On Feb. 4, Country Bank announced a new partnership with the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to provide memberships to small businesses. The new scholarship was announced on the Chamber’s daily radio blast on WCRN 830, with host Hank Stoltz. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, Shelley Regin, joined Chamber president and CEO, Tim Murray on the show. 

Country Bank is a full-service mutual community bank serving central and western Massachusetts with 14 offices in Ware, Palmer, West Brookfield, Brimfield, Belchertown, Wilbraham, Ludlow, Leicester, Paxton, Charlton, and Worcester. Country Bank has been a strong supporter of the Worcester Chamber, sponsoring events, participating on the board and committees and attending programs. They recognize the value of their own membership and the benefits the Chamber offers small businesses. 

This new scholarship provides access to the Chamber for members who might not have the finances to renew or join the Chamber due to the pandemic. 

“Throughout the pandemic, many small businesses have had to find ways to reduce expenses; some of those reductions included canceling their Chamber membership. To align with our ongoing mission to help small businesses thrive, the establishment of this scholarship program will help struggling businesses remain a Chamber member, as well as provide others an opportunity to become new members. As a long-time member of the Chamber, our staff has had the opportunity to benefit from the valuable programs and events that the Chamber offers; we feel this membership offers a vital connection to growing and supporting businesses within the city.” said Shelley Regin.

The scholarship was an idea born from Regin and Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank, discussing how they can best help small businesses stay open during this economic crisis. They recognized that the Chamber is the best lifeline for many businesses—sharing critical information on legislation, regulations and safety with members. 

The Chamber also works 1-1 with small businesses to help address their specific needs and questions. 

The scholarship application is available on the Chamber’s website www.worcesterchamber.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and awards for full-year memberships will be awarded to small businesses within the city.

“We are grateful to Country Bank for helping our Central Massachusetts area businesses at such a critical time. This program will allow the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce to continue to provide services and advocacy to these eligible businesses during this health and economic crisis,” stated Timothy Murray, President and CEO of the Chamber.


Karen Pelletier is the Executive Vice President of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and can be reached by email here.

This story was originally published in the March 2021 edition of Chamber Exchange: The Newspaper, a quarterly publication of the Chamber. All newspaper editions are archived here.