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


Please note details about all events can be found in our Calendar of Events at our WEB site
www.cohase.org

 
June 18-19
Relay for Life of North County
3:00 PM - 7:00 AM
Lancaster Fairgrounds
Lancaster, NH

July 2
Fairlee Forest Festival
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Village Center
Fairlee, VT
www.fairleeforest.org

July 4
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Woodsville/Wells River
Fourth of July Celebration
Woodsville, NH
(603) 747-2878

July 4
11:00 AM
Fairlee/Orford
Fourth of July Celebration
Fairlee VT/Orford NH

July 8- 17
Dead to the Last Drop
Old Church Theater
Bradford, VT
www.oldchurchtheater.org

July 16
Cohase Chamber
Garden Tour & Tea
11:00 AM - 3:30 PM
cohasechamber@gmail.com
 
July 27-31
North Haverhill Fair
Fairgrounds
North Haverhill, NH

July 30
Newbury Open Studios
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM 
Newbury, VT 
linda@redhousestudios.com
 
August 6-7
48th Annual Orford Flea Market
Orford, NH
ovfdinc@gmail.com

August 21
Cohase Chamber
Farm Tour
NH/VT
cohasechamber@gmail.com 

August 28
UnCommon Jam
2:00 PM- 7:00 PM
Newbury Vermont Common
 
For more info or details about upcoming events, please visit our WEB site at www.cohase.org
:: 802-518-0030
Dear Members:
  
Sunny days are becoming more frequent now and I hope everyone is able to enjoy the warm weather and the beautiful outdoors which make our region so special.  The Spring Paddle the Border event was a huge success although the weather forecast looked ominous.  However, the the threat of rain, thunder and gray clouds did not deter over 85 people from participating.

As the weather continues to grow warmer, we look forward to ou r Garden Tour & Tea scheduled for Saturday, July 16 and our Farm Tour scheduled for Sunday, August 21.  We are putting the finishing touches on both events and look forward to showcasing the beauty, working landscape and the creative economy of the region. So mark your calendars!

We look forward  to signing up more businesses for our upcoming Business Passport Program (September 10-October 10) and hope to launch a new member-to-member discount program tentatively titled "Just Between Members" if there is enough interest.

Please see the article about this proposed new discount program in this newsletter!

Hope to see you, your families and loved ones in the great outdoors and enjoying the beautiful Cohase region!

Sincerely,
 

 

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

  
New Program - Just Between Members
 
We have been asked by a number of members and potential members if we have a Member Discount Program that would provide an additional benefit to  membership.  Until this point, we have had to say we did not. 

However, to respond to those requests, we are considering starting a new program tentatively titled " Just Between Members."  

The "Just Between Members" Member Discount program would consist of member-to-member discounts being offered on a monthly basis to encourage member to member purchases of goods and services. Each month, one member business would be given the opportunity to provide a discount to other members to encourage others to purchase their goods or use their services.

The discount would only be valid for that calendar month and only one discount would be announced each month. A participating business could choose to participate in a future month but the offer must be different than the one previously offered.

Before we can implement this program, we would like to have at least six member businesses commit to offering a discount for a period of one month each.

Please review the additional program information below and please contact Erik Volk at cohasechamber@gmail.com or via phone at (802) 518-0030 if you would like to help launch what we believe could be a very valuable member benefit.

Q. Is just the business owner eligible or does the offer extend to the rest of their family and/or their employees?

A. The discount would be generally extended to the designated business owner(s.) However, the business owner could make the purchase for other family members or employees. If a business would like to extend the offer to employees or family members, that is their option but that will be at the discretion of the participating business.

Q. How does the participating business verify that the person is a Chamber member?

A. The participating business can validate the person's membership by visiting the Resource Guide at our WEB site. Valid participants name will appear beneath the business name on our WEB site. We would also encourage the individual redeeming the discount to bring the printed email communication announcing the discount to the business as further proof. If a business chooses to extend the offer to members' families or employees, we will not be validate those individual's eligibility. However, we don't anticipate that people will take advantage of the program. If this does become an issue, we will look into creating a membership card to minimize issues.

Q. Are there any minimum requirements for the discount that is offered?
A. There are no minimum requirements in terms of percentage off or dollar value. However, the offer must not be available to the general public during the time period and must represent a unique savings opportunity for member businesses. We encourage businesses to offer a meaningful discount to make the program successful and a true benefit to other members. In addition, the offer can be available for no longer than a month. A business can choose a shorter time period if desired, as long as it does not last longer than a month.

Q. Do I have to offer a discount to take advantage of a discount?

A. No. You do not need to offer a discount for your own business in order to take advantage of discounts through the program. Participation in the program is purely optional.

Q. Is there a fee to participate either as a business who wishes to offer a discount or for a business owner who wishes to take advantage of a discount?

