INDUSTRIAL & COMMERCIAL RETENTION AND EXPANSION
Mission: Through the Chamber’s affiliate North Central Massachusetts Development Corp., in cooperation with local, state and national officials, to market the North Central Massachusetts Region, as a distinct and unique business environment and implement programs to maintain and expand the number of private sector jobs in the region.
Market the North Central Massachusetts region, highlighting the region’s relative affordability, working with MassEcon (formerly MAED) and the other regional economic development organizations.
Maintain the industrial and commercial real estate/site finder database, CoStar. Expand our database of available land and buildings in the region in cooperation with the region’s 26 communities and MassEcon.
Continue to coordinate and staff the North Central Massachusetts Economic Development Council at a greatly reduced level because of funding limitations.
Strengthen entrepreneurial economic development services by collaborating with Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), Senior Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE), Mount Wachusett Community College, Fitchburg State College, and other regional Community Development Corporations (CDC) and entities to conduct an outreach and education initiative.
Work to expand lending capacity by researching the current private lending environment, the local business investment trends, and assessing the Development Corporation’s ability as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to partner with conventional lenders to support economic growth.
Promote the massPLASTICS 2011 Trade Show, the largest plastics industry trade show in the northeast, to be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Trade Center on March 15 & 16, 2011, through various means, such as: www.massplastics.com, email and telephone, direct mail, and advertising in select industry publications. Continue to sell booth space, advertising space for the Show Guide, and sponsorship opportunities.
Convene local commercial and industrial property real estate brokers and developers to share leads, identify trends, address obstacles and act on opportunities pertaining to real estate investment in the region.
Publish an updated Plastics Cluster Profile after completing a capabilities survey to better describe and market the region’s unique cluster and to better respond to requests for referrals to qualified manufacturers.
Continue to explore alternative energy options (cogeneration technology and other “green energy alternatives”) for business and municipalities in North Central Massachusetts.
Support the ongoing meetings and the expansion of the Manufacturing CEO Roundtable.
Mission: To provide direct benefits for members through programs and events that strengthens the Chamber both organizationally and financially.
Continue to grow the Chamber’s sales-leads group -- a no-cost forum for members to network -- which meets twice a month during the program season and once a month during the summer.
Produce an annual “Women Mean Business” half-day conference to offer a new and exciting event option to the professional women of North Central.
Continue to collaborate with other area Chambers on events to establish better working relationships and networking opportunities for our members.
Conduct eight meetings for the Executive Women's Network (EWN) by developing speaker/networking programs related to women business owners and executives.
Plan and implement the Annual Golf Tournament for members, benefiting the Chamber's Scholarship Fund.
Hold quarterly after-work networking events (including the Annual Business Meeting), hosted by Chamber members, as opportunities for members to connect their business needs.
Ambassador Committee will contact all new and existing members by personal visit or phone. They will actively reach out to members at Chamber events, help make introductions to other members, assist with membership growth and provide feedback from members to the chamber.
Organize five Good Morning Breakfast programs for members to network, hear from well-known speakers, and have an opportunity to be educated and entertained. Continue to increase number of attendees and increase season ticket sales by 10%.
Develop speaker programs on labor and employment issues for nine Human Resource Council (HRC) meetings. Provide training programs on personnel management topics and other areas as identified by the HRC Committee. Continue to increase number of attendees and increase season ticket sales by 10%.
Offer a China Orientation Tour to Members and the region’s public.
Plan and implement an Annual Meeting reception, in June, to recognize volunteer committee members and chairmen, the Leadership Council and the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The Annual Business Meeting brings the program year to a close.
Continue to offer quarterly educational classes and workshops on topics relevant to the needs of community businesses owners.
Continue to use or new online evaluation feature for events in order to get a greater percentage of attendee’s feedback.
Seek new options of health insurance for our members. Continue to market and sell our current products to increase member base.
Mission: To aggressively support issues and programs to improve the business climate and oppose legislation that negatively impacts business in North Central Massachusetts, becoming sufficiently involved in the political process to really make the voice of the business community heard.
Research and develop a "Legislative Watch List" and work to influence legislative and regulatory actions to reflect this Chamber’s policies. Maintain regular communication on the status or movement of these issues.
