Small businesses are the heart of our communities.
October is National Women's Small Business Month
What better way to celebrate than to spotlight some of our valued small business customers? We know that small businesses play an important role in the local economy. At Cambridge Savings Bank, we understand how hard our customers work for their businesses, and we work hard for them. We offer solutions that help to meet our customers' visions and simple ways to move their businesses forward. In October, CSB is also celebrating small businesses with three exciting product offers that can help our customers get down to business. Learn more here.
Did you know?*
- 99.9% of all U.S. firms are small businesses.
- 47.1% of all private-sector employees work for a small business.
- Small businesses have accounted for 65.1% of net new jobs created since 2000.
There are many ways to support your favorite small business. Check out our customer spotlights below and don’t forget to shop local!
*U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, Frequently Asked Questions, Revised, October 2020
CSB Customer Spotlights
Haley Fortier is the owner and operator of two wine bars in Boston, nathálie and haley.henry. Both bars focus on small production, natural wine from around the globe. nathálie, located in the Fenway neighborhood, highlights female wine makers, which represent over 80% of their wine list in its entirety. While at haley.henry, guests can also enjoy more exotic items on the menu such as ceviche, crudo and most notably “tinned fish”. From food and wine enthusiasts to the curious-minded, all are welcome to explore the menu’s at each location.
“To be a women-owned business in this world, obviously has it’s own set of challenges. However, I try to keep authentic to what I am doing, and the rest seems to follow suit.” says Haley. “We are women here now, doing all the things that we need to be doing; creating powerful business models, supporting one another, crafting teams that are brilliant in a lot of ways. That’s got to say something…right?”
When asked how CSB has supported her businesses, Haley explained, “First & foremost, without CSB taking a chance on me, I never would have opened my first wine bar. That’s the truth. I went to four banks before going to CSB, with nothing to give but my business plan, my devotion to my project & my work ethic.” She added, “It’s been an incredible relationship for the past five years.”
Nicola Williams is the President and founder of The Williams Agency, an award winning, marketing and event planning firm based in Cambridge with over 20 years of experience. As a boutique marketing and business strategy firm, The Williams Agency focuses on mission-driven projects such as sustainable food, culture and the arts. They offer a full range of marketing services, including strategic planning, brand development, campaign management, public relations, and market research.
When asked what it meant to be a woman-owned business, Nicola says, “I have led my business for 26 years and I am proud to be a woman-run business.” Growing up, Nicola was raised by Jamaican parents Cecile and Noel Williams were strong role models in work ethic and commitment to success. When launching her own agency, Nicola also drew inspiration from other women-owned business leaders, “I am also inspired by other women business owners, especially fellow women business owners who share similar values in community activism.”
“I consider Cambridge Savings Bank to be a long-term bank partner for my business. I have been a customer since I started my business 26 years ago.” Nicola’s agency was one of Cambridge Savings Bank’s first commercial loan customers. “I also appreciate the charitable priorities of the bank and a true community partner. I know many people who work at the bank and they have always been very responsive to my needs. Cambridge Savings Bank is my number #1 bank.”
Amanda Mitchell owns two small businesses in Charlestown. Place & Gather, a home decor, gift and lifestyle boutique, and Junebug, a florist and boutique offering plants, accessories, and gifts. Junebug provides florals for local delivery, and does weddings, events, corporate work, and parties. Both stores offer a plethora of Charlestown-specific products, and we are frequently seen around town providing local delivery. Each store also offers a robust website which was developed during COVID.
"Being a women-owned business means lifting up and supporting the women around me. In my network, it includes building strong bridges among other female businesses so we can not only survive but thrive and have each other's backs," says Amanda. "It also means teaching my daughter how to work hard, take chances and lift up those around me. Being a women-owned business means juggling a lot, but I wouldn't have it any other way".
"The CSB staff have been our cheerleaders. They are a team of friendly faces who know and care deeply for my businesses, family, and employees. They get to know their clients, and that really means a lot. They offer genuine support when we need it and are quick to respond to our needs. We really appreciate having them down the street".
Harvard Square Eye Care is a multi-office optometry practice offering eye exam services, contact lens services and sales as well as medical treatment for a variety of eye diseases and conditions. In addition to services provided by an optometrist, they also offer frame styling and lens offerings by our optical specialists and opticians.
