2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, aka Shop Small Saturday, created by American Express. I think it is safe to say that no one at AMEX could have possibly imagined putting on a Shop Small Saturday in the midst of a pandemic! In two years, Norwood will be celebrating its 150th anniversary. Some of us have been researching Norwood history to make sure that we honor everyone who contributed to this proud history.
The light bulb went off over a few heads! Let’s make Shop Small Saturday into Shop Small This Fall and encourage people to prioritize shopping at Norwood Center’s oldest small businesses. Here’s how that could work for several categories of businesses.
Norwood Theater, founded in 1927, is the oldest place in Norwood Center where you go and interact with people who teach or entertain you. It has postponed all its shows until next year and even the box office has suspended operations. Many similar operations, from bowling alleys, dance studios, and driving classes, to hair and nail salons, may also have to curtail operations due to the pandemic. If so, what they need most from us is a promise to turn out in force as soon as they reopen, and support those that are opened safely. So let’s give it to them!
Restaurants and bars have only recently reopened for on-site dining and are under much more restrictive rules than the old normal. Now that Norwood’s back in the red zone, it won’t be surprising if even that is suspended, possibly by the time you read this blog. That still leaves curbside takeout and delivery. Norwood Center’s oldest restaurant, the Olde Colonial Café (opened in 1934), has curbside takeout. Our second oldest restaurant, Lewis’s Bar and Grille (1939), has curbside takeout and delivery, as well as iconic drinks and burgers. What better way to support Shop Small This Fall, while honoring Norwood Center rich history and staying safe?
Norwood Bank (founded in 1889) is the oldest small business in Norwood Center. Three insurance firms – Morrill Group Insurance (1879), Foley Palenscar Schortmann Insurance (1936), and Dempsey Insurance (1947) – also rank among the oldest small businesses in Norwood Center. If this doesn’t sound like a conventional place to shop, then you must not have seen any of the terrific TV ads Dempsey has been airing for the past several months. Long story short, the pandemic’s effect on the economy – and especially on your personal economy – makes this an excellent time to see whether your financial arrangements make sense for your current situation.
Your choice of checking and savings accounts, your mortgage terms, and the specs for your insurance, all could use a check-up and possibly some modifications. Where better than at these time-tested institutions, the youngest of which is over 70 years old? As for COVID safety, you will probably find that you can’t just walk in but will need an appointment, which will allow them to sanitize the space in advance and configure the space so you can distance yourself from anyone you’re not working with directly.
Finally, let’s talk about Norwood Center’s veteran retail stores. The six oldest are all in very different businesses, and so you can patronize them all and never duplicate an order.
Submitted by John R. Hall, Jr.
With holiday shopping looking different this year, what’s the best way to support our local merchants? By joining the This Fall Shop Small Norwood movement. We’re turning the traditionally held, single day event called Small Business Saturday into a month-long call to action for local shoppers. Learn how you can make a difference in Norwood by shopping local and safe this year.
WHY SHOP LOCAL?
When you spend your dollars at locally owned retail businesses, more money returns to our local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store. Spend a dollar at an independent business in Norwood and 62 cents returns to our local economy. If you spend it at a chain store, only 13 cents return and worse yet if you spend it at an online giant, only a couple pennies return.
Those 62 cents that you just spent in Norwood, recirculate through our economy, generating ripple effects that strengthen jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity. If everyone shifted just 10% of their purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would return $27 million to our regional economy annually.
WHEN YOU SHOP LOCAL, THE LOVE COMES THROUGH
Think about the people you love. Instead of stuff, what do you truly want to give them? Perhaps it’s more hope, inspiration or connection. Now, consider each person, place and thing that plays a part in growing, making and getting that gift to your loved one. When you shop local in Norwood, you give more to everyone.
HOW TO SHOP LOCAL SAFELY
Many Norwood merchants, salons, fitness studios and restaurants will be selling gift cards that can be either purchased online, by email or over the phone. Other businesses are offering their full inventory online at their website. If you wish to shop in person, some retailers are offering special “by appointment only” shopping times where you can shop with limited numbers of people in the store. Not sure where to start? Just head over to our website www.NorwoodCenter.org. and click on the “visit” tab to see a list of Norwood Center restaurants, salons, fitness studios and retailers and their websites.
SHOP NORWOOD SMALL THIS FALL
Join us in celebrating all that Norwood Center has to offer. It’s our diverse collection of small businesses that makes our community rich, vibrant and unique. Without them, our Center would not be the same. Make plans to join us in the Center! This Fall Shop Small Norwood safely and let’s keep our local businesses in business.
Friends of Norwood Center is excited to launch its first Norwood calendar, adorned with 13 local photographs submitted by Norwood photographers. We need your artistic eye to vote the top photo that will grace the cover of its 2021 Norwood Calendar.
More than 200 photographs capturing scenes from throughout Norwood were submitted over the last weeks by twenty-five local photographers. Beginning September 17, all 13 photos will be posted on the FNC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NorwoodCenter) for selection of Fan Favorite. The photo with the most votes in the calendar album will be featured as the cover! Voting will be open through September 22nd at 8 p.m.
Calendar sales begin in mid-October and all orders will be online and shipped to requested address. Calendars are $25 and support the work of Friends of Norwood Center.
Be sure to follow Friends of Norwood Center at our website www.NorwoodCenter.org for updates, as well as Facebook, Twitter (@NorwoodCenter), and Instagram (@FriendsofNorwoodCenter.) Questions: please email FNC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends of Norwood Center connects local businesses, town leadership, and residents to energize the downtown experience for everyone. Our goal is to empower the people, places, culture, and experiences unique to Norwood to support a vibrant community and a thriving local economy. We believe when we choose to live locally, we make the heart of our town a welcoming destination for everyone.
Friends of Norwood Center (FNC) needs 13 great Norwood MA photos for our 2021 Fundraising Calendar — one for each month and the cover.
Funds raised through calendar sales will help FNC further its mission of connecting local businesses, town leadership, and residents to energize the downtown experience for everyone. Your support helps with initiatives supporting downtown businesses and projects and is especially valued now during the Covid-19 pandemic.
To enter, please send submissions to FNC2021calendar@gmail.com
Photographer’s names will be printed for each photo and include contact information (if desired).
Note: Calendars are only available through pre-paid preorder.
On Sunday, June 28, 2020, Norwood experienced torrential rain and flash floods due to summer storms. Below is a roundup of a few of the posts from local businesses that highlight the power of the storm, the damage, and the strength of the Town's response.
Lewis' and Daddy's Dairy caught video footage of the flooding on Cottage Street.
Norwood Town Manager Tony Mazzucco documented the emergency response from local police, fire, the DPW and Norwood Light Broadband.
Custom Art Framing sustained significant damage due to the flooding.
Due to the historic nature of this flash flood, the Norwood Historical Society put out a call for community members to submit photos and videos to document this moment in history.
After careful analysis and discussion, the Friends of Norwood Center decided by unanimous decision on Monday, May 18, 2020, to suspend its Farmers Market for the summer of 2020 season.
Because of significant additional resources necessary to provide a safe and welcoming venue in the face of COVID-19, FNC decided its best use of resources and volunteers in the coming months is to help support Norwood Center businesses to successfully reopen and work to provide information and assistance to residents and visitors that Norwood Center is a safe and welcoming place to return for household, personal, culinary and entertainment needs.
Friends of Norwood Center is committed to working with Norwood Town officials over the next several months to bring back a Farmer’s Market in 2021.
