Another new benefit:

Breakfast Business Scene

In the June edition of the Business Quarterly, you read about our recent additions to our member benefits; specifically, Speed Networking and Member Web Pages on the Chamber's website, www.newmilford-chamber.com.

The Board of Directors for the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce has done it again.

I am pleased to announce another new benefit for our Chamber members: the Breakfast Business Scene.

The event will be a monthly, Chamber member-exclusive get-together.

The format will be more structured than our monthly, evening Business Scenes, which are (and will remain) open to the public, but less structured than our Speed Networking events.

The Breakfast Business Scene will be an open networking event held once a month from 8 to 9 a.m.

Locations will vary and can include the railroad station or a sponsoring business' home.

Reservations will be required to participate. Chamber members interested in sponsoring a Breakfast Business Scene are encouraged to call 860-354-6080 or e-mail the Chamber office at nmcc@newmilford-chamber.com.

Economic Development Corporation

Mayor Patricia Murphy, the New Milford Economic Development Commission and Economic Development Supervisor Vin Nolan recently recommended the establishment of a New Milford Economic Development Corporation to the Town Council.

The council voted to authorize the mayor to move forward with the filing of this new non-profit entity, focused on promoting business growth and expansion within the town of New Milford.

What is an Economic Development Corporation?

As described by Mr. Nolan, it will be a public/private entity modeled on numerous successful organizations around the state.

Its principal objectives will be to benefit the community by increasing employment opportunities and the establishment and expansion of business and industry for the citizens of the town and surrounding communities.

The corporation will be managed by a board of directors selected from both the public sector (government), the private sector (business and industry) and the community (other interested groups).

The New Milford Economic Development Corporation will initially manage loan funds to business from money made available through grants from the state and federal government, as well as private foundations.

In the future, the corporation may also take on more project-oriented tasks, such as real estate development projects, joint ventures with private development interests, oversight of municipal facility projects, and the creation of job training facilities.

Beyond the initial lending focus, in collaboration with the private banking resources already available in the community, the new board of directors will determine what other areas of economic development activity the corporation will pursue in partnership with the town.

More information about the New Milford Economic Development Corporation, as well as a great deal of other useful information, is available on the EDC website at www.newmilfordedc.com.

There you will find information on business permitting; available commercial properties; tax incentive and grant programs for business; links to other resource providers for business assistance and counseling; a section describing the various business districts in New Milford; videos describing New Milford as a place to live, work and play; and much more.

You can also select links from the EDC website to become fans of the EDC Facebook page and the EDC LinkedIn page, to keep current on business happenings in New Milford.

Economic development liaison

I'd also like to remind you that we have a member of our Board of Directors who sits on the Economic Development Commission for the Town of New Milford.

One of the main purposes of the commission is to look for ways to improve things in the business community.

The commission meets on the second Thursday of each month at 5 p.m. in Town Hall.

While all of the meetings are open to the public, as a Chamber member, you are welcome to contact our director with any questions or concerns you would like to see brought up at the monthly meetings.

His contact information is Darren Piper/845-877-9850 ext. 1804 (work), 800- 222-9801 ext. 1804 (toll free) or e-mail dpiper@salisburybank.com.

Final thoughts

As always, if you are already a Chamber member, I invite you to participate.

If you are not a Chamber member, I invite you to contact the Chamber and find out if the Chamber would be a good fit for you and your business or organization.

Call, e-mail or come see us at the railroad station. We'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about what the Chamber can do for you or what you can do for the Chamber.

A vibrant, healthy, active Chamber of Commerce is made up of vibrant, healthy and active members.

You will quickly discover the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic organization of enthusiastic individuals who are committed to promoting local enterprises and enhancing the community as a whole.

No community -- or business -- ever stands still; you either proceed or recede. Other communities are active now -- competing for trade territory, industries, new businesses, better highways, more housing, and everything else that will make a better, more prosperous and more pleasant place in which to live.

Now is the perfect time to join and support the Chamber of Commerce -- more industries, more residents, more tourists, more people shopping in our community -- that will mean more business for you and a stronger community for all of us.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

May 2011 be a safe, healthy, and happy year for you, your family and friends, and our community.