To the editor:

Small businesses are the backbone of our community, and we need elected leaders who understand that.

Janice Phillips has proven her commitment to helping our small businesses succeed by constantly creating opportunities to raise awareness and connect customers to goods and services they might not have known were right here in town.

Phillips is an executive team member of the farmers market, an event that provides a weekly downtown venue for independent farms, crafters and other vendors to do business from summer to early fall.

Its presence, in turn, attracts more residents and visitors to our growing business centers on both Main Street and Water Street.

After the gas explosions damaged many local businesses, making it impossible for them to operate, Phillips worked hard to promote a gift card initiative that used recovery funds to boost sales and drive customers to return once these shops and restaurants were up and running again.

Janice Phillips will be a great addition to the Select Board and I hope my fellow residents will join me in voting for her on March 30.

Andrew Firmin

North Andover

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