Matt Brown Joins with Friends of Norwood Center to Launch Norwood Feeds the Front Lines - a Fundraising Campaign to Supply Norwood First Responders with Meals from Local Restaurants
The effort will coordinate with Norwood Hospital and Fire to deliver meals to those involved in the local coronavirus response
MARCH 31 – Local Norwood resident Matt Brown has teamed with local nonprofit Friends of Norwood Center (FNC) to organize and launch a new fundraising effort, Norwood Feeds the Front Lines, to both support local eateries by purchasing meals which will be delivered to our local front line heroes -– employees of both the Norwood Hospital and the Norwood Fire Department.
“The Town of Norwood has been instrumental in my road to recovery over the last 10 years, especially during the first year when the support was needed the most. Through the words of encouragement, the countless meals that were catered, and the physical forces that came together to renovate my house, I will be forever grateful, having been raised in this great town,” said Matt Brown. “But what we have in front of us today is something unlike any of us have ever been a part of. Lives have been turned upside down and there is uncertainty that comes with every day. One of the things that makes Norwood so special is that members of the town come together to support those in need. This is one of those times and I am so excited to see what this great town is going to do.”
To promote the effort, a GoFundMe page has been established to be shared across a social media campaign using the hashtag #NorwoodFeedsTheFrontLine to collect donations from the Norwood community. 100 percent of the funds collected will purchase meals from local restaurants to be delivered to our community's first responders, and support the local food pantries. The Norwood Feeds the Front Lines campaign will coordinate directly with representatives from local restaurants as well as Norwood Hospital and Fire departments to schedule meal orders and delivery times.
“Our local front line workers need us right now. Staying home and practicing social distancing is crucial in the fight against this pandemic but we can help them in other ways as well,” said Charlotte Walsh, FNC President who owns local business Charles River Running. “Our business community consists of many restaurants, cafes and eateries that are still open for take out and delivery. By purchasing meals from them and delivering them to where the front line workers are, we can provide both sustenance to the helpers and a financial boost to our small businesses and their employees. “
Everyone can help! No matter how much you are able to donate, it is needed and welcomed! Please donate at #NorwoodFeedsTheFrontLine
Friends of Norwood Center (FNC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. FNC connects local businesses, town leadership, and residents to energize the downtown experience for everyone. Our goal is to empower the people, places, culture, and experiences unique to Norwood to support a vibrant community and a thriving local economy. We believe when we choose to live locally, we make the heart of our town a welcoming destination for everyone.
About Matt Brown:
Matt Brown suffered a spinal cord injury during a high school hockey game while a sophomore at Norwood High School that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. From the beginning, he was determined he was not going to let the injury dictate the way he was going to live his life. Matt went on to graduate from high school, attend Stonehill College and graduate with a degree in communications, all while living on campus. Matt has now written a book, Line Change, and launched his own foundation, the Matt Brown Foundation.
Support your favorite local restaurants and our community's first responders (Norwood Hospital, Police, & Fire) on the front lines of the local coronavirus response!
Let’s show our appreciation for Norwood’s "boots on the ground” who are fighting this global pandemic locally.
Friends of Norwood Center is coordinating Norwood Feeds the Front Lines to support local eateries by purchasing meals to be delivered to Norwood Hospital workers, Norwood Police and Norwood Fire Departments.
How you can help:
Friends of Norwood Center has been in touch with Norwood Hospital and Fire and Police departments to coordinate. We've also contacted a long list of Norwood restaurants that are currently open to let them know what we are planning. Our GoFundMe page is live and ready to go — we'll use this to pay our restaurants, with the hopeful goal of providing them with business to keep them going during the stay-at-home-advisory. In the coming days, we work with everyone to schedule meal orders and delivery times. Check back here for updates as the story unfolds!
We are all in this together. Thank you for your support.
In this uncertain time of a worldwide pandemic, we are opening a blog series to any reader who wants to share their experience, fear, concerns and inspiring stories of living through this time in history in Norwood, MA. If you are interested in writing, please send your blog post to email@example.com .
Our first entry is from longtime Norwood resident, John Hall. John has served in many capacities on boards here in Norwood and was President of the Friends of Norwood Center for many years.
