Cohase Chamber of Commerce Newsletter
Where the River Unites
 Our Communities
April 2016
In This Issue
Upcoming Events





April 18
3rd Monday Game Night
5:30 PM
Colatina Exit
Bradford, VT
 
April 23 & 24
Dead to the Last Drop
Auditions
2:00 PM
Old Church Theater
Bradford, VT

April 30
Justin McKinney Performance
7:30-9:00 PM
Alumni Hall
Haverhill Corner, NH

April 30
North Country Chorus
Spring Concert
7:30 - 9:00 PM
Bradford Cong. Church
Bradford, VT

May 2
BCC First Monday Movie
6:30 PM
Colatina Exit
Bradford, VT

May 11
Business Breakfast
7:45 AM
Colatina Exit
Bradford, VT 
RSVP required 

May 14
Raptor Con
9:00 AM 
Rivendell Academy
Orford, NH
 
May 15
North Country Chamber Players
4:00 PM-6:00 PM
Alumni Hall
Haverhill Corner, NH 

May 22
Cohase Young Professionals 
Potluck Meeting
5:00 - 7:00 PM
Alumni Hall
Haverhill Corner, NH
mepriestley@gmail.com
802-222-1909 

May 22
Paddle the Border
10:00 AM
Woodsville Community Field
Woodsville, NH 

May 25
The Secret Garden
Auditions
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Old Church Theater
Bradford, VT
 

May 29
The Secret Garden
Auditions
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Old Church Theater
Bradford, VT 

June 5
BCC Race to the Top
of Bradford
8:30 AM
Wright's Mountain
Chase Hollow
Bradford, VT
rickevans111@yahoo.com
802-439-3559
 
For more info or details about upcoming events, please visit our WEB site at www.cohase.org
:: 802-518-0030
Dear Members:
  
Spring is finally here!  We're starting to see temperatures rise and flowers and trees start to bloom.  In this time of awakening, we are excited to start to see more and more events scheduled in our region, both Chamber-sponsored and sponsored by other community organizations and individuals.  It is certainly an exciting time! Our beautiful region will once again come alive and we will all have the opportunity to not only renew our relationships with our friends and neighbors but also welcome back seasonal residents and help our area visitors explore our beautiful region.

In the coming months, we have several events planned including our Business Breakfast scheduled for May 11 at the Colatina Exit in Bradford.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to see and hear what is going on in your community and network with other members all over a delicious breakfast hosted by the Colatina Exit. As space will be limited, you will definitely want to RSVP.  We will be sending out a separate notification/invitation in the coming weeks but please let us know if you plan to attend.

Also, coming up in May is Paddle The Border.  This is always a fun event! The Chamber will be hosting a booth at the take-out point.  We would love to have coupons, brochures or other information from your business at our booth to share with participants.  In addition, we would love to have some businesses also sponsor information booths. You cannot sell products at this event but can provide product/service information, perform demonstrations, etc.  If you are interested in either having your own booth or having literature from your business distributed at our booth, please let me know!

Please be sure to check out our revamped WEB site at www.cohase.org.   We have tried to add some graphical interest to make it more appealing to visitors.  Also, please let us know if there is anything you would like updated on your Directory listing.   We are happy to make modifications. Just contact us and let us know!!

Best wishes for a colorful and profitable Spring!


Sincerely,
 

 

Erik Volk
Executive Director
cohasechamber@gmail.com
(802) 518-0030

  
Member Moment
This  column is devoted to learning more about our member businesses.  We ask the business five questions.  Questions will vary by month.

Heidi Pittman
T his month we were pleased to speak with
Heidi Pittman of Topsham Communications in East Corinth, VT. Topsham Communications provides Internet, phone and digital television services to parts of Fairlee, West Fairlee, Bradford, and Orford.  You can contact Heidi at (802) 439-5235, email her at heidip@tops-tele.com or stop by their offices at 113 Fairground Road in East Corinth, VT.

Q. Topsham Communications is not actually located in Topsham.  Was the company originally located in Topsham?  What's the Topsham connection?

