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Business Notes: May 19, 2013

Woodstock — Gemologist Jeffrey Zayas plans to open a retail jewelry store this week on Central Street in the former Elliott Newman Jewelers location.

Zayas, who lives in Woodstock, is a native Vermonter with nearly 20 years of experience in the jewelry business, gained from working in stores in New York City and Vermont. He’s a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, in Santa Monica, Calif., and is trained in diamond and colored-stone grading and gem identification. He also received graduate certification from the Gemological Institute in New York City. The store, Zayas first retail operation, will offer estate, vintage and contemporary jewelry, appraisals and will buy gold and silver, Zayas said in a news release.

Zayas began his career in the jewelry industry as a teenager at the former Harty Jewelers in Bellows Falls, Vt. He also worked Pearce Jewelers in Lebanon until 1998 when he went back for further training. He then worked for Stephen L. Singer Jewelers, a New York City-based family firm in the estate jewelry business, and he traveled around the country as a buyer of estate jewelry, gems and precious stones.

In 2005, after six years in New York, Zayas moved to Woodstock with his wife, Amy, and returned to Pearce Jewelers, opening an estate jewelry department. In 2008, along with three friends and longtime associates from his New York City, he created Beneficial Estate Buyers, a company that developed the Madison Collection, a traveling line of estate jewelry from various periods and designers. The Madison Collection will travel to Woodstock in July.

Company News

ECFiber’s broadband deployment has received a sizable boost after local investors connected to its 23-municipality service territory purchased $430,000 of its 2013 series tax-exempt promissory notes. This new investment will finance extension of the community-based nonprofit’s existing fiber-optic network by as much as 20 miles and will serve an estimated 100 or more households and businesses that currently do not have high-speed broadband access, a news release says.

ECFiber Treasurer John Roy, of Vershire, announced results at the group’s governing board meeting last week, noting that the total raised now exceeds $3.5 million from more than 300 individual investors. ECFiber has about 330 subscribers along its existing 50 miles of network in Barnard, Royalton, Tunbridge and Vershire. Within the next few months, it expects to connect customers in Chelsea, Thetford, Strafford, Norwich and Sharon. The next routes to be built are now under design.

ECFiber is a consortium of 23 municipalities in east-central Vermont building a community-owned fiber-optic network to deliver high-speed Internet to every home, business and civic institution throughout its territory. The number of subscribers is expected to double as the funds raised in 2012 are spent during this construction season.

Upper Valley Cleaning, of Lebanon, is being honored by the Better Business Bureau of New Hampshire during its annual Torch Awards ceremony in Manchester. The company, owned by Robert Kebalka, is slated to receive two awards in the small business category: one for its “perfect record” and a second award, the 2013 Torch Award, for business ethics. A “perfect record” is defined as a Better Business Bureau accredited company that, for a period of no less than 36 months, has had no complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau of New Hampshire, the bureau said in a news release.

Jenny Gelfan is returning her massage and wellness practice to downtown Norwich.

Gelfan has been a massage professional since 1979. She has been nationally certified in massage and shiatsu for 20 years, a teacher of massage and the past president of the Vermont Massage Guild. Her trainings include Asian bodywork therapies, techniques for assisting people with chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, myofascial techniques for acute or chronic tightness, lymphatic massage, sports massage and massage for cancer survivors and the elderly.

Upcoming Event

A free workshop, “Making Sense of Your Dollars and Cents: A Guide to Basic Business Money Matters,” will be presented on June 6, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at TD Bank, 21 Elm St., Woodstock.

The workshop will focus on understanding cash flows, profit-and-loss statements and balance sheets. There will be discussions of financing options for small businesses and what banks look for when loaning money and more.

Consultant Sarah Kearns, of Middlebury, Vt., will lead the workshop. To register go to www.vtsbdc.org (click on the training tab and choose this event.) For more information, email deibner@vtsbdc.org or call 802-295-4230.