December 2018 Newsletter
The holiday season is upon us and we at the Cohase Chamber of Commerce wish you and your family a wonderful and enjoyable holiday season. Many exciting things have been brewing at the Chamber and we are in the midst of planning for 2019. We are excited to continue to grow and expand our Chamber and are excited to report that we ended our year with 173 members which is our largest membership count since 2013! Although our Chamber operates with only one part-time staff member (15 hours/week,) our impact has been significant. We can end our year proudly knowing that with the support of our Chamber Board and our membership, we have had a significant impact on our region and our business community. Best wishes for a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!


Erik Volk
Executive Director
In This Issue

  • Upcoming Events Listing
  • Business of the Year and Citizen of The Year Winners Announced
  • QuickBooks Workshop Scheduled For January 24
  • January Business After Hours Event
  • Member Moment - Appaloosa Home Inspection, LLC.  
  • Recent Chamber Events (Economic Summit, Tax Workshop, Giving Fair, Margaret Pratt Community Ribbon Cutting)
  • Cohase Cash Contest Closing This Month
  • Vermont Telecommunications Plan Public Feedback Requested
Upcoming Events
Don't let anyone tell you there is nothing going on in our region! So many events and activities! Only some are listed below!

Please visit our WEB page at for more details on any of these events and a listing of other events in our area.

December 16 - January 1 - Upper Valley Coffee Roasters Open Studio, UVCR, Newbury, VT
December 20 - Annual Dinner & Talent Show, Woodsville High School, Woodsville, NH
December 22 - Streeter Woods Farm Winter Wagon Rides, Streeter Woods Farm, Orford, NH
December 22 - Room 111's Ugly Sweater Party, Room 111 @ Victory Lanes, Woodsville, NH
December 27 - Tabletop Game Day, The Space on Main, Bradford, VT
December 27 - Will Gardner, Peyton Place, Orford, NH
December 29 - Streeter Woods Farm Winter Wagon Rides, Streeter Woods Farm, Orford, NH
December 31 - Knight of Queens New Years Party, Court Street Arts, Haverhill, NH
December 31 - Lake Morey New Years Eve Party, Lake Morey Resort,Fairlee, VT
January 12 - The Biggest Raffle Ever, Court Street Arts, Haverhill, NH
January 17 - Business After Hours, Gather Together Cafe, Woodsville, NH
January 20 - UVTA Skate-A-Thon, Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT
January 22 - Cohase Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, Court Street Arts, Haverhill, NH
January 24 - QuickBooks Workshops, The Space on Main, Bradford, VT
January 24 - Ski Dance Weekend, Hulbert Outdoor Center, Fairlee, VT
Chamber Announces Business and Citizen of the Year
The Cohase Chamber is pleased to announce that Copeland Furniture of Bradford, VT has been selected as Business of the Year this year and Monique Priestley also of Bradford, VT has been selected as Citizen of the Year! Both award recipients have made a significant impact on our area communities and we are so excited to recognize them!

It was a very difficult decision for our Nominating Committee as we had a record number of nominations for both awards and so many worthy recipients to choose from. We appreciate everyone who took the time to nominate an individual or business and encourage you to resubmit your nominations for next year's award.

Copeland Furniture , in addition to being one of our area's largest employers bringing millions of dollars into our regional economies, is also a consistent and reliable community supporter. They have been a key contributor to the Bradford Academy Restoration Project and created the Town of Bradford's Veterans' Honor Roll Board that is on display at the Bradford Academy Auditorium. They actively support many area organizations including The Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley, the Bradford Public Library, the Bradford Business Association as well as a variety of other organizations and fundraisers throughout our region. Copeland also built the mini-libraries that are installed in different locations around downtown Bradford. Copeland has also been a leader in commitment to the environment including the introduction of the "Essentials Collection" using excess wood from production of their other furniture lines, implementation of a 3-acre solar array to power approximately 60% of the company's electric load and converted to wood heat using manufacturing waste as a fuel source instead of fossil fuels.

