Chamber News

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  • May 03, 2021 4:01 PM | Anonymous

    The SBA has started accepting applications for the Resturant Revitilization Fund as of noon today.

    For the first 21 days, the SBA will prioritize funding applications from businesses owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged persons. After 21 days, all eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis, so I encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.

    The SBA’s restaurant revitalization program provides funding equal to pandemic-related revenue losses up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Funds must be used for allowable expenses by March 11, 2023.

    Despite the name, RRF funding is available to any place of business where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink, including:

    • Restaurant, Food Stand, Food Truck, Food Cart
    • Snack and Nonalcoholic Beverage Bar
    • Caterer
    • Bar, Lounge, Saloon, Tavern
    • An Inn
    • Brewery, Brewpub, Microbrewery, Taproom, Tasting room
    • Bakery
    • Winery or Distillery
    • Other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or alcohol.
  • April 05, 2021 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    Below are a number of upcoming events and opportunities for the business community.

    Employee Retention Tax Credit Workshop

    Learn how to take advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit in this virtual workshop on April 18th, 1-2PM. Offered by the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce.

    The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is one of many relief provisions included in the CARES Act to encourage small businesses to keep employees on staff instead of furloughing or laying them off. The credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to an employee between March 12, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021, including qualified health plan expenses.

    Topics to be covered: Eligibility requirements, Process of analysis & calculation, Claiming the funds, Fee Structure

    Register

    Vermont Sole Proprietor Stabilization Grant

    The second round of the Vermont CDBG-CV economic relief grant program to support Sole Proprietors has launched. The additional $1.6M in funding will offer grants between $1,500 and $10,000 to qualifying Sole Proprietors on a first come, first served basis. Applicants must demonstrate financial need through business expenditures which have not yet been reimbursed through other relief programs. Expenditures may represent expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, or ongoing expenses in order to “pivot” business operations due to the pandemic. The application for this new round of funding will be open April 5th through May 26th.

    More Information

    Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

    The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act to provide over $16 billion in economic relief to target industries. The SVOG application is slated to open April 8, 2021.

    Grant Application

    Public Meeting on Newbury Bridge Closure

    The Boltenville Road bridge over the Wells River in Newbury is slated for construction this summer, including complete closure from June 12 to August 18, 2021. A public meeting about the project is scheduled for April 28th, and we encourage you to learn more about how this may affect your operations this year.

    More Information

    An Inside Exit: Selling Your Business to Family, Managers, or Employees

    Starting to think about ownership succession for your company?  For many business owners, the best option is to sell to those already involved in the business, such as family members, managers, or the broader group of employees.  In this 90-minute webinar, you will learn the basics of internal exit paths.  Following an overview of general ownership succession principles and the business valuation process, we will take a close look at three ways of selling a business: to family members, to managers, or to the larger group of employees.  The event is co-presented by the RDCs of Vermont, Vermont Small Business Development Center, Vermont Employee Ownership Center, and VMEC, with funding from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. 

    This live webinar will be offered three times, led in each case by a business advisor with extensive experience in exit planning.  The event is free, but space is limited, so please register ASAP!  

    May 13, 2021, 9:00am to 10:30am, led by business broker and exit advisor Lynne Silva of The Silva Group. Register Here

    May 19, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:30pm, led by Certified Exit Planning Advisor John Davis of Davis and Hodgdon CPAs. Register Here

    May 25, 2021, 3:00pm to 4:30pm, led by Certified Exit Planning Advisor Mark Beliveau of Gallagher, Flynn & Company. Register Here

    Free SBDC eCourses

    SBDC has launched several new eCourses that are free and can be taken at your own pace until June 30th. Developed by subject matter experts affiliated with UNH Paul College, the eCourses cover topics such as Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Cybersecurity, Exporting, and Business Metrics, including:

    •     Achieving Good Customer Service
    •     Using Financial Statements to Plan and Manage Your Business
    •     Financing a Business in New Hampshire
    •     Cybersecurity for Small Businesses
    •     Getting Started on Your Small Business Website
    •     Managing Your Company's Online Reputation
    •     Revenue Generation for Small Businesses
    •     Branding Basics

    Browse eCourses

    Open NH Business Directory

    If you have not already done so, be sure to add your New Hampshire business to the Open NH directory to help visitors find and support you!

    Register Your Business

  • March 16, 2021 7:26 PM | Anonymous

    With vaccinations ramping up, restrictions easing somewhat, and the promise of warmer weather making outdoor gatherings easier, we are starting to look forward to spring (and beyond). The Chamber board met recently to plan our events for the year, and although some things are still up in the air due to COVID, we are looking forward to a more robust calendar in 2021 and the promise of being out in the community more as the year goes on.

