By Bill Moore
I recently returned from a training program for Vermont Chamber of Commerce executives, our annual “Mini-Institute.” At our annual professional development session, I was reminded over and over again about why chambers of commerce are vital to our communities’ success.
Whether in formal seminars or informal networking opportunities, I shared in the energy that my colleagues have about our chambers and the work that we are doing in our communities.
Chambers of commerce harness the energy of business leaders to help grow our economy. We are engaged in promoting all businesses, from small “mom and pop” businesses to big-box stores. We promote cutting-edge technology companies and those that are just getting an online presence.
Our members are truly representative of all segments of our communities. We are comprised of businesses as diverse as accommodations and insurance, business services and personal services, construction and legal, and health care and child care. Our members are educators, restaurateurs and financial service providers. Choose a business type and you will find them in our membership.
What makes all of these businesses want to invest in our chambers of commerce? The reasons vary. Some are looking for advice on growing their business while others want to make themselves available to help other businesses grow. Many are attracted to the networking opportunities that we have while others are dedicated to advocating for a strong pro-business economy.
The common thread that runs through membership in chambers of commerce is that it is an investment in our community’s well-being and future. I look at the mission statement of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce often and ask myself, “Are we living up to the tenet that we have articulated?”
The mission of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce is to guide, inspire and promote the best interests of the businesses and professionals of the area, and to enhance the economic, cultural, educational and recreational opportunities of its citizens and visitors.
I am pleased to report that I honestly believe we are. Central Vermont businesses get great information from the Chamber. For example, on Friday, Nov. 17, our “Chamber $marts and ¢ents” program will feature Montpelier attorney Caroline Earle, who will talk about human resource issues.
Advocating for the business community on the local, state and federal levels is a key component of “promoting the best interests of businesses and professionals in the area.” It is also an important element of our work to improve the business community by promoting a pro-business, free market economy.
Supporting tourism by being an active presence at events like The Big E, the New York Times Travel Writers Show, and The Hartford Courant Travel and Tourism Show, is vital to our efforts to bring visitors to our region.
In all of our activities, we provide networking opportunities for the participants. Whether it is a committee meeting, a mixer or a major program, the business community gravitates toward the Chamber. We truly are “the voice of business in central Vermont.”
Call me at 802-229-5711, or drop an email to Bill@centralvt.com. I’ll be happy to speak with you about how you can be a part of this great organization.
Bill Moore is president and CEO of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce.