It's not like they disappeared. They've been around for awhile, but New Milford's Chamber of Commerce has gone into fifth gear--banding together as many New Milford business owners as they can in an effort to create a strong, central merchandising voice that will not only generate community interest, but spark sales.
Patch sat down with Chamber president Lou Denis to talk about the Chamber, what's new, and events.
"We're all out there on our own trying to make a buck," Denis said. "Why not join forces, come up with creative marketing ideas that can help all of us and try to help each other out?"
"It's really hard to be a small business owner today," he added. "If we're going to survive we have to help each other out."
One of the events that the Chamber is promoting is "Business After Hours." This monthly event is designed to provide Chamber members a chance to informally gather after business hours at one of the Chamber businesses to network, meet prospective clients, brainstorm about business solutions and promote products and services.
The first "Business After Hours" event was an outdoor wine tasting at Garden Cafe where members and clients enjoyed the wine, weather and live entertainment.
June's "Business After Hours" event was hosted by Century 21 and featured New Jersey State Senator Robert Gordon as guest speaker. Gordon spoke about the state of the budget while lending support to small business owners.
Denis said that the Chamber website has been designed to be inviting not only to business owners, but to residents of New Milford. It not only provides a listing of all Chamber members, but it also includes local news and a calendar of Chamber events.
Denis said the Chamber would eventually like to include coupons as a way for local businesses to attract customers.
During New Milford's Family Movie Night in June, Brain Freeze handed out coupons to each ticket holder good for 10 percent off total purchase if used that night after the movie.
Editor's disclosure: I attended Family Movie Night with my son and used the Brain Freeze coupon, along with the majority of the other movie goers--the place was mobbed.
"For pennies on the dollar, [Brain Freeze] had a great night," Denis said. "That's the goal of the Chamber--creative thinking to promote your business in the community."
To become a Chamber member, or to visit their site, click here.
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