    MAY 23 - Paddle the Border
    JUL 4 - Woodsville & Wells River 4th of July
    JUL 18 - Cohase Garden Tour
    mid-AUG - Cohase Farm Tour (TENTATIVE)
    SEP 4 - Rubber Ball Race (TENTATIVE)
    OCT 3 - Paddle the Border
    mid-OCT - Business Breakfast (TENTATIVE)
    early DEC - Cohase Economic Summit
    JAN 18, 2022 - Annual Meeting

    We are still seeking sponsors for many of our events this year. If you are interested, please reach out to me at any time. Event sponsors receive recognition on event materials, social media, and on our website throughout the year. Help us celebrate the return of events in 2021!

    Sincerely,

    Ruth Ann Hacking
    Executive Director

  • February 28, 2021 4:45 PM | Anonymous

    A message from Executive Director, Ruth Ann Hacking.

    As with so many organizations, this past year created both new challenges and new opportunities for the Cohase Chamber.

    I joined the Chamber as Executive Director in the first week of March, and instead of going out to visit members and get to know all of you better, as I had planned, I instead sat down, at home, to sort through the ever-increasing pile of COVID-19 resources for businesses. I hope some of that information made it a little bit easier for you to navigate the pandemic, and I remain available to help answer questions and direct you to additional resources.

    In the second half of the year, we were fortunate to be able to hold a few of our most popular events, including the Annual Garden Tour, where we hosted over 130 visitors -- our largest tour to date. Many of you also joined us for our first Virtual Member Forum and the Virtual Economic Summit. The important discussions from those events will shape our ongoing efforts with workforce development and economic development in the region.

    Although the pandemic limited our events and our ability to come together as much as we would have liked, the board of directors and I used the extra time that afforded us to strengthen the foundations of the Chamber to better serve our members and the community. First, we learned how to use Zoom! Then we met regularly to establish new policies and procedures and recruit new directors. We revised our bylaws to better align with how the organization is run. We also launched a new website with better membership tools and room to expand our marketing and outreach to the community. We are especially excited about our new Online Business Directory that is helping to connect residents and visitors alike to local business.

    And on that note, I would like to take a moment to thank all of the organizations who renewed their Chamber memberships at the end of the year. I know this has been a particularly hard year, and I was heartened to see nearly everyone joining us for another year. Together, we can continue to support local business and the economy through this difficult time.

  • February 22, 2021 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    Please welcome the Chamber's newest board members: Jennifer A. Hall and Brian Emerson! Jennifer is AVP, Deposit & Municipal Services Sales Officer at Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank and is a passionate supporter of local business. She is serving as the Board Vice President this year. Brian Emerson is Director at River Bend Career and Technical Center and is a strong advocate for education and workforce development.

     

    If you are interested in joining the Chamber Board, please contact us with a short bio at chamber@cohase.org

  • January 20, 2021 4:14 PM | Anonymous

    The Cohase Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Hatchland Farm has been named the 2020 Business of the Year, and Carolyn and Larry Coffin of Bradford, Vt., have been named 2020 Citizens of the Year. Awardees are honored annually for their leadership and impact on the region. Please enjoy the award presentations from our Annual Meeting below.


  • January 20, 2021 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Simone Lessac-Chenen, Chief Medical Officer at Little Rivers Health Care, offers a local update on COVID-19 in Vermont and New Hampshire and takes questions from the audience during her virtual Keynote Address at the 2021 Cohase Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. She is introduced by Andrew Barter, Chamber Board President and Chief Operating Officer of Little Rivers Health Care.


  • January 18, 2021 1:14 PM | Anonymous

    At the 2021 Annual Meeting on January 19, 2021, active Chamber members will be invited to vote on the following nominations for the Board of Directors. Each director is nominated for a three-year term that will continue until December 31, 2023.

    A Note from our Executive Director:

    It is my pleasure to support all of the following nominations. The Cohase Chamber is fortunate to have such an experienced and engaged group of community leaders on our Board of Directors.  Brian Emerson and Jennifer Hall have been working with us in an acting capacity during this tumultuous year, and I look forward to working with them, and all of the returning directors, into the future. 

    Nominations for New Directors

    Brian Emerson
    Director
    River Bend Community & Technical Center

    Jennifer Hall
    AVP, Deposit & Municipal Services Sales Officer
    Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank

    Nominations for Director Renewals

    Lisa Hervey
    Vice President (retired)
    Housewright Construction

    Erin Odell - Board Vice President
    VP Business Development
    Colby Insurance Group

    Richard Pollack
    Bradford, VT

  • January 05, 2021 4:13 PM | Anonymous

    As 2020 comes to a close, I want to thank all of our members, supporters, and partners for sticking with us through this difficult year, and I look forward to working with all of you in 2021.


    Coming up in just two weeks, on January 19th at 6:30pm, is our Annual Meeting, which will take place via Zoom this year. We will hear from Little Rivers Health Care's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simone Lessac-Chenen, who will give the keynote address on what we can expect from the pandemic in 2021. We will also be awarding the 2020 Business and Citizens of the Year Awards to Hatchland Farm and Carolyn & Larry Coffin. The public is welcome to attend, and active members will be invited to vote on new directors and updated bylaws. Please register now at cohase.org to receive Zoom login information for the event. We hope to see you there!

