Concord has been rated one of the safest and best places to live, not only in New Hampshire, but in the country.
With an active and engaged board of directors, hundreds of dedicated volunteers and a capable and energetic staff, the year serving as your board chairman flew by. This is one busy chamber of commerce!
We are currently 925 members strong, making the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce the largest chamber in New Hampshire. As we wrap up the Chamber’s fiscal year on September 30, it’s a good time to reflect on our collective accomplishments.
Following successful legislation initiated by the Chamber, and the support of members who raised funds to cover the costs of opening the State House to weekend guests, we welcomed hundreds of eager visitors last fall excited to see the State House and spend time exploring New Hampshire’s capital city.
Many returned for the official Main Street opening ceremony last November to celebrate Concord's beautiful new downtown—a highly acclaimed project that went on to win six national and local awards. The Chamber is proud to have played a role in helping raise $720,000 in tax credits to secure federal and state funding, and recommending through the Chamber’s standing Creative Concord committee the public art that now enhances Main Street’s welcoming visage.
The ongoing work of Creative Concord is helping to create a city that’s quickly becoming the state’s foremost cultural destination. Building on the momentum created by our new downtown, we hosted Capital Arts Fest this past May, bringing together fifteen local cultural organizations for a full day of arts and culture entertainment in and around Concord, with world-renowned performance group Squonk Opera headlining the event. Thanks to the talents of committee chair Jayme Simoes and the generosity of Concord Coach, Capitol Center for the Arts, The Duprey Companies and an army of volunteers, we were able to showcase our amazing cultural assets and promote the brand of Concord as a cultural center for the state.
Working with Washington-based Americans for the Arts, we were also successful in measuring the economic impact of local nonprofit arts and cultural organizations in our community. The Arts and Economic Prosperity survey indicated a 43% increase in economic activity over the last time we conducted the survey five years ago. That is a huge leap forward!
And with your continued support, the Chamber has awarded $148,000 in local education grants to area teachers that bring innovative programs into the classroom and $80,000 to support Capital Area Student Leadership, the Chamber’s immersive leadership program for Capital area sophomores, since the Funds for Education Golf Tournament (the Chamber’s only fundraising event) launched 26 years ago. This would not be possible without your participation!
You can get details on all the above on the Chamber’s new website launched in June. It’s loaded with visitor and member information, opportunities, events, blog entries and stunning photography that welcomes businesses and visitors alike to the Capital Region. Check out the numerous member discounts, post an event, a news item or job listing, find out what is going on tonight, get prescription discounts, and search the membership directory for the business referrals you need.
Add to this all the trade shows, networking events, seminars, public policy initiatives and more, and you are part of a very dynamic chamber. Thank you for helping to make that happen, and for your support this past year!
Nannu Nobis is the 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.