Ashland Business BeatDec 31, 2020 11:51AM ● By cynthia Whitty
Dr. Tej A. Shah is opening a dental practice in downtown Ashland. (Photo/supplied)
Association Seeks to Strengthen Ties with Residents
The Ashland Business Association (ABA) is kicking off 2021 with two virtual events: a program for business owners and residents, “How Customers Can Protect Themselves from Cyber Threats,” on Jan. 21, 12 to 1 p.m., and business-to-business networking with the Metrowest Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. For details and to register, visit ashlandbusinessassociation.com/events.
Covid-19 wreaked havoc on many small business in 2021. Some businesses reduced their hours; changed their way of doing business, such as adding curbside pickup or outdoor dining; or closed altogether. In response, the ABA board ramped up its programming, holding an online “office hour” each week from March through June to answer questions and respond to business owners’ needs. The association ended the year with a comedy night for the entire Ashland community, featuring veteran comedians, Cory Rodrigues and Kelly MacFarland. The event attracted 200+ attendees. The ABA plans to continue to strengthen its connections between its business members and the community in the coming year.
Mondofora: An Online Shopping Experience
Our retail community is adapting to a challenging world. To support them, the ABA and the town are working with Mondofora.com, a local business that has created an online shop-local marketplace to give our businesses an e-commerce presence and let shoppers conveniently buy locally online.
For information about Mondofora and their ecommerce Marketplace platform, visit bit.ly/3m4jPUU. To view a tutorial to set up an account, visit bit.ly/3qHMvXr.
Microenterprise Business Loans Available
The town’s economic development office reports that there is still funding available for the federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for microenterprise businesses. Businesses can apply for grants of up to $10,000 for microenterprise businesses (defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees). For an online applicant, visit massgcc.submittable.com/submit. For questions, contact Beth Reynolds, [email protected], 508-532-7905.
Note that business type exclusions to the grant include: real estate rentals/sales businesses, businesses owned by persons under age 18, businesses that are chains, liquor stores, weapons/firearms dealers, lobbyists or cannabis-related businesses. Businesses must be located in one of the 23 participating communities.
The town’s economic development office reports the opening of three new businesses:
Doragon Provisions is an artisan specialty foods market for small batch, artisan foods, ingredients, and products from around the world. Selections include breads, sweets, spices, teas, frozen meats, and assorted cheeses. Located at 1 West Union St. (Rt. 135, in rear of the building). Hours of operation: Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm / Sunday 12pm-5pm. 508-658-3088, www.doragonprovisions.com
Zen Family Dental is coming soon to downtown Ashland. Dr. Tej A. Shah has created a new facility with Covid 19 measures in place and will soon be ready to welcome new patients. Located at 5 Homer Ave. Expected hours of operation: Friday-Sunday, 9am-5pm. 508-387-3733, [email protected], zenfamily.dental