“One of the most valuable aspects of the Business Forum is the community that has been created. There’s a connection there—personal, professional, and spiritual—that I don’t find in other groups. I felt welcome from the very first time I went.

The people who attend feel like colleagues, despite being from very different businesses. There’s no feeling of competition or rivalry, instead people support and encourage each other. The atmosphere is always positive, with no denigrating of others’ views or problems. People are really happy to help and offer advice, friendship, and support. It’s about building each other up, and that’s why people keep coming back.

To be honest, my self confidence was very low when I started going there. I continued to go, however, and take advantage of both the information and the caring connections I made. The Forum has made a huge difference for me personally and for my business. There is just nothing else like it.”
~ Iris Weaver – Shamanic Herbalist and Educator

“Friday morning meetings at the North Shore Business Forum have been a welcome retreat at the end of what is often a hectic work week. From my first experience with the group nearly five years ago, I have been welcomed by like-minded small business owners eager to learn about my practice and share their stories. An open, casual air prevails without the pressure found in some networking groups to drum up referrals and testimonials. I enjoy the weekly guest speakers and usually find the topics insightful and relevant to my business. There is a purpose to the meetings that extends beyond networking…a chance to think outside the lines of the normal business routine…to learn, and listen , and share. Though not always a regular attendee, each time I return, sometimes after several weeks away, I am greeted by friendly, familiar faces…a pleasant way to start the day.”
~ Ken Savoie – Savoie Architecture

“The North Shore Business Forum has meant the opportunity for me to gather together with small business owners on a weekly basis to network and to learn from speakers whose topics are relevant to the development and growth of small business. I have attended the weekly meetings of the Forum for several years and can attest that approximately 60% of my business is a direct result of referrals from members of the Forum (and referrals from referrals from… ).”
~ Joseph M. Princi, Esq. – Attorney

“‘The Forum’ are ‘my people.’ My friends, family and clients consider me a resource in large part because of my contacts at the Forum. Any time someone is looking for a/an attorney, accountant, Bowenwork practitioner, computer support specialist, dentist, life coach, marketing coach, math tutor, nutritional consultant, organizer, etc., etc., I have one I can comfortably recommend because of the networking I’ve enjoyed at the NSBF.

The NSBF has also been a terrific source of support and education to me over the years. I came to the Forum as a newly minted massage therapist with no experience in running a business of my own. I celebrate my 9th anniversary in business next month (April 2014) and credit a great deal of that success to the friendly as well as professional support I’ve received from my fellow members and the education and support given to me by the variety of guest speakers each week.”
~ Julie Spreadbury – Massage Therapist

“When I first joined the Forum I had never spoken in front of strangers, never mind doing it with a microphone. By attending every week I slowly gained confidence in doing both. I think I shook with nerves each week for the first year. I credit the folks at the Forum for giving me a friendly place of non-judgment to learn this important skill. I also learned about creating 30-second elevator speeches and changing them up in an effort to keep people engaged. Very important tools of networking.

The speakers they have come in have also been invaluable whether they are talking about social media, print media, marketing, legal issues, stress management or health and wellness. I highly recommend attending the North Shore Business Forum whether you are a new business owner or a seasoned one.”
~ Susan MacFarlane – Wellness Studio

“The North Shore Business Forum is a dynamic organization full of wonderful, caring, professional business people. For me, the Forum is comprised of people who are genuinely interested in who you are, what you do, and how they can help you with your business. The speakers are engaging, the dialog and conversations are honest, and the mission is clear. The Forum is much more than just a referral network, I’ve learned much from the people who attend as they share their own experiences while running their own businesses. The forum is a group of business people that I don’t just consider to be business acquaintances, but friends.”
~ Andy Lutts – Net Atlantic

“I was a fledgling entrepreneur with a home-based graphic design business when I discovered North Shore Business Forum. Not only did I acquire clients and business resources through the lively and informative Friday morning meetings, but I also developed lasting friendships. The close bonds among members set NSBF apart from other business networking groups. Together we celebrate triumphs, encourage each other through personal and professional challenges, and mourn the loss of fellow members. When I decided to retire and move to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I enlisted the services of my NSBF friends. Roseanne Palazola staged my house, Katie Finch sold it, and Joe Princi provided legal services. I remain in contact with several members through Facebook. Iris Weaver’s custom formulated hand cream continues to nurture my skin in the desert climate, Michelle LaRoche’s Juice Plus ensures that I get enough daily fruits and vegetables, and I purchased carved coffee mugs from Jack Walsh when I needed a unique gift for a Santa Fe wedding. My contribution to the Forum was the logo. The Forum’s enduring gift to me has been the friendship and family-like ties I developed with Forum members. I still think of you on Friday mornings and will drop in to visit whenever I am in the area.”
~ Joan Plummer, Graphic designer