When I first suggested “Life in Quarantine,” I thought people in quarantine would be few and far between. I really did. Wow.
March 1, Jean and I attend a fund-raising party for Tony Mazzucco. March 2, I get a PET scan (like a souped-up CAT scan) for a lung issue. By the end of the week, Sigalle Reiss tells me Jean and I were exposed to COVID at the party, and we need to self-quarantine through March 15. (Luckily we had just laid in food and drink.) Meanwhile, my doctor tells me the next step after the PET scan is a biopsy, which we schedule for March 31.
As septagenarian retired folks, Jean and I have a shorter list of responsibilities than most. No kids or grandkids. No living parents. No nearby siblings. But we do have a number of local groups we support.
My March 10 Library Board meeting is cancelled, because enough of us are out of commission that we can’t muster a quorum. My March 11 Community Preservation Committee meeting is cancelled for lack of several members. On March 12, I learn the Candidates Forum is now to be a studio event with call-in questions for contested races only – so it’s cancelled for me. Governor Baker issues a string of executive orders, encouraging cancelation or alternative formats for large meetings, modifying the Open Meeting Law, and banning meetings over 250 people. Jean’s and my March 14 caucus is cancelled. Jean and I are getting ready to deliver our last big load of PJs for the Norwood Library/Bruins drive, and we suggest we’ll deliver PJs on our first day out of quarantine.
As word trickles out about the quarantined members of the party, Jean and I start getting calls from well-wishers, including others who are quarantined. Those who are not themselves quarantined ALWAYS – without exception – end the calls with offers to get us anything we need. Our feelings toward our friends and neighbors in Norwood have never been warmer.
"Our feelings toward our friends and neighbors in
Norwood have never been warmer." -John Hall
On March 15-16, Jean and I clear self-quarantine with no symptoms and rush out to stock up on groceries and supplies. We encounter the now-familiar shortages that have emerged as sheltering-in-place, staying home, social distancing and the like have put everybody into some variation of quarantine. Town Hall and other Norwood public buildings are closed; those 19 boxes of PJs are going nowhere. We later learn that the drive’s organizers suspended the deadlines, and we will be able to get garments to the kids some time later this year. Governor Baker’s latest orders close the schools for at least three weeks, prohibit gatherings of 25 or more, and allow only take-out and delivery from restaurants and bars.
Starting late that week, Jean and I reach out to Victoria’s Café. We want to try out Norwood’s delivery options, and we’ve had good luck with their food and service before. Over the next week-and-a-half, we have four delivery meals. Our experience is extremely positive, and we recommend them to others who’d like to see what our great Norwood Center establishments can do to make this pandemic bearable.
Once the necessities are secured (I shop Sunday mornings, so I can get the Globe and NY Times with their excellent puzzles) what remains is staying sane and un-bored. Jean and I are fortunate to have a sizeable group of as-yet unwatched DVDs and DVR recordings. We also have scores of as-yet unread books. Many of our friends and relatives are tapped into Netflix and/or Hulu (we are not) to the same end. By all means, check out the Morrill Memorial Library’s on-line options, too.
As she usually does, Jean has taken lead for the family in maintaining telephone and/or e-mail contact with friends and relatives, and she is working with the Facebook group Making Masks in Norwood to help supply homemade personal protective gear for our doctors and nurses.
I still have my biopsy set for March 31 for some symptoms not related to COVID. Now my main concern is that the possibility may point to future steps that a soon-to-be-overloaded hospital may not be able to support.
If I write another one of these, you now know what I’ll be writing about.
I hope some of you will write your own pieces, because I’m especially interested in coping techniques people are using when they have to worry about kids, parents, employers, employees, customers or any of the other folks we didn’t have to address. And I would really like to hear how the merchants of Norwood Center are coping, including what we can do to help them.
Best of health and luck to all of you,
These blog posts are written by Friends of Norwood Center Board Members and blog contributors. Look for author attribution in each post.