Harvard Square Eye Care’s goal is to provide personalized services to their patients and customers, ranging in age from children to elderly, all with different needs and conditions. When you visit any one of their locations, you receive highly individualized service by their doctors and highly trained staff.
“Being a woman owned business means that we have a collaborative management of our staff and business.” States Dr. Lauren Dickerman. “We strive to compete in a competitive marketplace, where women owned small businesses still only averages 33% of all businesses, by taking input from our employees and patients about how to continue to improve.”
Bloomy Rind is an artisanal cheese shop, a sandwich maker, wine cellar and kitchen. They only use seasonal ingredients, and they don’t have a microwave or freezer. Everything is made fresh daily and many of their customers come for lunch and love finding out what the menu is for the day. For special events and evenings, they offer cheese slates and charcuterie boards, all custom made for each customer's desires. Many of their customers come in for fresh food for the family and a bottle of wine.
Bloomy Rind has wonderful relationships in the community and has maintained them for years. They like to be seen as a safe zone where people can be themselves and share their thoughts. They value the strong bond and reputation with their customers, particularly with women.
“In 2020, when the world seemed to be on the brink, we reached out to CSB, an old relationship of over 20 years, and found a lifeline. They showed a real interest in listening to us with no promises, just I heard you and I'll do my best”. Says Bloomy Rind. “If everybody had a banking relationship like this, the world would have a lot less problems. CSB provided reassurance and they went above and beyond”.
LaiSun Keane is a contemporary art gallery located at Sowa Art District in Boston, MA, with a focus on providing a platform for non-mainstream voices. Since inception in April of 2020, LaiSun Keane has staged 15 exhibitions of artists with diverse backgrounds and narratives. Their stable of artists consists of both local and international artists.
Growing their artists' careers, through participation in strategic art fairs, is an important component of their programming. LaiSun strives to attract anyone who loves and supports contemporary art, be it through purchasing art or merely visiting the gallery to view the exhibitions. In fact, they are currently exhibiting three women artists, Mary Devincentis, Jackie Shatz, and Mary Tooley Parker.
LaiSun believes that as a women-owned business, it is important to be a role model for her daughter, although we all look forward to a time when society views a woman’s skills and profession before her gender.
“Banking with CSB means that I have direct and personal access to support I need, be it for wiring funds, online technical support, or fraud concerns. The team in my go-to branch in Concord is always quick to provide support whenever I need it, and this has helped me to have the confidence to focus on growing my business.” Shared LaiSun.
Carrie Eldridge-Dickson is the Managing Director of Shelter Music Boston (SMB). SMB presents classical chamber music concerts, of the highest artistic standards, in homeless shelters and other sheltering environments. “Our goal is to promote community, creative interaction, respect, and therapeutic benefit. We believe all people deserve access to the dignity, creativity, and passion of classical music whether or not they have a home.” Carrie explained.
SMB was founded in 2010 by professional violinist Julie Leven and is now co-led by managing director Carrie Eldridge-Dickson and artistic director Adrian Anantawan. “The field of classical music has historically been dominated by white men and in response, Shelter Music Boston has made a commitment to more inclusive programming.” Carrie explained. “SMB's mission is rooted in social justice and equity and our entire team is committed to creating social change through classical music wherever we perform.” Since COVID, SMB has pivoted their work for online accessibility.
“Banking with Cambridge Savings Bank continues to be an easy decision.” says Carrie. “We are on a first-name basis with the team members we work with and know that we can pick up the phone and call with any questions or issues.”
Sweet Tomatoes Pizza was opened by Hedy Jarras when she was only 23 years old. Sweet Tomatoes is a groovy pizzeria that doesn’t serve your typical pizza. They have three locations in Newton Centre, West Newton, and Needham.
Sweet Tomatoes Pizza serves exceptional pizza and is also working on a catering menu that features food you wouldn’t expect to see at a pizzeria! They even offer a restaurant on wheels that allows them to cook delicious pizza and more on site.
“Being a woman in business has taught me that being strong is essential, and you cannot sweat the small stuff”. Explained Hedy. “Successful people must often do things that they don't want to do to achieve what they want. This has applied to me, but being able to go to work every day and continue to love what I do says a lot.”
“CSB has supported my business with loans, advice, and the BEST customer service! They have been helpful when times were tough, and my biggest advocate when business was booming. After 23 years in business, I have certainly had my ups and downs, and knowing I have a team who supports me is very special. People do not have these experiences and relationships with banks like I do, and for that I am forever grateful.”
