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Invitation Nights Draw Crowds for Local Holiday Shopping

By Emily Cowan, Newburyport.Com Correspondent

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Newburyport-area residents seeking the ultimate holiday shopping experience tend to bypass the malls in favor of Invitation Nights – a series of shop-local events in which downtown retailers stay open late and spread the holiday cheer by offering discounts and light refreshments. Traditionally held in the first half of December, these Invitation Nights draw spirited crowds as shoppers enjoy all the merchant hospitality, live entertainment, and shopping and dining their downtown area has to offer.

In Newburyport, Invitation Nights are typically scheduled on the first two (and sometimes three) Friday evenings in December. Beautiful and festive holiday decorations line the streets of downtown from Merrimac Place and Horton’s Yard to the Tannery, including the main thoroughfares of State and Pleasant Streets. You’re likely to see plenty of tired holiday-shopping enthusiasts taking a break in Market Square, resting on the benches ringing the city’s giant Christmas tree.

The Custom House Maritime Museum frequently hosts an Invitation Night Open House, celebrating the Clipper City’s rich maritime heritage with museum gift shop specials, live musical performances, and “warm and historic holiday cheer.”

Parents who don’t want to miss out on the wine and hors d’oeuvres at their favorite stores have a unique and cost-effective option for childcare during these Invitation Nights. For the past few years, Newburyport Youth Services has seized the opportunity to entertain the kiddos while mom and dad do the family’s holiday shopping. Children in grades 1 through 5 are invited to City Hall Auditorium on Pleasant Street for the screening of a special holiday movie, popcorn and drinks included. For more information, call Newburyport Youth Services at 978-465-4434.

Newburyport Invitation Nights are presented by the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Check the Newburyport.com Events Calendar for the specific days and times.

In Amesbury, Invitation Nights are typically scheduled for Thursday evenings in December, when downtown merchants greet patrons with refreshments, snacks, and special pricing on some of their merchandise. These events are hosted by the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce & Industrial Foundation.

Top 10 Benefits of Having a WordPress Website

By Jim Somers, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Sonora DesignWorks, Jim is an expert in web design and development with 22 years of experience including the launch and ongoing support of Newburyport.Com.
WordPress Website, Sonora DesignWorks, Newburyport

A WordPress Website is a great choice for content management software (CMS) in today’s competitive business environment. Sonora DesignWorks in Newburyport works with companies to design websites and utilizes the WordPress platform to create the optimal website solutions for their clients. In fact, Newburyport.com, the website you are currently visiting, uses WordPress and was designed by Sonora DesignWorks. Keep reading to learn more about why a WordPress website is a great choice for your business.

1. You can manage your own website

With a WordPress Website there is no need to depend on a web designer to manage content on your site. You have the ability to control, edit, and create content on your website.

2. No specialized training or software needed

A WordPress website allows you to control and manage the content in your website without technical training, programming, or HTML experience. And you do not need any specialized HTML editing software to manage the website.

3. Manage your website from anywhere in the world

WordPress allows you to edit your website from any web browser. In short, if you have an Internet connection, you can access and edit your website from anywhere on the planet!

4. Keep website content up to date

You can keep your content current by using a WordPress platform. This CMS gives you the ability to update and publish your own website in minutes allowing you to get your content on-line without delay.

5. Mobile Friendly

It is important to have a website that is mobile ready because many people primarily use their mobile devices to search the web. A custom responsive WordPress theme is enabled to display content to someone whether they are viewing the website from a computer or mobile device. Google also gives preference to mobile ready sites in search results.

6. Search Engine Optimization

WordPress makes it easy for search engines to index and read content. Tip: Your pages will be more likely to rank highly in search results if you include content that follows the basics of search engine optimization writing. This brings you traffic and business.

7. Editing Power

A CMS website, such as WordPress, saves you money by allowing you to edit your website whenever you want! No need to rely on someone else for basic changes or edits. You can easily add photos and images, post new content, and edit content on your website.

8. Your website belongs to you

A WordPress website provides a universal CMS platform. This means that you are not tied to a website developer for support when you need help with your website or decide to make design alterations.

9. Plugins expand the reach of your website

Plugins in WordPress make it possible to add elements such as video content, an event calendar, or a Twitter feed to your website. This engages your audience and attracts more visits to the site.

10. Expand your website content

As your business expands you may want to add more content to your website. WordPress allows you to incorporate an unlimited number of new posts and pages as you grow.

A WordPress website you can control and manage yourself is a terrific solution for a business. However, you still need a trusted and experienced company to design and develop your website. Contact Sonora DesignWorks in Newburyport to learn more about our award winning design. Check out our impressive web design portfolio too!

Young Professionals with a Purpose

By Joe, Joe

Chamber Holiday Mixer - 2014

North Shore Networking Group

Young Professionals with a Purpose

Expand Business Network, Charity Give Back

New Year’s Resolution | Hang out with a bunch of cool professionals to talk small business strategies.

On Thursday, January 15, join us at the Launch Party of Young Professionals with a Purpose (YPP) to expand your business network AND give back to charity.

Held at the Ipswich Country Club, this marks the first mixer for the Greater Newburyport YPP Group, with canned food donations benefiting Pennies for Poverty.

Coordinated and hosted by the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry, both Chamber members and non-members are invited to network, so bring your friends!

YYP will now continue to meet each month, with each mixer providing assistance to a different charity.

Event Details

Location: Ipswich Country Club 1 Country Club Way, Ipswich, MA 01938

Date: January 15, 2015

Time: 6-8PM

To benefit Pennies for Poverty

Hosted | Coordinated by the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce

Things to Do

Top-rated attractions, National Parks and historic tours are among the many things to do in Newburyport.
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Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

From the Plum Island beaches to the Maritime Forest, the Parker River Wildlife Refuge is a top quality bird watching destination. Parker River is a nationally recognized Wildlife Refuge for over 300 species or resident and migratory birds as well as a large variety of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

US Coast Guard, Newburyport MA

US Coast Guard

As the the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard, our Newburyport Coast Guardsmen are responsible for some of the greatest rescues, with history dating back almost 200 years. Born Ready, through intense surf and heavy breaking seas, these men and women maintain and handle several sea going vessels including steel hull boats, a utility power boat and Boston Whalers.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is a historic 231-acre property in Newbury with events and activities for you and your family to enjoy. Much of the land at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is still under active agriculture! Visit the expansive open land and tour the farmhouse to see what life was like in Newbury in the 1690s!

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