TOWNSEND -- "People like to do business locally," Marcia Fernald said.

"Why leave Townsend?" said Colin McNabb, the outgoing president of the Townsend Business Association to Fernald, the incoming president.

Both work for Townsend businesses with strong local customer bases.

Fernald is employed at Moore Enterprises, which provides business telephone systems.

"I think we probably take care of most everybody in town," she said, like the library, senior center, town hall, Townsend Ford and McNabb Pharmacy.

"We always give everybody in town a good deal," she said.

McNabb works at the family-owned pharmacy in business on Main Street since 1928.

Fernald is already passing leads back and forth with the new treasurer Kathy Clark, an Aflac insurance agent.

"We've got a special thing going here," McNabb said of the businesses in town.

The business association promotes businesses in town and has a civic responsibility to give back to the town, he said.

With a mix of returning board members and new people stepping up to the plate, the association is strong.

"They all just have a lot to offer," he said.

Returning board members include Wando Pero of Unique Boutique, secretary and directors Deb Buxton of Workers' Credit Union, and Christine Brown of Klever Klippers.

Other new members are Dianna Spaulding from Hannaford Supermarket, vice president and directors Joe Fuches from Evans on the Common and Richard Carey from Hannaford Supermarkets.

The association has about 42 members, McNabb said. The $75 yearly fee includes two dinners and helps fund other TBA activities.

Community outreach is one of the association's goals, he said.

Money raised through memberships is used to fund $1,500 in scholarships awarded to students from North Middlesex Regional High School and Nashoba Valley Technical High School.

The historic common is a source of pride for many in town, and the association plays a big part in beautifying the park.

The efforts go on year-round and are very noticeable during the holiday season, when the TBA works together with the Townsend Ecumenical Outreach and the three churches on the common to sponsor a tree-lighting service.

The TBA does the decorating, the TEO does the meal and the churches rotate a musical program and providing a hall for the meal, McNabb said.

Between business activities and her recent involvement with the TBA, Fernald, who moved here eight years ago, has become part of the community.

"It's the knowing of the people. It's so cool to know everyone in town. It makes it home," she said.