Wellesley Holiday Boutique, owned by Pam Lofblad, is a unique and cheerful shop located in the heart of Wellesley MA!
They have searched far and wide to find irresistible, unique, and personal gifts that you will be thrilled to give. You will find an ever-changing selection of gifts such as jewelry, clothes, and unique baby gifts. Many of their handmade items cannot be found anywhere else.
The friendly and helpful staff at Wellesley Holiday Boutique can help you put together a gift for any occasion and in any price range.
Buckalew’s is a true general store focused on supporting small and local farms, artisans, and other businesses. They bring a thoughtfully curated selection of goods to Main Street in Melrose, but their business goes beyond their product offerings. “Our core values are deeply rooted in family tradition and creative innovation. Among our core values, inclusivity drives us to seek out and support women, minority, and LGBT-owned businesses.” says Robin Peevey, owner of Buckalew’s. “We strive to provide a warm, welcoming environment for all. We recognize and respect our place within the Melrose community and love being an active participant, partnering with numerous charities and events.
"As a woman-owned business, we place a high value on community, connection, team building and the creative process. That is what brought Buckalew's into existence and it is this same creativity that inspires our vision and our growth for the future.” Robin believes the success of her business is measured by the strength of its connections, the company’s commitment to excellence, and the care it shows for the community. “The fuel that drives us is our ability to stay connected to our customers as we make our best effort every day to serve them with friendly, attentive service and provide quality products that are curated with care."
"We thought 2020 was going to be our best year yet and then Covid struck.” said Robin, “My accountant suggested I reach out to Cambridge Savings Bank. They proved that they actually cared about my business. We found a great new community partner in Cambridge Savings Bank."
Previous Customer Spotlights
Tryst is a neighborhood contemporary American restaurant in Arlington that offers upscale city dining with the comfort of a suburban bistro. They offer distanced indoor dining, and well-executed takeout with precise pickup times to ensure the best quality of your food by the time you get home. They also offer delivery in Arlington.
CSB’s Arlington Branch team was in constant contact with Tryst throughout the PPP process, which they attribute to their survival. After being closed for a month, and reopening with a small crew for curbside pickup and deliveries, they reopened indoor dining and are now getting busier with dine-in guests.
Tryst is optimistic about the future and they continue to offer takeout and deliveries.
Dave’s Fresh Pasta is a specialty grocery store that has been around for more than 30 years. Over time the shop has expanded to include a house made sandwiches, spreads, pesto, lasagnas, prepared foods, and a boutique wine selection. You may even be surprised to learn that many of their items come from New England producers, and they are constantly searching for the best artisan, small-production products.
Dave’s Fresh Pasta has been growing their catering business and recently provided exceptional food options for the grand opening of our newest branch in Assembly Row
Siefer Nelson Law Group offers legal counsel to individuals in a thoughtful and holistic manner. Their goal is to guide their clients toward a positive future by navigating difficult life transitions with compassion and care. They have a team approach to each client’s situation and often bring in like-minded professionals such as financial experts, real estate professionals or therapists, to help their clients achieve their goals.
Moving to remote client sessions and virtual court hearings was challenging at first, but has since helped them provide new efficiencies for their clients. CSB was in regular contact with them to ensure they had everything they needed, and offered support and guidance.
Aeronaut Brewing Company loves to share the excitement and enjoyment of adventurous, inspired beer with their community. They offer a variety of craft beers including their flagship IPA, “A Year with Dr. Nandu”.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced them to pivot in a big way! They had to shift from indoor service to beer to-go, which required all hands on deck from the front- and back-of-the house teams! CSB was instrumental in helping secure two rounds of PPP funding and navigating loan payments during this challenging time.
Check out the Aeronaut Cannery, a second brewery & taproom located in the “fermentation district” of Everett, MA. They are looking forward to making more beer and hosting live music and events!
Anam Cara Wellness Center offers massage and infrared sauna therapy and is the place to visit for anyone passionate about self-care! The benefits of massage and sauna therapy are wide-ranging. People come to them for many reasons, including pain relief, detox, injury recovery, and stress relief.
Anam Cara Wellness Center, like many small businesses, was shut down for three months at the beginning of the pandemic. They reopened with enhanced safety and sanitation procedures to keep everyone safe and healthy. CSB helped Anam Cara Wellness Center acquire two rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program and navigate the process of getting 100% of their loan forgiven.
