THE BENEFITS OF BEING A NORTHEAST KINGDOM CHAMBER MEMBER
The Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, the largest chamber in the tri-county region, 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 daily phone, mail, relocation/business relocation and visitor inquiries. 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
The Northeast Kingdom Chamber’s website, www.nekchamber.com, is considered our biggest and best benefit. 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 chamber web site, the most extensive in the region. Visitors to our website can find detailed tourism, relocation/business relocation, regional, business and chamber information. We also maintain a Facebook page where we promote business announcements, events and topics of interest to our members.
In 2017, the Northeast Kingdom underwent the most extensive website improvement in the history of the chamber, making technological and aesthetic upgrades throughout the site. These improvements have attracted significantly more visitors to the site, bringing even more business to our chamber members. These changes were all being made at no cost to our members.
Additionally, chamber members can further promote their businesses through reasonably priced enhanced chamber listings. These member listings, called Platinum Pages, allow you to highlight your business through additional wording, photos and a video if available. We will work with you to design a page to best represent your offerings and changes can be made at any time. Contact our office to set up a page and make the most of our new website.
The Northeast Kingdom Chamber’s web site prominently features its membership directory throughout the site, marked as “Find a Business.” It is searchable from any page in the site by member name, business category and by keywords (all wording in the listing as well as those set into the background for each business).
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 participating in its initiatives 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 – Distributed at travel & trade shows to direct visitors to our website and your member listings, including the Eastern States Exposition and travel shows throughout central and eastern Canada.
BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER, SEMINARS AND WORKFORCE TRAINING
Classes and training are done in conjunction with area businesses and 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, including computer, web access, printer/scanner 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 5,000 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 - Celebrates the good deeds of a local citizen. Nominations are sought from the region. It is combined with the chamber’s Annual Meeting.
- Super Raffle & Silent Auction - The chamber’s biggest fundraiser, held in July, with about $10,000 raised for the chamber in one night. Each year, 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 Plans, with one of New England’s largest carriers, Northeast Delta Dental, and VSP 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.
- Fuel Discounts on oil and propane with four local fuel companies, AmeriGas Propane, Bourne’s Energy, Fred’s 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. Free of charge to chamber members.
- Notary Services, free of charge to chamber members.
- 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 Montpelier. 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.