Amherst and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce re­gains its vi­brancy

Re­struc­tur­ing ef­fort con­cludes sev­eral months ahead of sched­ule

The Amherst News - - SMALL BUSINESS WEEK - By Dar­rell Cole dar­rell.cole@amher­st­ Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

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.

Dar­rell Cole – Amherst News

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.

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