Monique Priestley who most recently has received local, regional and national recognition for her spearheading of The Space on Main in Bradford, Vermont has been a community leader and advocate for most of her adult life and is a stalwart in all of the communities within our region and well beyond. In addition to leading The Space on Main, she is also President of the Cohase Rotary Club and has reinvigorated that organization with new enthusiasm, membership and initiatives. She also serves in various capacities (often in a leadership or Board Member role) for various organizations including the Cohase Chamber of Commerce (Secretary), Bradford Recreation Board, Bradford Conservation Commission (Vice-Chair), Bradford Business Association, Vermont Citizen Council, Bradford Board of Civil Authority, Bradford Public Library (Trustee), Bradford Public Safety Commission (Secretary), Green Mountain Gamers, Vermont Council on Rural Development , Global Campuses Foundation, Little Rivers Health Care, Bradford Business Associates, River Bend Career & Technical Center, Bradford Planning Commission, Bradford Young Makers Club and the Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley. In addition to all that, Monique also works full time and runs her own technology/design business!

We hope you will join us for these award presentations at the Cohase Chamber Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at Court Street Arts in Haverhill, NH.

Tickets are $25 and include dinner! Click button below to RSVP.
Learn More About QuickBooks!
Join the Cohase Chamber for valuable training sessions on QuickBooks, the accounting software used by most small and medium size businesses. These sessions will be presented by Community Capital of Vermont and are a great way to learn what QuickBooks is all about or advance your QuickBooks skills! No computer is required and Community Capital will provide a portable classroom complete with laptops and all required software. You can attend one or both sessions but space is limited so be sure to RSVP as soon as possible to secure your slot.

Classes are FREE for Chamber members. For non-members, cost is $20 per session. Classes will be held at The Space on Main at 174 Main Street in Bradford, Vermont.

The sessions are as follows:

Session 1:  Introduction to QuickBooks, 8:45 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.

The morning session is for participants new to QuickBooks accounting software, and we will cover:

  • The Chart of Accounts;
  • Creating Customers, Invoices, and Receiving Payments;
  • Creating Vendors, Entering Bills, Making Payments, and Printing Checks;
  • The Check Register; and
  • …….lots more tips and tricks helpful to know as you learn your way around QuickBooks.

Session 2:  Reconciliation, Taxes, and Reports, 1:30 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.

The afternoon session is for participants who attended the morning session, or already have some experience with QuickBooks. In this workshop, we cover:

  • Reconciling Your Bank Statement with QuickBooks;
  • Taxes: Sales, Use, and Rooms & Meals;
  • Running Reports;
  • Basics for Reading Your Financials.

You are welcome to enroll in either, or both, of the above sessions. Participants receive a comprehensive QuickBooks user manual, and space is available on a first come, first served basis.

To register, click the Register Now button below.

Sponsored by: 
Member Moment - Appaloosa Home Inspection, LLC
This month we were pleased to speak with Calvin Altland of Appaloosa Home Inspection, LLC. Appaloosa Home Inspection is based in Topsham, Vermont and provides quality home inspection services to both home buyers and sellers including radon and water tests. Calvin can be reached by phone at (802) 439-6071 or by email at

How did you become interested in the Home Inspection business?
I am also a real estate agent and have spent a lot of time working with and watching home inspectors. I always found it so interesting and my wife said “You should be doing that!” So, I started the training in February of 2016 and got my license at the end of 2016. It took a while but I got both my Vermont and New Hampshire licenses. There are quite a few hoops to jump through and New Hampshire and Vermont do not recognize the same testing facility so I had to take two separate tests. I still work as a real estate agent also and also work during the day for a heating company. I currently am operating the home inspection business on a part-time basis but eventually, it will be a full-time venture.

