Around the Valley
Student Advocate Named Civic Fellow
Morin, a biology and philosophy major, was nominated by NECC President Lane Glenn, who wrote, “College faculty and staff describe Courtney with words such as motivated, collaborative, innovative, dedicated, change-maker, and advocate.”
During her first year at Northern Essex, Morin became the president of the Amnesty International Club. In spring 2017, she started as a general member of the Student Government Association. Morin has attended several advocacy days at the Massachusetts Statehouse to advocate for sexual assault prevention, college affordability, educational attainment disparities between white and Latinx students, housing and food insecurity, mental health and the interconnectedness of these issues. Morin currently serves as the vice president of the Haverhill Campus for SGA.
In fall 2018, she was elected as the NECC student trustee to the board of trustees.
“Beyond the NECC community, Courtney was elected in 2018 to serve as the Vice Chair of the Student Advisory Council to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, where she supported and promoted initiatives such as open educational resources (OER), changing student trustee eligibility requirements, and Every Voice Coalition’s bills, aimed at addressing sexual violence and misconduct on higher education campuses,” wrote Glenn.
The Newman Civic Fellowship distinguishes and supports students who have shown leadership and an investment in their communities across the country to help solve problems they may be facing.
ECCF Announces New Grant Program for Creative Nonprofits Affected by COVID-19
Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF) is announcing the creation of the Essex County Creative Nonprofit Resiliency Grant Program.
Seeded with $100,000 from ECCF’s Creative County Initiative, the program will provide one-time grants to the Essex County cultural nonprofits that anchor vulnerable and vitally important cultural communities. The program will target small and mid-sized arts and cultural organizations with deep roots in their communities, that serve the economically vulnerable and are taking a long view towards recovery and sustainability.
During this time, ECCF encourages donors to continue their direct support of the arts and cultural organizations they have supported in the past. For more information, and to help sustain creative nonprofits by making a donation, please visit eccf.org/creative-county.
Individual artists are not eligible for The Essex County Creative Nonprofit Resiliency Program, but may be eligible for a grant from The Essex County Artist Fund. For more information, visit eccf.org/creative-county.
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and Community Teamwork Launch Acre Catalyst Fund
Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union has partnered with Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI) to launch the Acre Catalyst Fund, a new collaborative project that will enhance business and entrepreneurial opportunities within Lowell’s Acre neighborhood.
The credit union has committed $200,000 to the Entrepreneurship Center @CTI to capitalize an economic development initiative. The Entrepreneurship Center @CTI offers a broad range of business services. The Acre Catalyst Fund complements the center’s programs by making loans available to entrepreneurs, new and current Acre businesses, and businesses seeking to locate to the Acre, one of Lowell’s most impoverished neighborhoods.
“The Acre is more than a neighborhood to us,” said Mark Cochran, president and chief executive officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. “This is where our organization began, and it’s still our home today. We have a responsibility to provide resources that can help neighborhoods thrive and give residents a pathway to economic opportunity. As a Working Cities Challenge member, the Credit Union is pleased to collaborate on this effort.”
The Acre Catalyst Fund is part of the Working Cities Lowell Initiative, a partnership between 13 local organizations, including Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and Community Teamwork, Inc. that work to improve the Acre.
In addition to loan capital, entrepreneurs and businesses that are part of the program will receive business and financial counseling and other supportive resources to help guide them in their business ventures. Applicants must meet specific criteria to be eligible.
For more information regarding The Acre Catalyst Fund visit www.GrowYourBusinessat CTI.org.
Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce Launches Financial Program for Small Businesses
A new program from the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce is helping the area’s smallest businesses where they need it most right now: Their pocketbooks.
“The COVID-19 crisis is wreaking havoc on Main Street small businesses across the United States,” says Dougan Sherwood, president of the Haverhill Chamber. “The Greater Haverhill Chamber has set up a new fund to drive desperately needed cash into these local mom and pops.”
Thanks to the program, people who shop at the participating businesses will get 25% off their purchase up to $100. They can find more details and participating businesses on the Haverhill Chamber’s website.
People can also help by donating to a GoFundMe campaign that the Chamber created to fund the initiative. It will use the fund to repay the businesses that provide a 25% discount to their customers.
