A benefit to Southern New Hampshire

Last week, the Souhegan Valley and Merrimack chambers of commerce announced they will form a partnership and will unite as the Greater Merrimack-Souhegan Valley Chamber of Commerce.

In announcing the venture, officials noted the two groups share a similar philosophy, “To promote, maintain and enhance the area’s economic climate so businesses will locate in our region, grow and hire employees and stay in our area.”

In the coming weeks, chamber staff members and the boards of directors will work closely together to transition into a regional chamber, focusing their efforts on business advocacy, networking events, economic development, business education opportunities, workforce development, tourism in the region and other issues pertinent to the success of their member businesses.

“The main thing is, it gives us an opportunity to be a larger voice in our region,” President and CEO Wendy Hunt said.

Hunt is on the mark, as the combined group will have a much broader reach, more influence in the community and a larger pool of resources from which to draw.

With this merger, Hunt said business membership is nearing 400. The 11 towns geographically affiliated with the Souhegan Valley Chamber include: Amherst, Brookline, Greenville, Hollis, Lyndeborough, Mason, Milford, Mont Vernon, New Ipswich, Temple and Wilton. However, SVCC members also hail from Nashua, Bedford, Manchester, Merrimack, Concord and other towns throughout southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Current Souhegan Valley and Merrimack chamber board members will be part of the combined GMSVCC Board.

Humane Society for Greater Nashua Director of Development Laurie Dufault has served on the Merrimack chamber board for more than two years. She said members originating from either chamber will benefit from access to significantly more networking events and increased opportunities to grow their businesses.

“We know that combining our resources at this time in our collective histories will positively impact economic development opportunities, boost small business programming and advocacy and increase the opportunities for leadership to develop a stronger business climate,” Dufault said.

That impact likely will be seen quickly. Both Chambers have seen many successes throughout the years, and a combined effort will only help member businesses – and the entire community – connect and become a driving force for the economy in all of Southern New Hampshire.

Kudos to those who took part in the decision-making process for what is sure to be a match that will pave the way to a bright and prosperous future for all involved.