Friday, November 29, 2013

We love a parade! And we love Small Business Saturday!

Saturday November 30th is the Downtown Laconia Holiday Parade, presented by the Laconia Main Street Initiative and the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and sponsored this year by the Bank of New Hampshire, Franklin Savings Bank and the Soda Shoppe Laconia. Beginning at 11 am in the south end by Wyatt Park, the parade proceeds down Main Street to Veteran's Square for the tree lighting. Join us for marching bands, vintage cars, prancers, dancers, floats and more - and don't forget Santa and Mrs. Claus! Chef Kevin Halligan of the Laconia Village Bakery and Laconia Local Eatery is our Grand Marshall this year! All your favorite downtown merchants will be open, too, celebrating Small Business Saturday. Make sure you visit your favorite shops, check out the new ones, and see what a difference buying local can make! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Growing Communities Grant

 Citizens Bank Foundation provides $35,000 grant for neighborhood revitalization in partnership with the Main Street Initiative of Laconia
Growing Communities initiative to stimulate economic development in downtown Laconia

MANCHESTER, N.H. The Citizens Bank Foundation today unveiled the details of its partnership with the Main Street Initiative of Laconia (MSI) as part of its Growing Communities initiative announced in September. Citizens awarded $70,000 in grants to neighborhood revitalization efforts in Nashua and Laconia, providing $35,000 for MSI to establish a façade-improvement program in downtown Laconia.

“Citizens’ Growing Communities initiative was established to help support and promote neighborhood-based programs that have a significant impact on communities across New Hampshire,” said Kathleen Reardon, SVP and Director of Public Affairs, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire. “Strengthening the health and economic vitality of our local communities is a priority at Citizens. We believe our grants will help enhance the character and overall well-being of these neighborhoods, support small businesses and spur additional investments in these communities.”

The Main Street Initiative of Laconia will provide matching grants of up to $5,000 to property and business owners inside the Beacon Street loop in the central downtown business district. The initiative will encourage businesses to make investments that beautify the downtown area, with the ultimate goal of decreasing vacancy rates and increasing consumer traffic.

“We are focused on revitalizing downtown Laconia by building community and encouraging investment in the area,” said John Moriarty, President of the Main Street Initiative of Laconia. “The façade improvement program will help local property and business owners grow their businesses and will contribute to the strength of the downtown.”

Belknap Economic Development Council will provide additional resources and technical assistance to help business owners strengthen their operations. Belknap EDC offers a loan fund for Main Street businesses across Belknap County that can be used to meet matching requirements. In addition, free business advisor services are available at Belknap EDC’s office to assist in project planning.

Successful applicants  must demonstrate that the façade-improvement project will enhance the appearance of the community, foster business growth and leverage additional resources. Application packets are available online at, or at the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce Office on South Main Street. Completed applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, February 14, 2014.

Growing Communities is part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program to contribute to the economic vitality of its communities. The Growing Communities initiative is designed to promote and make investments in neighborhood revitalization based on the existing assets of a community. Since 2012 Citizens has awarded $155,000 to neighborhood projects in Berlin, Manchester, Nashua and Laconia.  

About Citizens Helping Citizens
Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program is composed of five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and colleague charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.

You can access the grant application here

Saturday, October 26, 2013

We Love A Parade!

It's just five short weeks until the annual Downtown Laconia Holiday Parade! That's plenty of time to gather friends, build a float and mark your calendar to participate and get into the holiday spirit! You can download registration and information forms here - thanks again to the Laconia Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring the parade with the Laconia Main Street Initiative. We'll see you Downtown!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Please Join us on October 30th

When Neighborhoods Prosper,
 We All Do

That's why the Citizens Bank Foundation  created the Growing Communities initiative, a program designed to invest in collaborative partnerships that will have strong impact on neighborhoods and the people there.

