter. Consider using a filing cabinet, stackable letter trays, or magazine holders; find a system that works best for you and sort your papers as soon as they come in.

Do you have an unusual occupation or business? Our readers would love to hear about it. Email carol@capeplymouthbusiness.com if you would like to be considered for this monthly feature.


Contractor Corner Opens In West Dennis
Contractor Corner has opened next door to Meyer and Sons Builders, Inc. at 852 Main St. in West Dennis.

Contractor Corner is a membership-based network of curated businesses that aims to help Cape Cod homeowners connect with reputable contractors for any and all facets of construction and precon services.

Contractors and vendors that are accepted into the network are vetted and required to sign a Statement of Understanding that they must adhere to in order to maintain membership.

Contractor Corner is currently accepting applications for membership, limited space available. To obtain a list of available categories and/or request new categories to be added to the list, email: info@meyerandsons.com

Acella Construction Corporation Promotes Filho
Acella Construction Corporation, a leader in construction management throughout greater Boston, is pleased to announce that Christopher Filho of East Bridgewater has been promoted to Assistant Superintendent.

In this role, Filho works closely with project Superintendents to manage construction sites, with responsibilities that include scheduling, supervising workers, and meeting with clients.

Filho joined Acella Construction in 2019 as a laborer.

Dervil Named President Of NEAHMA Board Of Directors

For the third consecutive year, Kerry Dervil, a senior property manager with the Peabody Companies (www.peabodyproperties.com), will serve as president of the NEAHMA (New England Affordable Housing Management Association) Board of Directors.

Dervil, a resident of Taunton, holds a C10P Tax Credit Certification, an Associate in Risk Management (ARM™) designation, a Fair Housing Compliance (FHC) certificate, a Certified Professional of Occupancy certificate, and a National Affordable Housing Professional Executive certificate. She is a Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM) and a Certified Property Manager.

Peak Physical Therapy & Sports Opens Dance Rehabilitation Program

Peak Physical Therapy & Sports Performance recently opened a specialized rehabilitation program for dancers at their Pembroke clinic located at the Wolves Den Sports Complex at 340 Oak St.

The Dance Rehabilitation Program focuses on the injuries and rehabilitation techniques that are specific to dancers.

The Dance Rehabilitation Program was developed by Jessica Smith, PT, DPT, who earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy from Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where she worked with a variety of patients including professional dancers, athletes, pre-professional dancers, recreational dancers, gymnasts, vestibular patients, and general and neurologic and orthopedic patients.

Kaufman Named Clinical Therapist At Elevate Counseling Services
Elevate Counseling Services with locations in South Easton, Lakeville, Raynham and Bellingham, announced that Jessica Kaufman of Milford has joined the practice as a Clinical Therapist.

Kaufman will see clients from the practice’s Bellingham and Easton offices, as well as working with some clients via telehealth sessions. She works with clients ages 16 and up. Her areas of specialization include helping people struggling with depression, anxiety and who are going through life transitions.

Prior to joining the Elevate team, she worked at a Community Mental Health Clinic in Northampton for two years as a full-time therapist and Integrated Services Manager.

The Valle Group Wins Construction Industry Awards

The East Falmouth custom home builder The Valle Group recently received 12 awards recognizing excellence in construction.

The family-owned, residential construction company was honored with four BRICC Awards from the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod and eight PRISM Awards from the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston.

On the new construction side, the firm received two separate awards for the Passive House project in Sandwich, winning a PRISM gold for “Best High Performance Energy Efficient Home” and a BRICC silver. The Valle Group also won a silver award for “Best Single Family Home Under 2,000 Square Feet” for their beachfront home project in Sandwich and gold for “Best Living Area in a Private Residence” for the same project.

The company was honored in the best renovation/addition category as well, taking a silver PRISM Award for “Best Design for Outdoor Living” on a large custom gazebo room addition. They also won silver in “Outstanding Commercial Project” for the construction of College Light Opera Company’s new rehearsal facility.

The Valle Group’s staff was singled out for accolades, with three members of the team winning awards. BRAGB named The Valle Group’s Justin Spurr as “Superintendent of the Year,” while HBRACC recognized Spurr as a “Next Generation Shooting Star.” Account and Customer Care Specialist Sally Katon took the gold for “Most Valuable Team Member.” Job Superintendent Chris Girard was honored with a gold award as “Rising Star of the Year” from BRAGB. The Valle Group’s in-house carpentry team won a silver award for “Best Millwork or Custom Cabinetry.” The firm also won on the marketing side with the gold BRICC Award for “Best Website”, designed by Smith + Company Marketing and Communications of Plymouth.

Osteria Vivo Opens In Pembroke

Osteria Vivo Restaurant & Bar is now open at 254 Church St. in Pembroke.

Owned and operated by husband and wife Jimmy Burke and Joanie Wilson of Plymouth, Osteria Vivo features authentic Italian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere with seasonal menus that use locally sourced produce, seafood, and meat and showcase homemade pasta and handcrafted sauces.

Burke, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is an award-winning chef who began his culinary career in the late 1970s. Following a three-year tenure as chef at Harvest in Cambridge, Burke purchased Allegro in Waltham. In addition to Allegro, he is the former owner of greater Boston-area restaurants The Tuscan Grille, Riva, and Orta, and most recently Vivo in the lakes region of Maine.

Wilson takes the helm at the front of the house and the kitchen is headed by business partner and chef Douglas Rodrigues, who has worked at Boston establishments Clio, Liquid Art House, North Square Oyster and Aquitaine.

The kitchen is a fusion of 40 years of Burke’s classic Italian cooking and Rodrigues’s more modern influence with hyper-seasonal touches.

Merrill Corp. Acquires Cavanaro Consulting
Merrill Corporation, owner of land use consulting firm Merrill Engineers and Land Surveyors in Hanover, acquired Cavanaro Consulting, a Norwell firm well-known for its civil engineering and permitting expertise.

Both firms will operate as divisions of Merrill Corporation. The merger was effective Jan. 1.

“We are very excited for the Cavanaro crew to join the Merrill family,” said Joshua Bows, P.E., President of Merrill Corporation. “Both firms have achieved exceptional milestones in their field. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.”

Merrill’s acquisition of Cavanaro Consulting is instrumental to Merrill’s strategy to build on its reputation as the “go to” land use consulting firm in Eastern Massachusetts, Bows added.

More information at: https://merrillinc.com/about/

Keith Joins Elevate Counseling Services Team
Elevate Counseling Services has added Andrew L. Keith, a licensed mental health counselor, to its professional team.

Keith will provide individual and couples counseling for adults, helping people work through depression, anxiety, and relationship difficulties (primarily) to achieve the best quality of life. Keith works out of the practice’s Lakeville office.

A North Dartmouth resident, Keith comes to Elevate Counseling Services with eight years of experience from Child & Family Services, Inc., most recently serving in their Adult Behavioral Health Services division as a mental health clinician in New Bedford.

He earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Military Veterans Psychology from William James College. He also holds a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology from UMass Dartmouth.

Cipullo Joins C&P Business Media
Cape & Plymouth Business Media has announced the hiring of Cara Cipullo of Plymouth as marketing and community manager.

Her main responsibilities will include working with current and potential marketing partners, running the social media platform and creating new campaigns. She will work to seek new partnerships to expand Cape & Plymouth Business’s network. Other responsibilities will include looking for sponsorship opportunities, newsletter/magazine writing and managing signature events.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism, with a minor in Marketing/Public Relations from Suffolk University.

Cipullo serves on the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and chairs the chamber’s membership committee. She has also been the organization’s head ambassador for the past few years and is a past winner of the chamber’s Ambassador of the Year award. She is a member of the Plymouth Area Coalition for the Homeless Board of Directors. Cipolla also runs a networking/referral group, Connect 2 Close, that meets in Plymouth.

Cipullo was named a 2015 Cape & Plymouth Business 40 Under 40 recipient, which honors the region’s top young business leaders who excel in their industry and show dynamic leadership.

She can be contacted at cara@capeplymouthbusiness.com

Acella Construction Promotes Johnson
Acella Construction Corporation has announced that Josh Johnson of Halifax has been promoted to senior estimator.

In this role, Johnson’s responsibilities include accurately estimating the cost, time, materials, labor, and equipment required for construction projects. In addition, he procures vendors and subcontractors, and ensures that resources are managed, and deadlines are met.

Johnson joined Acella Construction in August 2014 as an estimator.

He is a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering.

Habitat Blitz Build Set For September
The Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod and Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod have announced the 2022 Blitz Build.

The 2022 Blitz Build will take place the week of Sept. 19, 2022 on Willett Way in Falmouth. The three-bedroom ranch is one of 10 affordable houses being constructed on a 5.5-acre site that was purchased with Town of Falmouth Community Preservation Act funds by Habitat of Cape Cod. This is HBRACC’s fifth Blitz Build for Habitat for Humanity.

A Blitz Build is a home that is built from frame to finish in one week to help bring awareness to the affordable housing crisis on Cape Cod. Hundreds of HBRACC members and their suppliers will donate countless hours of skilled labor and materials to build an affordable home to be sold to a qualifying local family.

The Blitz Build also benefits local builders, many of whom become regular volunteers with Habitat and/or donors to their ReStores. The project gives local builders a chance to give back to their community and to network with other builders and suppliers.

For a list of Blitz Build participants visit blitzbuildcapecod.com.

Rogowski Appointed To Mass. Mortgage Bankers Association Board
Shanika Rogowski, Senior Vice President and Chief Residential Lending Officer at The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod, has been appointed to the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association (MMBA) Board of Directors.

The MMBA is the largest mortgage association in New England, offering comprehensive services to more than 225 corporate members throughout the region.

Rogowski has more than 25 years of banking experience at a large Fortune 500 financial institution and small- to mid-size community banks, specializing in residential and consumer lending, sales and service.

A resident of Mansfield, she is an active volunteer with community organizations and nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, Relay for Life and the Mass Bankers Women in Banking Advisory Board.

Elaine M. Johnson Landscape Design Awarded Best Of Houzz
Elaine M. Johnson Landscape Design of Hyannis has won a “Best Of Houzz” award for Customer Service on Houzz , the leading platform for home renovation and design.

This is the 10th consecutive year that Elaine M. Johnson Landscape Design has been chosen by the millions of homeowners that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.7 million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2021.

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Transitions Centers Earns CARF Accreditation

CARF International announced that Transitions Centers in South Yarmouth has been accredited for a period of three years for its Job Development and Employment Supports, Community Integration in Day Habilitation, and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder programs.

The accreditation is the fifth consecutive three-year accreditation that the international accrediting body has given to Transitions Centers. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

Transitions Centers is a nonprofit organization that has been providing day habilitation, supported employment, individualized residential supports and transportation services to the Cape Cod region since 2008.

For more information visit www.tcicapecod.org

Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation Awards Grants To Nonprofits

The Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation recently presented two grants to local nonprofits: Alden Kindred of America and Heroes in Transition.

The $3,000 grant to Alden Kindred of America will go towards creating a booklet of the Alden House Historic Site of Duxbury. This booklet will not only highlight the history of Alden house but also its Pilgrim legacy, providing scholarship about this treasure as a compelling and professionally illustrated keepsake.

Heroes in Transition received a grant of $4,000 for operational support of its programming that serves about 1,200 individuals (service members, veterans, and their family members) on Cape Cod, the Islands and Southeastern Massachusetts annually.

Hay Selected Artist of the Year

The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod announced that painter Jo Hay of Provincetown has been selected as the nonprofit’s inaugural Artist of the Year. The award recognizes a Cape-based artist whose work shapes thought, inspires change, and creates a deeper sense of connection in the community.

“Jo Hay’s work does all of that and more,” said AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake. “Through her art, she tackles difficult topics, stimulates dialogue, and allows us to better understand our world by highlighting changemakers in society. Her work really encapsulates watershed moments happening right now.”

Since 2016, Hay has been working on “Persisters,” a portrait series of large-scale paintings representing trailblazing women in their pursuit of justice. Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, poet Amanda Gorman, and the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are just a few of the prolific faces she has painted in her inimitable style.

A native of Newcastle, England, Hay received a bachelor’s degree from Middlesex University in London and a master’s degree in Fine Art from New York Academy of Art. She was the first recipient of the Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant. Hay was a main subject of the documentary “She is Juiced” by British director Lois Norman.
Her work can currently be seen at Womencrafts on Commercial Street in Provincetown.

United Way Welcomes Shibli To Board Of Directors

United Way of Greater Plymouth County has named Nasreen Shibli, Field Education Specialist and Coordinator at Bridgewater State University, to its board of directors.

Shibli has more than 30 years of experience in community- based nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from Stonehill College and a master’s degree in Social Work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work with a concentration in Macro Social Work and Gerontology. Additionally, she earned a Higher Education Leadership Programs for Women certificate on Women in Higher Education Administration.

Shibli has served as president for Community Services of Greater Brockton, as a board Member of the National Association of Social Workers PACE and as president of the Massachusetts Gerontology Association, among many other associations.

Shibli has language skills in Bengali and other Indian languages.

Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation Awards Grant To Vineyard Project

The Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation awarded $50,000 to Island Housing Trust Corporation for the construction of Kuehn’s Way, a pocket neighborhood of 20 affordable housing rental apartments in Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard.

These apartments will be available to year-round working Martha’s Vineyard residents and their children.

On Martha’s Vineyard, only 38 percent of the housing stock is available for year-round occupancy, contributing to a severe shortage of year-round rental housing for Island residents. More than 600 year-round homes over the past decade were sold to seasonal and investment property owners. More than 21 percent of year-round Vineyard residents are paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs.

The one, two, and three-bedroom apartments at Kuehn’s Way are universally designed for increased accessibility, close to public transportation, and feature high energy efficient standards that will reduce energy bills for families and carbon emissions into the environment. This new neighborhood will serve 60 Island residents and their families currently experiencing housing insecurity with safe, stable, and affordable rental opportunities that will remain affordable in perpetuity.

Kuehn’s Way is finishing construction this summer and is planning on opening the apartments for occupancy this fall.

CCYP Appoints New Board Members

Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works to shape the Cape by creating opportunities for our workforce and aspiring Cape leaders to connect, engage, advance, and lead, has appointed three new members to its board of directors: Matt Scinto, founder and Music Director of Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra, Tara Vargas Wallace, founder and CEO of Amplify POC Cape Cod, and Casey Chatelain, Deputy Director of Barnstable Clean Water Coalition.

A complete list of CCYP Board Members and Officers can be found on the CCYP website at www.capecodyoungprofessionals.org/about-us/leadership.

The Chatham Fund Awards $40,000 To Nonprofits

The Chatham Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation recently awarded $40,000 in grants to seven local nonprofit organizations providing a variety of programs and services for seniors, families and other vulnerable populations throughout the Chatham community.

The 2022 recipients are:
Alzheimer’s Family Caregiver Support Center, $5,000 to fund free support groups for Chatham’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias community;
Cape Abilities, $5,000 to support its “Growing Friendships” program gram that partners a volunteer with a Cape Abilities participant to build relationships and foster friendships for both parties;

Chatham Orpheum Theatre, $1,000 to support its Senior Movie Day, which provides free movies to seniors residing in assisted living facilities in Chatham;

Elder Services of Cape Cod & the Islands, $6,500 to support “Meals on Wheels” in Chatham, a program that provides nutritionally balanced meals to elders;

Family Pantry of Cape Cod, $5,000 to support its “Healthy Eating for Healthy Living” program, which will provide 20,000 meals to Chatham residents in need during 2022;

Monomoy Community Services, $10,000 to support outreach and operations maintenance for existing programs and resources used by the most economically challenged members of the Chatham community.

The Chatham Fund also awarded $7,500 to the Homeless Prevention Council for personalized case management for Chatham residents to access financial resources, housing preservation, and other programs that promote stability. This grant was supplemented with a $1,000 contribution from The Harwich Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation and $1,500 from the Dorothy F. and George W. Cahoon, Jr. Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation to provide similar case management services to Harwich and Orleans residents, respectively.

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Housing Assistance Corporation
460 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: 508-771-5400

Total number of employees: 106
Annual revenues: $32,959,382
Year established: 1974

Housing Assistance’s mission is to strengthen the Cape Cod and
Islands region by empowering individuals, fostering community
connections, and increasing affordable housing opportunities.

Geographic Area
Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket

85% Program Fees & Reimbursements
5% Contributions
4% Other (Real Estate Services Fees & Rental Income)
2% Grants
2% In-Kind Contributions
2% Low-Income Rental Housing



Housing Assistance leadership

The Cape Cod Foundation
261 Whites Path, Unit 2
South Yarmouth, MA 02664
P: 508.790.3040 | F: 508.790.4069

Total number of employees: 9 (5 FT, 4 PT)
Annual Revenues: $12,539,129 (2020)
Year Established: 1989
Total $ Distributed Since Inception: Over $85 million

To make Cape Cod the best place to live. We help donors build
charitable funds and invest the earnings back into the community.
We also use our own resources to positively impact the
community through civic leadership initiatives and grants.

Geographic Area
Primarily Barnstable County (Cape Cod)

*These figures represent funding sources for our organizational
operating budget, which is a portion of the expenses represented
on our Form 990. Our Form 990 expenses include grant distributions.

80% Administrative Fees on Fund Management
17% Individual Donations (Annual Appeal)
3% Sponsorship, Grants, Endowment Draw


CCF leadership



‘Shape Your Cape’ Highlights Ongoing Challenges

Cape Cod Young Professionals “Shape Your Cape Summit,” which gathers hundreds of business and nonprofit leaders, elected officials, local employers and the Cape’s young workforce for “deep dive” discussions on the issues that matter most to the region’s future, is scheduled for April 7, from from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth.

“The past few years have shone a light on the ongoing challenges facing Cape Codders of all ages. We look forward to sharing insight, expertise, and innovations happening locally and ways to support efforts to positively Shape the Cape at this year’s Summit,” said Sarah Nitsch, CCYP Director and Summit Co-Chair with Marissa Cyr, CCYP Vice President.

The 2022 Summit will kick off with a presentation by Lisa Oliver, Chair of the board, President and CEO of The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod. Wendy Northcross, Executive Director of the JFK Hyannis Museum Foundation Inc. and retired CEO of Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce will facilitate the first interactive “fireside chat” with state Sen. Julian Cyr and state Rep. Sarah Peake on “Key Challenges and Innovative Approaches for a Resilient Cape Cod,” followed by a panel of Cape leaders sharing innovative ideas and collaborative opportunities to address critical challenges facing the Cape’s young workforce in a “lightning pitch presentation” format.

Interactive panel discussions and breakout sessions facilitated/led by exemplary Cape leaders will include: “Innovative Leadership in the Arts: Engaging and Enriching the Cape Community” and “The Blue Economy: Innovative Partnerships for a Resilient Cape Cod.” This year’s Summit also includes afternoon leadership skill-building sessions such as “Standing in Your Power 2.0” and “Cultivating Resilience.”

