THE BENEFITS OF BEING A NORTHEAST KINGDOM CHAMBER MEMBER
The Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, a chamber based out of St. Johnsbury with about 300 members, has business partnerships throughout the tri-county region known as the Northeast Kingdom - the counties of Caledonia, Essex and Orleans. The Northeast Kingdom Chamber is the largest and only full-service chamber in the region, handling travel promotion, community/economic development, legislative/governmental relations, business training and promotion of regional projects.
The NEK Chamber handles an estimated 60,000 phone, mail, relocation/business relocation and visitor inquiries per year. These inquiries result from strong and aggressive advertising, brochure production and distribution efforts, visitor services and coordination with other chambers of commerce and business associations.
THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM’S WEB SITE
As a member of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber, members are given a free listing, description, picture, Google map and web site & e-mail links on the web site, the most extensive in the region. Visitors to our web site can find detailed tourism, relocation/business relocation, regional, business and chamber information. And the site is one of the Kingdom’s best web resource guides, hands down, for tourism and business inquiries. A full site redesign in 2011 and continued technical upgrades each year since have provided many improvements, including more streamlined routes to find the information you need. And each and every page of the web site has been professionally optimized to ensure the site attracts as many visitors as possible. Chamber members can promote their businesses through reasonably priced web banner ads and enhanced chamber listings. The web site is updated numerous times per week. Check us out on Facebook as well.
The Northeast Kingdom Chamber’s web site prominently features its membership directory in five different places on each and every page of the chamber web site, www.nekchamber.com. The membership directory is listed in the “Visiting & Playing,” “Living & Working,” “Doing Business” and “The Chamber” sections as well as on the chamber home page, each marked as “Find a Business.” Those wishing to have more of a web presence can purchase a Platinum Page, which is only $75 per year. That enhanced listing includes logo, unlimited text, contact information, free e-mail and web site hyperlinks, three photos, Google Map directional pinpoint and video link.
The chamber sends notices to its members electronically about once a month. The newsletter includes information on events, member news and achievements, workshop details and chamber updates. Each is distributed to more than 500 businesspeople within the region. Chamber members can submit materials to the newsletter for free. This is a great way to promote your business to the greater chamber membership at no cost. In addition, members may place a logo style ad, including a hyper-link to their web site from the newsletter at a low cost.
TOURISM PUBLICATIONS & PROMOTIONS
The chamber aggressively promotes its own members and region through its brochures and web site. Additionally, we offer annual promotional opportunities within the region, New England and Canada. The chamber believes membership in the Northeast Kingdom Chamber and its initiatives and the additional association with the Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism Association makes a great one-two marketing/promotional punch for members.
- Brochure Racks – Chamber members are encouraged to display promotional materials and events in our brochure racks outside our offices in the Green Mountain Mall. The racks hold almost 400 brochures and prominently display member hospitality and service-related business brochures that are seen by hundreds of people per day. The brochure racks, the largest collection of brochures in the region, were manufactured in Vermont and also feature photos of the Northeast Kingdom atop the brochures.
- Rack Card – NEW in 2014! Distributed at travel & trade shows to direct visitors to our website and your member listings.
BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER, SEMINARS AND WORKFORCE TRAINING
Classes and training are done in conjunction with area business and professional people, as well as guest experts on subjects of interest to our members. Within our chamber offices, we house the Business Resource Center, offering businesses free use of our conference room, two full computer stations with web access, printer/scanner combo and phone. It is open during our regular business hours, Mon.-Fri., 8:30am – 5pm. Please let us know if you would like to hold a seminar on a particular topic or use our conference room/business resource center for an employee training, business meeting or a home base while away from your office.
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
The Northeast Kingdom Chamber sponsors and organizes a number of events throughout the year including:
- Annual Meeting - Held in late winter/spring. Features a business speaker and awards to members for business improvements.
- Monthly Legislative Breakfasts / Chamber Briefings - Held the last Monday of each month during the legislative session. Members and the public hear updates from our local legislators and get the chance to ask questions.
- Colors of the Kingdom Festival - A one-day event in mid-September, featuring local culture, nature highlights and area history to kick off the foliage season, held in conjunction with numerous St. Johnsbury organizations. Upwards of 2,000 to 3,000 visitors and residents take part in the festivities.
- Business Celebration - A luncheon to celebrate our local business accomplishments. About 20 business representatives give a brief presentation of their recent achievements. A “Business Person of the Year” is also awarded. Held in November.
- Citizen of the Year - Held each spring. Celebrates the good deeds of a local citizen. Nominations are sought the beginning of each year. (New in 2015 – incorporated into the Annual Meeting)
- Super Raffle & Silent Auction - The chamber’s biggest fund-raiser, held in July, with more than $7,000 raised for the chamber in one night. 100 raffle tickets are sold, with each ticket holder receiving a prize. A putting contest, dinner and silent auction round out the night. A fun evening of friends, food and prizes.
- Ribbon Cuttings - Held on an ongoing basis, to celebrate businesses opening in the area.
- Business Roundtable Sessions - Issues-related forums, giving companies the opportunity to address business concerns that the chamber may help to address. Held as needed.
- Membership Benefit Forums - Highlighting the many advantages of NEK Chamber membership. Held as needed.
- After-Hours Mixers - Held at member businesses. Includes music, food and prizes.
- And many other events and activities.
SAVING MONEY / PURCHASING POWER / POWER IN NUMBERS
Additional benefits include:
- VACEplus packagable plans. Options available: Dental Plan with one of New England’s largest carriers, Northeast Delta Dental; Accident-Life Supplement Plan; and Vision Plan.
- Low-Cost Supplemental Benefits Plan with one of the nation’s largest such insurance companies, Worksite Solutions (the only chamber in the state to offer the plan). Many benefits to choose from.
- Low-Cost Long Distance and Local-Service Telephone Services with the Connect One plan (one of the only chambers in the state to offer this plan).
- Fuel Discounts on oil and propane with two local fuel companies, AmeriGas Propane and Irving Energy. Fixed or variable-pricing programs available to businesses.
- Staples Business Advantage Program to receive office supplies and services at a reduced cost.
- Use of the chamber bulk-mail permit for bulk mailings. If you have a mailing being sent to a large audience, we may be able to reduce the cost of postage with the use of our standard mail permit.
- Certificate of Origination Verification Services, for members wishing to ship items or products out of the country.
- Notary Services free of charge.
- Member-to-Member Discounts, with member businesses giving discounts for services to their fellow chamber members.
- Networking possibilities at chamber mixers and our many events.
- Low-Cost Advertising possibilities in chamber publications and co-op ads, including trade shows, print ads, display stands and on-line promotions. Most opportunities are annual so if you miss a promotion you might have an interest in, let us know and we will contact you the next time it becomes available.
- Membership Labels at a nominal cost. Members can purchase labels of the membership for use in their own mailings.
- NEK Chamber Membership Discounts to those bringing in new memberships. If you recommend chamber membership to another business, be sure they mention it to us. It will give you a reduced rate in dues the next year. And, the more members you refer, the more of a discount you get.
- Grant-support Letters. If you are in need of a support letter, please contact us.
- Member Advocacy, supporting you close to home and in the capital. If you have a cause or issue you would like the chamber to assist you with, please contact us.
If you have questions or would like to discuss any of these opportunities contact us at the chamber office.
Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce
2000 Memorial Dr.-Ste. 11, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
(802) 748-3678, fax 748-0731, www.nekchamber.com, firstname.lastname@example.org