The new year brings with it the opportunity to make changes and start new iniatitives. We have decided to embrace the new with updates to our programs and events, as well as our invoicing.
The most noticeable change you will see will be in our programs and events. In order to better maximize everyone's time, there will be only one morning networking event each month, now called Networking Before 9. While we have changed the frequency and name, the format will remain the same. This is the only networking event that allows you to speak about your business in front of other business leaders. The first Networking Before 9 will be a member orientation. I encourage everyone to come and learn how to fully utilize your Chamber membership, and take advantage of the opportunity to promote your business. We will be hosting at least one Lunch and Learn each month, with the goal of bringing you relevant content to help you grow your business. If there are topics you would like to learn more about, please let us know. There will also be a new signature event this spring, in the form of a fashion show. We will need models, so this may be your chance to be discovered. Or just a good excuse to have your friends come watch you get dressed up and strut your stuff. We are looking for people to join our programs committee - now is your chance to get in on the ground floor of planning our upcoming events.
With the exception of a few signature events, admission to networking events is included with membership. In order to enhance the value of membership, non-members will be charged for all events going forward. We have also increased member dues by $.01, so we're working with nice, round numbers.
We will be hosting more trips in the coming year, many of them local day trips. These are a great way to get out of town for the day, and meet new people in the community. We have also been working on establishing solid working relationships with neighboring chambers as a way to bring more value to members, so look for more joint events in the future.
As always, any feedback is welcome and appreciated. Happy New Year!
Since joining the Merrimack Chamber I have had the pleasure of adding several new vendors to use running Central Realty's property management division. I have also gained new clients, new friendships, and have enjoyed the many events put on by the Merrimack Chamber. Richard Jean - Central Realty
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, and for appreciating what we have. I am thankful for the opportunity I have with this position, and for the many relationships I have built so far, and will continue to build going forward. Chambers, like all networking groups, are only as good as their members, and we have amazing members.
Last month, the membership committee decided to reach out to all members, informing you about the changes and initiatives we are implementing. It was a big task to take on, but we have a dedicated team. If you have not heard from someone yet, you will soon. The other reason for reaching out is to invite you to an event. With membership, you get out of it what you put in, and the best way to get involved and make connections is to join us in a fun, social atmosphere. Not comfortable walking into a room of strangers? Few people are. We have a team of ambassadors who will welcome you, and make introductions to the people you want to connect with.
Small Business Saturday was this past weekend. The cold, miserable rain did not help attendance, but we did have shoppers stop by the gazebo at Abbie Griffin park. The event is still going through December 9th, so please, please continue to shop small and support local businesses. You'll have a chance at some great prizes (drawing on the 10th at our holiday party), and you'll be strengthening the community where you work and live. How can you say no to that? Passports can still be picked up at the Chamber office, or at participating locations.
The Board will begin working on our strategic plan today. What would you like to see from the Chamber that you aren't seeing now? Is there something that could make us more effective, or more vital to your business? Now is the perfect time to share. Thoughts and feedback are always appreciated. I may be steering the boat, but we're all in this together.
By Mary Hendricks, Director of Sales, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Merrimack
and Board of Directors, Merrimack Chamber of Commerce
It is that time of year again, where everyone is busy with “The holidays” – those being Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, and other ‘Holy-Days’ grouped roughly, and conveniently, around the Winter solstice – tend to be looked upon as a mixed blessing by many. Holidays are a time to welcome the ones you love into the center of your world that is your home, right? At the end of the day, it’s also nice to be able to show it off. But, another consideration is all about preparations for visitors. That takes effort, and sometimes causes stress in an already busy life.
So, what’s called for well in advance of the holiday season, and the impending en masse visit to your abode, is a strategy to prepare for the holidays well before the crunch date. The Chamber of Commerce is a great way to find local businesses to help with your preparations. From touch up painting, yard clean up, to a complete gourmet meal to put on your perfectly decorated table. We can recommend someone. Do you want the meal to be gluten free? We can recommend someone. Does Uncle Fred like a good IPA or light beer? We can recommend someone. Are you ready for the first snowfall? Do you need someone to plow you out or install a generator? We can recommend someone. Don’t be stuck in the kitchen all day… Order your pies early and don’t forget the flower arrangement for you perfectly decorated table. Going to a Holiday Party and would rather meet a Merrimack Police Officer at an AM Coffee with a Cop instead of a late night pull over?? Make sure you plan transportation in advance. We can recommend someone. Pick up a few extra gift certificates during Merrimack's first Shop Local event for those unexpected extra guest. And last, but not least! Make a reservation at your local hotel for your in-laws!! We can recommend a few. Everyone will be happy you did!
