Community Calendar

Community Artists Program
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Charlestown

Make & Take Crafts (Drop in Crafts) Ages 3 +
10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Westerly

Wreath & holiday arrangement workshop
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Westerly

Seal Tour
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Westerly

Holiday Bazaar
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Westerly

Magician Darren Yong
11 a.m. - Noon Charlestown

Christmas Cantata
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. Charlestown

"A Christmas Carol"
8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Westerly

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Business Spotlight

Grand opening set for Blue Butterfly Florist shop

Blue Butterfly Florist will have its grand opening at 100 Main St., Suite 2, on Saturday, April 19, at 10 a.m.

The florist, Rebecca Silva, has been serving customers in Westerly and surrounding communities in Rhode Island and Connecticut for 11 years.

She and her family are opening the shop to provide floral needs for weddings, holidays, and other special occasions, and for everyday gifts.

Silva said the color blue in a butterfly is thought to symbolize joy or a change in luck, and that the Blue Butterfly name was “created with the symbols of life, change and rebirth.”

The florist said she “features a whimsical and French compact style of flower artistry as well as adjusting to the customer’s visions and needs.”

Chelsea Groton Bank to offer grants for first-time homebuyers

Chelsea Groton Bank says it has become the newest member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston Equity Builder Grant Program, helping to expand homeownership opportunities.

Income-eligible first-time homebuyers who are interested in purchasing a home in Connecticut or Rhode Island can apply for a grant through Chelsea Groton for up to $15,000 to help with down payment and closing costs.

Applications for grant requests are now being accepted. Chelsea Groton Bank has been awarded a total of up to $150,000 to help expand homeownership opportunities.

For program details or to apply, email or call Michele Magowan, NMLS #646283, at 860-448-4174.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Equity Builder Program provides down-payment, closing-cost, and rehabilitation assistance for an owner-occupied unit for members of households earning less than 80 percent of the area median income.

The program is funded by a percentage of the Bank’s annual Affordable Housing Program set-aside.

Grants are made to eligible borrowers when they close on mortgages through participating member financial institutions.

Eligible properties are owner-occupied housing, including (but not limited to) single-family, one- to four-family properties, town homes, duplexes, cooperatives, and condominiums.

The property must be the borrower’s primary residence.

Small-business luncheon features federal and state speakers

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut will sponsor a small-business luncheon with keynote speaker Seth Goodall, who was appointed as SBA New England regional administrator by President Obama in 2013.

Goodall will talk about how important small business has been to the economic recovery during a luncheon scheduled for Tuesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Quality Inn, Whitehall Avenue, Mystic.

Joining Goodall will be Catherine Smith, Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner, and Emily Carter, Small Business Development Center state director.

The fee is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers and a $5 fee will be applied to all walk-ins. Contact the chamber to register.

SBA ombudsman to conduct Regulatory Fairness Forum

The federal Small Business Administration will present a Regulatory Fairness Forum on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon in the Hall of Fame Room of the New England Institute of Technology, 2480 Post Road, Warwick.

SBA National Ombudsman Brian Castro will host the conversation with Rhode Island business representatives on the topics of federal regulations, compliance audits, regulatory fines, and enforcement actions impacting small businesses.

The ombudsman will direct specific issues raised by participants to the appropriate federal agency for a high-level fairness review, and will work to address those concerns, reduce regulatory burdens, and help small businesses grow.

Anyone wishing to report a federal regulatory concern confidentially will have the opportunity to do so privately at the forum.

There is no cost to attend and advanced registration is encouraged.

To attend the Rhode Island forum, please contact Matthew Spoehr in the Rhode Island District Office by email at or by phone at 401-528-4561.

Ballirano named Charter Oak

manager at new site

Michael Ballirano has been named branch manager of Charter Oak Federal Credit Union’s newest branch, which will open this June at the credit union’s new headquarters complex on Route 85 in Waterford.

“Mike Ballirano has the right banking and financial-services experience to lead our team at our newest branch, which is the 14th in our network across New London and Windham counties,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s chief executive officer.

“I’m confident that Mike and his experienced staff will make our newest branch a big success.”

The opening of Charter Oak’s new headquarters-and-branch complex in Waterford coincides with the credit union’s 75th anniversary since its founding in 1939 as the Groton Shipbuilders Federal Credit Union.

The nearly 65,000-square-foot building is located on Route 85 at the corner of Industrial Drive.

The multi-story building will house all of Charter Oak’s administrative offices, along with the new branch and a new 190-seat community room for free use by the region’s nonprofit organizations. Grand-opening festivities are scheduled for 10 a.m. June 16 and the new branch will open its doors at 11 a.m. that same day.

Ballirano, who will supervise a staff of six at the new branch, is currently branch manager of Charter Oak’s Montville and Niantic branches.

He has been with Charter Oak since 2011 and was recently named chairman of the Montville Division of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, where he is also a participant with the chamber’s Leadership Program. Ballirano is a Griswold resident and graduate of Norwich Free Academy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Keene State College in Keene, N.H.

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