Weekly Newsletter
  • Scholarship Fund Pancake Breakfast - Saturday, April 11th
  • Scholarship Applications Open January 21st
  • Career & Community Connections Fair - May 1st
  • Table registration coming soon
  • Auction Gala - Saturday, May 30th
  • Sponsorship Opportunities available HERE
  • Fall Festival & Chili Cook-Off - Saturday, October 3rd
  • Sponsorship & Exhibitor information coming soon

Please email Elyse with any questions and to reserve your sponsorship level.
Chamber Member News & Events
Upper Valley Farms & Businesses Invited to
Small Business Marketing Workshops
Vital Communities invites local small businesses and farms to attend one of three upcoming digital marketing workshops presented by Insights Marketing Solutions. Workshop participants are then eligible for reduced-price one-on-one marketing consultation from Insights Marketing thanks to funding from a Rural Business Development Grant from USDA Rural Development.
The workshops, which will cover the same material in three different locations, are scheduled for Thursday, January 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Space on Main in Bradford; Monday, January 27, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Arnold Block in Bethel; and Tuesday, January 28, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Kilton Public Library in West Lebanon. The workshops are free to Local First members and $15 for non-member businesses.
The workshops are hosted by Vital Communities’  Local First  program, which works to strengthen the local Upper Valley economy. In the workshops, business leaders will learn to transform their ideas into effective marketing that drives action and sales. Insights Marketing owner Kim Dixon will walk participants through 10 steps to identify the most effective approach to their marketing plans. Participants will receive printed resources and have plenty of time for questions and networking.
For more information and to register, visit  http://bit.ly/37NLouQ .
Invitation for Bids - Planetary Mixer
Sullivan County NH government has released the attached  Invitation for Bids  for a  Planetary Mixer , with proposals due no later than Friday, January 24, at 2:00 pm. This request for proposal, as well as any updates/addendums, may be viewed on the County's website . Questions regarding the request for proposal may be directed to the Sullivan County Dietary Services Director, Shannon Brickey or via T. (603) 542-9511 Ext. 218.
Claremont Financial Services Welcomes Financial Advisor Ashleigh McFarlin
“We are excited to welcome Ashleigh to our team,” said Reggie Greene, President and CEO of Claremont Savings Bank. “Ashleigh’s commitment to client service and objective, personalized financial advice aligns with our values. We look forward to her contributions, allowing us to expand the depth of services that we can provide to our clients.”
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Ashleigh brings years of financial services experience to Claremont Financial Services. She strives to provide clients with the highest level of financial planning and investment management through all stages of their financial journey. Ms. McFarlin holds herself to a fiduciary standard, making sure to put her clients’ best interest before her own.
Ms. McFarlin graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. She moved to New Hampshire with her husband, Tim, and their two dogs in 2019.

Claremont Opera House Launches 2020 Membership Campaign
The Claremont Opera House launched a fresh approach to membership for the 2020 calendar year. The objectives of the new membership campaign are to offer members unique benefits, to fund a series of fun pop-up events for smaller audiences, and to introduce new patrons to the COH. Members will be more engaged with special programming for them, while they continue to support the ongoing operations and maintenance of the historic opera house. 
The 2020 membership fee structure is $100 for Silver members and $250 for Gold members. Benefits to ALL members include: 
  • Two free tickets to the kickoff Jazz Speakeasy on January 18th. 
  • Access to the historic Ladies Parlor for concessions during the intermission of selected shows. 
  • Chances to win ticket giveaways for regular season shows. 
  • Ability to purchase tickets prior to them going on sale to the public. 
  • Listed on the Membership Wall of Fame. 
In addition to these benefits, Gold members will receive two free tickets to EVERY pop-up event.
Pop-up events will provide experiences that are more than just coming to watch a show. For the Speakeasy, attendees can only enter through a back door to the Opera House and they must know the password (access also available via the elevator). There will be beer/wine service, and other surprises are in progress. All while listening to a live jazz quintet from Gerry Grimo and the East Bay Jazz. A Valentine matinee of Sinatra favorites is planned for February, and a folk music concert with live art is in the works for April. Future pop-ups will be based on member input and preferences. Pop-up tickets will also be on sale to the general public for $15 each. 
More details about the membership program are available on the COH website and questions can be emailed here .
