Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 02-18-2021

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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12 BUSINESS FEBRUARY 18-24, 2021 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION WOONSOCKET – Live-streamed from The Stadium Theatre, the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce held its 30th annual celebration last Wednesday with a look back through the last year of the pandemic and messages of hope and excitement for the future. Typically a sit-down dinner with Chamber members and sponsors at Twin River, the event was held virtu- ally, with some members speaking at The Stadium joining over Zoom. The keynote speaker, the coun- try's 2020 CEO of the Year Brian Moynihan, of Bank of America, was interviewed over Zoom by Immediate Past Chairman Kevin Tracy, of Bank of America in Rhode Island. "The number one issue for the United States and the world is to win the war on the health care crisis," Moynihan said. "We are all on the same side of this war. If we win that, then everything else falls into place." Moynihan has some connections to Rhode Island, including being on the Brown University Board of Fellows. He leads a team of more than 200,000 employees and participates in several organizations that focus on economic and market trends, said Northern Rhode Island Chamber President Liz Catucci when she intro- duced him. "The good news is, we're at the light at the end of the tunnel," Moynihan said. "Our economists at Bank of America have us growing to 6 percent GDP growth in 2021. It's a pretty strong growth rate, as the economy is the same aggregate size as 2018. With the stimulus packages, they will help make sure that the 6 percent growth comes true along with the Fed and monetary policy." While Moynihan and many other businesses had to cut back and do things differently in 2020, so too did the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce. Catucci was serving her first term as president and said that last year started off amazing. She said that in the first quarter they had their highest new member rate ever and were able to launch the Women's Business Council. "Like many of our local business, your Chamber team quickly pivot- ed," she said. "We hosted educational seminars on PPE loans, HR issues, and yes, even a how-to on making your favorite cocktail at home, all virtually. We offered individualized assistance with the numerous grant programs that were launched, hand- ed out thousands of PPE supplies to our members and participated in the 'Take it Outside' initiative." Tracy commented on all of the innovative programs the Chamber still put on this past year. He noted that the organization held about 40 to 50 events, some in-person, some virtually and some both ways. Maintaining that connection with businesses was vital, he said. Incoming Chairman Peter Marino, president and CEO of Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, said he was thrilled with how the Chamber responded to the pandemic last year as well as its ongoing response. "Having a chamber that rolls up its sleeves and works with businesses to make sure we can all be successful is why we're all here," Marino said. "I also want to thank everyone who serves on the Chamber Board and all the new board members." As part of the annual celebra- tion, the Chamber gave out awards. Catucci said that they needed to come up with an award this year to recognize their Northern Rhode Island Community Heroes, as 2020 was so challenging. This year's inau- gural winners were the health care professionals at Landmark Medical Center. The award was accepted by Landmark CEO Mike Souza, who said that he has witnessed countless heroic acts at his hospital. Also presented was the Ben Mondor Award, given to honor a Chamber member who exhibits the same philanthropic spirit that Ben Mondor had. This year's winner was John J. Partridge, senior counsel at Partridge Snow & Hahn. Partridge was born in Central Falls and grew up in Pawtucket. He thanked his parents for this award, as he said they were the ones who showed him how to be involved in the community and to be philan- thropic. The Barbara C. Burlingame Public Service Award honors an elected offi- cial who has made outstanding con- tributions to the business community. Catucci said it is given to someone who has shown commitment to the business community and also to community as a whole. The director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott, was this year's recipient. She was not able to attend. "We look at the lessons of 2020, how it strengthened our resolve, and we look forward to 2021 with positiv- ity," Catucci said. "We will continue our efforts at the Statehouse, working with the new administration. We will continue our greater focus on work- force development and education as well as continually making connec- tions and networking opportunities available for all of our members. She added, "With the vaccine here and warmer