Let the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce and your local businesses take some of the stress out of your Holiday’s this year. Take the time to enjoy your family and friends. I would be happy to recommend someone to help de-stress your holiday season. Feel free to contact me at 603-429-3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org
By Donna M. DiPrima, REALTOR®, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and Member of the Board of Directors of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce
I have been a member of the Chamber since 2010, and in January of 2012 I became a member of the Board of Directors.
Membership in the Chamber has its advantages. There are so many events to attend, including Lunch and Learns, AM Events and PM Events. You get to meet a lot of people and depending on the work that you do, it could provide a way for you to meet new customers. The Chamber also provides scholarships to senior high school students, whose parents work for a company that belongs to the Chamber.
I have been a Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage since 2007, first starting in the Nashua Office and when that office closed, I moved to the Amherst Office. I provide real estate services to both buyers and sellers, single family homes, condominiums and townhouses. I have been a resident of Merrimack since 1998 and know the Merrimack market quite well! In addition to the Town of Merrimack, I also cover Amherst, Bedford, Brookline, Hollis, Hudson, Manchester, Milford, Nashua, and New Boston. Please contact me if you would like to know what you could sell your home for or if you are thinking of buying a home.
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
103 Ponemah Road
Amherst, NH 03031
It has been an exciting month here, with lots of events and new initiatives underway. Michelle Landry, our Marketing and Event Manager, brought up the idea of organizing Small Business Saturday for Merrimack - and off we went! Two of my biggest goals are promoting local businesses, and engaging the community as a whole. What better way to do this, especially during the holiday season when so many are likely to shop online or at large retailers. Did you know that most of our members are sole proprietors and small businesses? Let's all work together to promote our fellow Chamber members, as well as other small businesses in town. Dollars spent locally will not only strengthen our local economy, but will also have a direct impact on those who live and work right here in Merrimack. Most of the planning happens here in the office, but we need your help to make this successful. Please help us by signing up your business to participate, and spreading the word around town. There will be a kickoff at Abbie Griffin Park on November 28th, and the campaign will run until December 9th.
We are currently in the process of interviewing for 2016 Board members. Board members represent members in several business categories, and play a vital role in setting direction and supporting the Chamber. We have openings for our retail/wholesale category, and are looking for nominees. If you would like an opportunity to be considered for a Board position, please fill out an application and return it to me.
As a non-profit organization, membership dues only cover a portion of our operating expenses. For this reason, we developed a sustaining partner program with the help of Board members Karen Keating of Granite Bank and Christina Cuzzi of Fidelity Investments. I am happy to announce that Fidelity and Staples have signed on as our first sustaining partners! Our membership drive is also in full effect until the end of the year, with a generous incentive to bring in new members.
You spoke, and we listened - in an effort to streamline communication, our event registration emails have been reformatted. We realize your time is valuable, and as a result have changed the design to give you the information you need in a concise, easy to read format. If you have any feedback about this, or anything else going on at the Chamber, please don't hesitate to reach out.
By Beth Covino, Director of Community Relations, YMCA of Greater Nashua
and Secretary, Board of Directors, Merrimack Chamber of Commerce
Hello and glad you are checking our new website! I have been active in the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce since I started my position as Director of Community Relations at the YMCA of Greater Nashua, nearly three years ago. I was new to the community and found my contacts in the Chamber to help me learn about the region. The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce is a friendly group! It was easy to go to Chamber events and meet new professionals in our area.
I joined the Board of Directors as a member-at-large in January 2013. We are an active Board and are member-focused. Our programs reflect the needs of our members and the business community, from our AM Networking events, PM Networking events, lunch & learn programs, social events, annual golf tournament, and more!
If you are considering Chamber membership, I highly recommend you join! If you are a member, the value in membership is taking part in all the Chamber has to offer. The purpose of the organization is to serve the businesses of the Greater Merrimack New Hampshire region by connecting them to area residents, visitors and other businesses, supporting and enhancing both our vibrant local economy and our outstanding quality of life. The Chamber delivers on this promise.
We have committee openings if you would like to further connect in that way. Consider joining the Program Committee, Membership Committee, Finance Committee, or the Education/Scholarship Committee. Please feel free to reach out to me at the Y if you’d like to chat further about the value of Chamber membership. I can be reached at 603.689.2440 or email@example.com.
The entire world is waiting for you to visit.....
