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What does the Central Vermont Chamber do? Why do we need it, when Google can provide so much of the information that Chamber’s across the country can provide?

Good questions, and questions that we at the Chamber grapple with, a lot. Some folks think we’re purely a business association, promoting our member’s interests and advocating on their behalf. Some believe we’re here purely to promote our area, to showcase the attractions of Central Vermont and entice visitors to come see what Central Vermont has to offer. Some think we’re here to provide technical assistance, marketing assistance, referrals for services, education, information about moving here or simply provide places for groups to meet. While all of this is true, I’d like to answer a question with a question and ask you, “Did you know?”

Did you know that our website is a platform to discover recreation activities, local business listings as well as educational opportunities? If you’re a local, you may ask why you would need that information. However, as a local, we can promote your business or organization on our platforms to reach these visitors. Did you know that our website has an average of between 400 and 700 visitors a day and out social media posts reach upwards of 12,000 people per month? We’re happy to discuss how this can be put to work for you to promote your business, organization, or event. One local business reported that after we promoted their grand opening with a ribbon cutting their website had over 1,400 visits over the next 24 hours.

Did you know there are other ways we can promote your business? In addition to the above, we offer our member businesses the opportunity to network with other businesses to gain clients and find potential mentors. One of our members joined, attended one of our business mixers and left with more new clients than he’d gained in the previous month.

If you’re a local, we post job openings as well as helping find opportunities you may not have known about. On a certain well known search engine, yes you can search for “stuff to do.” But, did you know that some of the best, small, locally owned places won’t show up until page three of the search due to their size?

For organizations, did you know we have a conference center available to rent for meetings and events? That everything mentioned above can draw attention to your organization’s mission?

The purpose of this article is not to bash any search engine. They’re good at what they do, and I use them myself. The purpose of this article is to highlight the differences between the Chamber and a search engine and to point out that here at the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, we’re neighbors here to help our neighbors.

The staff here at the Chamber have lived in Central Vermont for over 110 years combined. We have very definite differences of opinion about where to get the best sandwiches, but one thing is for sure: The Central Vermont Chamber has never gotten one truck stuck in The Notch.

Kevin Eschelbach is the president of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

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