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Have you ever thought, "Why should I invest in a Chamber of Commerce membership?" Or, even wondered what a Chamber of Commerce is and what it does?
The Chamber is an organization that unites business and professional leaders and firms, thus creating a central agency that lends itself to improving business and promoting a better community. Even more importantly, the Chamber is people . . . people just like you. It is people who realize that through the Chamber they can accomplish collectively what no one of them can do individually.
Now, think to yourself, "What would the Seacoast be like without a Chamber of Commerce?" There would be reduced efforts to attract new customers to your business, decreased help to small businesses, limited networking and cost effective advertising opportunities, and the absence of a collective group of business owners/leaders who have achieved real bargaining power. Those are just a few of the ways that the NH Seacoast would be poorer without the efforts of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce. The real strength of the Chamber lies in the number of members who create a pool of resources from which can be drawn ideas, energy, and finances.
The Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce is a TOTAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION. We work hard to keep things simple in a complex world. We listen to our members and take quick action to help resolve problems. The Chamber is in business, too . . . the business of providing services to our members that are meaningful in terms of their businesses and their daily business realities. Our members are essentially "shareholders" who have invested in the Chamber and realize a definite return on their investment. As a member, you are buying the many benefits the Chamber provides, which can mean a competitive edge for your business. We have a collective and accessible pool of talent ready to address your priority concerns as they occur, and committees hard at work meeting the community's needs.
Not only does the Chamber address business concerns and priorities, but as a total community development organization, the Chamber strives for a better community environment; i.e., fair taxes, quality government representation, adequate energy resources, efficient transportation systems, quality education, and cultural amenities.
Please take a few moments to review the following pages where specific Chamber programming and benefits of investment are outlined. We believe that once you see the difference that this Chamber can make for your business, you will want to become one of the "shareholders". Investors in the Chamber have purchased part of the ONE STRONG VOICE in the NH Seacoast that can make a difference-The Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce-and we're known by the "companies we keep".
We've Meant Business for More than 100 Years
From its start in 1915, the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce emerged as a leader in business development, a collective organization of business leaders dedicated to making our area a better place to do business and to live.
Over the years, the Chamber evolved from a group of business persons concerned with the business concerns of the popular Hampton Beach to a regional Chamber encompassing the needs of businesses in the towns of Hampton, Hampton Beach, North Hampton, Hampton Falls, Seabrook, and Rye. Although the promotion of travel and tourism is still very much a part of what this Chamber does, it at least indirectly benefits us all. Programming has become widespread to include economic development, community development, governmental affairs, and much more.
Business Referrals-When the public needs information, they call the Chamber of Commerce first. We are in the business of referrals . . . where to stay, where to go, where to dine, where to shop, and how to obtain professional services. Our members are referred on a daily basis, strengthening their income and their businesses.
Business After Hours-This is a program usually timed after work from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., sponsored by the hosting business. Business persons gather for some light fare and conversation and discuss mutual problems, promotion of their businesses, and general networking. The highlights of Business After Hours are the amount of new business that can be obtained, and the enjoyable social contact with friends and colleagues. This is an exceedingly popular program, and has proved beneficial to those attending, while providing valuable exposure for the hosting business.
Support Local Business and Professional Organizations-The Chamber interacts with, supports, and provides direct assistance to local business organizations in order to strengthen their specific economic climates.
Economic Development Committee-This committee organizes and promotes educational seminars on issues pertinent to our members.
Established the Coastal Economic Development Corporation (CEDC)-The Chamber was instrumental in establishing the CEDC, a nonprofit, regional economic development corporation, serving 10 communities of the New Hampshire Seacoast Region. CDEC works to encourage business location and expansion along the Seacoast by providing financing and technical assistance to growing companies. With its ability to offer financing through its revolving loan fund, or by accessing creative financing through public authorities such as the Business Finance Authority (tax-exempt bonds, debt) and the Office of State Planning (Community Development Block Grants), CDEC helps to encourage quality job creation/retention projects that might otherwise not be funded. In addition, CDEC can assist companies in their various real estate needs, including building facilities to suit a particular user's needs. The Chamber continues to play a critical role in the operation and expansion of CDEC services. The Chamber President is represented as a member of the Board.
The Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce is a TOTAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION committed to improving the quality of life not only to the business community, but also to our local communities as a whole.
Winnacunnet High School Programs:
Internships-The Chamber has an internship program for high school students who work in the Chamber office to fulfill a community service requirement. The students perform tasks and complete projects as necessary during their service period, and then are required to report back to an advisor on their internship assignment.
Scholarship Foundation-A scholarship is available annually to be awarded to a business-minded student.
Assist Local Clubs and Organizations-The Chamber provides resource assistance and distribution of literature for clubs and organizations such as the Rotary, Experience Hampton, D.A.R.E., and Crimeline, etc.
Monthly Newsletter-The Chamber publishes a monthly newsletter sent out to Chamber members and others. Information on local businesses and their concerns are published, as well as business changes and press releases on member businesses. New members are introduced, and Chamber events are announced. We keep you abreast of what's happening in business within our area. Cost effective advertising is available in the newsletter, and we take care of the collating and postage. What better way to get your message out for a small investment?
Individual Business Promotion-The Chamber will step in and provide individual attention to your business when you need help. Ribbon cuttings or media events can be arranged to promote your new business or new product or service that you would like to highlight.