A. No. This is a member benefit covered by your normal membership fee.

Q. How will the businesses offering the discount be selected?

A. The program will be offered on a first-come first-serve basis. We will keep a running tally of interested businesses and work down the list. If a business has a need to offer a discount during a specific month or specific period of time, we will do our best to accommodate that, checking first with the businesses higher up on the list.

Q. How will the discount be communicated?

A. The discount will be communicated via an email blast to all members on the 1st of the month (or as close to the first of the month as possible.) The offer will be reiterated in our newsletter and will also be listed on our WEB site. We will not broadcast the discount on social media since it will not be available to the general public.

Q. What is the benefit to me offering a discount?

A. This is a chance to expand your customer base and take advantage of our membership of approximately 150 member businesses. In addition, your business will be featured at no cost to you on our WEB site and in various communications. We anticipate this discount program will benefit not only retail member businesses but also all businesses which offer business-to-business services. In addition, by participating, it shows your commitment to the Chamber and the communities it serves.

Q. Has this program been tried at other Chambers of Commerce?

A. Yes. Discount programs are a common benefit offered to Chamber members at a significant number of Chambers across the country. However, we are designing ours slightly different than some Chambers by placing a time parameter on the offer which allows participating businesses to offer a more substantial discount, allows our discounts not to become stagnant and encourages excitement and anticipation each month as members await the discount for that month. This "limited time" discount program has been offered at other Chambers with great success.
 
Member Moment
This  column is devoted to learning more about our member businesses.  We ask the business five questions.  Questions will vary by month.

T his month we were pleased to speak with  Mary Davenport  of Wing's Market & Deli  in Fairlee, Vermont. Wing's also has a second location in East Thetford, Vermont.  Wing's Market is a full service grocery store offering grocery products, meat, produce, deli products, bakery items and Irving gasoline (at the Fairlee location. )  Mary is involved in every facet of the business so you could see her stocking shelves, at the cash register or anywhere in the store.  On the day I visited, Mary was working behind the bustling deli counter and took some time off from her busy schedule to speak with me.
Mary Davenport

Q. How did the business start and what is the origin of the name "Wing's?"
A. Wing is my father's last name.  He (Stanley Wing) started the business in 1954 at the East Thetford location.  We opened up the Fairlee location in 1964 at the other end of Fairlee beside Evans in the great big lot that used to be an apartment building.  We were at that location for 32 years.  My father retired in 1989 and I took it over in 1989.

Q.  Did you work at the business when you were a child and does your family work here today?
A. I have always been involved in the business.  One of my first jobs at the market was bagging oranges and apples when I was 10 or 11. I actually went to nursing school right out of high school and worked in geriatric nursing for eight and a half years but decided I was interested in helping my dad with the family business. My husband Don is involved in the business as is my daughter Michelle. We have about 26ish employees between our two locations.

Q. What are some of the challenges your business faces?
A. My biggest challenge is the State of Vermont and their taxing structure combined with being right on the border of tax-free New Hampshire.  I can look out the door and there's New Hampshire.  The bottle bill is also an issue.  People don't want to deal with returning bottles.  It is a nuisance to have to bring the bottles back for a five cent deposit.  They are more apt to go to buy soda and other beverages in New Hampshire so they don't have to deal with the bottle return, bottle deposit and soda tax.  There are a lot of other regulations which also make this a difficult business. Also, there have been many businesses who have left town which gives you less traffic, less exposure.

Q.  What do you like best about the business?
A. The people.  We have had many loyal and supportive customers over the years. I have really enjoyed being of service and supporting the community.  I also like to keep busy!  Taking over the business was a very good choice for me.  I have enjoyed it a lot.  

Q.  Is there anything that Wing's provides that people may not be aware of?
A. We do make pizzas to go between 2 and 6 on Fridays.  They are made to order and aren't cooked so you can take them home to bake them.  We hold produce tent sales once or twice a year and truckload meat sales in the Fall and we have a lobster truck sale twice a year at our Fairlee location.  The next one is the Saturday before Father's Day.  We also make our own salads, soups and grinders.
Ask The Chamber

Q.  My business provides marketing, advertising and promotional services to businesses in this region and beyond.  I have thought about joining the Chamber of Commerce but I am not a retail business.  Aren't Chambers of Commerce really mostly about retail businesses and increasing local buying in our village centers?  How does joining the Chamber benefit me when I don't have a storefront or a physical product to sell?

A.
Thanks for your question!  At the Cohase Chamber of Commerce, we are certainly committed to helping to protect our village centers and promote retail shopping in the area. Protecting the village centers helps make our region a desirable place to live, put down roots and start a family or a business which helps all area businesses, regardless of type. For business services companies like yours, the Chamber can be an invaluable tool to help you to meet and develop relationships with other business owners who may end up being your clients or recommending you to fellow business owners in their network.  Beyond that, the Chamber also offers educational, informational and marketing opportunities for your business. We are also contemplating starting a new business-to-business discount program as well (see related article) which could also help promote your business.

