Passing The Gavel For 2019
Outgoing Chamber president Shanna Cahalane, Vice President and Director of Marketing at Reading Cooperative Bank, passes the gavel to 2019 incoming Chamber President Francine Coughlin, Founder and President of Bark n’ Roll of North Reading, MA. As outgoing President, Shanna will remain on the Chamber Executive Board for 2019 and will continue to support the Chamber.
Thank you Shanna for your leadership in 2018! Francine, we look forward to great things for us in 2019.
Reading & North Reading Annual Holiday Tree Lightings A Great Success
The Reading-North Reading Chamber of Commerce sponsored the 27th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Festival in Reading and the 13thAnnual Holiday Tree Lighting in North Reading on Sunday, November 25, 2018. This year’s family-friendly entertainment included photos with Santa, tractor, trolley and horse-drawn hay rides, strolling characters, bounce houses, Jenny the Juggler, a direct feed of the Patriot’s Game, ice sculpture demonstrations, digital photo booths, pony rides and great local food.
Performances by the RMHS Band and Color Guard, Austin Prep Chorus, North Reading High School Band, other local dance and karate studios and the Colonial Chorus in Reading entertained the crowds. Both festivals culminated at dusk when Santa and his elves magically lit the lights in both towns simultaneously for the holiday season.
Thank you to our sponsors and organizers!
Also thank you to our small committee of Chamber volunteers who worked tirelessly to bring this year’s events to fruition:
- Reading: Robin Krane (chair), Michael Giacalone, Lynn Landes, Bill McElhiney, Leslie McGonagle, John Means, Joyce Mulvaney
- North Reading: Lisa Egan (chair), Jackie Carpenito, Francine Coughlin, Josh Harrington, Lynn Landes, Lina Pappalardo, Kara Skilton, Brian Shue
Presenting Sponsors were Austin Preparatory School and Northern Bank & Trust. Gold Sponsors were Reading Cooperative Bank, Doyon’s TV & Appliance, RCTV, Middlesex Animal Hospital and TD Bank. Jenny the Juggler was sponsored by Classified Real Estate. New this year, Pamko Construction sponsored the digital photo booth. The Patriots Game sponsors were Biltmore & Main, DeMoura Smith, LLC and Reading Gymnastics Academy. The Bounce House was sponsored by Mark Tango Plumbing and The Maids. The Live ice sculpture sponsors were Michael Giacalone, CPA, Burbank Ice Arena, Eastern Bank, Lumen Wealth Management, Tin Bucket and Keating Law Office. Trolley and Hayride sponsors were O’Sullivan Architects, Elle Salon, MelroseWakefield Healthcare, Lahey Health, State Representative Brad Jones, Sartell Electrical Services, Inc., Reading Rotary, Reading Orthodontics, Artis Senior Living, Wingate at Reading, Latham Law Office, PDA Dental Group, Douglass Edgerley & Bessom Funeral Home, Premier Realty Group, Inc., The Goddard School and Salem Five Bank. Police Safety Detail Sponsors were Means Business for Computers and LaPierre School of Dance.
Other supporting sponsors include The Art Studio, Flush Services, and Carli Fence.
North Reading Sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor were The Savings Bank, Reading Cooperative Bank and Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc. The pony rides were sponsored by Classified Real Estate. New this year, the digital photo booth was sponsored by Royal Meadow View. Ice Sculpture Sponsors were Starlight Carwash and PDA Dental Group. The Patriot Game sponsors were Sweepnman and Cota Funeral Home. Bounce house sponsors were The Maids, J.H. Insurance Group and Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc. Our DJ was Paul DiPanfilo’s Professional DJ Entertainment. Event banner sponsors included MelroseWakefield Healthcare, State Representative Brad Jones, The Horseshoe Grille, Lahey Health, Reading Orthodontics, North Reading Veterinary Clinic, Bark N Roll, North Reading School of Ballet, Axle Color Studio, Winter Hill Bank and Linnane Insurance.
Snow ByLaw Repealed In North Reading
North Reading Town Meeting Success!
The Chamber has Successfully Repealed the Snow Bylaw
Partnering with Chamber Members and business owners, the Chamber has focused on the North Reading Snow Bylaw, which requires businesses to clear the snow in front of their businesses within 24 hours of a storm. We presented at two Selectmen Meetings, and at the October 15th Town Meeting, we successfully repealed the bylaw.
The Public Works Director noted that due to staffing, the DPW is not able to plow in front of the businesses this winter, so businesses will still need to clear in front of their properties this winter. That fact notwithstanding, we will focus on the long-term victory, as the repeal will go into effective on July 1, 2019. Thank you to our members and committee, led by Eric Evans, who worked on this issues for nearly a year. Read more in the Transcript’s coverage.
Reading Split Tax Rate Vote Imminent – Your Action Needed
The upcoming vote for a proposed split tax rate in Reading will have a major impact on our business community.
