BRISTOL COUNTY BUSINESS NEWS The Ofﬁcial Publication of the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. May 2017 Edition
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Bristol County Chamber of Commerce Membership Matters By: Robert A. Mellion, Esq. President & CEO, Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
Chamber membership matters. Who else but the Chamber is going to defend and advocate for area businesses? The answer is no one. Earlier in the year, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the Chamber’s name to the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. The change of name to the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce embraced the reality that over fifty percent of the membership are businesses located outside of Fall River. The name change also took into account that businesses frequently conduct commerce outside the Chamber’s previously defined service area. Companies in Providence, Newport County and northward to Boston, additionally want to connect with Bristol County. Changing the corporate name to the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce also better reflects who the organization is today by incorporating into its name a focus toward regional economic issues and expanded advocacy aimed at improving the business climate throughout all of Bristol County. The Chamber’s advocacy and strong support of the recently filed
Notice of Project Change (NPC) for SouthCoast Rail by MassDOT is a good example. In addition to support of the NPC request, the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors also want to see MEPA expedite any actions that allow “Phase One” of the SouthCoast Rail project to be constructed. It is understood that the Southern Triangle of Phase One is essential to either the Stoughton Route or the Middleborough Alternative. Therefore it is commonsense that work on Phase One starts now. Another important matter taken up by the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is strong opposition to the proposed health care insurance assessment on businesses, which really acts as a new tax. The Chamber’s concerns are very real as the House of Representatives has given a green light for the assessment to proceed within its proposed FY2018 Budget. Now the Senate, who has proposed a higher than $2000 assessment per employee, are taking up the matter. In addition to serving as an effective voice for business since 1911, Cham-
ber membership directly benefits a company’s bottom line through business referrals. You may not be aware, but consumers, elected officials and businesses call the Chamber every day seeking referrals. To assist in matching businesses with potential clients the Chamber maintains lists of member insurers, manufacturers, service providers, restaurants, tourist attractions, builders, realtors, attorneys, accountants, plumbers, retailers, etc., which are supplied upon request. The Chamber has also created an energy cost savings program for small business. Another great cost savings benefit is the Member-to-Member discount program. Member to member discounts allow business owners and employees of each member business the opportunity to receive a discount from participating businesses just by presenting their Chamber membership card. Participation in the Member-toMember discount program is a way to generate new business leads.
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One way to view all the great member only discounts is to download the (Continued on Page 3)
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