A. Topsham Communication is a division of Topsham Telephone which is where the name comes from.  Topsham Telephone originally started in 1899 to establish a link between two isolated farmhouses Topsham, VT which is where the name originated.  Topsham Telephone continues to serve Topsham as well as other surrounding towns.  Topsham Communications adopted the parent company name although it is not located in Topsham and does not provide services in Topsham.  Topsham Telephone is currently owned by Citizen's Telephone Company of Hammond, NY.

Q.  What differentiates your services from other communication providers?

A. We offer not only VOIP (voice over IP) telephone services but also high speed Internet and digital TV.  We expanded from the traditional copper lines that serve many towns in the area and brought fiber optic lines directly to peoples' homes.  We offer speeds up to 20 megabits per second.  We also own our own satellite dishes allowing us to provide a quality digital television product through the same fiber optic connections that provide Internet and phone service.  Our fiber optic connections are a very steady and dependable product.  We really have not had too many outages.  I don't think there is anyone else in the area providing fiber optics to the home.  

Q.  Customer service is important to all clients.  Can you tell me a little bit about your customer service support?
A. Topsham Communications is committed to putting the customer first and because we are local, we know a lot of our customers.  We have really good customer service.  A lot of us get calls at home or are stopped when we are out and about.  We will also come in at a different time if a customer needs us to do that.  We have a lot of customers that come into the office even though they can mail us their payments, just to visit.  We also have customers who come in with technology questions and although that is not really part of our service, we always go above and beyond to help them if we are able.  One gentleman recently came in and needed help with his tablet.  Another customer recently came in for assistance in getting email on her cell phone.  It makes us happy to be able to help our customers however we can.  It is nice for them to put a face to a name.  We always think "how would I like to be served?"

Q.  What is one of your company's biggest challenges?

A.  It is really hard for us when we have to raise prices but often it is beyond our control.  Recently, we had to raise some of our digital television product prices.  We know the increase hurt our customers and we know that people don't have a lot of money to spend.  However, the increase was necessary to cover our costs and we have to pass along the costs from the channel providers. You hate to do it but you have to.  For example, local channels cost quite a bit and their costs used to be minimal. 

Q.  Can you tell us about your staff?

A.  Don Ceresoli is our General Manager and is based out of our home office in Hammond, NY.   We have 5 1/2 employees in our office here.  We have two technicians (Chris Davis and Justin Martin) and are currently searching for a third.  Dianna Hayward and Dona Welch provide Customer Service.  Sharon Darling is our Office Manager and I handle Marketing as well as Customer Service.

Ask The Chamber

Q.   Does the Chamber offer any member discounts to area businesses, services, etc. if you are a member?

A.
Although some Chambers do offer discount programs, we do not have such a program in place.  With that being said, if there is interest, we are certainly willing to consider starting such a program.  In the absence of an official discount program, if there are any businesses who would like to offer discounts to other member businesses and/or their families, we are certainly happy to pass that information along in our newsletter, through our social media network and/or through a specific targeted message to our members.

Although not an official "discount program," if you are a business who uses Constant Contact e-mail marketing software, Constant Contact will give you a 20-25% discount on their services if you let them know you are a Chamber member.  Even if you currently use their services and did not receive a discount, you will likely still be eligible to receive the discount if you let them know you are a member.

For Vermont businesses, we do also offer discounted Dental and Vision insurance through our partnership with VACE Plus, a benefit product associated with the Vermont Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (VACCE.) You can visit their WEB site at www.vaceinsurance.com or call them at (802) 229-2231 for more information and for current rates.  Be sure to tell them you are a member of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce.

We are always actively searching out new member benefits and discounts.  We have spoken with a number of organizations about possible benefits/discounts but before offering them to our members, we want to be sure they are valuable, appropriate and have proven successful with other Chambers.
Welcome To Our Newest Members!
 
We are very fortunate to, as of this date, have 137 member businesses throughout Haverhill, Piermont, Orford, Newbury, Bradford, Fairlee and other towns both inside and outside of our region.

We are also honored to have had seventeen former members re-join our Chamber this year.  In addition, we are lucky to have had nine brand new members (and counting) join for 2016.

