2023 Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce Annual Report
As the year ends, we take a moment to look back at the tremendous progress and many accomplishments we’ve achieved in 2023 together. Truly, we could not look ahead to 2024 nor celebrate this past year’s successes without the incredible support of each and every one of our members. On behalf of our Chamber’s Board of Directors and staff, I want to thank all our members for their investment in the Chamber. Your support through membership not only provides your business with unique benefits but also allows the Chamber to accomplish its mission to be the voice of business through advocacy, building connections and professional development. In year one of our 3-year Strategic Plan, we are pleased to report that we are making great strides in working towards our KPI (Key Performance Indicator) goals in a number of areas (please see the reverse side of this report). We look forward to the coming year as we continue to positively impact our business community.
2023 has been a year of fine tuning our efforts made the previous year. In 2022 (post pandemic) we focused on bringing back in-person networking (a staple of all chambers), in-person business education offerings, and solid advocacy and reporting back to our members any impactful laws being decided upon by the NH state legislature. That fine tuning has resulted in our improved relevance to our members and prospective small businesses that see just how worthy a chamber membership has become. From a number’s standpoint, 2023 saw GNCC break the 400-member business count and well on its way to 450 with 430 at press time. 430 member businesses translates to the tens of thousands of individuals that we serve. That’s a proud responsibility. Our chamber represents many categories of business with more diversity and inclusivity than ever before. 304 member businesses or 76% are small businesses. Additionally, 100 are non-profit and service organizations. Certainly, Greater Nashua is a retail shopping mecca, but with that, results a robust restaurant, lodging, and arts/culture/entertainment category that now exceeds 50 member businesses. We are proud of our growth into varied categories of trade as well as the increasing diversity of our membership. It means we are meeting and expanding upon our intentional purpose to have a significant role and offerings for all regional organizations. Our steady membership growth isn’t a function of sales finesse. It’s simply, but importantly, a reflection of relevancy and retention. Keeping members is essential. GNCC is continually providing new and enhanced benefits for members to capitalize on and actively checking in on member businesses to encourage making the most of your membership.
The 2023 legislative year had many hard-won successes with Chamber Advocacy efforts. Top priorities of continuing the expanded Medicaid program and enhancing and expanding the healthcare workforce through increased payment rates had bills that were inserted into the next biennial budget. Both of these initiatives were widely supported by the business community because of the benefits of maintaining a healthy workforce and eliminating the downshifting of costs to employer-based health insurance. Two vital issues for our employer members are access to childcare, and affordable housing. Several bills regarding these two areas were filed, enough so that the House created two new (hopefully temporary) committees to address the related bills. The Chamber supported and advocated vigorously for specific bills on each. While there is still much to be done on both fronts, our advocacy was successful, and appropriations for childcare providers and workers, and affordable housing development are in the state budget. In addition, we see some movement on regulatory relief to help make childcare and housing more accessible. Reducing taxes for our business members is a perennial goal, and GNCC is optimistic of another success in the wings. With much Chamber advocacy and advice, a bill to increase the Net Operating Loss carryover against the Business Profits Tax is awaiting sure passage in the House before it travels to the Senate. Not yet accomplished is killing an attempt to prohibit state spending on passenger rail. Chamber advocates killed this effort once, but anti-rail activists have brought it back, and it will continue into next year. Please know that the GNCC Advocacy Committee will work diligently on this, and all other issues of importance to the business community on behalf of members. All members can join our advocacy efforts. Just reach out!
2023 EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
In addition to our monthly networking opportunities at Business After Hours, Young Professionals Socials, Out-of-the-Box Lunches and Coffee Connections, 2023 was a very active year for our Signature events at the Greater Nashua Chamber. In January, we hosted our Economic Outlook- Legislative Kickoff Lunch. In February, we hosted our very popular, indoor mini-golf tournament. In March, we hosted the State of the City Lunch with Mayor Jim Donchess. In April, as bills in the NH Legislature “crossed over,” we hosted a Cocktail reception bringing together legislators and members of the business community. In May, we hosted our 20th annual Eminence Business Awards Luncheon with the theme of “CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE.” In late May, we graduated our 28th Leadership Greater Nashua Class, and also held our annual State of the State breakfast featuring Governor Chris Sununu. In September, the Chamber hosted 3 candidates at our Mayoral Candidates’ Forum event, which was also live-streamed in partnership with Nashua Community TV. Throughout the year, we also coordinated our Business Education Series which covered topics such as Making the Most of your Membership (quarterly), Cybersecurity in the Workplace, Workforce Retention & Recruitment, Exploring Marketing A.I., Mental Health: Managing your employees in crisis and more. We also hosted several Leadership Greater Nashua Alumni Association mixers so that our 600+ graduates could stay connected. As we wrap up the year, on November 8th we celebrate our 95th Annual Gala and Citizen of the Year event– “There’s No Place Like Nashua”- and then will round out 2023 with our annual holiday Business After Hours at the Nashua Center for the Arts in December.
GREATER NASHUA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STRATEGIC PLAN 2022-2025