    If you have not yet seen the recording of the 2020 Economic Summit, featuring an insightful discussion with entrepreneurs and tradespeople about the connection between school and work, then I encourage you to watch.

    Looking forward, one of the things we are most excited about this year is the launch of our new website at cohase.org, which includes an expanded Local Business Directory. It is now much easier for customers to find Chamber members online, and I encourage everyone to browse the directory to find local businesses to support. In the coming year it will more important than ever before to support local business and the community, and we are doing our part to help make that easier for you! If you are interested in adding your organization to the directory, you can find more information about joining the Cohase Chamber here.

    As 2021 begins, and with so many of our lives and livelihoods altered this past year, the Board of Directors and I will continue to look for new ways that we can connect with you. As always, I welcome your feedback and suggestions about how we can best support your work and the region. Please reach out to me any time.

    Sincerely,

    Ruth Ann Hacking
    Executive Director

  • January 05, 2021 3:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Cohase Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Hatchland Farm has been named the 2020 Business of the Year, and Carolyn and Larry Coffin of Bradford, Vt., have been named 2020 Citizens of the Year. Awardees are honored annually for their leadership and impact on the region.

    Hatchland Farm is a multi-generational dairy farm that is well-known for bottling their own milk and making delicious ice cream that attracts locals and visitors alike to their farm store in North Haverhill, N.H.

    “At a time when dairy farms are under increased pressure, it has been thrilling to see the ice cream stand at Hatchland Farm grow into a thriving local attraction, and I am excited to see it expand even further in the coming year. Hatchland supports the community, and the community supports the farm, and everyone wins,” said Ruth Ann Hacking, Executive Director of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce.

    Kristen May, speaking on behalf of Hatchland Farm Management and The Hatch Family, expressed appreciation for winning the award during such a difficult year, “Amongst the craziness of this pandemic, we have done our best to continue business as usual. There certainly have been some bumps along the way, but with a great bunch of employees and the support of our community, we have managed to keep things going. Our goal, as a business, has always been to provide quality products, offer job opportunities, give back to our community and to operate as an efficient, environmentally conscious unit. It is certainly appreciated when someone takes notice of your efforts. So, we are deeply honored by the recognition.”

    Carolyn and Larry Coffin are being recognized for two lifetimes of giving back to the community. The depth and breadth of their impact is felt in every corner of Bradford and beyond. Carolyn grew up on the family farm on the Bradford-Fairlee line, and Larry grew up in Orford. Married in 1968, they have lived on South Pleasant Street in Bradford since 1969. There they raised their two daughters Anne and Sarah and find delight in four grandchildren.

    A 1927 article in the local newspaper entitled “Hometown Progress” reflects their philosophy toward community service. In part, it says “the progress of a community depends principally upon the things the average run of people do. We all have to take hold and help. Everyone should consider himself on a committee to that purpose.” 

    This couple’s contributions are both individual and as a team and are characterized by decades of attention. Personal community service was reflected in their chosen occupations: Carolyn as a medical/dental assistant and Larry as a classroom teacher. Together they worked to establish both Operation Santa Claus and the Thanksgiving baskets annual donations and made sure they were carried out successfully for many years. For 25 years, they organized the local annual Prouty SAG stop and, upon their retirement from that leadership role in 2015, were awarded the Heart of the Prouty Award.

    For about an equal amount of time, they organized the making of all the rolls and gingerbreads for Bradford’s annual Game Supper. More recently, their annual plant sale has benefited the Bradford Public Library. Carolyn has recently retired from the Bradford Beautification Committee. For years, many have admired her special attention to the gardens at the Bradford Academy. Larry has served on the Bradford Public Library’s Board and served as President of the Bradford Historical Society for many years. He was also Town Moderator for 41 years. Scholarships for college students have always been of particular concern to him and he has worked with both Oxbow Scholarship and Bradford Academy Alumni Scholarship programs. His retirement project has included a monthly column in the Journal Opinion on local regional history. 

    Carolyn and Larry firmly believe that the progress and improvement of a community depends on ordinary citizens’ roles. They also realized that there is a time in a project when passing the role off to others is prudent. They have always believed that a worthwhile project will be taken up by others and they rejoice when they see that is true.

    Larry and Carolyn Coffin were nominated for the award by Monique Priestley, who remarked, “Larry and Carolyn have been silent orchestrators that have been driving much of what keeps Bradford running, connected, and looking good.” She continued, “They have served as a role model to me and so many others and have been a huge inspiration for me to get so involved.”

    Chamber members and the public are invited to attend the awards ceremony during the Cohase Chamber’s virtual annual meeting on January 19, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. To attend, please register for the event online at cohase.org.

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