The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Cape Ann Small Business Week 2020 will be celebrated from Monday, September 21 through Friday, September 25, in conjunction with National Small Business Week.


Every year since 1981 the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce has designated a special week to honor the achievements of Cape Ann’s small business entrepreneurs and their employees and salute their contributions to the economic vitality and community life of Cape Ann. Traditionally, Small Business Persons of the Year have been chosen for each Cape Ann community.


After consulting with past Cape Ann Small Business Persons of the Year representing Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport, the Chamber Board agreed with their recommendation that Cape Ann Small Business Week 2020 should celebrate the resilience, creativity, courageousness and community spirit of every Cape Ann small business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to the Small Business Administration, “More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year….[T]his year’s [National Small Business Week] will recognize the small businesses who have navigated the coronavirus pandemic while supporting their employees and communities.”


The Chamber has partnered with the Mass Office of Travel and Tourism, Discover Gloucester and Chambers and Destination Marketing Organizations across the Commonwealth to support the MyLocalMA campaign. Cape Ann’s small businesses, like their peers throughout Massachusetts, “are still standing strong, doing their best to keep us safe. Our Main Streets need our love, now more than ever. Now is the time to find your local.” The Chamber encourages all Cape Ann residents and visitors to celebrate Cape Ann Small Business Week by patronizing and supporting local small businesses – this week and all year round – and saying thank-you to business owners and their employees.





September–Hunger Action Month–brings together community groups Awesome Rockport, Gloucester Police Dept., Rockport Exchange and We Are All In This Together to partner with The Open Door at a three-site Drive-Thru Food Drive on Saturday, September 12 from 8 am-1pm. Food drive locations include the Building Center and Market Basket in Gloucester, and Crackerjacks at Whistlestop Market in Rockport.

Community group volunteers will be on hand to collect donated items including canned tuna, 100% juice, cooking oil, tea/coffee, condiments, and baking mixes.

“Through wholesale purchase and the Greater Boston Food Bank, we are able to secure most of the staple items we need for a robust pantry distribution,” says The Open Door CEO Julie LaFontaine. “This community-wide Food Drive will add a little variety and a special treat for people hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID. In addition to tuna and 100% juice, we are asking for baking mixes, cooking oil, condiments—mayo, mustard, ketchup—coffee or tea.”

  • Patty Wall founder of We Are All In This Together states, “We are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort!  It is our hope that the Gloucester and Rockport communities can come together to comfort and support our individuals, families and vital community resources like The Open Door. “
  • Shannon Mason, representing the collaboration Awesome Rockport and Rockport Exchange says, “Awesome Rockport and Rockport Exchange are organizations committed to community and very glad to be a part of this effort!”
  • Tim Huff, Chief Financial Officer of the Building Center says, “We’re thrilled to be able to participate in this event to help those in need and raise awareness about hunger in our community especially during these challenging times.”
  • Gloucester Police Lieutenant Jeremiah Nicastro of the Gloucester Police Community Impact Unit states, “The job of the community impact unit is to improve the quality of life of the citizens in our community, and there is no better way to do this but to collaborate, partner, and support agencies that help people in our community like The Open Door.” 

Since mid-March, The Open Door has stabilized more than 5,000 households providing more than 750K meals through more than 15,000 curbside distributions and/or deliveries from their pantries to people in 10 Essex County cities and towns. The kitchen has prepared and distributed more than 20K fresh dinners.  The cumulative service total for people reached over these six months is more than 25K.  The Community Meal program has undergone a FOUR-FOLD increase, and Summer Meals for Kids (extended through mid-September when schools start) has increased FIVE-FOLD serving children under the age of 18 free breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. 

LIGHT THE CITY ORANGE! Members of the community are also encouraged to wear orange on Hunger Action Day (Sept 10) and Gloucester City Hall will light the city orange.

Hunger Action Month focuses food bank and food pantry efforts across the country to raise the awareness of hunger in their own communities including those new to hunger due to COVID. This year, it also honors the local volunteers and staff working on the frontlines to ensure all are fed.

You’re invited to the 5th Annual Great Gloucester GrowDown – now virtual!

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This year, Backyard Growers‘ annual fall fundraiser, the Great Gloucester GrowDown, has gone virtual for the safety of our awesome community. At a time when more than one in five American households is experiencing food insecurity, our mission to empower people with the resources they need to grow some of their own food is more important than ever before. The GrowDown is raising funds for our essential work putting fresh produce on families’ tables through school, community, and backyard gardens.

Join us for a “party to go”, featuring…

🍅 Three-course pick-up picnic dinners for guests to enjoy in their own homes or picnic spot of choice, prepared by the incredible chefs at Short & Main using fresh, local ingredients from North Shore producers, and featuring a take-out signature cocktail

🥕 Incredible desserts from local bakeries Sandpiper Bakery and Mayflour Cake + Confections

🎬 A digital movie premiere exploring how we’ve been responding to our community’s food access needs during the pandemic – meet our gardeners, learn the impact of Backyard Growers’ programs, and see how our team pivoted to provide gardening resources, tools, support, and more, in a rapidly changing global health crisis

Curbside pick-up times for meals, as well as information on how to access our movie premiere, will be provided following ticket purchase.

Click here to learn more and purchase your tickets.

Thank you to our generous sponsors…

$2500 GD sponsors

Additional GD sponsors (3)

Opening of New Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Cape Ann Community Foundation Offices and Visitor Center a Milestone Event for Cape Ann and Region’s Businesses

Opening of New Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Cape Ann Community Foundation Offices and Visitor Center a Milestone Event for Cape Ann and Region’s Businesses

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, Placement of Time Capsule, and Virtual Community-Wide Celebration Set for August 28


Cape Ann, MA — August 19, 2020 — The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated Cape Ann Community Foundation today announced the opening of its new office and visitor center at 24 Harbor Loop in Gloucester, marking a major milestone for both organizations, the Chamber’s members, and the entire Cape Ann community.


The new location features an expanded visitor center, a community collaboration/conference area, and office space for Chamber and Foundation staff.


The new offices are located at the intersection of Harbor Loop and Rogers Street in downtown Gloucester, steps from the historic waterfront and businesses along Main and Rogers Streets and Harbor Loop. The new site – on one of Cape Ann’s primary thoroughfares – is also more accessible to the other Cape Ann communities and is adjacent to a large municipal parking lot.


A ribbon-cutting ceremony – with Cape Ann’s government officials, and business and community leaders – is scheduled for Friday, August 28 at noon. The opening will also be marked by a virtual community-wide celebration, broadcast on social media. To mark the opening a time capsule with items from all four Cape Ann communities will be dedicated and placed at the base of the building’s maritime flagpole.


The new location – 50 percent larger than the Chamber’s previous offices – includes an expanded visitor center representing all four Cape Ann communities and a conference area that will be made available to organizations throughout the region.


Renovation and construction of the space – the former site of Capt. Bill & Sons Whale Watch and the Whale Center of New England– began earlier this year and continued through the spring and into the


Serving Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, and Rockport


24 Harbor Loop, Gloucester, MA 01930 ~ 978-283-1601 ~ ~


summer. For most of the past several months, the Chamber and Foundation team worked remotely, continuing to address the needs of members and the Cape Ann community, with a particular focus on providing COVID-19 response updates and information.

“This year, our communities were called on to address the unprecedented hardships that challenged Cape Ann as it did regions around the world, and while the Chamber was proud and pleased to do its part, we also remained focused on the opening of our location, a sign of hope and continued

collaboration looking to the future,” said Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce CEO Ken Riehl. “Just as the leaders, businesses, non-profit organizations, and people of Cape Ann came together to respond to the challenges of 2020, the Chamber’s spirit of cooperation and commitment helped us realize our vision for a new office and visitor center that would better serve our members, visitors to the region, and all four of our communities.”


“This is a moment the Chamber shares with all of Cape Ann, as the opening of this office and visitor center promises to touch not only our team and our members, but anyone who lives and works in our communities and those who visit throughout the year,” said Chamber board president Tony Sapienza, co-owner of the Blue Shutters Beachside Inn. “This new location is a reflection of the Chamber’s influence and impact – an office that allows us to continue our important work on behalf of our members, a visitor center serving the needs of those coming to explore and enjoy the region, and a meeting area that provides a place for the organizations and people of Cape Ann to come together to advance our community’s priorities.”


Ruth Pino also commented: “As president of the Cape Ann Community Foundation and a past president of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, I am thrilled that the Foundation is partnering with the Chamber in this new and exciting chapter. The new location enhances the visibility of both organizations, while offering a modern state-of-the-art meeting space and visitor center that will benefit all of Cape Ann.”


