July 2016 Newsletter
A Word from the Director
Summer is now in full swing! I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating Independence Day and appreciating the wonderful country where we live and do business!  This month we are looking forward to the Chamber Garden Tour & Tea on Saturday, July 16 and also look forward to our upcoming Farm Tour on August 21!  We are experimenting with a new newsletter format to simplify the viewing of our newsletter information on mobile devices, so please let us know what you think!

Here's to a fun and prosperous July!

Erik Volk
Executive Director
(802) 518-0030 
Garden Tour This Saturday

Don't forget to join us for our Annual Garden Tour & Tea this Saturday, July 16 from 11-3:30.  Pick up tickets, maps, coupons and information at the Fairlee Town Common starting at 10:45.  Then, join us for an Afternoon Tea after the tour from 1-3 at Ariana's Restaurant!
Upcoming Events

The following are some key upcoming events in our region. Details about all of the events listed below can be found at the bottom of our WEB page at www.cohase.org

A full comprehe nsive calendar of many area events can be found on our calendar at the link at the bottom of this section.  If you have not visited our WEB page or calendar recently, please take a fresh look!  Also, please be sure to let us know if you would like any events added to the calendar!

  • Dead to the Last Drop (July 8-17)
  • Cohase Garden Tour & Tea (July 16)
  • Bradford Fair (July 14-17)
  • North Haverhill Fair (July 27-31)
  • Newbury Open Studios (July 30)
  • Hunter Paye Concert (July 31)
  • Annual Orford Flea Market (August 6-7)
  • West Newbury Summer Festival (August 13)
  • Cohase Farm Tour (August 21)
  • The UnCommon Jam (August 28)

View the full Chamber Calendar
New Member Programs

In our continued effort to provide member benefits and to promote our member businesses, we have two programs we are hoping to implement if there is enough member interest.  If either of these programs interest you, please let us know!

  • Cohase Passport Program - A program where community members, tourists, etc. visit area member businesses and receive a stamp on their "passport."  Completed passports are entered into a drawing for cash and other prizes.  This program is designed to increase traffic to and familiarity with retail and service businesses.
  • Just Between Members Discount Program - A program where Chamber members can offer limited time discounts to other member businesses.  This program is designed to increase busines-to-business activity between Chamber members.

Click here for more information on the Just Between Members program

Gary Goodwin
Member Moment

This month we were pleased to speak with Gary Goodwin of the Hyrdo and Aquatic Therapy Studio, (HATS) Inc. project based in Woodsville, NH. 

This Aquatic Fitness and Wellness Center, once constructed, will serve not only patients with post-operative needs, but will also host weight loss classes, prenatal classes, infant rescue, conditioning therapy for ailments such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's, and Scoliosis, and conditioning and toning for all ages. In future phases, the facility will also provide aquatic facilities for community and educational use as well as other amenities such as a rock climbing wall and land-based fitness resources. For more information, please visit www.hydroaquaticcenter.org. Send letters of support to Gary Goodwin, c/o HATS, Inc., 11 Pine Street, Woodsville, NH 03785.

How did you start this project?
It came about around six years ago. I was training people and seeing the need for aquatics. I knew a little but started learning more and more about aquatics and athletic training. There has been a lot of research done on aquatics and all of the sudden the medical community is opening their eyes and seeing that it is something valuable that is really helping. I thought it would also be good to have the schools involved in the project as well as providing a community pool for the community. So I thought why not set it up like a shopping mall? You will have all these amenities but they are completely separate from one another. They each will have their own area and won't have to mingle. You won't be mixing senior citizens and kids in the same bathrooms and locker rooms. 
How can your fellow businesses help if they want to support the project?
Letters of support will help a lot. Some of the grants that we're doing require letters of support from the community. Having those letters available will give us the opportunity to provide samples to the funding sources when needed. We have already gotten people who said they will support this. For example, we have a great letter of support from Maria Ryan, CEO of Cottage Hospital which says that this is something that could be very helpful to the area. We also have a Letter of Support from Little Rivers Health Care as well as other individuals and businesses.
An example of such grants is one we just received for $16,000 for a feasibility study from a private foundation. The foundation is Dextra Baldwin McGonagle Foundation, Inc. which is based in New York. We are also now working with the North County Council to put together the study and follow their recommendations along with Grafton County Economic Development.

How would this project affect the local economy and the local community?
The most important thing about the project is Phase 1, the clinical aspect of it. We have the opportunity to create something that you're not going to find in this area within a good 100 mile radius.
Artist rendering of proposed center.

It gives us the ability to service people within a 50 mile radius and creates a destination which attracts people to our area. We did the demographics of a 50-mile radius of P&H Truck Stop. This gives you a population of almost 360,000 people and 12% of that population is over 70. Within that population, there are a lot of people going through physical therapy for joint replacements, for different types of surgeries and for different types of diseases.
The facility will attract lots of people to our local area who will shop, eat and stay in our communities. We would partner with lodging and restaurants as well as other businesses. I have already been connecting with certain growing businesses who are interested. Along with our feasibility study, we are doing an economic impact study to see what money the project will bring to the area.   We will be putting a full land-based fitness facility on the second floor and somebody will be able lease that. There is also going to be the opportunity for someone to run a cafĂ© and also a boutique at the facility. It is going to employ quite a few people. Right now, it looks like it will employ 25 people full time.

