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Celebrating the Small Businesses that Make a Big Difference in Our Communities

We all know it. The past year has been one of great change and uncertainty at home, at work, in school and in the hearts of our communities with the local establishments that help power them – small businesses.

Running a business under most circumstances is tough, however, with the shutdowns and social distancing of the pandemic, local businesses have faced an extraordinary time of challenge. In recognition of Small Business Saturday on November 28, Avidia Bank invites you to join us in celebrating the strength, resiliency, and contributions  of local business owners and to support them this holiday season. Let’s GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coming together as a community in Framingham

Courtney Thraen knows all about the difficulties businesses have faced during COVID-19. She serves as Executive Director of Downtown Framingham, Inc., an independent 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and businesses in downtown Framingham prosper. She has, however, been astounded by the resilience and collaboration of the 30-some local businesses that make up the city center. “Many of the owners are immigrants and are accustomed to facing challenges and adversity. They understand the need to collaborate and rely on family, friends, and neighbors in time of difficulty,” says Thraen. “For example, we have competing hair salons reminding each other to apply for grants. They want each other to succeed.”  To learn more about some off the innovative ways Downtown Framingham is supporting local businesses, check them out Facebook.

Business success stories. Yippee!

Though COVID-19 has forced some local businesses to close, it has actually spurred the growth of a few businesssesand made entrepreneurial dreams a reality.  Here are some success stories (who doesn’t love a good success story?)

Enaomi Ebony NaomiTM  From the time she was a young girl and watched Project Runway, Ebony Hollins dreamed of being a fashion designer. She never expected that she would one day realize that dream and have her own business – during a global pandemic! Her business Enaomi Ebony Naomi creates distinctive clothing and other items, including masks. Despite the challenges of COVID, Ebony has had a tremendous year. “I feel very blessed to have my business. The support I have received my customers has been amazing.” One of those customers was Avidia Bank, which ordered custom masks for employees. To see some of Enaomi Ebony Naomi’s fashions, visit

Off the Common Antiques Marketplace. How can you help support local businesses in the community during a difficult time? Morgan King and her husband Ed crafted the perfect solution – Off the Common Antiques Marketplace. Renovating a former gas station more than a century old in Grafton center, they created a vintage retail shop that has helped 50  individuals with a passion for creating, sell a variety of home products and services, including antiques, restored and painted furniture  and items, jewelry, and more. “It’s been a great way for us to help the community and  local businesses and know that we are providing a creative outlet that helps support families,” said Morgan. For more information on this dog- and stroller-friendly shop visit them on Instagram.

Mullahy’s Cheese. Some say, cheese is life. For Katie Quinn, it’s her business life. Katie is the owner of Mullahy’s cheese shop, an artisan and specialty food shop in the heart of Hudson. The store not only has selections from around the world, but also chesses, chocolates, jams, nuts and other items sourced from local businesses and farms. Kate understands the value of community in helping persevere in good and challenging times. “When I look around downtown Hudson, I see it’s still busy and that seven months later, we’re all still here. When Hudson is busy, we’re all busy. To learn more about the Mullahy’s wide selection of cheeses, specialty foods, craft beers and wines, visit

Avidia Bank is proud to support local businesses on Small Business Saturday and every day throughout the year.