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Updated: January 11, 2021

Best of Business 2021: Multimedia services

Cinch I.T. President Rick Porter

Office workers didn’t find it convenient to have to suddenly switch to remote work last spring when the coronavirus pandemic first hit. For Worcester’s Cinch I.T., however, the shift in how people worked was a major growth opportunity. 

Cinch I.T. received triple the amount of technology help requests it would typically get, with workers running into any number of challenges getting set up remotely. The timing was fortuitous for the company: It had already planned an expansion last year and was ready for the flood of help requests.

“Fortunately, it's been largely positive for us,” said Rick Porter, Cinch I.T.’s president. “Not that it's been easy.”

Porter, who started at Cinch I.T. in 2010 and bought the company five years later, had already helped develop a franchising plan last year to expand the company beyond New England.

One is open in the northern suburbs of Detroit, and a second is slated to open in January in Atlanta. By the end of 2021, others are planned in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

The Worcester office will retain the company’s back-of-the-house operations, including much of its technical staff, which handled 94% of Cinch I.T.’s client issues throughout the pandemic. Individual offices handle the remainder, which are more consultation-focused, such as whether a company might be better off with cloud computing compared to an on-premise server.

Cinch I.T. decided to begin franchising because it wanted physical locations – albeit small ones – in more areas. The firm had already begun serving clients in 34 states thanks to satellite offices of Mass. companies turning to Cinch I.T.

The franchising plan may have seemed ambitious when first planned, but the pandemic has changed how Cinch I.T. views its growth potential.

“It feels less ambitious today, and more methodical,” Porter said.

-- Grant Welker 


Pagano Media
Location: Worcester,
Top executive: President Joe Pagano
Founded: 1981
Employees: 10

The Pagano team is adept at creative storytelling and inspiring a desired action, combining 35 years of storytelling experience with the latest digital tools. During the coronavirus pandemic, Pagano expanded its virtual events to help clients sell more products and services.

Notable runners-up: PENTA Communications, Inc., Koda Creative Group


Worcester Interactive
Location: Worcester,
Top executive: CEO Chris Dalton
Founded: 2017
Employees: 5

As the world and the Central Massachusetts economy shifted to working from home and online sales, Worcester Interactive helped small businesses stay afloat by moving their operations online, creating e-commerce websites and virtual pay-per-view streaming classes. The company moved its systems, software, and processes to the cloud, in order to be 100% remote.

Notable runners-up: PENTA Communications, Inc., Koda Creative Group, Pagano Media


Crown Trophy
Location: Northborough,
Top executive: Owner Andy Gleckel
Founded: 1996
Employees: 10

Operating under the motto, “No Problem” Crown prides itself on order accuracy, timely delivery and fair pricing, doing what it can to make a customer's event happen. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the store remained open while producing orders safely, offering more shipping options to customers.

Notable runner-up: Olympic Trophy 


PENTA Communications, Inc.
Location: Westborough,
Top executive: Founder & CEO Deborah Penta
Founded: 1989
Employees: 17

PENTA has worked with clients for more than 30 years as a strategic marketing partner, as a full-service integrated firm. During the coronavirus pandemic, PENTA helped clients rework their 2020 plans to offer more innovative solutions, so clients could sustain and grow during the challenging year. Through PENTA’s Emerging Stronger podcast series, global experts offered advice to clients during the challenging time.

Notable runners-up: Davis Advertising, Koda Creative Group 


Curry Printing
Location: Westborough,
Top executive: President Peter Gardner
Founded: 1978
Employees: 25

Curry’s mission is to provide clients with the highest-quality services in a timely fashion and a competitive price. As a communication business during the coronavirus pandemic, Curry expanded its product offering to focus on personal protective equipment like branded face masks and by providing social distancing signage so businesses could reopen safely. 


Sunshine Sign Company, Inc.
Location: North Grafton,
Top executive: President & Founder Dave Glispin
Founded: 1986
Employees: 33

Sunshine understands the full picture of its clients’ needs and develops its services around developing quality, creative and functional signage solutions for those needs. The company stayed a step ahead of the curve as the coronavirus was spreading, as it already developed a healthcare division.

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