Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce

Message from the Chairman

 

2012 at the Amherst Chamber of Commerce is all about 'Taking Care of Business.' From the services and programs we offer to help you grow your prosperity, to the continued leadership we will provide at all levels of government, the Chamber is giving you the tools and resources you need to effectively run your business each day.

 

In addition to the many benefits the Chamber already provides for its members, we will be introducing a few new opportunities for engagement this year. In February a new council for at home businesses will be launched. If you own a home based business and want to participate in a focus group that will assist us in identifying programs and services that respond to your specific challenges, call Kim Whelan at 716.632.6905 today to learn more.

 

Also in early 2012, Insights and Inspirations will begin, providing second stage business owners and leaders with a peer to peer forum for sharing resources, discussing challenges and identifying solutions to ensure their corporate sustainability.  To learn more about this opportunity email President Colleen DiPirro at cdipirro@amherst.org.  These groups will be industry exclusive and limited to 16 individuals per group.  Participation will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis for the 12 month program.

 

In May, the Business Resource Council will be adding a new component to their annual Small Business Awards Luncheon with a Vendor Show. The show will allow the Chamber to showcase its small business members, as well as those members who nurture and support small businesses. Be on the lookout for more information on how you and your company can participate.

 

Returning this year is the successful Tools for Prosperity workshop series, which kicked off on January 5th with John Bourdage speaking to a sold out crowd at its new location - the Buffalo Extension Campus of Roberts Wesleyan College.  These events will continue to be held on the first Thursday of each month at the Buffalo Extension Campus and an exciting lineup has been set for the first half of 2012.  Contact Kim Whelan at kwhelan@amherst.org if you would like to recommend a workshop speaker or topic for the future.

 

Members can still take advantage of marketing and advertising opportunities at the Chamber through the free member-to-member discount option or the cost effective Featured Member Discount ad in the monthly First Monday e-newsletter. Cost effective advertising opportunities are also available on our website, including a new interactive page we will be launching in February.  Chamber members will also continue to access discounted programs or services from our endorsed product partners such as Shop Buffalo and National Fuel Resources.  Contact Kim if you are interested in advertising or would like consideration as an endorsed product partner as a vehicle for increasing your product or service sales.

 

Taking Care of Business is an important component of our corporate mission.  The Amherst Chamber of Commerce is the conduit to your prosperity.  We want you to see a tangible return on your Chamber investment or membership. If we don't provide the necessary product or service, we will serve as the conduit and make sure you find it.   That is how we have become the largest Chamber of Commerce in the region.  We are committed to providing the tools our members need and to do so in a cost effective manner.  By maintaining low cost memberships and offering so many complimentary products and services, we are giving our members the resources they need to remain viable in these tough economic times.

 

We are experiencing the same challenges that our members are facing; increased costs, decreased revenues.  While we were able to operate without a deficit in 2011, we did it by 'doing more with less.'  Therefore, the second part of Taking Care of Business is a Capital Campaign.  We are asking our members to increase their investment in the Amherst Chamber on a voluntary basis.  Additionally, we are reaching out to the larger firms and investors which recognize that through our efforts we are creating a more vibrant marketplace that benefits their bottom line, and requesting increased support from them.  We are investigating grants and alternate forms of funding.  We pledge to continue to service our members and the community at large - with the products and leadership you have come to rely on.  You will hear more about our campaign as the year progresses but we welcome your input as we continue to serve you.

 

I look forward to once again serving as the Chairman of the Amherst Chamber's Board of Directors in 2012. Please feel free to contact me at any time at dflynn@amherst.org with your comments or suggestions.

 

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