Merrimack Valley Chamber to Host Small Business Recognition Awards

More than a dozen local businesses are up for honors in June as the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce conducts its annual Small Business Recognition Awards Program. U.S. States Small Business Administration Mass. Director Robert Nelson will be on hand as special guest speaker during the breakfast Friday, June 14, from 7:30-9 a.m., at Renaissance Golf & Country Club, 377 Kenoza St., Haverhill. Award recipients include Business Assistance, Benefit Advisors Group and Enterprise Center at Salem State University; Hospitality and Tourism, Historic New England and Salem Historical Tours; Discovery/Education, Bradford Christian Academy and Hill View Montessori Charter School; Environmental. Cooperstown Environmental and Sak Environmental; Healthcare, Aspen Hill Rehabilitation, Cedar View Rehab and Homewell Services of Andover; Innovative, Marble Ridge Winery and UMass Lowell Space Science and Technology; Longevity, Opportunity Works and Smith Motors; Manufacturing and R&D, Artisan Chef; and Manufacturing, Techprint.

MakeIT Haverhill Job Fair May 23 to Present Opportunities in Manufacturing, Health Care, More

Lightspeed Manufacturing, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and others are among those making hires during MakeIT Haverhill’s next monthly job fair May 23. Lightspeed Manufacturing, which specializes in hardware prototypes and assembly, seeks to fill several positions in product assembly, while Greater Lawrence Family Health Center seeks customer support center and patient services representatives. Other employers on hand include L’Arche Boston North, Opportunity Works, Emmaus, Waystone Health & Human Services, Covenant Health’s Penacook Place and Mary Immaculate, Revise Energy, NRT Bus and Home Instead. MakeIT Haverhill’s job fair takes place Thursday, May 23, from 4-6 p.m., at 301 Washington St., Haverhill. The fairs provide a platform for individuals to connect with local employers in a welcoming environment.

Downtown Haverhill MassHire Career Center Closes Friday in Advance of Move

The downtown Haverhill office of MassHire Merrimack Valley Career Center closes Friday in preparation for a future relocation. The office is operated by Northern Essex Community College and located within the College’s space at The Heights, 160 Merrimack St., Haverhill. “The goal is to have a space that is more accessible and visible for local job seekers, employees and employers,” college Director of Public Relations Melissa L. Bouse told WHAV. Meanwhile, those who need services may visit MassHire Merrimack Valley Career Center in Lawrence at 420 Common St., Lawrence. Appointments may also be made by calling 978-722-7000.

Pentucket Bank Provides up to $20K Donation to Back Exchange Club of Haverhill Scholarships

Pentucket Bank has teamed up with the Exchange Club of Haverhill to provide up to $20,000 in scholarships to class of 2024 graduates. Scholarships include the ACE Award, recognizing a student who is successful in the face of adversity with a $3,000 scholarship; Youth of the Year, celebrating an outstanding young individual who excels in leadership and academics with a $3,000 scholarship; Book of Golden Deeds, $3,000 scholarship honoring selfless acts of kindness and community impact; and the Young Citizenship, acknowledging students who are honest, hardworking, helpful and fair. These are multiple awards for $1,000 each. “We are extraordinarily proud to join forces with the Haverhill Exchange Club to provide these scholarships,” said bank CEO Jonathan H. Dowst. “They reward several different categories of leadership among our youth and also, of course, provide funds for them to fulfill their dreams through higher education.

Merrimack Valley Chamber Hosts U.S. Small Business Administration’s Awards Ceremony

Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce member Stephanie Vanderbilt, owner of Coastal Windows and Exteriors in Beverly, was awarded the Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year award during a Friday event hosted by the Chamber. More than 300 people turned out for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Massachusetts Small Business Awards Ceremony with District Director Robert Nelson, state Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao and state Auditor Diana DiZoglio. Vanderbilt’s award earned her an invitation to the White House to join other winners from around the country. Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce Vice President Michael Bevilacqua previously told WHAV the “Washington connection” is Marlene Cintron, appointed by the White House to be regional administrator, overseeing U.S. Small Business Administration programs in the Atlantic Region, and also currently serving as acting administrator for programs in New England.

Indie Retailer Bull Moose to Open Store in Plaistow Next Month, Plans to Host Local Poets, Musicians

Indie Media Retailer Bull Moose will open a store in Plaistow, N.H., in June, with the new location likely hosting performances by local musicians and poetry readings. With staff moving 10 miles from a Salem, N.H., shop closing May 18, President Shawn Nichols told WHAV, employees “collectively selected” the 34 Plaistow Road location, according to a press release. The retailer mostly carries records, CDs—including on consignment from local artists—books and games. During the pandemic, Nichols told WHAV they stopped hosting performances by local artists, but have started to get back into public events recently. “The thought around the space in Plaistow will be that it could be used for someone with an acoustic guitar, or a table for role playing games, or for a poetry recital.”

He added, “[In] the last year or so, we’ve started to really get back into it, but it’s rebuilding that old muscle memory.

Amazon North Andover Celebrates Milestone of Hiring 100,000 Veterans Companywide

Amazon this week celebrated reaching a global milestone of hiring 100,000 veterans and military spouses in a North Andover ceremony attended by Massachusetts Veterans Services Secretary Jon Santiago and Labor Secretary Lauren Jones. The 100,000th military hire was made at Amazon’s recently opened robotics fulfilment center in North Andover. During the ceremony, Amazon donated $50,000 to Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, a business accelerator for military veterans and Gold Star Family entrepreneurs. As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting servicemembers and their families, Amazon said it has donated more than $400,000 in community grant opportunities to nonprofit organizations who serve veteran, military and Gold Star families. As WHAV previously reported, Amazon opened the 3.8 million square-foot North Andover fulfillment center in January.

Lawrence Community Works Takes Home First Prize in Haverhill-Based Digital Equity Challenge

An idea to bring free Wi-Fi and education to a Lawrence public housing project was the top winner of the third annual Digital Equity Challenge pitch contest that took place May 2 in Haverhill. Lawrence Community Works was awarded $5,000 for first place for a project to provide free, reliable Wi-Fi throughout its affordable housing project in Lawrence as well as provide a community advocate to help residents access Wi-Fi and Internet resources. “LCW’s community programs are designed for maximum integration with residential life and to support an overarching goal of family economic mobility,” said Jacob Greer, Executive assistant and resource developer at Lawrence Community Works. “No matter how someone may be connected to the LCW network, our goal is for them to access a diverse menu of supportive resources and offerings depending on their individualized situation and aspirations.”

Rachid Moukhabir of Methuen won second place for his proposal to expand his information technology training program, called Mass Association for Computer and Internet Resources.  Moukhabir said his program helps underserved populations enter the IT workforce and provides support and further training to allow those workers to continue to grow in the industry. Josefa Arriagada Saieh, a MassDevelopment fellow working in Lawrence, and Karina Calderon of the Lawrence Partnership won third place and audience favorite for a project to turn an under-utilized alleyway in Lawrence into vibrant community space with free outdoor Wi-Fi access.