For Amherst Chamber of Commerce, membership has its benefits

Organization hopes to add 100 new members

Darrell Cole
Published on January 15, 2014
Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce president Gladys Coish, chamber member Edie Helm, executive assistant Patti Colson and membership committee chairman Wayne Bishop look over plans for a membership drive for the organization.
Darrell Cole –

The Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce wants to attract 100 new members through a membership campaign it's kicking off Jan. 20.

AMHERST – Membership has its benefits.

The Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce believes there’s strength in numbers and is kicking off its latest membership campaign in hopes of attracting new people to the organization.

“Right now we have about 160 members. We have set a target of 250,” chamber membership committee chairman Wayne Bishop said. “We have sent a letter out to a number of people asking them to join and we will be following that up with phone calls and one-on-one meetings.”

Bishop said members don’t have to be business owners to join the chamber. The organization has rates for students and retirees, people not associated with a business and members of non-profit organizations.

Membership fees range from $25 for students to $325 for firms with more than 25 employees.

The chamber has worked to increase its public profile and to work for business. Last year, the chamber joined with the Cumberland CBDC and the NSCC Amherst Learning Centre to host a successful Small Business Week celebration, while it recent hosted the Amherst 125 launch with a New Year’s Eve gala.

President Gladys Coish wants the organization to be more visible and to work as the voice for the business community. She said business owners and managers are already busy trying to maximize profitability and employee productivity. That leaves little time for anything else, including addressing issues that can affect their business.

Coish said the chamber’s business network speaks as one voice.

The chamber is working on its new newsletter and will be doing a radio blitz promoting its members and doing business in Amherst. The blitz will also talk about the benefits of membership including the group insurance plan, while there are also plans to put brochures at the visitor information centre at the border promoting chamber members and the community.

Along with speaking on behalf of business, Coish said the Amherst chamber also offers numerous networking opportunities during the year as well as education and community events  and offers member benefits through the chamber’s website