A lot of people have had the opportunity to reevaluate their priorities and lifestyles. If self-care is high on your priority list, check them out.
Have you ever been at a party or event and witnessed a couple or individual dancing so naturally and wished you could do the same? That’s what Arthur Murray Dance Centers provides - the lifelong ability to enjoy every party, social event and dance opportunity more fully! Arthur Murray Cambridge is a premier social Ballroom and Latin dance studio offering professional instruction that makes learning to partner dance easy and fun!
At the start of the pandemic, they trained their team of professionals on the technology and skills needed to teach effective virtual lessons and began offering virtual lessons and events immediately. Once they were allowed to open at limited capacity, they purchased outdoor flooring and began offering personal lessons, group classes and social events outside in the parking lot in addition to limited in studio, social distanced lessons. To help sustain them during this time, the team at CSB offered personal guidance through both rounds of PPP funding and helped them understand the right options for their business.
BoConcept opened its doors in Cambridge in 2008, introducing modern European Danish design furniture to New England customers. They offer exceptional products to the urban-minded individual with an eye towards modern interior design, clean lines, and streamlined furniture aesthetic. BoConcept offers complimentary interior design services to every customer experience, with available 3D renderings and exclusive home designs.
With personal attention and support from CSB, BoConcept was able to survive the pandemic challenges and continue their growth path by first relocating their flagship store to Newbury Street, and now with the opening of their new Legacy Place store in Dedham, MA. As they are in the home furnishing industry, they have helped people adapt their homes to their unique circumstances. They love helping their customers create beautiful, functional spaces where they can live, work, and play!
The Optometrists at Central Square Eye Care examine their patient’s eyes to find the best options to correct their vision and to prevent and cure eye diseases.
Central Square Eye Care has had a great relationship with CSB for more than 17 years, and their PPP Loan allowed them to continue to pay their employees and provide services to their clients.
Central Square Eye Care has shared with us that studies say that prior to COVID-19, most people spent approximately 9 hours a day in front of electronic devices. Now that number is more than 13 hours a day. This has caused an increase in Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Central Square Eye Care is recommending new treatments for this syndrome to avoid problems down the road. If you are spending more time in front of a screen these days, maybe it is time to get your eyes checked!
Centre Street Food Pantry has been around since 2011 and provides consistent access to nutritious food in a dignified and sensitive environment. When the COVID-19 shutdown began, the pantry was forced to move their indoor operation to a curb-side-pick-up pantry.
Prior to COVID-19, they served an average of 360 households in a month. Since the pandemic, that number has increased to 700-800 households seeking food. Food insecurity is likely to remain elevated for some time, and the Centre Street Food Pantry relies heavily on volunteers and donations to serve the needs of the community.
CSB has helped raise funds for the Centre Street Food Pantry through donations. If you are interested in getting involved, click Learn More below.
Champions Sporting Goods is a small town sporting goods store that has been in business for 31 years. They offer a wide selection of equipment for soccer, hockey, basketball, lacrosse and more! Last year, they started offering both home delivery and back-door pick-up as new options for their customers.
Champions Sporting Goods has always had a great relationship with CSB. The Bank helped them get through the pandemic with two PPP loans and by assisting them through the Loan Forgiveness process. The team at Champions Sporting Goods knows how much everyone is looking forward to getting out of the house and back into outdoor activities. If you find yourself looking for high-quality sports equipment, check them out!
Food Revolution is a mission-based, woman-owned, food forward, shared commercial kitchen and event space just north of Boston, focused on helping build local food startups and teaching others about food.
Early in the pandemic, Food Revolution had few businesses running out of their space. With revenues less than 50% of what they would normally be, they would not have been able to continue to operate without help from Cambridge Savings Bank. CSB helped them get through COVID-19 by providing guidance and quickly processing their PPP loan paperwork to successfully get operating funds in place. The businesses working in Food Revolution were able to pivot by successfully providing meal delivery and curbside pickup. Together they were able to prepare and deliver hundreds of meals to front line workers, as well as run fundraisers for the food bank in Stoneham.
They have many amazing businesses working in their space and are developing new programs to support those businesses and the community.
GLOW, Inc is a salon that specializes in Spray Tanning, UV Tanning, Red Light Therapy, and other beauty services. Their in-house esthetician, Amy Kimberly Beauty, offers facials, brow & lash services, makeup, and more!