... the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce can help you get there! Thanks to our national partners, we are able to offer top-quality travel opportunities at unbeatable prices. When traveling abroad with the Chamber, you will receive a first class experience starting right here at home. We handle all the arrangements, host a variety of informational meetings, introduce you to the other members of our travel group, and provide you with ample insight into your destination.
So why do we do this? First and foremost, this is one of the Merrimack Chamber's largest fundraisers. These trips help the Chamber thrive and provide quality programs for our members while offering an international adventure that is critical as our economy becomes more and more global. While you may not own a business that has international customers, you will undoubtedly interact with new cultures. Our mission is to grow and develop our local business community, and by educating our population and helping you to explore the world, we are able to further our mission. These trips are not designed only for the cultured business traveler... these trips are designed for the highest level of education, tourism, and cultural experiences. Everybody is invited to join us on our next excursion - you do not have to be a chamber member to enjoy these benefits!
Our next trip is planned for October 2016, to a Kenyan Wildlife Safari. An Information Night is planned for Monday, November 2, 2015, at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 4 Amherst Road, in Merrimack, NH. To register to attend, please click here. For further details, please call us at (603) 424-3669.
I am two months into my new role now, and am starting to feel settled in. Many of you I already know from being involved with the Merrimack Chamber for the past four years, and it has been a pleasure to meet so many of you since coming on board. I am enjoying learning about all of our member businesses, and how the Chamber can help going forward.
A lot has changed over the past couple of months. While change is not always comfortable, it is necessary for organizations to grow. Some changes, such as increased membership dues, were voted on by the Board of Directors last year. Unfortunately, the changes were not reflected in the invoices, and as a result, many members were not made aware. My sincere apologies for any confusion this has caused recently. The Board had also voted to charge non-members for some events that were previously free. There is a strong feeling that membership has its privileges, and our networking events are a large part of that. AM and PM events being free for members (with the exception of a few signature events) is one of those privileges, and that will not change.
One of the other major changes is the new software we are using in the office, Chamber Nation. This software contains huge member benefits, such as the ability to load pictures, events, coupons, and member-to-member discounts on our website, merrimackchamber.org. There are additional features which Chamber Nation offers through its premium membership, such as custom key word texting service, and the ability to update your mobile app, Facebook and Twitter accounts simultaneously. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you would like more information on how to utilize these tools.
Last, but certainly not least, is the change in office staff. Valerie Soucy has taken a full time position with Benefit Strategies. She will be greatly missed, but we are happy for this opportunity for her. Please welcome back Michelle Landry as our Marketing Events Manager. We are excited to have her in this role. Both Valerie and Michelle will be at Oktoberfest, so please make sure to say hello.
While we are striving to make changes to add value for members, the Merrimack Chamber still remains the friendly chamber, with the same fun atmosphere that drew us all in. Because we want to make the Chamber the best it can be, we will be sending out member surveys in the near future. Please take advantage of this opportunity to share your thoughts on what is working for you, and what can be improved upon. And as always, please reach out with any feedback or suggestions you may have.
The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer annual scholarships as part of its commitment to education and our community!
The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer annual scholarships as part of its commitment to education and our community.
Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors based on academic achievement, extra-curricular activity, and community service. Special consideration is given to students with an entrepreneurial spirit. Applicants must be employed by or be the dependent of an employee of a member of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce.
Written applications are available at the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce website or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Written applications are due in April. Finalists will be contacted by phone and/or email invited to interview with a judging panel in early May.
"We are proud to be able to support local students, especially those with aspirations of being a small business owner," said Deb Courtemanche, executive director of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce. "We encourage our members to share this opportunity with their employees who may be eligible or who have children who may be eligible for this scholarship."
This year marks the eleventh year the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce has given out these scholarships, providing more than $30,000 to local high school graduates for their post-secondary education. Scholarships are awarded for $1,500. Last year, thanks to a successful fundraising event, the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce was able to award five scholarships.
Scholarship money is raised through the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce's Annual Recognition Event and Scholarship Fundraiser, which is held in March. For more information, please contact the Chamber at 603-424-3669 or email@example.com.
We're Easy to Find
You're invited to visit us.from 9:00am - 2:00pm Monday through Thursday. We are conveniently located on the back side of the Papergraphics building, on the second floor .
We'd Love to Hear From You
Any questions about the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce or the greater Merrimack area, please call us at (603) 424-3669.
Membership Has Its Rewards
Businesses receive a variety of benefits when they become members of the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce. Learn more