Please join

Kathleen Reardon, SVP, director of public affairs,
 Citizens Bank,
John Moriarty, president of Main Street Initiative of Laconia
Carmen Lorentz, executive director of BelknapEDC

for a special announcement

 Wednesday, October 30th

11:00 a.m. in Laconia, NH

Meet at the central Downtown parking lot
across the street from 639 Main Street 

Please RSVP by replying to this email or by calling John 
at 455-2084 by Monday, October 28th 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Something's Brewing this Weekend in Downtown Laconia...

All Things Coffee!
DOWNTOWN, this Saturday
Sept. 14th from 1-5 p.m.
free admission rain or shine
The Main Street Initiative aims to wake up downtown by staging the first ever New Hampshire Coffee Festival sponsored by the Bank of New Hampshire this Saturday, September 14, from 1 - 5 p.m.

John Moriarty, president of the organization, said that as home to three coffee roasting enterprises, Laconia was the ideal venue to celebrate one of the most popular beverages in the world.  Altogether nine coffee roasters will be among the more than two dozen vendors at the event offering coffee in all its many guises as well as "everything coffee," including popcorn, cup cakes, ice cream and even soap.

Entertainment will feature the music of the Jonathan Lorentz Trio playing their own brand of what Moriarty called "coffee house jazz."  The Grace Capital Church will stage the "Java Games," a series of coffee sack races, coffee bean bag tossing and coffee tic-tac-toe capped by a coloring contest.  "There is something for all ages," Moriarty said.  
Nate, 13, and Derek, 11, who work with their Dad, Jim Daubenspeck, at his Main Street shop, LaBelle's Shoe Repair, sneak in some intense training for the coffee bean sack race.  The race will be one of the premier contests of the Java Games, a family-friendly component of the inaugural, statewide, N. H. Coffee Festival to be held Saturday September 14, 2013.

 There will be talk about how to brew a great cup of coffee - and what makes the difference! Dan Demers owner of D Squared Java of Exeter, New Hampshire will present a demonstration of "latte arts," or carving decorations to embellish a cup of latte. Of course there will be a place to sit and just enjoy the coffee and the ambiance!

Moriartiy said that "building community before commerce is the mantra of the Main Street Initiative and a festival celebrating the most social and convivial of drinks provides an occasion for people to come together and share a common experience.  At the same time, he said that the festival is part of the Main Street Initiative's fundraising campaign, which aims to enhance the holiday lighting downtown as well as provide a scholarship to a start-up business.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Main Street is Hopping with Coffee Festival Preparations!

Nate, 13, and Derek, 11, who work with their Dad at his Main Street shop, LaBelle’s Shoe Repair, sneak in some intense training for the coffee bean sack race.  The race will be one of the premier contests of the Java Games, a family-friendly component of the inaugural, statewide, N. H. Coffee Festival to be held Saturday September 14, 2013. Come visit Downtown Laconia from 1-5pm and take in the sights, sounds and (of course) the aroma of this amazing event! Live music, delicious food, fun activity and vendors will be the order of the day -- along with your favorite coffee order!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Hampshire Coffee Festival!

Join us for this fun event!

September 14th is the date for the inaugural New Hampshire Coffee Festival in downtown Laconia. From 1 pm - 5 pm, join us for live music by Jonathan Lorenz of The Jazz Bar in Weirs Beach, fun and games, latte art and all you could want to learn about coffee...not to mention the opportunity to try different brewing methods and coffee in many varieties. There will be food and personal care products and great fun walking around Laconia's beautiful downtown. Area merchants will be open, some with specials for the day, and we're looking forward to seeing you here to celebrate coffee with us! Call 603-455-2084 with questions, or email Laconia Main Street for more information.

Would you like to be a vendor? Here's the application:

See you at the New Hampshire Coffee Festival!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

An Interview with Bryce Moore

 Note: This is from an article that appears in the Laconia Citizen on Monday, July 15th.


Wash & cut--$19.00; hair color--$60.00; perm--$65.00; a local young lady staying in Laconia to support her career & downtown--Bryceless....

