Recent news from CLF including  info about online sales tax, the BYOB ordinance, & the results of the ILSR survey!

In this Newsletter

The ILSR Survey Results are in! 

This survey, now in its ninth year, once again shows that the Local First Movement and organizations like Cambridge Local First and the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts are strengthening independent businesses.  Local businesses in cities with a Local First initiative report stronger sales growth than those without a buy local campaign. Survey respondents shared such comments as, “I see the ‘Local First Movement' as critical, and growing.

Along with several other benefits, businesses in Local First cities saw revenue growth of 7.4% in 2015, compared to 4.2% for those in places without a Local First initiative. The survey also gives us important information about the challenges independent businesses are facing, many of which relate to public policy. More on > >

The Ongoing Saga of Online Sales Taxes

For years now, the U.S. Congress has been bickering about the sales taxes we do, or don’t, pay for online purchases. Unlike most of our tax debates, this one is not about whether anyone should pay sales tax or even how much customers should pay—states already have these tax laws on their books. The issue is how we can streamline the tax laws of 50 different states and then ensure that those taxes actually get paid. Read More > >

Last Chance To Prepare for Cambridge’s Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance

Speaking of sales taxes, the BYOB ordinance goes into effect at the end of March. And while there are still a lot of questions swirling around, the biggest source of confusion seems to be related to the sales tax. The law requires you to charge a minimum (but not maximum) of 10¢ for each recycled paper bag you hand out to customers, and you will be required to charge a sales tax on those bags. ​ But restauranteurs, in particular, may have trouble working with a tax rate different from the one they use for regular business.​ Read More > >

Government Affairs 

Our friends at the Cambridge Community Development put on a variety of great seminars for local business owners. All seminars hosted by the city are free to Cambridge residents and business owners. Here are some of their upcoming seminars:
  • Steps to Starting Your Own Business
    Mon, Feb 22  | 6:30P - 8P | City Hall Annex
  • Hiring for Character and Competence
    Wed, Feb 24  | 9A - 11A  | City Hall Annex
  • Search Engine Optimization Workshop
    Mon, Feb 29  | 6P - 9P | CCTV
  • Digital Marketing Series
    Thurs, March 10 & 17  | 6P - 9P |  CCTV
  • From Bid to Business - Understanding the Corporate Buying Process
    Wed, March 16  | 6P - 8P |  City Hall Annex
For more details on any of these seminars or for a full list click here

Upcoming Events

Rumba Y Timbal is offering a free beginner salsa class for CLF Community Card holders on Saturday, February 27 from 7-8:15 PM at 136 Bishop Allen Drive. After the lesson, community members can mingle and socialize with some light refreshments. CLF Community Card holders can bring one guest as a dance partner. Please note Community Membership is NOT THE SAME as Business Membership. Read More > >
Are you prepared for the stress that tax season brings for your business? The City is partnering with CLF to help ease your business tax worries! On February 23, 2016 you can meet with a professional tax and accounting consultant for free. These tax prep office hours will take place at 344 Broadway, in the 2nd floor conference room from 3-5 PM. Read More > >
Join Women in Cambridge for their first event of 2016 in February. They will be meeting at BISq, a relatively new restaurant in Inman square that has numerous small plates to try and share. Their speaker will be Linda Carmichael. She is an accomplished public speaker and works with people to do the same.  Come learn how this introvert mastered the art (and fear) of public speaking. More Info > >
The Affordable Care Act and the new Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law have created a new system of reports regarding staff that businesses are required to complete every year.This B2B will feature two outstanding business leaders who work primary with staff-related issues and have a wealth of knowledge about these new regulations. Join the Sustainable Business Network for this seminar on Monday, February 22nd from 6:30 - 8:30pm. RSVP > >

Meet our New Members

MireliBooks is a developer of products that foster learning and creativity. We make coloring books and boards, and we hold events to inspire creativity and relaxation. We are a mother-daughter team. The name Mireli also acknowledges the two contributors: the illustrator/mom and creative editor/daughter. Read More > >
Rumba y Timbal was founded in 2007 by Roberto Figueroa. Roberto spent several years working as the Latin Director of Jam’nastics (a non-profit organization). He formed his own company with a vision of growing and building it into one of the best salsa companies in Boston. Rumba y Timbal has developed its own style which blends Cuban rumba body movements, fast footwork, spins and acrobatics with elegance. Read More > >

The Dance Complex is a central hub of dance, locally, regionally and nationally.We enable the creation, study and performance of dance; We sustain artists, audiences and the community through programs that connect movement and ideas; We celebrate the wonder and curiosity of dance for all.

The Dance Complex is a unique arts center where professional, pre-professional and recreational movers can find a multiple variety of movement and dance classes. Read More > >

Chan Mock Architects located in Inman Square, Cambridge, MA, offers a full range of architectural and interiors services and specializes in residential and institutional projects. Established in 1994, we are an energetic and efficient firm with a breadth of experience and an informed perspective. The partners, Chris Chan and Annie Mock, both Harvard Graduate School of Design graduates, bring their breadth of experience to every project. Read More > >
Sasha Salon and Spa has been in business since 1981 in Harvard Square, Cambridge next to the city of Boston. Our staff consists of highly skilled, fully licensed friendly skin care specialists who have more than 10 years working experience at Sasha Salon and Spa as well as a massage therapist and nail technician. We have a tradition of continuing education and training to learn about new techniques and products to offer our clients at our spa  Read More > >

Member News

Cambridge Veternary Care is now offering a deal for fellow CLF Business Members! Come in for a nose to tail exam and Rabies vaccine.  This will be for dogs and cats until February 29th.  There will be no charge unless the pet family wants other services such as a Flue vaccine, blood test, dental work etc.  This is a get to know us or try us again promotion. 
Out of the Blue Community Arts, Inc. has been born and the gallery is now a federally approved 501(c)3 Non Profit Organization! The mission of Out of the Blue Gallery is to organize, support, and present to the public at large the creative efforts of local artists, musicians, and more from our community. Read More > >
Harvest Co-op Markets was proud to announce holiday food bank fundraising totals to two local non-profit groups serving the hungry and homeless in the Boston/Cambridge area. This annual donation program, titled “A Small Gift That Goes a Long Way”, is generated through gift cards available at the cash registers at Harvest’s Cambridge and JP locations during the 2015 holiday season. Read More  >
The Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (FoCRLS) MayFair Raffle has become an annual tradition, and thanks to the enthusiastic support of Cambridge businesses – many of them members of CLF – who have provided a wide array of gift cards and certificates, last year the raffle raised over $8,000! If your business would like to donate a gift certificate or gift card as a prize for the FoCRLS raffle, please contact us at or 857-235-9290... Read More > >
The Massachusetts Working on Wellness Program (MAWOW) supports employers as they implement worksite wellness initiatives. The program provides employers with seed funding, training and technical assistance. All MA employers can apply.  However, preference will be given to businesses/organizations located in Mass in Motion Communities, such as Cambridge. Apply online here by March 4th.

Connect with Cambridge Local First

There are many ways for you to get more involved with Cambridge Local First, including joining our new Community Membership Program, attending a committee or Board of Directors meeting, or just spending some time to meet with us and chat about your ideas for growing the Cambridge economy. 

Do you have news or an event you want to share to CLF members and the Cambridge Community? Let us know and we'll spread the word! We'd love to hear from you! 
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Cambridge, MA 02139


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