Does being a real estate agent give you an advantage in the home inspection business?  
Yes. One of the advantages is that I have access to the MLS and all the listing information for the property. I can use that as my pre-check list to see what’s there, what I’ll be walking into and can give the customer a good idea of what the price for a home inspection is going to cost. If it is a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), I don’t necessarily know what I am dealing with in advance but for many properties the MLS gives me a distinct advantage. In addition, being a real estate agent as well as a home inspector, I have well established relationships with real estate agents from various agencies. I have not yet come across any other home inspectors who are also real estate agents. My experience in the heating industry also helps because I not only have expertise with furnaces, water heaters, etc., but I can also get the make, model and serial number of those items and look up when it was manufactured so we know the exact age.

What do you like most about being a Home Inspector?
I just really enjoy doing the inspections. You get to see a lot of interesting houses. The oldest house I inspected thus far was 212 years old. The foundation was old fieldstone and granite blocks which was really neat. It was all lathe and plaster but although the walls were over 200 years old, you would think they were just done recently. It was just smooth, straight and with no flaws. You see a lot of great old houses but you also, of course, see those that have been neglected. Another thing I like about the service is that I am taking care of people. I want to do the best I can, treat people equally and provide the best service to the best of my ability. People will often ask if they can tag along during my inspection and ask questions. I say, “Of course!” I am not sure if other home inspectors do that but I welcome it. Sometimes it makes the inspection take a little longer, but that is fine with me! The average home inspection is 3 hours for 2000 square feet or less. Smaller houses can take less time. However, compiling the report can take another 4 to 8 hours.

Why do you think home inspections are so important? Are they really needed?
Some people think they are a waste of money but a good inspection can save you money. It could save you from making a big mistake when purchasing a home and can provide you with valuable information to assist you in making your decision. A year down the road you could find something that could be very expensive to fix that could have been identified during an inspection. For the buyer, the inspection is not a pass or fail but is a chance for me to point out things that could be fixed or need to be fixed. An inspection covers everything from the chimney to the basement. Some issues could also be important safety concerns. Normally, I will point these out to the listing and/or selling agent before the report is completed so they can get the issue resolved before someone gets hurt. For the buyer, an inspection can highlight things that can be used in negotiating the price. For a seller, an inspection can identify things that the buyer’s inspector will find. If those things are not addressed, they will most likely show up in the report and the buyer will more than likely ask you to fix them anyway.

What are some of the most memorable things you have found in an inspection and/or what are some of the most common issue you discover?
Some of the most unusual things I have encountered involve wells. In one house, the well was accessed from the basement. There was a doorway and if you opened it and walked in, you could have fallen right in. It was an open well with no lip. In another house, the well was accessed by pulling a panel open in a cupboard near the sink. That part of the house, which included the kitchen, was added on and they built it right over the top of the well. Some of the more common issues involve electrical outlets and the electrical system. Some houses still have nob and tube wiring. I advise those folks that there is no grounding of the electricity and they should not leave electronics plugged in or they could be damaged. Incorrectly wired electrical outlets are also a common issue such as outlets wired “backwards” with reverse polarity issues. I have a tester that I use to test the outlets and assure they are functioning properly and provide that information to the customer. I have also seen houses that have hot water baseboard heat with pipes that run right over the circuit breaker box. If there is a leak or if the pipe freezes, the water could come right out on the box.
Recent Chamber Events
Tax Reform Workshop
16 participants joined us for our Tax Reform workshop on Tuesday, November 13 to learn about how the Tax Cuts and Job Act legislation along with other changes to Federal tax law would affect business and personal taxes this upcoming tax season. The workshop was facilitated by Christopher Driscoll, CPA and Michael Hackett CPA of Gallagher, Flynn & Company LLP. The workshop was held at The Space on Main in Bradford, Vermont and was FREE for Chamber members and $10 for non-members. Thanks to Wells River Chevrolet and Gallagher, Flynn & Company LLP for sponsoring this event!