Small group solutions-focused discussions and facilitated networking opportunities are interspersed throughout the Summit to foster creative idea exchange, surface potential solutions, and identify opportunities for collaboration across sectors. The day will conclude with a session on “Shaping the Cape’s Future: Sparking the Next Generation of Cape Leaders and Innovators.”

The event is open to the public and advance registration is required.

Early bird tickets are on sale now at capecodyoungprofessionals.org/events/shape-your-cape-summit

If you are interested in Summit sponsorship opportunities or have questions regarding the event, contact Kristen Vose Clothier, CCYP CEO, at 508-714-2201, ext. 102, or via email at kristen@capecodyoungprofessionals.org.

Cape Cod Women’s Business Summit Debuts May 10

Cape Cod Women’s Association (CCWA), Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP) and SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands have united to present the inaugural Cape Cod Women’s Business Summit on Tuesday, May 10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis. The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod is the Summit’s Premier Sponsor.

“Power Moves for Powerful Women” features nine educational sessions with leading experts, two motivational keynote speakers, an exhibit hall for sponsors, resource partners and women owned businesses and an end-of-day networking event.

The program consists of three “Power Tracks” for women at different stages in their careers: aspiring entrepreneurs, women in business, and women in leadership roles. Each track features three sessions designed to share best practices with participants and develop their power skills in leadership, marketing, communications, growth management, and finance.

Cindy Solomon, founder and CEO of The Courageous Leadership Institute, will deliver the morning keynote, “Courageous Leadership for Women.” Solomon’s clients include industry leaders like Cisco, Pfizer, Dow, Google, UPS, and Amazon. She is the author of two books: “The Rules of Woo” and “Creating a Culture of Courage: The Courage Challenge Workbook.”

Julie Brown, an expert in networking and relationship building, will end the day with her keynote, “Networking Powered by Neuroscience.” Brown is the author of “This Shit Works: A No-Nonsense Guide to Networking Your Way to More Friends, More Adventures, and More Success,” as well as the host of “This Shit Works,” a podcast dedicated to business development.

“The three lead organizers and The Cooperative Bank have strong synergies and strategic priorities supporting women in business. This partnership allows us to share resources and maximize our collective impact across Cape Cod,” said Katri Mullaly, President of the CCWA Board of Directors. “By building a high-quality event together, we will reach a large cross-section of women entrepreneurs, business owners, and professional leaders who are looking for individual strategies for success and ways to connect with each other.”

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available. The early bird registration fee is $89 through April 15 and $109 after the deadline. Registration includes access to all Summit sessions and the exhibit hall, breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception (cash bar available). For more information and registration, visit www.ccwbsummit.com

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More Businesses Hook Up
More Businesses Hook Up To OpenCape Broadband OpenCape has expanded its internet service along Main Street in Hyannis with the buildout of a new Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON), similar to the one that has powered 50 Falmouth Main Street businesses for the past two years.

Customers connected to the Hyannis GPON share a gigabit of 100 percent fiber optic internet service which affords them far more reliability and speed than their previous cable-based internet connection.

As of the end of February, OpenCape connected four new customers, including Cape & Islands United Way, Alison Caron Design, John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum and the Massachusetts Air & Space Museum to a 100 percent fiber optic cable. OpenCape is currently working to spread the word about the new GPON to other Hyannis Main Street business owners, who now will finally have a choice when shopping for an internet service provider. Some other customers are Falmouth Stamp & Coin, Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub, Aquatic Brewing, Ghelfi’s Candies of Cape Cod, Corner Cycle of Cape Cod, and Eight Cousins Books.

Fiber optic internet is considered better than cable or DSL for downloading and uploading information fast, efficiently and reliably and carrying information long distance. Unfortunately, fiber optic providers are few for more rural areas, like Cape Cod and the Islands, and new infrastructure is required to provide the service.

OpenCape Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit technology company headquartered in Barnstable Village, owns and operates a state-of-the-art 100 percent fiber optic network built to serve local governments, businesses and residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands. Its mission is to provide local, reliable and affordable broadband access through its network.

OpenCape also sells a variety of internet and voice-over-internet services as part of its continued focus on advancing the needs and interests of the communities they serve.

For more information visit https://opencape.org/

Holbrook Senior Housing Development Gets Under Way

NeighborWorks Housing Solutions is developing a 72-unit senior housing community located at 120 North Franklin Street in Holbrook Center.

NeighborWorks Housing Solutions serves as developer of the project, with The Narrow Gate architecture, NEI General Contracting, and property manager Maloney Properties making up the project team.

This project has been five years in the making, with a variety of organizations involved in advocating for the development as well as providing financial support.

With the addition of these apartment homes for seniors, NHS now owns, operates or maintains nearly 1,000 units of housing in the southern Massachusetts region.

By Marc Goldberg

As we are into the first quarter of 2022, we need to look at what is working and what is not in terms of marketing. Consider these trends that will lead the way for marketers in the new year. SOURCE: BYNDER

EAT. Since 2014, Google has used Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness as the most important ranking criteria in a search. When planning your content strategy, try to keep Google’s quality evaluation guidelines in mind and do your best to show that your brand has demonstrable EAT qualities.

How does Google do it? What is the expertise of the content creator? What authority does the creator of the main content itself have? Is the creator trustworthy? One element to consider is that all of this is hard to measure since it is subjective, but worth keeping in mind. The key is to make content relevant, personalized, authentic and valuable. If you can develop your marketing personae around the content, you will find you can generate more followers and buyers.

Short video. In 2022 brands will apply the power of short videos to tell their stories. They will take their customers on their buying journey by interacting with story-telling videos. Content length is changing. In the near past longer, in-depth videos were the standard but with reduced attention span marketers need to climb on board the more focused tools now available. “Hubspot’s most recent report also revealed that 89 percent of global marketers plan to continue investing in short-form video or increasing their investment,” noted Bynder. “So, if you are seeking ways to promote your brand in a succinct, authentic way, it could be worth adding appetizer-sized video to your marketing plan for 2022.”

Personalization. This is nothing new. Marketers have been attempting to personalize their messaging for years. They have been tailoring their messages to be more textual and customized to focused needs, wants and desire fulfillment. To be truly successful, marketing personalization activities have to occur seamlessly across every channel and every device. Buyers have to see the same message, same value proposition no matter where they are engaged. Most personalization comes via e-marketing tools and having effective CRM (customer relationship management) tools are critical. When you are planning promotions, creating gated content, and developing loyalty programs, make sure you ask yourself if they are really adding value to the consumer. That means the kind of value that they’re willing to give up their personal information for. Then you will make the connection needed to advance the buying process.

Events/Hybrid events. Face-to-face will return, but it will be different. Trade shows, conventions and events will never disappear, but how marketers are using them will. During the pandemic we have learned that there are elements in the buying process that can be undertaken virtually and others must be in-person. Hybrid events offer a number of interesting opportunities for brands. Virtual or hybrid events make it a lot easier to involve speakers from across the globe – providing they are happy to accommodate differences in time zone, of course! Plus, there aren’t attendee limits so the events have the potential to be much more inclusive. Post event follow-up is more inclusive as well since contact information is less elusive than the face-to-face environment. Be prepared for more hybrid events as the standard.

Several of our SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands Chapter Certified Mentors have marketing backgrounds and offer some sound advice that has lasted throughout their careers and the various marketing cycles they have experienced.

“A brand should immediately and independently of any other information mean something to a client/consumer/customer when they hear or see it. Otherwise it’s just another word. When building a brand, think about what message you want that to send to your client/consumer/customer. Then make sure you’re unduly focused on consistently delivering that.”
– Bob Stein

“The one thing I stress with all my clients is to identify what makes their offering different from their competitors. Your differentiator is why a buyer will decide to do business with you over your competition. What is the edge they have that will make them stand out from everyone else?”
– Robert M. Kucharavy

“Don’t communicate so you can be understood, communicate so you can not possibly be misunderstood.”
–David Epstein

“Storytelling can be an extremely effective way to communicate your message. Tell your audience about real clients using your product or service, and how they benefit from it. Like pictures, stories can make your business come alive, and lend tangible credibility to what you are pitching.”
– Tom Soldini

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

Feature Stories

By Bill O’Neill

It’s no insult to say that one small section of Main Street in Plymouth has gone to the dogs. In November, Robin Silva opened a new business, Kupcakes and Kibble, that’s dedicated to making pooches and their people happy. Located in a bustling part of downtown, the store is filled with healthy treats, plus a selection of toys and gifts.

“My focus is on supplying products that have really good ingredients and providing a place that’s a destination for pup parents to be able bring their dog in and enjoy the experience,” she said. “I just want it to be a fun, happy place.”

Mission accomplished. A visit on a recent afternoon showed a steady stream of customers, many accompanied by a four-legged friend.

Dogs have been in Silva’s life for as long as she can remember. Her family had dogs when she was growing up, and her kids helped her raise several rescue dogs. Now her children are grown-ups with pups of their own, and that inspired her to dabble in making doggy treats.

“It was something healthy and nutritious that I could make at home,” she said. “I started with peanut butter recipes, then I started using dehydrated chicken and beef and some sweet potatoes. I gave them to my grandpups and that got me thinking about opening a little shop.

“It was just an idea for a long time until my husband and I traveled around the country for about six months. That’s when I discovered a lot of these little dog bakeries in places like California, Seattle, Denver. When I came back, I started putting the ideas on paper, put a business plan together, started researching what products were local and also made in the United States and then it just started coming together.”

Knowing that she wouldn’t be able to make treats while operating a store, she scouted around for suppliers.

“It really was quite easy once I put the plan in place and I started checking off each item,” she said. “Just having the internet is like gold when you’re trying to do something like this because everything’s right at your fingertips –learning about ingredients, learning about what you don’t want as far as ingredients, learning about how to access products on a wholesale level. I spent several months researching and contacting bakeries and wholesalers.”

Silva stocks a wide variety of meat-based (including wild boar and venison) and vegetable-based jerkies and chews. If it’s your dog’s birthday, there are canine equivalents of cake mix and brownie mix, as well as biscuits made from the spent grains from beer.

“I discovered a lot of these little dog bakeries in places like California, Seattle, Denver. When I came back, I started putting the ideas on paper, put a business plan together, started researching what products were local and also made in the United States and then it just started coming together.”

Toppers come in small bottles of pumpkin broth and chicken broth, which can be sprinkled on top of kibble for a change of pace.

A display case at the back of the store highlights a changing selection of dog cookies. Some have seasonal designs and shapes (hearts for Valentine’s Day) and some are good fun year-round (the classic fire hydrant).

While the treats sound delicious, making sure they’re healthy is one of her priorities. “The things that you won’t see in the ingredients are salt and sugar,” she said.

A popular item in the toy section is the Yak Stick, a hard cheese stick made from yak milk. Naturally shed elk antlers are another long chew that dogs love. The long-lasting Tuffy line of chew toys comes in shapes that include rabbits and alligators.

“When I opened the shop, a couple people did come in out of curiosity and told me they didn’t have pups, but they did have cats, so I created a kitty corner,” she said. “We have soft baked treats, crunchy treats, kitty ice cream and kitty wine with organic catnip.”

The shop’s decor includes a selection of Silva’s artwork.

“I paint in my spare time as a hobby and when I thought about opening the shop, I had lots of paintings, but I didn’t feel like I had anything that would really fit the character of the store,” she said. “So I decided to just get kind of creative and paint different dogs. They’re just simple dog heads with different expressions and with little bits of clothing to make them appear human-like. It was fun creating them.”

Silva previously worked as a residential designer for over 20 years. Her husband, Peter Silva, owns Harbor Construction, which is based in the same building. Part of her vision for the store is supporting local animal shelters.

Part of that will be through financial donations, but she also plans to collect gently used items that shelters need and encourage adoptions.

“When people come in, they are excited to tell me where they got their pup, and a lot of them are rescues,” she said. “The fun part of this shop is that we’re pet-friendly, and I’ve probably had over 150 or so pups come in for their very first time. Not only does it make the pups happy, but it makes their parents happy as well to be able to have a destination, to bring their dog in and to get some free treats and just check out the wonderful inventory.”

A selection of visitor photos can be found on the Kupcakes and Kibble Facebook page and Instagram account.

Local family launches non-profit foundation to help Ethiopian village

By Jim Farrell

The communities of Kingston, Massachusetts and Wondo Genet, Ethiopia are 8,658 miles apart, but one Kingston family with a strong connection to that distant village is doing some great work to bring the two communities much closer.