Below are our newest member businesses who have joined us for Membership Year 2016.  Please welcome them and stop by their businesses or organizations to say hello!  As always, please let us know if there is a business you are familiar with who may be interested in joining!

A very warm welcome to the following business who newly joined us for our 2016 Membership year!

Gary's Fitness and Wellness Studio
Gary Goodwin
4628 Main Street
Newbury, Vermont
(802) 243-0100

Central Freeze
Sheila Brill
91 Central Street
Woodsville, NH
(603) 243-0343

Always Fit Athletic Club
David Robinson
181 Central Street
Woodsville, NH
(603) 747-8006

The Aloha Foundation
Laura Gillespie
2968 Lake Morey Road
Fairlee, VT
(802) 333-3400

Salon 83
Jenn Dalton
29 Central Street
Woodsville, NH
(603) 747-3883

GF Venture Group/Woodsville Storage
Linda Fusco
4793 Dartmouth College Highway
Woodsville, NH
(603) 243-0077

Red Kite Candy
Mike McCabe
226B Industrial Drive
Bradford, VT
(802) 449-3400

Hydro and Aquatic Therapy Studio, Inc
Gary Goodwin
11 Pine Street
Woodsville, NH

Newbury Family Counseling Services
Renee L. Schulze, MSW, LICSW, BCD
4628 Main Street (2nd Floor)
Newbury, VT
(802) 299-7654


Member Updates
  • Newbury Health Clinic will be offering a CPR training class on May 24th at 6 PM and also a First Aid Basic Skills class on June 1st at 6PM. Both classes cost $25.  Call 802-866-3000 to sign up.
  • Newbury Village Store is hiring front end help.  Position is 15-20 daytime hours per week.  Give Dave a call at 802-866-5681 if you or someone you know is interested!
  • Valley Floors in Bradford is seeking experienced sub-contractors or full time in-house Floor Installers.  The in house position would be a full time position with benefits.  They are also seeking a Flooring Installer Apprentice which is also a full time position with benefits.
  • Copeland Furniture in Bradford has revamped their WEB site.  The new interactive WEB site now offers in-depth, high resolution views of their entire product line and a new navigation layout that makes finding the categories and products you are looking for quick and easy.  Check it out at www.copelandfurniture.com
  • Cottage Hospital in Woodsville recently announced the opening of their Center for Orthopedic Excellence.  Appointments are now being booked.  Call 603-747-9205 to make an appointment or for more information.
  • Aldrich General Store in North Haverhill will soon be offering fresh fish from the renowned Steve Connolly Seafood Company in Gloucester, MA.  Owner Phil Tucker expects the initial order to include salmon fillets, haddock fillets, skinless cod fillets, sea scallops and oysters.  The fish are caught and shipped overnight.  An excellent resource for fresh fish and seafood in the North Country where fresh seafood can be difficult to obtain.
  • Copies and More in Wells River is offering a great deal on 24" x 36" posters.  Have a poster printed for just $5.99.  That is a $10 savings!  Think about yard sales, graduation, birthdays, picnic, family reunions, etc.  Contact them at 802-757-8105 for more info.
  • Congratulations to Sandy Titus of Wells River Savings Bank in Newbury, Vermont for 30 years of banking service to our area!
  • Wells River Chevrolet has announced "supplier" pricing for all active, retired or former military personnel in recognition of their service to our country.  Supplier pricing starts below dealer invoice and other rebates may also supply.  
  • Merry Meadow Farm in Bradford would like to remind folks that May is Mental Health Month as they join the National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) to bring awareness to mental health issues, fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and fight for equal care.  Visit www.nami.org/mhm-hb for more information on current programs, events and information.
  • The North Haverhill Fair Association wants to remind folks that vehicle storage removal at the Fairgrounds will be the last Saturday, April 30 at 9 AM.  Plans are being finalized for what is sure to be a great fair!  One of the biggest single events for this year will be the Saturday night concert which will feature Hotel California, the renowned Eagles tribute band who has been paying tribute to the Eagles music since the 1980's, has performed all over the US as well as many performances world-wide.