Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce regains its vibrancy
Restructuring effort concludes several months ahead of schedule
AMHERST – Every now and then the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce takes a long look at itself to determine if it’s doing what’s best for the business community.
The chamber has come through a recent restructuring effort its leadership hopes will make it a vibrant representative of the Amherst and are business community.
“It has been a very busy few months for the chamber as an organization. We have come a long way in a very short time and have taken some steps that will ensure we’re here for many more years,” executive secretary Ron Furlong said. “For the last little while we were trying to figure out what we could do with the resources we have and we’ve pretty much figured that out.”
Furlong and chamber president Carys Wood said the organization had overextended itself in recent years and had lost some of its effectiveness. Wood said the chamber is in much better financial shape than it was and has completed its restructuring several months ahead of schedule.
Wood said being an active participant in the chamber continues to be beneficial for members in that the organization can act as a collective voice for the business community when it comes to lobbying the municipal, provincial and federal governments on issues such as tolls on the Cobequid Pass, speed limits through the Wentworth Valley and recent federal tax proposals that are viewed as being potentially harmful to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“Chamber members know we’re willing to speak up for them on the issues they find important,” Wood said. “That’s an important role for the chamber of commerce.”
Furlong said the chamber has found a number of low-cost networking opportunities such as the monthly Innovacorp’s Business over Breakfast sessions while it also offers a variety of membership services such as group insurance and advertising and service discounts.
The chamber is now working on updating its website and Facebook page and wants to enhance communication with its members.
Ron Furlong, executive secretary of the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce, and CBDC Cumberland executive director Carys Wood look over plans for Small Business Week in Cumberland County.