The beauty industry was deeply affected by COVID-19, but the team at GLOW got creative with ways to make it through. They launched an online store, offered curbside pickup while they were closed, and added many more beauty products to their collection for clients to purchase and use at home.
CSB, especially the team at the Watertown branch, was a support system for this business. CSB answered questions and made them aware of every new opportunity for support that was available to them.
Hair by Terri is a salon in Billerica, Massachusetts where you will find friendly, and very experienced stylists that specialize in coloring.
They cater to men, women, and children and sell a vast assortment of hair products, including Milkshake, j Beverly Hills, Rusk, and more!
With the help of a PPP loan through CSB, they were able to get through the pandemic and they are looking forward to serving their customers well into the future.
To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Peacock Photography, Inc. specializes in wedding and family photography. They have two major goals – to deliver the highest quality images and to create a client experience that exceeds expectations.
For more than 15 years, they have created a community of clients who continue to refer them to their friends, family and co-workers. During the pandemic, three quarters of their 2020 bookings were pushed to 2021 or 2022. As expected, CSB stepped up to support them during this challenging time.
If you have a high school senior, or an upcoming wedding, visit their website to fill out their contact form. They would love to hear from you!
Hair Say II is a hair salon in Arlington, Mass that serves men, women and children of all ages!
They offer a variety of services, from color to perms! The pandemic caused them to lose a lot of customers, and the PPP Loan they got from CSB was extremely helpful to get them through.
Business is picking up, so why not take a moment for yourself and leave looking your best!
To learn more, email email@example.com.
Melrose Family Chiropractic's doctors have been proudly serving Melrose and the surrounding communities for over 30 years. Drs. O'Dwyer and Swensen create a treatment protocol for the individual patient, based on their specific needs.
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for both injuries and wellness of the musculoskeletal system. As an adjunct to the therapies provided by the doctors, there is also a muscle therapist on staff who specializes in deep tissue massage.
A PPP loan from CSB helped Melrose Family Chiropractic get through the most difficult part of the pandemic, and now they are looking forward to serving their community proudly in the future!
Monroe Home & Style is a locally owned, independent lifestyle boutique full of inspired items for the home. They understand the challenges of living in tight quarters and finding items that complement a classic home while feeling current and fresh, so they select items with an eye toward both size and style.
The pandemic forced Monroe to shift priorities to a new ecommerce site and they began selling vintage rugs and small decor items online. They even offered local delivery. CSB assisted them with the funding for their desperately needed storefront renovation and coached them through the process of applying for an SBA loan just before the pandemic hit. CSB always kept them in the loop on the options, such as PPP loans and debt relief, for small businesses.
Monroe is humbled and flattered by the local response to their business. They are thrilled to find people driving in from the suburbs specifically to shop and explore their store!
Polished Boston is a destination for modern nail care. This nail studio and social house specializes in a high-end nail experience. They offer minimalist, artfully crafted nail art that is designed to encourage women to step out of their comfort zone and into their truth.
Through the pandemic, Polished Boston took all of the necessary steps to ensure that their clients felt safe inside the studio. They went above and beyond what was required to protect their clients. CSB has also gone above and beyond to ensure Polished Boston had the funding they needed to get through these challenging times.
They realized pretty early at Project Paulie that feeding each other was not just about food. They know "#WeFeedEachOther" by being kind, taking care of our environment, looking out for each other's mental health, providing clothing, a roof and most importantly, safety.
The team at Project Paulie took their iconic tomato logo and attached a colored hat to an organization that they feel betters the quality of lives every day. They are so honored that the proceeds from the sales of their apparel go to magical organizations that feed people every day in different ways such as Haley House, The Loveland Foundation, Casa Myrna, Mass Restaurants United, BAGLY, and No Kid Hungry.
Project Paulie is more than food or hats. It is about taking care of each other. CSB has helped take care of Project Paulie by understanding their unique needs and being there for them. This relationship feels like family. Purchasing from Project Paulie is something you can feel good about. Each wearable is designed by a local artist and is a garment that gives back!
The Druid is an Irish pub in the heart of Inman Square. They serve homemade Irish fare, American pub classics, and perfectly poured Guinness. Prior to COVID-19, they also hosted a wide array of entertainment throughout the week.
Their industry was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and like many other pubs and restaurants, they were forced to make changes to their menu. Their PPP Loan from CSB helped keep them going, and they were especially pleased by the support of the Inman Square branch.
The team at The Druid looking forward to having live, traditional Irish music sessions back in 2021.