In 1997, area chambers of commerce established the Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley in a collaborative effort to represent and promote the interests of chambers of commerce in our region. In 2010, non-chambers were added as members to the Alliance and referred to as affiliate partners because they expressed a sincere desire to join with the chambers in supporting the combined interests of the regional business community.
Today, the Chamber Alliance has representation from across the region including the counties of Oneida, Herkimer, Madison and Otsego, and serves as an association of independent chambers and partners that meet regularly for information sharing, mutual support, advocacy, education and joint planning.
There are many resources that we all tap into, such as online groups and other forms of social media, but a largely untapped resource is on the community level. The chamber of commerce in your community can be that huge untapped resource!
Recognizing that there is strength in numbers, the Chamber Alliance added several new chambers and affiliate partners in 2016, bringing the total to 13 chambers and 8 partners, representing more than 3,000 members in a 4-county area. Together, the Alliance is now able to be more productive and offer more assistance to its businesses and members. The Chamber Alliance is also celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017!
We continue to participate in the annual Small Business Week initiative held each spring and have enhanced the Business Grants Program, which offers grants to area businesses looking support specific needs or projects.
Individually, all Alliance members actively work to further the interests of their members and, collectively, the Alliance compliments those effort by hosting regional events and maintaining an open dialogue with elected representatives on a state a federal level.
Alliance members play important roles in the growth and, in some cases, the revitalization of their communities. Networking opportunities and the ability to market business-to-business programs are popular examples. Being a part of a chamber, for example, has advertising advantages and can add credibility to a business. Chambers of commerce are a valued tool for any small business owner and should be utilized.
It’s an exciting time in our region. Yes, the business climate is vibrant and more and more people (locally and from outside the area), are making significant investments. Let’s stay focused on the community’s agenda and stay focused on the future!
We are proud to be a part of the Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley. We will continue to advocate for small business, create positive impact and continue to promote unity and cooperation.
Cheers to a prosperous 2017!
Co-Authored by the 2017 Chamber Alliance MV Officers: Raymond J. Durso, Jr., President; Dr. Marianne Buttenschon, 1st Vice President; Michele Smith, 2nd Vice President; and William Gray, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer