Our community thrives when business succeeds
Over the years, the Newport County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with many, successful local businesses right here in our community. By listening to the needs of our members, and responding with top notch, quality programming, we aim to support and enhance the economic climate throughout Newport County and statewide to help businesses succeed.
At our Annual Meeting on April 26th, we were able to announce some of last year’s accomplishments and some goals for 2017. Chamber leaders have worked diligently to establish the Chamber’s 2017 Strategic Plan, complete with smart goals and measurable outcomes. This has been a tremendous asset to the Chamber to ensure we keep to our mission of serving members by focusing on four key areas:
In an effort to gain a concise perspective on the needs of members, we implemented an annual member satisfaction survey. It has proved beneficial to gauge how we are serving our members and we will continue to engage membership throughout the year. Going forward, you will see an increased effort in outreach to our members and the establishment of a Business Retention and Expansion program, which will be tracked for measurable results.
We are also pleased to announce that in 2016, the Chamber hosted 74 educational seminars, economic updates, annual events and networking opportunities with over 3000 members and community leaders participating. Our Annual Expos in 2016 and 2017 attracted over a thousand attendees, featuring 130 businesses. Additionally, we also hosted our Job Fair as a component of the event, with nearly 30 participating businesses who were actively seeking employees.
In order for businesses to flourish, they must be aware of important issues affecting the business community and overall economy. Our Quarterly Economic Update forums covered many critical issues facing small business – last year’s topics included Trends of an Aging Workforce; Regional Economic Development Initiatives and Trends; the Impact of the Higher Education Bonds; and The Economic Impact of the Arts. This year, we’ve already begun the first quarter with an event on the Impact of our Changing Coastline on Business, hosted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
Our Women in Business program which celebrates the important contributions of women in the workplace, continues to grow in popularity, with a record number in attendance at both our annual luncheon and After Hours events.
Our Emerging Leaders group hosted two Business After Hours events in 2016 and we had a tremendous kick-off event in January. This group continues to be increasingly active and innovative in developing participation and a variety of events that will help to engage the future leaders of the local workforce and of the Chamber.
Our Chamber Connections program continues to be one of our most successful programs, resulting in over $8 million in business in the last two years.
The Chamber participated in the Rhode Island Business Coalition, the RI Chamber of Commerce Coalition and worked with our Government Affairs Committee to monitor and share information about legislation at the state and local level. We’ve also begun implementing our policy platform for 2017.
This is just a sampling of the tremendous accomplishments we have made to impact the business climate in our community. We look forward to continuing to provide quality and impactful events and programs for our members, while also growing participation.
Let’s all continue to work together to make our region a great place to live, work and play.