Business Seminars and Informational Training-Programs are planned throughout the year to help you achieve higher success as a business person.
Statistical Data and Research Source-The Chamber strives to be able to provide local, state, and national data that will help you in your business decisions.
Operation of Visitors Welcome Center, Hampton Beach-The Chamber staffs and maintains the Visitors Welcome Center (the Chamber beach office), where we provide information and referrals to large numbers of vacationers daily during the height of the summer season. Chamber members have the benefit of exhibiting their brochures, discount coupons, or literature for distribution at no cost.
Central Lodging Referral-The Chamber has, for many years, tracked room availability for referral to its hotel, motel, and cottage rental members. Vacationers can make one call (1-800-GET-A-TAN), or log on to http://www.hamptonareachamberofcommerce.com/ and have access to all the amenities and lodging opportunities in the area. Only Chamber lodging members are referred, and are referred by amenity and area.
Promotion of the Hampton Beach Area by Attendance at Travel Shows-The Chamber sends staff members to attend travel shows in our strongest market areas (i.e., Worcester, Springfield, and Montreal). We market publications highlighting our members, the Seacoast, and State of NH information. We will distribute individual member literature while at the show at little or no cost, directly increasing your exposure in a target market.
Interaction with Seacoast and State Agencies Promoting Tourism-
Seacoast Convention and Visitors Bureau: The Chamber maintains a close relationship with the area chambers of commerce, exchanging promotional literature for a stronger distribution of publications highlighting the Hampton Beach area and the NH Seacoast. We often participate in each other's promotions.
NH Office of Travel and Tourism: The Chamber interacts with this State agency in promoting New Hampshire, serving in an advisory capacity and meeting with them to discuss better ways to promote the Seacoast.
NH Travel Council: The mission of this group is to be the statewide collective conscience of the travel industry, representing not only the lodging and restaurant industry, but cultural and historical attractions as well.
NH Restaurant/Lodging Association: We interact with this organization as a member, to represent those businesses involved in the hotel or restaurant industry. We assist in negotiating on important legislative issues affecting restaurants or lodging members such as affordable insurance, workers' comp reform, and taxes.
Assistance in the Coordination of All Media Buys and Publicity-The Chamber offers input and direct assistance in the purchase of advertisements and major media buys.
Production of Resource and Referral Publications-The Chamber produces widely distributed publications for visitor referrals, i.e., lodging, dining, and activities.
HamptonBeach Visitors Guide: The Chamber publishes this glossy 64-page color publication that highlights lodging information and other useful information on camping, fishing, area attractions, and tide schedules. The Guide is tied into the Beach Precinct 1-800-GET-A-TAN phone number and is distributed to over 30,000 potential vacationers through direct mail, travel shows, as well as through distribution at the Visitors Welcome Center.
HamptonBeach Calendar of Events and Activities: This publication focuses on the events of the summer, where to go, what to do, and where to dine. It provides the schedule of nightly entertainment on the Sea Shell Stage, and the schedule of fireworks and special events. Thirty thousand books are distributed by the end of each season.
Organization and Management of a Series of Events and Activities-These events draw the crowds that again increase your sales of product or services, i.e.:
Sand Sculpting Competition: This 2-week event in June attracts internationally known master sand sculptors who create fantastic sculptures and compete for prizes. Visitors are able to watch the process, view the sculptures round the clock (sculptures are lighted for night viewing), speak with the sculptors, and then vote for a people's choice award.
Catamaran Regatta: The Chamber cosponsors this annual event during the beginning of the season (June) to attract early vacationers.
Miss Hampton Beach Pageant: This pageant is as popular as ever, and since 1997 has returned to the Seashell Stage, where it has been received with great enthusiasm.
Children's Festival: The Chamber assists with this 5 day festival designed to bring families to Hampton Beach in August. From the sand castle contest to the Children's Costume Parade, the attendance becomes stronger every year. The influx of vacationing families during this week is impressive, and makes a strong impact on our local economy.
Sea Shell Stage Nightly Concerts: A nightly concert series of over 80 shows is held at the Sea Shell Stage, providing free entertainment to the families and visitors to Hampton Beach, and is probably one of the strongest attractions the beach has to offer.
Seafood Festival: Approaching its 27th year, the Seafood Festival and Sidewalk Sales is a tremendously successful event, held the weekend after Labor Day. There are over 50 restaurants and food vendors, crafters, entertainment, fireworks, and sidewalk sales. The Seafood Festival continues to have a very strong impact on the local economy during the post season.
Interaction with Local, State, and Federal Agencies-Representing your business concerns on such important issues as solid waste, tax structures, new laws and ordinances affecting your business, and more.
HamptonBeach Precinct: The Chamber works closely with the Precinct Commissioners and the Precinct's Director of Marketing to monitor local issues important to Hampton Beach.
Town Government: The Chamber works with town officials and local organizations to produce quality events that benefit the community.
State Legislature: The Chamber participates in the legislative process when necessary on issues of importance to the NH Seacoast and small business. We work side by side with such organizations as NH Lodging and Restaurant Association, NH Travel Council, NH Division of Travel and Tourism, and NH Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
NH Business & Industry Association: The Chamber, in association with the BIA, keeps a watchful eye on State government and the passage of laws that may not be supportive of the best interest of business and Industry. Small Chambers of Commerce throughout the State, including the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, rely heavily on their research, advice, and counsel.
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