Charlene Bonner and her son Ben (Bendeshe Eyasu Bonner), together with families and friends, have launched a foundation, Bendeshe’s Village, with a goal of supporting the families in Wondo Genet, including helping the children in that village to be able to attend school.

Ben, who is 14, was born in Ethiopia and was adopted by Charlene when he 11 months old, and came to the United States.

“I now live in a village where we all have plenty of clean water, healthy food, great schools and healthcare,” he said. “My family in Wondo Genet don’t have what we have here.”

He and his friends here in Kingston wanted to help the people in his Ethiopian village to build a local water source, provide school scholarships and other projects that will improve the quality of their lives.

These discussions and planning sessions led to Ben’s and Charlene’s friends and family in developing and launching Bendeshe’s Village.

Bendeshe’s Village is a nonprofit that has become a village of sorts all by itself, with more than 40 children volunteering to help. Bendeshe’s Village is seeking to have the foundation be “kid-driven,” with the requirements being that they learn about the Bendeshe’s Village mission and agree to help in some way. That can be donating time or ideas for fundraising. Bendeshe’s Village is a 501 (c)(3)-approved foundation.

Their fundraising efforts have resulted in raising more than $10,000. Many donations have been from those donating $25, and some very generous larger donations have helped the foundation grow very quickly. All of the donations will help improve living conditions in Ben’s village. And they’re just getting started.

Bendeshe’s Village is looking for people to help in several ways: anyone who would like to assist in their efforts to help the people of this Ethiopian village can contribute directly on the website, and they are also always looking for volunteers to pitch in and help out.

Charlene serves as the foundation’s executive director in addition to her full-time career as a forensic psychologist for the state’s parole system.

“Our goal is to reach as many people who want to join as possible,” she said. “We are asking for $25 donations as we know that there are so many charities and good causes that are in need. We hope that by asking for $25 people will be able to contribute. We have already funded 40 kids to attend school. That costs about $25 per student per year to get them supplies to attend.”

Charlene and Ben traveled to Wondo Genet in 2020 to see some of the members of Ben’s family, and also to meet with a friend of theirs who helps with buying supplies and coordinating projects. Charlene stays in touch with him over Facebook Messenger and What’s App.

“On this trip, Ben met his two brothers for the first time. We saw firsthand just how much need there is in Ben’s village and elsewhere and we want to do as much as we can,” Charlene recalled.

The funds that the Foundation has raised so far have paid for backpacks, clothing, and books – in all, their first fundraising effort allowed 40 students to attend school.

Back here in Kingston, Bendeshe’s Village will host some fundraisers both for awareness and to help send additional students to school. There’s a fundraiser/silent auction scheduled for this spring, with more details to follow.

In the meantime, Alison Mazzilli, one of Ben’s teachers at Kingston Intermediate School, said the school is sponsoring a coin drive, with all of the funds collected going to Bendeshe’s Village.

“Mrs. Mazzilli wrote a really inspirational letter to Ben when he graduated from Kingston Intermediate School, telling him he was destined to do great things,” Charlene said. “He was so pleased with the letter that it is framed and hanging in his room! We are very grateful for the coin drive; the KIS students will learn about the village, collect coins and continue our practices of many small donations adding up to support this idea.”

To learn more about Bendeshe’s Village, to contribute, or to help in another way, visit their website, www.bendeshesvillage.com.

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Top Coat Services Ad


Fearless Foodies Cover

The Knack Builds On Success, Lessons Learned

By Bill O’Neill

When brothers Van and Michael Haidas wanted to open a highend fast-food restaurant in Hyannis, they already had the recipe for success. The January opening of the Knack on Route 132 was the result of lessons learned since they opened the first Knack in Orleans in 2014.

“Part of the reason why we waited so long was because we wanted to really master what we were doing in Orleans,” said Van. “Opening the first Knack was certainly more of a risk. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t know what the concept was. We had to let it tell us.”

The brothers grew up in the restaurant business, wandered away from it and then came back.

Their grandparents opened the Kream and Kone in Dennisport in 1953, and their father and uncle started the local chain of Cooke’s seafood restaurants in the late ’70s.

“We were punching out onion rings at 7 years old.,” said Van, who is 43 and lives in Dennis. “We did whatever we could do to help the family and kind of grew up in the restaurants.”

“They gave us little things to do at first,” said Michael, who is 41 and lives in Brewster. “By the time we were 14, we were on the schedule and accountable. We learned a ton from that experience.”

Both brothers ended up in New York City after college. Michael was a corporate lawyer and then a public defender. Van was a trader on the floor of the Stock Exchange for about 10 years.

Then Van decided he wanted to make a life change.

“The Cape kind of called me back,” he said. “I told Michael, ‘I’m thinking about doing this. Would you have any interest?’ We started talking and I moved back in 2012 and started looking for some properties.”

From Provincetown to Woods Hole, six deals fell through before they found the right spot. Van was driving in Orleans with their father and passed a building near the rotary that had once been a Dairy Queen and was turned into a taco stand.

“I said, that’s an interesting spot. It’s tiny but it sits really well on the road, it’s got great visibility, and it could be something,” Van said.

“We just said to ourselves, let’s try to make the kind of restaurant on Cape Cod that we think could succeed in New York City,” said Michael.

“When we found the location, that really dictated what the format would be. Let’s update the roadside clam shack. Let’s do traditional Cape Cod food but everything made from scratch and cooked to order. Let’s make every menu item as good as we can get it and go from there.”

The Knack debuted with a soft opening for a few weeks in the fall of 2014 and had its first full season in 2015. It quickly built a devoted local following for its burgers, onion rings and shakes.

The family had sold the Cooke’s restaurants, but the brothers repurchased the Hyannis location.

“It was right after we had a full season of the Knack in Orleans under our belt,” said Michael. “We operated it for five years. We loved Cooke’s, we grew up there, but it was clear over that time that the Knack was appealing to a wide section of the Cape demographic, whereas Cooke’s had stagnated.”

They decided to gut the 42-year-old building and create a second Knack.

“We had enough data that we knew this should be successful,” said Van. “This is a much larger scale than what we do in Orleans, but the building also gives us what we’re missing in Orleans, which is prep space and storage. We can do prep for both places out of Hyannis. It’s going to help us grow the business.”

The Hyannis renovations were happening while they were trying to keep the first Knack running during the COVID pandemic.