The Giving Fair
The Cohase Chamber of Commerce was pleased to participate in the The Giving Fair on December 8, 2018 at Oxbow High School along with over 30 other non-profit organizations. The Cohase Chamber booth attracted over 80 attendees and was extremely successful in increasing Chamber exposure to area residents as well as business owners. The Chamber raffled off a $50 prize to be used at a business of the winner's choosing. Our winner was Mike Beck of Bradford who won a $50 gift card for Bliss Village Store.

Economic Summit

This year Cohase Regional Economic Summit took place on Monday, December 3, 2018 at River Bend Career & Technical Center in Bradford, Vermont. A cross-section of community, business, educational and legislative leaders from throughout our region participated. The focus of this year's event was Workforce Development and our discussions focused on identifying what the largest workforce-related challenges and potential solutions were. Some of the issues identified by attendees are listed below. Not all attendees necessarily agreed with all identified issues.

  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • "Work Ethic" and "View of Work" For Young Workers
  • Aging Out of Our Workforce in Certain Occipations
  • Lack of "Hand Work" in Education
  • Community Integration and Belonging for Younger Workers and Applicants
  • Community Integration Challenges for Self-Employed/Remotely Employed Workers
  • Youth Exodus
  • Possible Disconnects with Guidance Counselors
  • Teaching To Standardized Tests
  • Continual Declines in Family Size
  • Population Decline
  • Lack of Diversity of Jobs/Industries in Our Region

To read more about the issues identified during the forum and possible solutions, please click here .

If you would like to be involved in working towards addressing some of these issues or implementing one of the solutions, please email us at or call us at (802) 518-0030.

The Summit was made possible with the generous support of our sponsors including Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank, WYKR, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, M-Power Fitness For Women and Wells River Savings Bank.
Margaret Pratt Community
Ribbon Cutting

Representatives of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce were thrilled to be present at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Margaret Pratt Community in Bradford, Vermont on Thursday, December 13th. The Chamber presented the facility with six holiday wreaths to help them welcome their new residents, courtesy of Piermont Plant Pantry in Piermont, NH. A large crowd of supporters were present to celebrate this new and much needed resource for our region.
Business After Hours At Gather Together Cafe on Jan 17
Join us for what is sure to be a fun and festive time at our next Business After Hours event on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at the Gather Together Cafe at 2 Pine Street in Woodsville, NH. This is an excellent time to network with other area business owners, enjoy some great food and drink and familiarize yourself with one of our newest cafes in the area! Owner Erin Atkinson as well as the Chamber Board look forward to welcoming you. The festivities will start at 5:15 PM and although official RSVPs are not required, we would love it if you would email us at to let us know if you plan on attending! Hope to see you there!
Don't Forget Current Cohase Cash Contest Ends on Dec 29th!
Don't forget to remind your customers (and your employees!) that they can use their receipts or other proofs of purchases from member businesses to enter our Cohase Cash contest and win $100! The winners will select one or more businesses to redeem their winnings at and the Chamber will supply them with gift cards or account credits. Participants can enter as many times as they like as long as each entry is from a different member business. Entries must be submitted by December 29th and the winner will be drawn on Saturday, January 5, 2019. Receipts will be accepted for transactions that occurred anytime between November 8, 2018 and December 29, 2018. Transactions that occurred on Black Friday (November 23) and Small Business Saturday (November 24) will count as double entries. Receipts or any other proof of purchase is valid as long as it shows the business name, transaction date and amount. ATM or bank receipts from member banks can also be used as entries.

For more information about the contest, click here.
Vermont Telecommunications Plan Seeks Public Feedback
Representatives of the Cohase Chamber of Commerce recently attended a public hearing dedicated to public feedback on the Vermont Telecommunications Plan Final Daft as compiled by the Vermont Department of Public Service. The plans seeks, among other things, to improve high speed internet access and cell service to all Vermonters. The report contains lots of interesting data regarding internet and cell phone access in the region as well as recommendations as to how to proceed towards universal coverage. Public feedback is welcomed through January 15, 2019.

To view the report, click here .