Concord has been rated one of the safest and best places to live, not only in New Hampshire, but in the country.
As we conclude the Chamber’s 2017-18 fiscal year, we can reflect on a number of successes for the organization. We have continued to serve a robust membership by providing varied programming and networking opportunities, communications and other resources to help businesses grow; recognize and develop community leadership through CASL, Funds for Education, Leadership Greater Concord and the Pinnacle and Citizen of the Year Awards; and advocate for our members on state and local issues consistent with the Chamber’s mission of serving the region’s business community.
Of particular note this year, the Chamber played a leading role in the creation of a commission to study the impact of the State’s prison system on the Concord region. Our work with the state legislature, the Corrections Department and other stakeholders was instrumental in pushing this effort forward.
We started a constructive dialogue with the Concord School District administration to make sure the plans for replacing or renovating the middle school are balanced with the need to keep taxes on our businesses and residents from being unduly burdensome.
We worked with City leaders and concerned residents to help craft a City Council resolution setting a goal of making Concord less reliant on fossil fuels in the future, while at the same time voicing our support for prudent regional energy projects which will lead to lower energy costs for our members.
We participated in the Dept. of Transportation’s planning process for the future expansion of Interstate 93 and coordinated with City officials to make sure those plans promote economic development, access to the Merrimack River and safety for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
We partnered with the City and Concord Regional Development Council to commission a professional study on the feasibility of creating a business incubator in Concord and have been following up on the study’s recommendations for an initiative to support entrepreneurial activity in the area.
To better promote Concord as a cultural destination, we collaborated with Creative Concord to develop a dedicated blog site connected to the Chamber’s website and the VisitConcordNH Facebook page, which has already generated lots of positive feedback and interest, setting the stage for continued growth in New Hampshire’s 2nd largest industry—tourism.
Looking ahead to the Chamber’s 100th year, our members can feel confident in the direction of the organization. Finances are strong and well-managed. The Board of Directors is diverse and talented. The Chamber’s staff and volunteers are dedicated and hard-working. Most importantly, our 900+ members are energized and committed to building a healthy and vibrant business community in the Capital region.
It has been a true pleasure to serve the Chamber during this exciting time, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with and for so many wonderful people.
Philip Hastings is the 2017-18 Board Chair of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. All are invited to the Chamber’s Annual Meeting in November for networking, the passing of the gavel and Citizen of the Year award presentation.