More than networking, why support our local chamber

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People are often unfamiliar with our work outside of events. A recent feature in Flackery captured it best — “People think a chamber of commerce is a networking organization for people who do business in a specific geographic area. The truth is that when it’s done right, the chamber is an integral part of the community.” We’re very proud of the work the Greater Concord Chamber does for the Capital region and beyond, including:

Organization incubation – we’ve nurtured many startup organizations that have had significant impact on our community, like Capitol Center for the Arts, Capital Region Food Program, Downtown Concord Inc., or DCI, (predecessor to Intown Concord), Capital Region Development Council and Concord 20/20.

Economic development – the Chamber played critical roles in securing funding for redevelopment of both Horseshoe Pond and our award-winning Main Street. Over its long history, the Chamber has developed workforce housing and promoted the region as a visitor destination to capture more tourism dollars for area hotels, restaurants and retail establishments.

Attracting and retaining young workers – Concord Young Professionals Network (CYPN), an affiliate of the Chamber, is arguably the most robust YPN in New Hampshire. With more than 1,000 active participants, CYPN hosts monthly networking and professional development programs, provides volunteer opportunities and board internships with nonprofits, and serves as a voice and sounding board for young professionals who are doing great things in the Capital region.

Business advocacy – the Chamber is very active at both local and state levels. The State Government Affairs Committee closely monitors legislation and participates on members’ behalf. The Local Government Affairs Committee engages with both City Hall and the Concord School Board in matters that impact you, from taxes to energy costs.

Leadership developmentLeadership Greater Concord prepares new and emerging leaders with the skills they need to fill important roles within the community, whether that means serving local nonprofits, as elected officials on the City Council or School Board, or just being a more active and effective volunteer. Capital Area Student Leadership (CASL) provides leadership development for high school sophomores eager to get involved in their communities. Seven area schools took part in 2018. Both programs have graduated hundreds of alumni creating lasting regional impact and are run with the help of many dedicated volunteer committee members.

Attracting residents, businesses and visitors – the Chamber’s Creative Concord committee has been visibly promoting Concord’s cultural assets through the VisitConcord-NH website, social media, travel writers, cutting-edge video and eye-catching marketing items placed in NH’s Welcome Centers. The hard work of the committee added eight new sculptures to Main Street in just two years, further enhancing downtown as a visitor destination. Concord’s emergence as NH’s cultural center is no accident.

These are just a few examples of the Chamber’s local impact. Networking events provide great opportunities for our members to build business relationships. But the work of the Chamber and our impact on the community goes far deeper. Your membership supports all these efforts.

Tim Sink is the President of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce. Read his other posts at ConcordNHChamber.com/blog.

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