The Reading tax classification vote takes place Tuesday, October 16th at 7 pm in the Town Hall.
Because of the low density of businesses in Reading, the proposed split tax rate will dramatically impact the town’s businesses (thousands of dollars annually per business) and offer only a nominal decrease for residential households ($60 to $150 per year for an average household).
While the shift is positioned to be consumer-friendly, businesses faced with this tax burden will likely pass along at least some portion of the increase through higher prices for goods and services.
Existing local businesses can be expected to leave Reading for neighboring communities with a more business-friendly tax climate, and new businesses exploring the area will elect to set up shop elsewhere. Empty storefronts will stay dormant — and there will be more of them.
We need your help. The Reading tax classification vote takes place Tuesday, October 16th at 7 pm in the Town Hall.
Please attend this very important meeting and let your voices be heard. If you can’t attend the meeting, please email the Select Board email@example.com to share your opposition to a split tax rate in the Town of Reading.
Thank you to Chamber Board Member Kevin Barile for detailing this issue for our membership, below.
Letter from Kevin Barile
Dear Fellow Business and Property Owners,
My name is Kevin Barile and my family and I own and operate the Doherty Barile Family Funeral Home on Linden St. in Reading. I am also a board member on the Reading-North Reading Chamber of Commerce. I am writing to you on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce to make you all aware that the Select Board will be voting whether or not to shift the town’s real estate tax rate from a single rate to a split tax rate next week. This proposal of a split tax rate will have a major impact on the business community in Reading. The Board of Directors on the Reading North Reading Chamber of Commerce strongly believe that the implementation of a tax split will change the way people in our community shop and support local businesses in the town. We need your help.
A split tax rate will:
- Drastically increase taxes to the business community while only giving a minimal decrease to the residential community. The town’s net profit will not increase from this shift; they are simply shifting it so the business community will take the vast majority of the tax paid. They are hoping to decrease the amount owed by the residents in the town. Business owners could expect their taxes to increase into the thousands of dollars per year while the residents will see a decrease of about $65.00 to $150.00 per year.
- Force businesses to increase their prices on the goods and services they provide to the community
- Have the potential to have long time local sustaining businesses close their doors and find another location that is much more affordable. This will also deter new potential businesses from locating to Reading to follow their dream of owning their own company.
In the last few years, the business community has been faced with higher sales tax from the state of Massachusetts. In the next years to come the state of Massachusetts will be increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour as part of the Grand Bargain Legislation. How much more can our local businesses take? How much longer can they keep absorbing these increases until they are either passed on to the consumer or forced to close their doors?
This is where we need your help. The Reading tax classification vote will be on Tuesday, October 16th at 7 pm in the Town Hall. We are asking that you attend this very important meeting and let your voices be heard. If you can’t attend the meeting please consider writing a letter to the Select Board with your opposition to a split tax rate in the Town of Reading to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note your message will be entered into the public record on the matter will be sent to the town manager and all five members of the select board. Please tell as many of your local business colleagues about this meeting and encourage them to attend.
Plastic Bag Ban Effective in September
Effective September 10, 2018, new restrictions will be in place regarding single-use plastic bags in the Town of Reading. See the Frequently Asked Questions for details.
2018 North Reading Town Day A Smashing Success
Over 70 vendors, organizations, restaurants and businesses participated in our Second Annual North Reading Town Day on Sunday, June 3, 2018. Visitor estimates ranged from 3,000 to as many as 10,000! A free, family-friendly event, visitors enjoyed musical entertainment, pony rides, an inflatable obstacle course, games and and performances from many area schools, as well as tasty fare from a variety of local restaurants. Area businesses and organizations hosted booths and offered information, trinkets and friendly advice. With clear skies and a light breeze, it was a perfect day at Ipswich River Park for all who attended.
Great Day On The Links! 2018 Golf Tournament
Winning Foursome from left to right (Riley Wetmore, Mike Hennessy, Damon Lusk and Carl Branson)
With perfect weather a payback for last year’s pouring rain, this year’s Reading-North Reading Golf Tournament was a giant success. 70 golfers enjoyed a great day on the links under bright blue skies, followed by a hearty luncheon. A variety of raffle prizes were won, including a Titleist golf bag, Calloway driver, Red Sox tickets, Yeti tumblers and a number of intriguing gift baskets among many other generously donated items.
Chamber Executive Director Trending in Boston Magazine!
Our own Lisa Egan in Boston Magazine’s new restaurant launch feature!
Trending … (see photo #6)
Fitness Within Training Local Athlete to Row on Team USA in World Championship
Congratulations to North Reading resident Vanessa Bowman who will row on Team USA at the upcoming Dragon Boat World Championship in China. Bowman, a North Reading resident, competed in her first dragon boating race in 2015. Less than two years later, the 47-year-old will be proudly rowing for Team USA in Kunming, China, this October.
A Soaking Good Time! 2017 Golf Tournament