Where are you looking to locate the facility?
We are hoping for the elementary school in Woodsville, if that site becomes available, which is approximately 7.5 acres. However, we are always keeping our eyes out for other locations. Woodsville is a very strategic area. You are right off the interstate and it is very visible. Another location might be above Cottage Hospital on Swiftwater Road. Whether we can do anything or not up there, I'm not sure.

Are there any other facilities like this around? Has this been tried previously in our region?
There was an aquatic center planned in Newport which didn't quite work. My thought right in the beginning was that a for-profit business (such as was planned in Newport) would not work. Most of these aquatic centers are non-profit and they have a specific purpose which means they would be able to look for a benefactor, someone who is passionate about aquatics. Once the project gets going, it also opens up funding from foundations like the Michael J. Fox Foundation and other larger funding sources. There are a lot of aquatic therapy and rehabilitation facilities around the country and New England but this model is unique and can be put into rural areas. I don't think you are going to find anything like it anywhere else.
Ask The Chamber

Q.  I have a business in Vermont and have been approached by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce for membership.  Are they affiliated with our Chamber?  Are there other Chambers of Commerce in our region?  Do they all work together?

A. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce, based in Barre/Berlin, is a statewide Chamber of Commerce which generally works at a statewide level to promote business, grow the Vermont economy and sponsor regional events to increase tourism and interest in the state.  The Vermont Chamber of Commerce has members statewide and employs lobbyists to lobby on behalf of Vermont businesses and the issues important to them.  In New Hampshire, the Business and Industry Association (BIA), based in Concord, NH serves a similar purpose and acts as the statewide Chamber of Commerce for New Hampshire.  Although we do not have a formal working relationship with either organization, we do work together with both organizations when appropriate and beneficial.  Unlike the statewide Chambers, we do not engage in lobbying efforts.  Our region and membership base does cross paths with the Upper Valley Chamber of Commerce and to a lesser extent, the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce and the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce.  The Upper Valley Chamber of Commerce has not been very active in recent years and covers a broader area that stretches well beyond our region. The Cohase Chamber is specifically focused on our six member towns and surrounding areas involved with our target towns.  Our cross-over with the other two Chambers affects only a handful of members who are physically located within the region of the other Chambers but whose main business is conducted primarily within our region.  We regularly keep in touch with all area Chambers as well as the statewide Chambers through our participation in the Vermont Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the New Hampshire Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Member Updates
  • T he Craig Hervey  Housewright Construction , Team "Wild Women" rode in the Prouty bike race again on Saturday, July 9th.  Team Wild Women has successfully raised money for the Friends of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center for the last seven years. The fundraising benefits the Prouty Pilot Project grants for research, nursing education, which keeps the Norris Cotton Cancer Center nurses abreast of best practices; and the all-important patient support services, which ease the financial & emotional burdens of cancer patients and their families.
  • Little Rivers Health Care is looking for new Board Members.  If you are interested in becoming part of their Board and working to make health care even better in our member communities, please contact communications@littlerivers.org or call (802) 222-4637 ext. 101.
  • We are sad to report several recent deaths with ties to our Chamber businesses.  Dr. James Barton the founder of Barton Street Dental in Bradford, Vermont passed away on June 28.  Freeman Robie, son of Lee & Betty Sue Robie of Robie Farms in Piermont, NH passed away on July 5. Duane Hobbs, father of past Chamber Board member Jon Hobbs, passed away on July 8.  Our prayers and thoughts go out to the families and friends of all
  • Shiloh's Restaurant in Woodsville, NH wil be holding a Paint Nite on August 10.  Drink, hangout with your friends and paint. Artists guide you the creation of a masterpiece, step by step.  Use SHILOHS20 when buying your tickets and receive $20 off.  Click here to register http://paintnite.com/pages/events/view/portsmouth/1097817.
  • Huberts Family Outfitters in Woodsville, NH won 1st Place in the Decorated Business Contest for the at the Woodsville/Wells River 4th of July Parade for their window display featuring the Statue of Liberty.
  • The Happy Hour Restaurant in Wells River, VT is looking for a dishwasher and a salad prep person who are willing to work nights and weekends.  Interested candidates can stop by the restaurant to fill out an application.
  • River Meadow Campground in North Haverhill, NH recently held a "Christmas in July."  Kids made crafts at Santa's Workshop, visited with Santa, received presents and then went on a hayride around the campground.  Later in the evening, the wagon picked up folks around the campground to view the Christmas light display!
  • Court Street Arts in Haverhill Corner, NH is now holding free Friday movie nights starting July 15.  Showtime is 6:30 and the cafe is open from 5:30-8:00 PM.  Movies include Beetlejuice (July15), Backt o the Future (July 22), Happy Feet (July 29), Goonies (Aug 5), Mama Mia (Aug 12), Top Gun (Aug 19) and Harold and Maude (Aug 26.)  Visit www.courtstreetarts.org for more information!
Cohase Chamber of Commerce |802.518.0030 | cohasechamber@gmail.com| www.cohase.org