By all accounts Bryce Moore, age 19, is a real go getter.  She has joined the Main Street Initiative and has not let her shortage in years be a shortage of ideas or results.  She takes this proactive approach to everything she does. The Main Street group sat down with Bryce recently and here’s what they learned:

Q: Tell us about yourself; what do you do?
Bryce: I'm a stylist at the Mr. Paul’s Hair Affair Salon on Canal St. in downtown Laconia.  I work right down the street from where I was raised!  

Q: Was styling\beauty always a career goal?  
A cardiologist friend of my parents saw my promise and suggested that I consider a career as a cardiovascular technician, so I started planning on that in high school.  In the back of my mind I found I was always thinking about hair.   Some of my relations worked in hair care, and I spent a lot of time in salons growing up.  A week before I was supposed to start my medical studies, I changed paths. It was a natural choice.  I enjoyed beauty school so much.  I met great people who became my best friends.

Q: Was it difficult to find employment in your field?  
I got a chance at a spot at Mr. Paul’s Hair Affair through some people who knew about my skills and referred me to Lori Chandler who gave me a shot and is now my boss.  I’m grateful to Lori for recognizing my potential.

Q: What does Laconia represent to you?  
My grandfather was a part time policeman here for 38 years. He also owned Bud's Gulf gas station on South Main Street.    When I think of Laconia, that's what first comes to mind.  Everybody knew Bud and my father too.  The sense of community is still strong here today.  It’s amazing how connected and caring this community is.

Q: Why have you chosen to stay in Laconia?  
I've lived here all my life, and I like it.  My parents are still here, and I'm close to them.  They've been big supporters of mine through everything.  My parents were not upset when I decided not to go to cardio-tech school.  They just said I should follow my dreams.  I really appreciate my parents unconditional love.

Q: What do you like about downtown?  
It's cute. There are all these cute little shops and my home is right around the corner too, so you can walk wherever you want...though I like to drive!  

Q: What one thing would you add to downtown?  
Maybe a store for people my age, with clothes and jewelry for my age group. Nothing too fancy, maybe something like this store my parents told me about, the old Junior Deb shop.  The sort of stores, that might carry things like what American Eagle carries, but in stores like they used to have in our downtown.  Maybe a coffee shop for people my age, with Wi Fi for the college students, so they wouldn't have only the library, where they usually have to wait for computers.

Q: What do you do on a Saturday night?  
It's always the same!  Every Saturday night since I was 15, I play pool with my dad at our friend's house. It's like my bonding time with him!  Then sometimes we go listen to live music afterwards.  Weoften go to listen to Lisa Guyer especially her solo performances.

Q: What else do you do in your spare time?  
I go shopping a lot.  I'm a hair nerd!  I don't get enough at work! I go shopping for hair care products.  No matter where I am, I’m always connected.  I hunt down new styles and cuts online.  Continued professional development is important but real growth happens when you take the initiative to learn yourself.

Q: What else do you do on the internet?  
I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I talk to friends and look up stuff, mostly about hair. I like to watch movie trailers more than I like watching movies themselves. I listen to music. You can find almost anything online!  

Q: What music is on your playlist?
I listen to just about anything--any type of music.  My parents like '80's music, so I listen to that a lot. And I'm a big country fan; though I also listen to Credence Clearwater Revival, Journey, Zac Brown Band, but also Wale, and Tyga, because my brother likes him a lot....I think he's good too though.  

Q: What would we find surprising about you?
I go target shooting a lot!   I like shooting a Walther P-22 and recently my grandfather's 45 caliber police revolver.  That was cool!  I’m not the best shot, but I’m good enough.

Q: Tell us about your talents.
I sing pretty well, except I don't like to sing in public.  I took voice lessons for about a year, but the teacher made me study show tunes and I'm not that interested in Broadway, so I stopped, but to this day I use what I learned.

So maybe Bryce might seem at first glance like a typical young adult finding her fledgling wings.  But underneath that everyday exterior are exceptional abilities and startling accomplishments which are beyond price....but not beyond Bryce and are in short -- BRYCELESS.

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