Communication and Co-operation – Key to Success
The recent disbanding of the Downtown Revitalization Society, announced by Chairwoman, Beth Monroe on April 10, has left a distinct void in the business life of downtown Amherst.
The society’s departure, after nearly a decade and a half of existence has prompted some to suggest that the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce take up the slack created by the absence of DARS; that the Chamber take over activities such as event management, much the way they do in larger centers.
There are several reasons why that can’t happen here. Most importantly we don’t have the staff and infrastructure that they do in larger centers. In Fredericton, for example, the Chamber has six or seven full time staff. The Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce has one “part time “ staff person and a Board comprised of extremely busy hard-working individuals who either run their own businesses or run them for someone else.
Although we are not positioned to initiate or run events, we are prepared to partner with those individuals or groups that do. We are positioned to educate our membership about event planning and management and to encourage them to support events and to be involved. We recently invited an individual to speak to us about event planning and management with precisely that goal in mind.
Communication and co-operation amongst all the players is key to successful
event planning in our area. Our biggest job as a volunteer organization is to communicate our ability and willingness to commit. We have made known our wish to keep the channels open with those organizing local events and we are doing so today in this column. We advised the Town of Amherst some time ago that we wish to have an open dialogue in regard to event planning so that we might have input and thus be able to , support their efforts. That is a wish we would extend to all municipal units in our area.
One of our organization’s main objectives is to partner with the various entities that are working to improve our area, such as other Chambers, regional economic development agencies, and various levels of government. To be effective an organization
must adhere to its original mandate and not be consumed with trying to do every thing for everyone and being all things to all people. We have learned as an organization that we must pick our battles that we must focus on those things that we can do effectively.
As an organization, the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce is learning to live within its means. In order to accomplish this we have made significant changes and will continue to do so. Amongst those things that we have learned is that we do not have the resources, material and human, to stage events. Our niche is as a facilitator, a communicator, and a catalyst.