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ASHBURNHAM, Mass. – In an attempt to woo small businesses to the area here, city officials are hoping Gardner Franco-American FCU will be among the catalysts. The invitation to the $209 million credit union is a part of a project by the Focus Committee here to get businesses to set up shop in downtown Ashburnham. Committee members have asked the credit union to consider buying a portion of the Central Street lot here where the highway department’s headquarters is located. Focus Committee Chairman Bob Fichtel said he recalled Gardner Franco-American FCU trying to move here before but was not able to. In addition to attracting the credit union, the committee is also hoping to open up a four-acre lot for commercial businesses and a 25-unit elderly housing project. The credit union, which serves more than 20,000 members and has six branches, also offers an array of business deposit services.

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