Winter Workshop Series
If you’re looking to start your own business, write a marketing plan or become more adept at search engine optimization and content marketing, SCORE Upper Valley invites you to join its free Winter Workshop Series which occur on Thursday mornings from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon starting February 6 through February 27.
Sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, SCORE’s workshops are designed for both start-up and in-business entrepreneurs. In addition to learning new content and practices, the workshops also offer an opportunity to interact with other local small business owners, or prospective business owners.
The Winter Workshop Series (full descriptions below) includes:   Thursday, February 6: Start Your Own Business; Thursday, February 13: One-Page Marketing Plan:  Thursday, February 20: Content Marketing and Thursday, February 27: Search Engine Optimization.
“Some of the most prominent successful businesses in the area have sought SCORE’s counsel and workshops over the decades and we’re proud of that,” said Rich Reece, president of SCORE’s Upper Valley Chapter. “Our workshop presenters bring years of experience to the job. They’re knowledgeable in the workshop subject and bring a down-to-earth approach based on their experience in counseling small businesses.”
For more information about the workshops or to reserve a spot , visit Upper Valley Score  www.uppervalley.score.org  or call (603) 448-3491.
Thursday, February 6, 2020 Start Your Own Business:
Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur? This workshop covers the basic elements one must consider in having your own business. A primer on developing and managing any small business, this workshop provides critical materials and a step-by-step process for developing a working approach to assessing and planning a new business.
Thursday, February 13, 2020 One-Page Marketing Plan:
This workshop helps you create a succinct plan to help you out-perform your competitors and make your business the logical choice. This marketing overview helps you better understand how to build brand awareness, attract customers, create customer loyalty and develop your marketing strategy. You will learn to simplify with clarity on where to focus your attention and gain insights on the 80-20 rule (The Pareto Principle) where roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In the end marketing will help you gain more clients and help you to increase business and profits from existing clients.
Thursday, February 20, 2020, Content Marketing:
Content marketing helps you to project your company’s expertise to your ideal audience and can differentiate your business from your competitors. As more businesses aim to be the best source for information and answers that can influence buying decisions, it’s important to understand how to perfect the art and science of content marketing. Whatever your plans, this workshop will guide you in creating content across all stages of the customer journey– Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase and More and unveil the hidden value that it makes you better, increases your expertise and helps you to better understand your ideal audience. Lastly you will learn methods to create content, optimize your content for the search engines, and gain exposure for your content using social media.
Thursday, February 27, 2020 Search Engine Optimization
You’ve heard of businesses making it big online, and others not making it at all? The difference is getting noticed. Whether you’re a start-up or an existing business looking to get better results with your marketing budget, this workshop provides the basic building blocks of search engine optimization (SEO) for your website and blog content.   If you depend on your website and blog content to help produce inquiries that lead to sales then this is an essential workshop. SEO encompasses the practices and metrics of trying to increase your web site's ranking with search engines. We examine how users are changing the way searches are performed (voice search for example) and how the major search engines crawl and then index website and blog content. When someone is searching for something specific and a search engine delivers that exact match it is a win-win for businesses and customers.
ABOUT SCORE:  a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)   and is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the SBA, and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years.  SCORE Upper Valley  was founded in 1967 as Chapter 184 and currently has more than 30 volunteer mentors who are all experienced business owners and managers. SCORE offers experience and knowledge to help small business owners and potential small business owners achieve success. Services include confidential, free face to face counseling, email counseling, business workshops.
Vital Communities Invites Proposals for Round Two of The Local Crowd Upper Valley
Vital Communities invites emerging and established social enterprises to submit project proposals to  The Local Crowd (TLC) Upper Valley , a new community-based crowdfunding program. The call for proposals follows a successful pilot round of TLC Upper Valley in which five community-based projects collectively raised nearly $50,000 from more than 300 contributors during the last two months of 2019.
“We were thrilled with the success of the TLC Upper Valley campaigns last year and are excited to welcome more organizations and projects into the program in round two. Empowering the community to invest in the social enterprises that keep our economy strong and our communities vital is more important than ever,” said Nancy LaRowe, coordinator of TLC Upper Valley, part of Vital Communities’ Local First program.
Proposals for round two must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 14, 2020. For this proposal cycle, TLC Upper Valley seeks Upper Valley-based projects that support the local community and economy, generate excitement and have a budget of $10,000 or less. All for-profit businesses, nonprofits and community initiatives meeting campaign guidelines within Vital Communities’ 69-town service area are welcome to apply. More information and the request for proposals are available online at  vitalcommunities.org/tlc .
