Business Notes: Sept. 13, 2015

Business Notes: Sept. 13, 2015

Norwich — A free public forum on modern wood pellet heating is scheduled for Tuesday, from 6-8 p.m., at the Montshire Museum of Science.

The forum will focus on fully automated central wood pellet heating systems, which organizers say is a more advanced technology than pellet stoves and a clean, efficient, affordable and renewable option for homes and commercial buildings.

Presenters will include Adam Sherman of the Biomass Energy Resource Center, Maura Adams of the Northern Forest Center, Charlie Niebling of Innovative Natural Resource Solutions, Scott Nichols of Tarm USA, and Morton Bailey of Lyme Green Heat. They will discuss system technology and efficiency, automated pellet processing and delivery, environmental considerations related to wood heat, pricing and availability of boilers and pellets, economic benefits of wood heat, available incentives, and financing options.

Light refreshments will be served. Those unable to attend can watch live online or view a recording of the forum later on at wood-pellets.

For more information, email or call 802-785-4126.

Company News

Townline Equipment in Plainfield has acquired Giddings Manufacturing, of Pittsford, Vt., giving the family-owned dealership a second Kubota outlet in Central Vermont. Townline Equipment is one of the oldest Kubota dealerships in the country and has served Kubota customers in New Hampshire and Eastern New England since 1972. Co-owners Matt and Drew Marrazzo are the second generation to operate the family business, taking over from their father, Bob Marrazzo, in 2011. Giddings was one of the original 25 Kubota dealerships in the U.S. and has been a dealer for Kubota tractors, equipment, parts and service for more than 45 years. T.J. Dickinson, a third generation Townline employee, has been named manager of the new Pittsford store. Townline Equipment employs 30 people between the two locations.

Cumberland Farms, the Massachusetts-based convenience store chain, has finished rebuilding its two Claremont stores, part of the company’s longterm program to remodel and upgrade all 600 of its outlets in 11 states. Last week, Cumberland Farms marked the July 31 re-opening of its store on Pleasant and Summer streets, which now includes 4,513 square feet of space, high-top bar counters, and three outdoor patio seats and 19 parking spaces. On Monday, Cumberland Farms will celebrate the reopening of its 4,738 square foot store on Washington Street, which features patio seating, more gas pumps and 22 parking spots. The Claremont Planning Commission last fall approved Cumberland Farm’s plan to demolish both of its city stores and build new structures on their footprints. On Pleasant Street, Cumberland Farms bought the abutting property, which was an Napa Auto Parts outlet, and tore the structure down to make way for the new store. On Washington Street, the company razed a building behind the previously existing store, known as Sam’s, which had retail businesses. Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms is privately owned company that also owns Gulf Oil LP, a major gas fuel supplier in the Northeast. Bryan Pierce, a marketing associate at Cumberland Farms, said that to date about 260 “legacy stores” have been remodeled into what the company calls “AIM stores.”

Chinese refrigeration systems manufacturer Fujian Snowman Ltd. has reached an agreement in principal to acquire a 5 percent stake in Wilder-based Concepts NREC for $4 million plus $500,000 as down payment toward raising its stake to just under 20 percent within the next 12 months. Concepts NREC, which employs 64 people at its Wilder office on Billing Farms Road, designs and manufactures turbomachinery. The deal, which places a pro rata value of $80 million on the company, is expected to close in the current quarter. Fujian Snowman, based in Fuzhou, China, said the investment in Concepts NREC will give it access to important technology and expand into the renewable energy sector. At the same time, Concepts NREC has been expanding into the Chinese market.

The National Institute of Modern Martial Arts in Claremont has earned a Mark of Excellence Award from Century Martial Arts, the Oklahoma City-based manufacturer and distributor of martial art products and individual contact sports equipment. Century recognizes martial arts schools that have made an impact on their community as evidenced by their growth. Michael Sartwell, owner and chief instructor of the National Institute of Modern Martial Arts, said the school has had to move twice in the last five years because it kept outgrowing its space. “We’ve now moved into the former North Street Elementary School, which should suffice for a while,” Sartwell said in an email. Sartwell accepted the award on behalf of the school at the Martial Arts SuperShow in Las Vegas. The show, held in July, was hosted by The Martial Arts Industry Association. “I am honored that Century has recognized my school for our commitment to martial arts,” Sartwell said in a news release. “The true test of any instructor is the impact made on students’ lives, and it is incredibly rewarding to receive such positive feedback from the industry.”

Upcoming Events

The Upper Valley chapter of SCORE’s fall workshop series continues on Thursday evening with Business Bookeeping, an “Accounting 101” overview designed to help participants understand basic accounting concepts. The presenters will be Ann Hargraves, a SCORE counselor and certified public accountant who holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and has held senior financial positions in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; and Susan Davidson, a SCORE counselor with 20 years of experience in commercial banking and 14 years in sales and marketing. The workshop will be held from 6-9 p.m., at 20 West Park St., Lebanon, Suite 316, in the Citizens Bank Building. Cost is $30, two for $45. Veterans free. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit, email or call 603-448-3491.

A workshop on How to Apply for a Business Loan will be held Sept. 22, from 10-noon, at the Enterprise Center at Plymouth, 1 Bridge St., Plymouth, N.H. The presentation is geared to both new and existing businesses and will focus on assembling a convincing business plan. The presenter will be Stuart Gates, who has served as a business adviser to the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center since 2006. He is a certified business adviser, was a commercial lender for 20 years and has owned a financial services company for 10 years. He has served as a business counselor for the Vermont Small Business Development Center, as a lecturer at the University of Vermont Extension System, and holds a doctorate from the University of Connecticut. The Enterprise Center at Plymouth is managed by Plymouth State University. For more information, visit

Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.

Author: Staff Reports

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