The Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce has over 700 members representing all aspects of our local economy. Our members are: Retail merchants, restaurants, landscapers, plumbers, non-profit organizations, event planners, hair salons, scrimshanders, house cleaners, jewelers, painters, lodging, taxi services, and pet sitters – to name a few. Our new Guidebook started hitting distribution points in April – pick one up and see the businesses and organizations that know the value of Chamber membership. Please frequent their establishments or use them when you need a special service.
May is Membership Month at the Chamber. We recently held an event where several Chamber members spoke with prospective members about the value of Chamber membership. They talked about the advertising and marketing opportunities that are available in the Guidebook and on our web-site. Several mentioned the number of referrals they receive from visitors who call the Chamber looking for recommendations. (Visitors know the value of Chamber membership, too. It carries a positive impression to have the Chamber logo on your front door!) Others talked about the advocacy work that the Chamber does in Boston with the legislature to insure that we receive our share of state-funded marketing dollars. Those marketing dollars are spent informing potential visitors in Washington, DC, Toronto, Dublin, Boston, New York and Chicago about the wonders of Nantucket, the various festivals our members produce, and our own festivals – Daffodil Weekend and Nantucket Noel – that bring thousands to the island to shop, play, eat and sleep.
One of the most frequently stated benefits of membership made by Chamber members are the networking opportunities we provide. Attending a Business-After-Hours, participating in a workshop, and volunteering at events are all great ways to get to know other members and to pick up a client or two. By the way, those events and programs are also open to the general public! I think that one of the reasons the networking opportunities are so popular and so highly valued is that it’s just fun to be with people who share your passion for Nantucket and your dedication to running a successful business or operation here.
Membership renewal notices will be hitting the members’ mailboxes soon. Many of our members will come into the office to pay their annual dues. That’s always a delightful time to catch up with members and hear about new plans and offerings -- that we can then share with our visitors – and to make suggestions to us about new programs and services that the Chamber could provide. For example, our annual “Team Nantucket” workshop on hospitality and customer service (June 9th – call the Chamber to register at 508-228-3643) will include a special scavenger hunt element this year. It’s designed to be a fun way to learn the landscape of Nantucket from a visitor’s perspective. Some of the challenges include naming three places to get coffee or ice cream, getting the address of four public restrooms, and identifying the locations of five ATM machines that are not in a bank building.
Our members matter – to the Chamber and to the Nantucket community. Pick up a Guidebook and support the Chamber by supporting our member businesses. Thank you!
Janet Schulte is Executive Director of the Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce. After a 25-year career in college administration in the Boston area, she moved to Nantucket in 2006 to work as Executive Director of the Maria Mitchell Association. Her volunteer activities include service on the Nantucket High School Council, the town’s Ad Hoc Fiscal Committee (2009), the Nantucket Cottage Hospital Advisory Council, and the First Congregational Church. Janet enjoys birding trips with the Sunday morning birders and swimming laps at the Community Pool – two activities she learned after age 35. She holds a Ph.D. in American History and wrote her thesis on the “History of Summer Vacations in Northern New England, 1880-1940.”