About the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce

The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce is the leading advocate for business on Cape Ann, promoting its members and the region’s economy, celebrating Cape Ann’s culture, and enhancing the community’s quality of life. The fastest growing chamber in Massachusetts, the Cape Ann Chamber has more than 1,000 members, including small businesses, global enterprises, non-profit organizations, independent businesspeople, and civic-minded individuals. The Chamber serves all four Cape Ann communities – Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-sea, and Rockport — offering its members a broad range of resources, including three websites with more than 400,000 views annually, three annual publications totaling more than with 260,000 copies, dozens of workshops and seminars, and a number of member discounts programs, referral services and networking opportunities. The Chamber works closely with community and government leaders on economic, cultural and educational initiatives, and sponsors events across the region. For more information on the he Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, visit our website at


About the Cape Ann Community Foundation

The CACF is a 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable organization established in 2015 by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce to manage and award grants from the proceeds from sales of the Cape Ann License Plate. The CACF makes grants for projects that support the Foundation’s mission to improve the economy and overall quality of life for the residents of Cape Ann in the following areas:


  • Regional promotion: projects that support and enhance the quality of life for the Cape Ann region and the communities of Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport; and promote Cape Ann as a desirable place to live, work, recreate and


  • Economic Development: projects that expand employment opportunities and enhance the economic vitality of Cape Ann, including but not limited to projects that facilitate the start-up of new enterprises or the expansion of existing enterprises on Cape


  • Training and Education: projects that support the training and education of the current and future Cape Ann workforce, including entrepreneurial training, to help Cape Ann residents succeed and thrive in the 21st century




Massachusetts Sixth District Congressional District Democratic Primary Candidates Forum

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WHEN: Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 6:00 pm
WHERE: Virtual Event

Radio Boston host Tiziana Dearing will moderate a forum with Democratic candidates running for the Congressional seat in the sixth district.

All three candidates (Jaimie Belsito, Angus McQuilken, and Seth Moulton) will attend.

Event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus Educational Fund.


Gloucester Biotechnology Academy Announces Plans for Fully-Immersive, In-Person Classes for Fall 2020 – There’s still time to apply!

sm extracting DNA -1638On August 31, the Gloucester Biotechnology Academy will open its doors for the Class of 2021 to begin the innovative, life sciences workforce training at Blackburn Center. and is still accepting applications for the few remaining openings. The entering class will mark the 5th anniversary of the transformational, vocational program.

“At GMGI, we are all about science so we will be taking more than just the prescribed precautions,” said Christine Bolzan, GMGI Executive Director. “This will be a safe and productive environment — 81% of enrolled students graduate and 86% of them have gone either on to careers in life sciences or to study science in college.” The Academy team has created a comprehensive plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff and allows for a continuation of the Academy’s tradition of excellence in hands-on, laboratory career training.

Donning PPE has long been an Academy practice, and additional requirements will include careful social distancing, rotating breaks and lunch schedules, cleaning regimens, and a revised academic calendar to account for potential disruptions due to illness. Students and staff will engage in daily health monitoring before entering the facility. Equipment has been purchased to allow for lectures to be recorded, and both classroom and laboratory settings have been reconfigured to create the safest possible environment.

“The practical curriculum cannot be taught remotely as the great benefit of this experience is its hands-on nature and guidance from our teaching staff. We needed to develop a plan that would allow that to continue, and it will take commitment, vigilance and honesty within our Academy community to make this work amid a global pandemic. We are excited to move forward and welcome another cohort of young adults to pursue careers as laboratory technicians,” explained Dr. John Doyle, Education Director.

The Gloucester Biotechnology Academy is currently accepting applications for the Fall of 2020 and more information can be found online:


Gloucester Public Schools Need Your Help

The coronavirus shut down our schools for 66 days this spring. That’s over ⅓ of the school year. In a split second, teachers were forced to rethink entire teaching plans and move classrooms online. Administrators had to quickly find the technology and devices for 2,900 students to access remote learning. Children were forced to accept that they would only see their teachers and friends on a screen for the rest of the school year. 

The pandemic has left Gloucester’s schools with unforeseen challenges, additional student support needs, increased expenses, and urgent needs for technology, supplies and resources to prepare for the coming school year. 

The School Response Fund, created by Gloucester Education Foundation, will provide flexible support, so demands can be met quickly to current and evolving school needs. These include tutoring to help students rebound from learning loss during school closure, and resources to meet student and family social-emotional needs in the wake of the pandemic. Additional technology and supplies for learning at home may also be needed if remote learning continues.

Please donate online at to GEF’s School Response Fund. No amount is too small, and every gift is appreciated.