TLC Upper Valley will select up to six projects to participate in this crowdfunding cohort, based on the potential of each project to positively impact their local economy and community. With guidance and assistance from TLC Upper Valley advisors, accepted proposals will launch their campaigns to coincide with Vital Communities’ 19 th  annual Flavors of the Valley local food expo on April 19 in Hartford.
All five campaigns in TLC Upper Valley round one are using their TLC proceeds to grow their local businesses or community building projects:
  • Whaleback Mountain in Enfield raised $21,180 for base lodge energy-efficiency upgrades.
  • Friends of Mascoma in Canaan raised $13,970 to help cover the costs of owning and operating a vehicle to serve its multiple food pantries.
  • Willow Tree Community Compost in Wilder raised $4,080 to help build its composting service and a partnership with Sunrise Farm in Hartford, which raised $4,555 to support its on-farm composting operation and partnership with Willow Tree.
  • The Growing Peace Project in Topsham raised $5,725 to support its free food teaching garden and youth activism program.
Vital Communities is one of five sites nationwide selected to participate in the National Science Foundation grant-funded project with Wyoming-based company The Local Crowd. TLC combines a world-class rewards-based crowdfunding platform with business and campaign technical support for the emerging fourth sector of the economy—social enterprise. This initiative is designed to uncover the best ways to support social enterprises—mission-driven organizations that use business principles to make their communities and the world a better place.
TLC Upper Valley partners include Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation, Space on Main, Cohase Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Small Business Development Center, BALE (Build A Local Economy), Upper Valley Business Alliance and SCORE. For more information, visit  vitalcommunities.org/tlc  or contact Nancy LaRowe at 802-291-9100.
SHS Alumni Newsletter Advertising Opportunity
Did you know that West Central Behavioral Health
puts out a regular newsletter?
Click the image above to read the current issue.
Places we LOVE in
Sullivan County
Choose your favorite outdoor place, building, restaurant, business or historical site. Any place where others can visit is perfect to share. Use your smart phone to snap a photo, then visit bit.ly/LoveSullivan to upload and describe what makes it special to you!
Community News & Events
NEWPORT Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center
Open House
The Newport Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center is hosting an open house from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 243 N. Main Street, Newport, NH 03773. Come for tours, demonstrations, and raffle prizes. The evening will feature tours of all SRVRTC programs including Automotive, Business, Cosmetology, Health Sciences & LNA, Horticulture, Natural Resources, Pre-Engineering, Video Production & Broadcasting, and Welding.
Check out SRVRTC on Facebook and their website srvrtc.sau43.org
Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available
Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in  New Hampshire  as a result of the extreme cold, temperature fluctuations and winterkill from Dec. 1, 2018 through April 20, 2019. The loans are available in the following counties: Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford and Sullivan in  New Hampshire.
Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers. The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of  3.74  percent for small businesses and  2.75  percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes, with terms up to 30 years. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
Assistance with constructing financial statements and applying for these economic injury disaster loans is available for free from any of SBA’s Resource Partners including counselors from the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) throughout the country. To find the nearest location, visit:  find your local SBDC .

Upper Valley Land Trust - Corporate Volunteer Program
The Upper Valley Land Trust has an exciting opportunity to offer Upper Valley businesses and employees! Now in its second year of operation, the Corporate Volunteer Program puts your employees to work in the community, volunteering with our local environmental nonprofit to make a difference socially and ecologically. This offering is designed to provide an opportunity for your Upper Valley business to spend time volunteering in the outdoors and strengthen bonds between your team members. This program will benefit your business in many ways:
·         Engaging employees in team building activities in a beautiful environment outside of the typical workplace
·         Involving your group with our local social and natural communities
·         Providing a philanthropy opportunity for a business and its employees
·         Reenergizing and resetting a team dynamic before diving back into work projects
We are ready to create a volunteer experience tailored to the needs of your company! Contact Paul Blazevich ( (603) 643-6626 x 201) for program offerings, more information on CVP, or to begin customizing your own volunteer experience. UVLT’s current project offerings for CVP are attached below, which also includes program logistics and a recommended packing list for participants.
The Upper Valley Land Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, committed to preserving natural areas, working farmlands, and priority habitat so residents and visitors alike can enjoy the scenic landscapes that make the Upper Valley so special.