hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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January 6, 2011

Our opinion: Businesses should be racing to 'Make Some Noise'

'One hand washes the other'

Credited to Seneca, Roman dramatist, philosopher and politician, 5 BC to 65 AD

Haverhill's journey to becoming an arts and cultural center will continue this summer with a series of street performances called Make Some Noise.

The brainchild of the Haverhill Cultural Council, it is designed to draw visitors to the city center to visit restaurants and shops.

The council has applied for and received a grant to get the project off the ground, but needs a three-to-one funding match from local businesses.

The cost of the project is $4,800. The council has received $1,200, but needs $3,600 in donations. Haverhill Cultural Council Chairman David Zoffoli told Gazette reporter Tim McCarthy that giving to the project is a win-win for everyone involved.

And he's right.

A donation in Make Some Noise is really and investment in one's own business.

The success of last year's inaugural River Ruckus proved that visitors will come downtown when there's something entertaining to see.

Businesses owe it to themselves to spur the success of Make Some Noise because the project will provide them with a ready-made customer base.

One business-savvy local resident, the owner of the successful and popular Harbor Sweets candy company, has already decided that Make Some Noise is worth supporting. And her business isn't anywhere near downtown Haverhill.

Phyllis LeBlanc of Bradford has stepped up as a major sponsor, and will provide goodies from her Salem, Mass., store at fundraising events later this winter.

"I think that downtown Haverhill is an amazing place with a lot of potential that hasn't been realized yet," LeBlanc told reporter McCarthy.

Zoffoli thinks so, too. He has called 2011 "a defining year for the arts and culture of Haverhill."

We urge local entrepreneurs to help his prediction become reality. Not only will they be adding to the vibrancy of the city, but it will be good for business.

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