Provide ombudsman services to local businesses on issues related to federal, state and local regulatory compliance as well as in response to new laws, rules and regulations that may be implemented during the year.
Meet monthly with the Mayors of Leominster and Fitchburg to address matters pertaining to each city.
Participate in U.S. Chamber and other national business organization efforts to respond to issues affecting the business community, such as Employee Free Choice legislation, in a manner that will positively affect the region’s economic climate.
Hold a reception for our local elected officials in November after the election to meet and discuss issues with local business people.
Maintain regular dialogue with the region’s legislative delegation and state agency officials in compliance with state lobbying regulations with the assistance of an online legislative tracking system.
Continue to advocate and support efforts to establish and/or maintain a single property tax rate in all member communities.
Explore the feasibility of a Washington fly-in to meet with US Senators Dan Brown and John Kerry, and Congressman John Olver to encourage federal support for local projects related to economic development.
Work with the Massachusetts chamber-community on issues of importance to all of our business members and giving a statewide voice for business concerns.
Coordinate efforts for dissemination of Chamber positions on issues, including editorials from the President, board of directors, committee chairs and the use form letters for the membership that include Chamber driven message.
Mission: To set private sector objectives for area rail, air and highway transportation development and work with local, regional, state and federal governments and planning agencies toward their implementation.
Recognize Route 2 as the region's most vital artery and press for its completion as a limited-access road from I-95 west to I-91.
Advocate to state officials in support of legislative initiatives to improve commuter rail service between North Central Massachusetts and Boston to reduce the commuting time to one-hour, from Fitchburg to Porter Square.
Continue efforts to spur the construction and operation of a park & ride station at the junction of Routes 2 and 495.
Advocate for implementation of the recommended improvements to Route 13.
Continue the work of the Airport Committee to assist the in the expansion of the capacity and economic value of the Fitchburg Municipal Airport.
Monitor and encourage the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission to use its limited Transportation Improvement Project funding to improve key local road and intersection projects through Chamber representation on the Montachusett Joint Transportation Committee and Metropolitan Planning Organization meetings.
COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING
Mission: To keep Chamber members informed of the Chamber's programs, policies and events; to foster community awareness of the Chamber and its objectives; and to support other departments within the Chamber by providing technical expertise for publications.
Manage and maintain all five websites, including northcentralmass.com, and provide up to the minute information while continually aiming to improve content, look, layout and ease of use. Follow through with an internal marketing plan to promote the website and its features, including online registration, to members, potential members, and non members.
Examine marketing and communication efforts and continue to improve efficiencies related to mailings and promotional materials, website information, email, faxes, etc., to generate increased member participation in a variety of Chamber programs.
Publish our quarterly newsletter northcentralmass.com and distribute to all members.
Email weekly “Action Brief” containing current and prevalent Chamber news to all members thereby increasing their understanding of the value of Chamber membership and of our program efforts to advance and expand economic opportunity in the region. Increase positive statistics for email open rate and click through rate. Continuously evaluate email list and sort out bounces and opt outs.
Mission: To join with, state and local agencies and private sector organizations to develop tourism as an Industry in North Central Massachusetts.
Provide supervisory, management, and staffing assistance to the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA), to operate and maintain the Johnny Appleseed Trail Visitor Center in a fiscally prudent manner, and to promote tourism related destinations within North Central Massachusetts.
Assist with efforts to raise the funds necessary to effectively operate the Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center, including, but not limited to; membership sales, corporate sponsorships, applicable state grants and the use of local hotel / motel tax revenues.
Maintain and improve www.appleseed.org in order to market the region as a destination to prospective visitors from around the world.
Explore the feasibility of establishing JATA as a state-recognized Regional Tourist Council.
Publish and print the Johnny Appleseed Country Guide twice a year and distribute it to interested travelers, visitors, tourists and residents through the Visitor Center and other tourism related information areas and businesses in the Massachusetts and 43 AAA offices in Central NE states.
Initiate a banner-flag program by selling space on our flag poles at the Visitors’ Center to members of JATA as a marketing tool for our membership and a revenue source for the Center.