Merrimack Valley Planning Commission Launches New Business Marketing Campaign

The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission has launched a new marketing campaign targeted towards businesses in the region called “Here for the Making.”

The new marketing campaign was conceived while revamping of the Commission’s website,  In conjunction with the Haverhill-based firm Primary, and after meetings with 40 local businesspeople and government officials, “Here for the Making” was developed. “While meeting with entrepreneurs it became clear that the best way to “tell the story” of the Merrimack Valley is by hearing it directly from them,” the Commission—comprised of 14 other communities in addition to Haverhill—says in a statement of their latest endeavor. The new campaign seeks to become “an indispensable tool for our business community and to help market our region as a vibrant place to do business.” According to the Commission’s website, the new campaign assists business owners eager to seek out potential property locations, and helps familiarize them with business incentives and resources regionally.

Longtime Owner of Cedardale, John ‘Ed’ Veasey Dies, at 89

John Edwin “Ed” Veasey, who oversaw Cedardale’s founding, growth, disaster and rebirth, died in the company of his family at his home on Brockton Avenue yesterday. Born Feb. 17, 1930 to Decia Beebe and Arthur Hale Veasey, Veasey grew up at 5 Windsor St. in Haverhill with three siblings. For high school, Veasey attended Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, graduating in 1949.

Aroma Joe’s Officially Opens Haverhill Location

Aroma Joe’s—one of several new restaurants at the Haverhill-Plaistow, N.H., border—formally opened last Friday with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce. The new java joint is located in the $4.5 million 87 Plaistow Road complex and joins three other eateries, Chipotle, Five Guys and Kobe Buddha House. It features drive-through service and a select number of seats. Present at the June 21 ribbon cutting was Dougan Sherwood, who serves as the president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce. Sherwood welcomed new owners Dana Spence and Harry Wesson to the community.

Cedar’s New $100 Million Ward Hill Plant to Create 125 More Jobs; Opens in August

Cedar’s Foods is nearing completion of its new $100 million Ward Hill plant that is expected to help the company double production of hommus and Mediterranean foods. The 125,000 square-foot plant is expected to open in August, adding 125 jobs to its existing 750-employee operation. Near its existing plant, Cedar’s expects to turn out 208 million pounds of hommus and Mediterranean foods each year. “We built this company on our family values and recipes, growing it through the hard work of our dedicated management team, employees and loyal customers. For this we are truly grateful,” said Charles Hanna, Cedar’s chief executive.

Align Credit Union Supports Child Homelessness Prevention Program

Align Credit Union has taken several steps to help combat child homelessness through the program “A Bed for Every Child,” an initiative by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. These steps include employee volunteership with the program, such as having employees partake in one of the group’s Build Days to help lessen homeless situations, and collecting member donations. Align, with branches in Haverhill and Methuen, has also given a donation to “A Bed for Every Child,” totaling $10,000. The donation was presented to the group’s volunteers and director on May 31. “Most of us take for granted the bed we sleep in each night but there are thousands of Massachusetts children growing up in poverty who have no bed of their own,” said Robyn Frost, A Bed for Every Child executive director.

Jaffarian Volvo Ushers in Renovated Scandinavian-Inspired Haverhill Showroom

Haverhill’s Jaffarian Volvo ushered in a new showroom look at a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday. The renovation, according to Volvo, is “designed to reflect Scandinavian-inspired values of calm, clean lines with ‘cool on the outside and warm on the inside’-style architecture.” Volvo officials, customers and members of the business community heaped congratulations and best wishes on President and General Manager Gary Jaffarian and his family. Jaffarian explained his grandfather was born in Haverhill and his father first began selling Volvos in 1958. All four generations of family involved in the business have graduated from Haverhill High School. “Our roots are Haverhill and committed to the community and surrounding communities in serving the automotive needs for many years to come.

New Balance Plans Methuen Expansion after Receiving State Economic Development Award

Shoe manufacturer New Balance is set to expand into Methuen after being named the recipient of an economic development initiative award from the Commonwealth. Boston-based New Balance was one of twelve companies to receive the awards Wednesday from the administration of Gov. Charles D. Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn A. Polito, in conjunction with the state’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council. The incentive awards are part of the state’s Economic Development Incentive Program, and were distributed throughout Massachusetts. The Methuen expansion of New Balance is expected to bring 60 new jobs to the community, along with the retention of 15 current positions. New Balance plans to experiment with new technologies, including an increased focus on automation and 3D manufacturing.

PHOTO: Exchange Club Honors Haverhill Police, Fire, EMS First Responders

Haverhill’s Exchange Club said a big ‘Thank you’ to the city’s first responders last week during the 2019 presentation of awards for police officer, firefighter and emergency medical person of the year over lunch at Maria’s Restaurant downtown. Receiving awards and accolades for their service to the Haverhill Police Department were Detective Dana Burrill Jr., Detective Taylor Anderson and Officer Albert Betances, all honored as police officers of the year. Trinity EMS paramedics Benjamin Schmitz and Harry Ellis accepted emergency medical person of the year awards, while colleagues Rodney Nutter, Michael D’Angelo and Michael Clohisy from the Haverhill Fire Department were celebrated as firefighters of the year. “The stories of their bravery, hard work and dedication were truly heartwarming,” Exchange Club representatives said after the June 13 lunch. “It was wonderful recognizing those who work so hard, risking their lives, sacrificing time with loved ones to do the work they love doing to keep our community safe.”