Unlike some Chambers in areas with higher tourist traffic, retail and accommodations do not represent our primary membership base.  The largest percentage of our membership (approximately 28%) offer services of varying types.  Below is a summary of the breakdown of our current membership.  Some of our members are engaged in multiple endeavors so the chart below represents their primary business designation.  The "Services" category includes services of a wide variety of types including professional services (insurance, lawyers, WEB design services, etc.) to trades services (electricians, excavators, construction, etc.) to personal services (salons, gyms, etc.) Banking, Media, Medical/Dental and Real Estate are classified separately in the list below even though they could fall under the "Services" umbrella as well which would increase that category further.  So..you would definitely be in good company if you joined and we would definitely welcome your membership and contributions to the Chamber!


 

The Clings Are Here!  The Clings are Here!
 
The new Chamber window clings have arrived!  We know the stickers can sometimes be hard to remove and the clings may be a better option for many folks.  The clings can be placed on the inside of a window facing out and are easily removable and can be quickly re-positioned.  As we continue our ongoing visits to members in the area, we will be distributing the new clings to those businesses who would like one (or more.)  Since we realize that not all our members require a new membership sticker/cling and/or may not have an appropriate place to display them, we will not be doing a mass mailing to all members with the new cling. However, if you would like one of the new clings, please let us know and we will drop one (or more) by your business or stick them in the mail to you.  As always, you can contact us via email at cohasechamber@gmail.com or via phone at (802) 518-0030.  We hope that you will display your new window cling proudly! 
 
Over 85 Paddlers at Paddle the Border!

Despite dire weather predictions, the Spring Paddle the Border was a huge success. Although we lost count of attendees, we know there were at least 85 people who participated in what turned out to be a beautiful day with only a little bit of rain!  From infants through senior citizens, every age group was represented from throughout our region and beyond.   

The Chamber hosted an information booth at the event as well and
 distributed information about the area and local

 events as well as information from area businesses.  The Dig Safe magnifying glasses provided by Topsham C ommunications were especially popular!  Delicious burgers and hot dogs were provided by the Woodsville/Wells River Rotary Club and a wonderful assortment of music was provided by the Strawberry Farm Band.

Special thanks to Michael Thomas for organizing  the event and Chamber Board Member Rich Pollock for assisting with the Chamber booth and helping passengers disembark.

In addition to the Chamber sponsoring this event, other 
organizational spons ors included the Newbury Conservation Commission, Haverhill Recreation Commission, Woodsville/Wells River Rotary Club and the Upper 
Valley Land Trust.  Special thanks to Odell Insurance, Housewright Construction and EAV Consulting for their financial support of the event as well!

To see more pictures from this hugely successful event, please click here !
Member Updates
  • Gary Goodwin of Gary's Fitness/Wellness Studio  and the Hydro/Aquatic Therapy Studio, Inc. (HATS) is seeking letters of support from area businesses in support of his efforts to create an area Aquatics Center.  The effort is expected to bring additional patrons to area businesses.  Visit  http://www.hydroaquaticcenter.org for more information and send letters of support to Gary Goodwin, HATS, 11 Pine Street, Woodsville, NH 03785.
  • The Bradford Historical Society has announced a new exhibit "Buttons, Bumper Stickers and Posters of Winners and Not" which displays political memorabilia from the last 60 years along with displays of Bradford history.  The museum is open every Friday through October from 10 to noon or by appointment.
  • The United Congregational Church of Orford is looking for a piano player willing to be paid per diem ($20) p/Sunday to play hymns and responses.  If interested, please contact Elizabeth Wilson musician1984@aol.com or call: 802-522-8868)
  • Dead River Company  really appreciates their customer feedback.  Refer Dead River to a friend or family member and you could earn a $50 credit once they open a new residential, automatic delivery central heat account.
  • Congratulations to Little Rivers Health Care  Board Secretary Connie Philleo for receiving the 2016 Bi-State Primary Care Association Award for making outstanding contributions to assuring access to health care for the vulnerable populations in Vermont and New Hampshire.  Well done!
  • ARC Mechanical in Bradford is looking for an HVAC Sales Professional.  For more information,  contact them at (802) 222-9225.
  • Windy Ridge Orchard in North Haverhill is excited to announce the opening of their newly renovated cafe.  The new space is spacious and air conditioned with the same delicious food and smiling service we are used to.  The new cafe will open on June 29.
  • Vital Communities is looking for volunteer box monitors for one of their 200+ quests scattered throughout the Upper Valley.  For more information, contact Sara Cottingham at SCottingham@VitalCommunities.org
  • Always Fit Athletic in Woodsville, NH  is offering a summer special.  Start an adult 3 month membership during the month of June for only $45/month. It's almost beach time!
  • Mace Hill Farm recently held the grand opening of their Farm Store and Saturday Farmer's Market offering locally grown produce and local vendors. Check out their store on Mace Hill Road in North Haverhill, NH.