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Greater Barrington Chamber of Commerce Announces Major Changes

The usual locals gathered at Nippo Lake Golf Club Restaurant to discuss the monthly Chamber of Commerce business for Barrington. Friendly faces armed with business cards spent the early afternoon networking and making future business deals. The event was open to all Greater Barrington Chamber of Commerce members.

“We have a lot of exciting things to discuss today!”, said Chairman Michael Guyre. JoEllen Gallant, a Chamber board member, announced that we’re doing the 2nd Annual Barrington Village Festival, an event that was intertwined with Calef’s 150th Anniversary event last year. The event was highly successful, with Barrington Town News responsible for getting 610 people to the event last September.

There was a request for ideas of how to improve the Greater Barrington Chamber of Commerce, and several members sitting around a table said the Chamber should design a new logo, including Scot Villeneuve of Big Hit Media, and our own Kat Roedell, CEO of Barrington Town News. David Goodwin of Immanuel Insurance Agency said there should be cards on the tables with questions at Chamber events to help break the ice.

Scot Villeneuve admitted he hasn’t come to enough of the Chamber’s meetings because he didn’t see the value in them, but today he said he does see the value now with the changes that are being made. He said it’s nice to see everyone at the meetings, and the venue the event was held in today is very nice.

The Chamber of Commerce is calling for new members and the Chamber is going to work on getting more expert speakers to future events, according to Ray Bisson of Stonewall Surveying, who is a Board member with the Chamber. Another Board member said there should be a better program to bring in new members. We must mention that Barrington Town News has a partnership with the Greater Barrington Chamber of Commerce, in which we help to recommend to local businesses to join the Chamber of Commerce – including advertising with a free banner that we provide year-round linking to the Chamber’s website. The banner has already received 75 clicks and has been viewed over 26,000 times since it was put up at the very beginning of our website.

Chamber Members agreed that the new office was great, but they also voiced that the response time to get a phone call back after leaving a voice mail at the office could be improved. There was also a call for a printed newsletter and someone pointed out there are navigation issues with the Chamber of Commerce website and the Calendar is buggy as well.

A big change was announced, which was the farewell of former Executive Administrator Joann Toomey, which no longer works for the Greater Barrington Chamber of Commerce. Chairman Michael Guyre thanked her for all the hard work she’s done for the Chamber. The reason the Chamber of Commerce was able to eliminate the Executive Administration position, is that there is a new website being built that allows members to sign-up online, eliminating a 6-step manual process that had to be executed every time a new member was added with the old website.

Features on the new website include the ability for any member to post job listings, member features which shows random members each time the homepage loads, as well as new members. The new Greater Barrington Chamber of Commerce website is currently being hosted on, however, Chairman Michael Guyre is still working on configuring the IT aspects and various features of the website. It will eventually be available at the current website’s location,

The Chamber announced several events coming up in January, which are available on their event calendar on their website, and they also said they need at least 20 people in order to do a buffet at a breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and it will cost $13.50 if paid in advance, or $15.00 at the door. The Chamber said that advance registration for food at events should help to cut down on food waste and buffets that they have had to write off in the past as losses due to members not paying and other various reasons.

Chairman Guyre said members can still send in their Press Releases to the Chamber’s email address and they will still be published on the new website. He said he wants to avoid publishing Press Releases that aren’t newsworthy or rather PR related news that is just to advertise a business. He said that Press Releases should contain an event or some major accomplishment or announcement.

Michael Guyre also said that there will be member forums on the new website, which will be a way for members to ask for advice that won’t be public-facing and only accessible by active members. He said there will also be a private Facebook group created for members only. He added there will be a members-only Blog on the new website and a page for member discounts. The new website will also allow anyone to subscribe to the Chamber of Commerce’s Calendar, through their popular email and news application such as Microsoft Outlook and functionally equivalent software.

This is all very exciting news about the modernization of the Greater Barrington Chamber of Commerce to be more member friendly. If you’re interested in joining the Chamber of Commerce, please contact the Chamber at 603-664-2200. There are plans as low as $50/year for Club Memberships, and Sole Proprietorships are only $100/year. It’s definitely worth the money if your business can afford it because you get to attend all of the Chamber’s events that is all year long, which provides you with valuable networking opportunities with the Barrington, NH business community.