“We always told ourselves we do not want to be the reason people get sick,” said Michael. “Orleans is only outdoor seating anyway but in 2020 we didn’t ever open the patio. We just stayed take-out only. Here we are two plus years later and we haven’t had an outbreak of COVID in our restaurant. We’ve been careful the whole time with that.”

The Hyannis Knack, which will be open year-round, will have seasonal outdoor seating and the indoor layout is convertible to meet any changing needs for social distancing.

The brothers have been able to maintain sufficient staffing by paying what they call “a living wage for the Cape.” Unlike many Cape restaurants, they were able to stay open seven days a week in 2021.

“From the beginning, Van and I have tried to take care of our employees before taking care of ourselves,” said Michael. “When we get good people, they tend to like working here. The relationship is good for both of us. We know how hard the work is because we do it all the time.”

Fluctuating and rising costs present another challenge. “We’ve seen our costs double on probably more than half of the products we bring in,” said Van. “Cooking oil doubled, meat doubled, lobster doubled, flour doubled. We’ve taken our time with price increases, but we’ve had to go up a little bit.”

The storage space at the Hyannis Knack allows them to stock up on supplies when prices dip. They’ve also cut costs by grinding in-house the meat they buy from a local butcher. Since the first Knack opened, the brothers have donated 10 percent of the sales of shakes and desserts to local charities. That’s amounted to over $100,000 so far.

“It’s important to help the community you’re in. The better the community does, the better you do,” said Van.

Food Service Industry Stats

  • 63% of adults say restaurants are a go-to in their lives
  • The National Restaurant Association predicts the food service industry will reach $898 billion in sales in 2022
  • Sales still sit 11% below where they were pre-pandemic
  • Seven in 10 restaurant operators say they are severely understaffed
  • Food costs, meanwhile, are higher for nine out of 10 operators
  • Six in 10 adults say they order delivery or takeout more than they did pre-pandemic
  • Nearly 80% of operators say technology has given them a competitive edge and helped increase sales, especially among younger customers
  • Outdoor dining dominates and meal subscription services surge
  • Restaurants continue to adapt by offering smaller menus, larger outdoor eating areas, and meal subscription services


Jefes Stays The Course In Plymouth

By Carol K. Dumas

Michael Grant opened the Mexican restaurant Jefes: A Betta Bar & Grill, in May 2019, a year before the pandemic hit the world, but his enterprise withstood the test of lockdowns, regulations and diners’ fears and continues to thrive.

Grant said none of his 10 employees were laid off during the pandemic. How did he do it?

“We increased our takeout,” Grant says, “and we were consistent with our food quality and in keeping in touch with our customers.”

Jefes has 90 indoor seats but no outside seating.

Customer service is key to his success, he feels. “It’s a tough business and there’s a lot of stress and it’s easy to take it out on a customer.”

Located across from Cordage Park in North Plymouth, Jefes serves up “authentic Mexican” cuisine, influenced by a family friend’s recipes from a Mexico City neighborhood. Jefes’ signature dishes are its nachos, and tacos, handmade from corn flour from Mexico.

Grant had planned a career in marketing, and graduated from Bentley University, but when an opportunity in Las Vegas didn’t pan out and he’d already signed a lease to live there, he had to find a job to make ends meet. He ended up in the restaurant business, starting as a food runner and bussing tables at a restaurant on the strip and found his calling in management. After moving back to Massachusetts, he worked as the manager of the Waterfront Bar and Grille and at CBS Scene, located within Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

When an opportunity to buy a restaurant space came up in North Plymouth, he and his brother jumped on it.

“Our concept is about individualism, positivity and being the best you can be,” he says. “I take pride in the fact that we have no particular demographic in our customers. Everyone, no matter what their age or background, feels comfortable here.”

Business Toolbox

By Eve Elliot

After a couple of years in business, you may have hit the goals outlined in your business plan. Your organization is running smoothly and you’re thinking about what comes next. If this is the case, congratulate yourself on your well-earned success!

And in terms of next steps, it may be time for you to develop your growth strategy. Determining the best time to grow your business depends on your goals. What does success look like to you? Do you want to keep the business in the family long-term, or are you hoping to sell it in a couple of years? If you have been in business for two or more years and are outliving your business plan, it may be time to consider where your business is going in the future.

What Types of Business Growth Are There?
As with many aspects of business, there is not a one-size-fitsall growth strategy. Depending on your industry, your plan for growth may look different. If you run a daycare, for example, you might focus on growing clientele. This might also be true in a consulting field. A plumbing business, on the other hand, might look to grow its fleet of vehicles to better service the customers it already has.

Typically, these growth goals often come down to making an impact on the bottom line. Eve pointed out that an important rule of thumb for business owners to keep in mind is that growing often means spending more money. That said, one of the most important areas to consider when mapping out a growth strategy is staffing. Money spent investing in your talent is always well spent.

A common mistake in the growth process is getting distracted by a new shiny idea that is outside of your area of expertise. Companies should stick to what has proven to work to help ensure their growth plans are successful.

How are Business Plans and Growth Plans Similar?
Think of a growth plan as an extension of your business plan. Your business plan outlined what you want to be known for and how to make that a reality. A growth plan takes a deeper dive into what you are known for and finds avenues to build upon your business’ success. Instead of looking month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter, map out a longer term five-year strategy. A key component of any business plan is keeping tabs on the competition. How are your competitors reacting to market changes? Where is their focus? This helps keep you informed about what you are up against and how you can set your business apart.

“A common mistake in the growth process is getting distracted by a new shiny idea that is outside of your area of expertise.
Stick to what has proven to work to help ensure their growth plans are successful.”

What Goes into a Growth Plan?
Similar to a business plan, having a good team is fundamental because support is key to expanding your business. Keeping lines of communication open is imperative. You should regularly check in with your team of advisors, including your CPA, banker, and lawyer, to help you navigate the next phases of your business growth. At this stage, you may seek more specialization in these roles to help you achieve your specific goals.

How to Draft a Winning Team of Business Advisors
Realistic forecasting and determining the right financial services to support your needs is also important. It’s common that business needs change as you grow and find success. Where a $10,000 line of credit was suitable before, it may not be now. Look at your larger financial picture and have an open, honest conversation with your banker about your needs.

A common mistake business owners make when attempting to grow is overspending or growing too fast. Consult with your team of advisors, who can help ensure your expectations are realistic and you are in line to meet your goals.