Sherwood says the program will run for as long as it has funding.
“Please consider giving,” he says. “Then go shopping!”
Lupoli Delivers Pizza With a Purpose
On April 3, Sal Lupoli, the CEO and founder of Sal’s Pizza, delivered over 200 slices of pizza to Lawrence Memorial Hospital to thank the doctors, nurses, and hospital workers for their dedication and hard work. Then on April 8, Sal and wife Kati Lupoli, delivered pizzas to the Chelmsford Police and Fire Department. Through #pizzawithapourpose, Sal’s Pizza has discounted pizza at each of its locations and is providing pizza-making kits.
“Our mission is to help those that are helping our communities fight this virus. The courageous work that first responders are doing is hard and it does not go unnoticed. I hope that by delivering pizzas and saying thank you we can help our first responders in a small way” said Sal Lupoli, the CEO and Founder of the Lupoli Companies.
Student Entrepreneur Competition Tackles Health Care and Sustainability
Innovating even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, UMass Lowell students learning entrepreneurship skills presented their ideas for new products and services in a pitch competition held remotely for the first time.
UMass Lowell’s DifferenceMaker program brings together students in all majors and teaches them to think like entrepreneurs and launch their own businesses and nonprofits. This year, as the UMass Lowell community teaches and works remotely, students participated in the eighth annual DifferenceMaker $50K Idea Challenge via Zoom on Wednesday, April 15. The event was open to the public.
The contest’s judges, many of them UMass Lowell alumni, heard from students pitching ideas for everything from biodegradable face masks to a service that trains people to escape burning buildings. Winning teams will receive shares of $50,000 in seed money from private donations.
Since the DifferenceMaker program’s launch, UMass Lowell students have formed 35 companies, filed for eight patents and raised $4 million in funding. Successful ventures include Nonspec, which builds prosthetics for people in developing countries; TopaCan, which makes and sells a portable device that turns beverage cans into environmentally friendly receptacles for cigarette butts; and invisaWear, inventor and seller of a personal safety alert device that looks like jewelry.
Pentucket Bank Continues with Increase in Community Contributions Amid COVID-19
Pentucket Bank announced the third round of “Phase One” donations as part of the bank’s strategy to increase charitable giving by 20% in 2020 over the $400,000 that the bank donated in 2019.
On Friday, April 10, the bank informed the following organizations that they will be receiving $2,500 in unrestricted funds: Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Salem Family Resources and Essex Country Community Foundation. The bank is committed to placing these meaningful funds in the hands of several agencies that are continuing to provide critical services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. What the Bank is calling “Phase One” of their giving strategy includes ten local organizations and a total of $25,000; $2,500 for each of the ten. To date, the following organizations have also been recipients of these strategic bank contributions: Sarah’s Place Adult Day Health; Isaiah 58; Home Health Foundation; Emmaus Inc.; Boys & Girls Club of Haverhill, Boys & Girls Club of Salem and Family Services of Merrimack Valley.
For more information, please visit www.pentucketbank.com/covid19.
Haverhill Bank Provides $15 Million in SBA Funding to Local Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Restrictions
As a longtime participating lender in U.S. Small Business Administration programs, Haverhill Bank was prepared to help when Congress approved the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP is the centerpiece of a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package and converts many loans into outright grants. Haverhill Bank President and CEO Thomas Mortimer said his institution has already funded $15 million to local businesses.
“This isn’t just about business. It’s personal. These are our families, neighbors, frontline workers at local businesses who need a helping hand as the nation faces the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s,” he said.
On the day the program launched two weeks ago, he said, Haverhill Bank was already coaching businesses remotely. As a result, it received more than 160 applications and $34 million in requests.
The program allows businesses to keep paying employees and/or bring back laid-off workers. For the kinds of small businesses served by Haverhill Bank, most businesses won’t have to repay the loan if they keep people on the payroll.
Mortimer said bank staff have worked tirelessly to process the applications since time was of the essence. He explained that Congress allocated $349 billion and the bank processed loans all the way up until the time the current round of funding ran out on Thursday.
“This program will save many businesses from continued hardship and will benefit many who are unemployed,” Mortimer added.