The last year has seen steady and rapid growth for the New Hartford Chamber of Commerce. Since revitalization began 19 months ago, membership is up over 300% and there is growing excitement in the town and business community.
Members are coming forward to help ensure that the Chamber continues to grow and serve a valuable purpose in our community. They are volunteering their time, talent and resources to help improve the business climate in New Hartford. While some are teaching business topics to members in free seminars, others are organizing important community events that promote keeping commerce in our community.
The Chamber has long been a supporter of certain town and village events such as the Memorial Day Parade and the Holiday Stroll at the New Hartford Shopping Center. This past year, the Chamber brought back it’s Farmers Market and helped support a new food truck rodeo in Sherrill Brook Park. The Chamber celebrated and promoted our smaller members on Small Business Saturday and a “Where’s Waldo” scavenger hunt over the summer.
The new dues structure adopted in 2017 has been successful in keeping membership fees very low for our small and locally-owned businesses while still keeping rates affordable for the larger retailers housed in New Hartford. Presently, membership rates range from $50 per year for small, locally owned shops up to $500 for large corporations located in town.
Committees are growing in the chamber. The Training Committee consists of area business and economic development leaders and is working on a year-round calendar of timely topics designed to help our smaller members improve and grow their businesses. Seminars conducted thus far have covered various topics including changes to the tax laws, HR considerations, financial planning, office applications and marketing.
The Buy Local Committee conducted two successful events this year aimed at raising awareness of the importance of keeping dollars in our local economy. This committee is growing fast and will be tasked with implementing a local shopping card and a map, both designed to drive more traffic to our member merchants, restaurants and service providers.
The Farmers Market Committee did a great job in re-establishing the market at the New Hartford Shopping Center during the summer months this year. Opportunity abounds for this event to grow and evolve, especially with new options at Sherrill Brook Park including a new 100 foot-long pavilion built by the Town’s Parks Commision.
The Marketing Committee has been looking for more ways to promote our members and their businesses and asks that all members submit updated logos, business descriptions, social media links and photos via email to the Chamber. These items will be used to update member’s profile pages on the Chamber website which will in turn, aide in driving more traffic back to the member’s website and social media pages.
Furthermore, the Marketing Committee is asking members to submit a narrative or story about their business that can be featured in website articles, press releases, social media, email newsletters and our Town Crier page.
Two new committees are just now being formed. The Membership Committee members are serving as ambassadors promoting chamber membership as they interact with local businesses during their regular day. The Events Committee will consist of experienced event planners and will help with Chamber Nights, our annual meeting, the Holiday Stroll and a new Village Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Starting with practically a blank slate almost two years ago gives us the opportunity to be innovative with the future of our organization. Every member has the ability to find a way to have a positive impact on the community we serve and call home. Together, we can make the Chamber into a truly diversified business association that fulfills its mission of:
Fostering Economic Vitality and Quality of Life in The Town of New Hartford
Owners and managers of businesses located in New Hartford, and those located outside the town that support our mission are invited to join our membership and get involved with an existing committee, or help create a new one.
The return on investment for your time, your unique talents and any lended resources will be realized not only in the future growth of your business or group, but also in greater prosperity for our entire community.