weather on the horizon, we hope to be able to do all of this in-person very soon." NRI Chamber celebrates 30 years with optimism By KAYLA PANU Valley Breeze Staff Writer kayla@valleybreeze.com CATUCCI Fire officials urge awareness CUMBERLAND – Acting Fire Chief Nick Anderson and Fire Commissioner Paul Santoro used last week's Burn Awareness Week to high- light the need to be vigilant. "Burn Awareness Week is an oppor- tunity for fire, health, and medical professionals to review some simple safety steps people can take to pre- vent burn injuries at home, at work, and outdoors," they said. This year's theme from the American Burn Association is electri- cal safety from Amps to Zap. Electrical fires are the second lead- ing cause of fire deaths. Using major appliances safely, charging phones and laptops on hard surfaces, switch- ing to LED lightbulbs, installing out- let covers, and storing batteries safely are all easy steps to take to prevent electrical fires and burns. Some other tips are as follows: • Plug major appliances such as space heaters and air conditioners directly into wall outlets. • Unplug any device powered by lithium-ion batteries (such as a hover- board) once they are charged. • Turn heating pads, electric blan- kets and space heaters off before sleeping. • Learn how to react to a fire in the microwave oven. Keep the door shut and unplug it if safe to do so. "We respond to many unnecessary calls due to burn injuries that are preventable," said Anderson. "Keep hot fluids away from edges of tables where small children can grab the cup or bowl. Make sure you keep a three-foot circle of safety around the stove and keep all pot handles in. These simple practices can keep little ones safe." Chamber hosts Virtual Eggs & Issues Breakfast Feb. 22 LINCOLN – The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce will hold its virtual Eggs & Issues Breakfast on Monday, Feb. 22, from 9 to 10 a.m. with an update on the Twin River Casino Hotel expansion with Marc Crisafulli. Crisafulli, the executive vice president of Bally's Corporation Inc., will provide an update on the joint IGT/Bally's legislation, which represents an unprecedented $250 million economic development plan that includes a comprehensive gaming proposal and framework to better support Rhode Island's third- largest revenue stream, states a press release. The legislation also allows for a $100 million investment in the Twin River Casino Hotel, including a 40,000-square-foot expansion of its gaming floor and a 10,000-square-foot expansion for a new spa. To register for this event, visit https://tinyurl.com/ffortov4 . BUSINESS NEWS got a news tip? Call 401-334-9555, ext. 122 or e-mail it to news@valleybreeze.com Send a 'thank you' to a health care hero PROVIDENCE – Dear Rhode Island is partnering with Care New England, Prospect CharterCARE and Thundermist Health Center to send thank you letters to health care workers on the front lines of the health crisis. Dear Rhode Island is a communi- ty-led project with the goal of build- ing connections across Rhode Island with the power of letters. Penpals can sign up to write to frontline workers by March 20. They will be matched with a hospital or health care facility, and have until April 15 to mail their letter. Learn more and sign up online at www.dearRI.com . Consumers Propane 762-5461 BOUSQUET OIL 769-0146 139 HAMLET AVE. WOONSOCKET, RI 02895-0628 SERVICE – SALES – INSTALLATION OF GAS & OIL HEATING EQUIPMENT • Boilers • Furnaces • Hot Water Heaters WWW.CONSUMERSPROPANE.COM WE FILL GAS GRILL TANKS Food trucks and their earlier precursor, the lunch wagon, have been around for decades and are common fixtures on city streets. There are risks with operating such a unique business. They serve the public and are mobile, so how do you adequately protect them? One simple answer—food truck insurance. Food trucks essentially require the same insurance as a brick and mortar business. The policy's cost is determined by the truck's location, operations, and value of business property and equipment. The policy generally covers public liability and occurrences such as food poisoning, fire, and equipment breakdown resulting in stock loss. It may include business interruption service, which covers income lost at your food truck due to an unexpected closure. The cost of food truck insurance varies because food truck businesses, and the risks they pose, also vary. Several risk factors affect your rate, such as the type of foods you sell. A food truck that prepares grilled or fried foods can expect their rate to differ from a truck that sells prepackaged goods. Grills and fryers expose the business to additional risks. If you're interested securing insurance for a food truck, please call HUNTER INSURANCE, INC. at 769-9500, or visit our agents at 389 Old River Rd., Lincoln. NOTE: Workers' compensation insurance is required in almost every state for food trucks with employees. FOOD TRUCK INSURANCE

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