Our business bankers have helped thousands of business owners like you, from starting a brand new business through succession planning. If you need help growing your business, reach out and our team can help ensure you’re on the right financial track.

Eve Elliott is a Business Banking Officer with Rockland Trust. She’s been with the bank for more than 10 years and spent her entire career catering to and supporting the business community. Eve can be reached at Eve.Elliott@RocklandTrust.com.

Danl Webster Inn
FirstCitizens Accessary Dwelling

By Karyn Rhodes

Hiring family members like your spouse or child can hold a lot of advantages, like familiarity, trust, and loyalty. But there are also some challenges to be aware of like special rules that apply when adding relatives to your payroll. Specifically, employment tax withholding and reporting requirements for family employees may vary from those that apply to other workers.

While some companies may have policies against it, there is no law prohibiting nepotism in private business so yes, you can legally hire family members. However, it’s important to know that when it comes to hiring children, you’ll need to follow federal and state child labor laws that may restrict the hours a child can work, times of day and type or work they can do, including equipment they can operate. The Department of Labor has a listing of all of these laws so you can quickly see any restrictions you need to be aware of.

And just be sure that your family members are qualified for the job and doing bona fide work. For example, give them a job title and description and keep track of their tasks. You’ll also want to make sure you treat them like any other employee.

When hiring family members, are they considered employees?
When it comes to adult family members, you can generally treat them the same as your other employees. That means when they come on board, you’ll need to:

  • Have them complete new hire paperwork such as a Form I-9 and Form W-4
  • Follow the Fair Labor Standards Act when it comes to paying family members, including following the minimum wage and overtime provisions
  • Withhold income and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes and include family member wages when calculating your business’ FICA taxes; however, if you’re hiring your spouse or parent, you don’t need to pay federal unemployment tax (FUTA)
  • Provide the same benefits to family members that you do to other workers such as health insurance

There are some differences when it comes to hiring family members that are children. For example, you don’t need to pay FUTA on the wages of your children under age 21 or FICA tax on their wages if they are under 18. Keep in mind the tax benefits of hiring your child only apply if you run a sole proprietorship or partnership, which we’ll discuss in a bit.

“While some companies may have policies against it, there is no law prohibiting nepotism in private business so yes,
you can legally hire family members.”

How much can I pay family members?
There’s no set limit on what you can pay family members. However, there are some considerations that may impact what you choose to pay them. For example, if you employ non-family workers, you’ll want to be aware of the effect of favoritism on your company culture. As a result, you should aim to pay your family members the same wage as you would any other worker with the same experience in the same position based on industry guidelines for each job description.

Another factor to take into account when setting the salary for a family employee is the effect on your taxes. Since paying a salary to family members decreases your net business income, you may choose to pay your family employee a wage that will lower your income and tax bracket for more favorable tax treatment. However, if you’re paying your spouse, keep in mind that if you plan to file a joint tax return, that income will need to be reported on your personal taxes.

How do I pay family employees?
When you’re hiring family members, you can pay them using any method you would regular employees. That could be by cash, paper check, direct deposit, or other options like paycards or pay apps. Just remember that if you pay your family in cash, you’ll need to make sure you take withholdings from the pay or the IRS and state tax authorities could take action if they discover during an audit that you’ve been paying them under the table.

What are the tax implications of hiring family members?
As we previously discussed, employing family members can hold certain tax advantages around FICA and FUTA taxes. However, these payroll tax exemptions are only allowed if your business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership owned by you and your spouse. A corporation, on the other hand, can’t take advantage of the tax breaks. That means that if you run a corporation and hire your child, for example, you must withhold income tax and FICA.

One of the advantages of running your own business is hiring family members. But to maximize the benefits to you and your business, you’ll want to make sure you follow all applicable state and federal laws when it comes to payroll and payroll taxes.

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

Conn Kavanaugh 1

By Jane Bowman

Leadership South Shore, a program established by South Shore Bank in partnership with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, recently marked its fifth anniversary of helping to develop community-minded leaders.

This celebrated program leads participants through a yearlong immersive learning curriculum, resulting in a group of individuals who are highly committed to transformative leadership in our community.

South Shore Bank CEO James Dunphy founded Leadership South Shore to help leaders and emerging leaders understand what is unique to our region so they can learn to navigate and embrace opportunities and challenges to help build, define, and promote the South Shore.

Dunphy created the leadership program in 2016, based on a similar program he had been involved with in New Hampshire, and partnered with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce to bring it to life here.

As Dunphy sees it, becoming a business leader in a diverse community like the South Shore requires taking “a holistic view of the community and understanding how the local economy impacts individuals in terms of jobs, housing, education and public safety.”

“The idea is to bring together emerging business leaders to learn more about the South Shore community – the community in which they live and work – and to expose them to things they wouldn’t necessarily encounter,” Dunphy said.

After undergoing an application and interview process, those selected to join the Leadership South Shore cohort embark on a unique learning experience in the form of expert panel discussions, on-site visits, volunteer experiences, and networking sessions.

Activities bring the group to arts and cultural institutions, nonprofit community agencies, courts, public safety agencies, hospitals, and trade schools. The pandemic required a pivot to a virtual experience; however, the current cohort has the added benefit of a primarily in-person experience.

“South Shore Bank CEO James Dunphy founded Leadership South Shore to help leaders and emerging leaders understand what is unique to our region so they can learn to navigate and embrace opportunities and challenges to help build, define, and promote the South Shore.”

One of the unique things about this program is that alumni become part of the working group shaping the curriculum for future classes. This is a true testament to the program’s experience providing deep personal bonds which foster a community-minded spirit of paying it forward not only to the community at large, but also to the next group of leaders.

Like previous cohorts, the most recent graduating class was made up of members from various industries including healthcare and wellness, nonprofits, arts institutions, financial services, the education sector and real estate development.

People who have gone through the program tell us they “gain a great perspective to step outside of my industry,” and this is exactly what Dunphy wants to hear.

“Informed leaders make informed decisions for the betterment of our communities,” said Dunphy. “We are helping to create highly motivated leaders who are committed to using their knowledge to forge positive change in the region. Leadership South Shore is a process for emerging and established leaders to connect and become inspired to build vibrant relationships that strengthen the South Shore.”

To learn more about Leadership South Shore, visit southshorebank.com/leadershipsouthshore

Jane Bowman is chief marketing officer for South Shore Bank.

CapeCod 5 March