Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Leominster, MA - Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella

Mayor's Office of Business Assistance

Begun in January 1996, the Mayor's Office of Business Assistance provides one-step customer service to existing and potential business owners. Its telephone hotline is operated by Mayor's Office staff, working in conjunction with City department heads. The 24-hour-a-day hotline is designed to make City Hall more accessible and less complicated for business owners, providing needed information and helping them navigate the City's permitting and licensing processes.

The response to this Office reflected the need for information and assistance that existed in the City: More than 1,000 calls have been received since the program began.

All businesses in Leominster have been sent a marketing and outreach pamphlet and a plastic Rolodex card prominently displaying the hotline number. Mayor's office staff handle the hotline calls during the day - providing information on the spot or taking requests, getting the correct information, and returning the calls as soon as possible. At night, calls are handled by a call center and forwarded to the Mayor's office in the morning. In emergencies, the Mayor can be reached through his pager at any hour. Department heads and inspectors are paged in the event of emergencies and respond immediately. All contacts are logged in the Mayor's office and responses to them are tracked to ensure the issues or questions have been properly addressed.

Special efforts have been undertaken by the Office: When the Spectro Coating Corporation and Claremont Flock Corporation had serious fires in their buildings, an office staff of five persons was moved into the Office so that the companies' operations could be continued. They were provided with phones and office equipment - and moral support. The Office helped them file the permits needed to rebuild and repair their businesses and helped to get the fire department, building inspector, wiring inspector and others into their buildings as quickly as possible.

CDBG funds are used to operate the low-cost program; $4,800 was expended in the first 10 months for installation and maintenance of the phone line, printing and mailing of the pamphlets and Rolodex cards, and installation of the answering service.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (978) 534-7500

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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