“When I transitioned from working nationally/internationally to locally, NSBF afforded a friendly way to connect with North Shore businesses. As you attend more, you get to know people which of course is the first step of Know, Like, Trust. NSBF is a community not just a networking group. As community the core NSBF cares for one another and pulls for each other. That for me is the value.”
~ Mike Sobus – Next Level Business Development

“The people who go feel like colleagues. There’s no feeling of competition or rivalry. People are always positive. We’re there to support each other, so there’s a feeling of community. It’s all about “what can I do to help?” It’s about building each other up, and that’s why people keep coming back. I have felt welcome since Day One. There’s a connection there—personal, professional, and spiritual—that I don’t find in other groups. To be honest, my self confidence was very low when I started going there. I continued to go, I made myself, and the Forum made a huge difference for me personally and for my business.”
~ Iris Weaver – Soul Gardens – Simple Sustainable Healthy Living

“I’ve been going to Forum meetings for 25 years because it is a venue to promote my business .The speakers are interesting and I always learn something that is applicable to my business or that I can share with others. It has given me visibility in the business community because I have been a featured speaker. The Forum is also a good source of referrals for my clients, and I like to be able to provide that service. What I enjoy most about the Forum is the support and encouragement attendees give each other and the congenial atmosphere. It is a valuable networking resource.”
~ Nancy Black – Organization Plus

“As a volunteer who serves on the board and helps run the meetings, I’ve had many new experiences. I’ve learned new things, I’ve been presented with new challenges, and I’ve learned to deal with other businesses and people in new ways. Every Friday morning is a real education thanks to our speakers, and I get to expose my business. It’s well worth going!”
~ Jack Walsh – Dancing Sand Custom Bottle Etching

“The Forum is family. It’s a non-competitive environment that has really allowed me to grow my business. I’ve gotten direct business, and lots of referrals. I have other small business owners to brainstorm with about best practices. I’ve been exposed to speakers I would never have heard otherwise. The Forum has been hugely important to my business.”
~ Marissa Cole – Sensational Travel

“I like the fact that it’s an open forum. There are no requirements. I have the opportunity to present what I do, I’ve gotten business, and plenty of referrals. And I am always impressed by the wide range of talent in the room.”
~ Steve Shea – New York Life

“For me, it boils down to education, networking, and good food! We always have quality speakers, I always learn something, and the Forum is a real community. I’ve gotten business, but I’ve also made many friends. Forum people have always supported the nonprofits I’ve been involved with as well, by placing ads in program books, serving on my board, you name it. Truly, Forum meetings finish off my week on a very positive note.”
~ Bonnie Rynkowski – Your Virtual Voice – Voice Teacher, Presentation Couch with a Therapeutic Approach

“I enjoy the informality of the meetings, the friendliness, and the fact that you pay as you go. Truly, it’s about the people in the room, the conversations. And I always learn something I can apply to my business.”
~ Mark Beckley – Small Biz Computing -Green Machine Company

“I appreciate the lack of structure, and the opportunity to speak. I signed up to be a host at one point, and I met lots of people for the first time. It was a terrific experience. I got business, referrals, and exposure.”
~ Bob Hayes – Payroll Northeast

“I started coming to the NSBF in 2004 when I started Hamilton Bookkeeping. It was my first experience into networking. In that first year at the Forum I learned how to present myself and my business in a 30 second elevator pitch. I built relationships, got new clients and made great new friends. Most of all I developed confidence in my skills and honed my ability to market them. I have had a network of people cheering me on!

I came every Friday for many years. I listened to the speakers and absorbed their presentations. I learned all the different pieces about starting and growing my business… marketing, networking, coaching, budgeting, taxes, social media, people skills, etc. Everything I needed to know about nurturing Hamilton Bookkeeping came from my early years at the Forum. Now… I am honored to be asked to speak sometimes at the forum on QuickBooks and Bookkeeping, and I have created a business that was just nominated for Small Business of the Year by the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce. We are now a staff of 7.”
~ Liz Silva – Hamilton Bookkeeping

“At the North Shore Business Forum, I made invaluable connections with people that I may not have met otherwise. It is certainly an important and vital networking group on the North Shore.”
~ Julia Campbell – J Campbell Social Marketing

“I have been coming to the NSBF since 2005 when I first began my business. It is an amazing networking organization. I always learn something new with the topics the speaker addresses. I find the group very supportive, friendly and easy. There is no pressure to use anyone or to give referrals. However, after getting to know and trust the people who run their companies it is very easy to recommend them to others. The group has a nice balance of different occupations.”
~ Gloria Bakst – Balanced Nutritional Lifestyles – Chef Gloria B

“I was teaching a class at the North Shore Community College and one of my students told me about the North Shore Business Forum. I started attending seven years ago and not only do I find very informative speakers, but I can directly attribute 37 clients as coming directly from the Forum.”
~ Kate Ritter – PC9LIVES