In late January, Friends of Norwood Center was honored by the Neponset River Regional Chamber as a COVID Heroes Among Us recipient. Each year, the Chamber recognizes a few of its members for their contribution to the community and to the Neponset River Regional Chamber.
“This year has not been normal in any way and we felt it appropriate to specifically recognize COVID Heroes Among Us,” said Thomas J. O’Rourke, CCE, President and CEO, Neponset Regional Chamber. He continued, “these awards were presented to a business or person who has done something special to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic or changed their business model to find success in new ways.”
FNC was among the following organizations to receive this recognition among hundreds of active members:
“We are humbled at this honor to be among this group,” said Charlotte Walsh, President of Friends of Norwood Center and owner of Charles River Running in Norwood Center. “I am proud of the FNC volunteer Board who recognized the necessity of pivoting throughout the pandemic to find ways FNC could best help the businesses of Norwood Center. Norwood Feeds the Frontline, in partnership with Matt Brown and his Foundation, took off early and easily. We were thrilled with the generous financial response from residents that allowed FNC to purchase meals from Norwood restaurants for frontline workers in the hospital and fire department during the early months of the pandemic.”
Friends of Norwood Center is currently working with the Town of Norwood through DPW, Planning & Economic Development and the Manager’s Office on design for new light post flags for Washington Street in the Center to promote dining and shopping in Norwood Center. Be on the lookout!
Friends of Norwood Center is supporting Project Takeout throughout the month of February! FNC is asking the responsive and generous Norwood community to order takeout throughout the month and post a photo of your meal to Norwood social media sites and use the hashtags #projecttakeout #FriendsofNorwoodCenter.
FNC Board President, and owner of Charles River Running, Charlotte Walsh asks everyone to join in this fun social media effort to promote the many and diverse Norwood restaurants especially in this time of continued social distancing. “We are so fortunate in Norwood to have such a unique variety of restaurants,” said Walsh. “People come from all over the area to dine-in and takeout. Project Takeout will be a boost to our local eateries and serve as a financial bridge to the spring.”
Let’s rally every week – especially on Tuesdays – historically, the slowest day of the week for restaurants - to order in and help our local, independent restaurants. Together, we can make a real difference for Norwood restaurants and our community.
John Carbone, Norwood resident and Friends of Norwood Center board member agrees and frequents Norwood restaurants for takeout whenever possible. “A town’s center is its heart.” Carbone continued, “We are so fortunate to have such a beautiful and vital center. Let’s support our local restaurants to help ensure they make it to the other side of this pandemic; keep ordering your favorites or try something new.”
All Norwood restaurants offer takeout for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Check out their menus on Instagram, Facebook and their websites. Many have specials that they post on social media every day. Follow them! And don’t forget to post a picture of your meal with the hashtags #projecttakeout and #friendsofnorwoodcenter.
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.
These blog posts are written by Friends of Norwood Center Board Members and blog contributors. Look for author attribution in each post.