Back to Business…In Person
While we have seen each other over the past year, it was primarily in a three-inch box on a Zoom screen. Business continued on this platform and creative approaches to networking helped keep us connected, but it just wasn’t the same.
Starting this spring, the Chamber began hosting events in person, and the organic connections of face-to-face meetings quickly bore fruit.
On May 20, the Chamber gathered at Sweet Hill Farm in Gales Ferry with the recipients of the Dominion Foundation grant for minority- and veteran-owned businesses. Businesses quickly identified synergies and suppliers for products and services within the group of 17 attendees.
“I was able to connect with multiple business owners in the area,” said Ashon Avent, Chief Visionary Officer of Main Avent Sports custom designed apparel. “It feels good to be able to mingle with like-minded individuals and members of the Chamber to offer services and swap ideas.”
Charlene Rand, founder of Rustic Boutique Catering and Events and manager of Sweet Hill Farm, was one of those businesses. They are currently discussing new uniforms for Rand’s staff.
The first gathering was followed in fast succession by a series of ribbon cuttings, showing the economic rebound and pent-up excitement for growth in the region. Giant scissors in hand, the Chamber community celebrated with CENTURY 21 Shutters & Sails at their Niantic and Mystic locations; Chelsea Groton Bank’s Westside Branch in Norwich, Creative Konnection and Mhoor Art, both in New London. Coming up this summer we celebrate Curaleaf Groton’s first year on July 24 and the grand opening of Ace Hardware in Waterford on August 6.
“Eastern Connecticut was among the hardest hit in the state during COVID,” said Tony Sheridan, Chamber President and CEO. “We are seeing recovery, a rise in entrepreneurs, and businesses looking at new ways to work and provide services based on what they learned during the pandemic. As always, the Chamber is thrilled to play its role in bringing businesses together to expand our economic growth. We wish businesses a well-earned strong summer season.”
Business After Hours resumed on June 16, hosted by Hygienic Art on a perfect evening in the Art Park. Almost 100 people gathered for live music and live interaction with colleagues from around the region.
On July 22, the Chamber will celebrate the winners of the annual Regional Chamber Awards from both 2020 and 2019, joined by SECT Cultural Coalition who will present their annual awards. The summer soiree at Latitude 41˚ next to Mystic Seaport will offer a relaxing opportunity to reconnect over lawn games, cocktails, and a jazz trio.
The Chamber is currently filling its late summer and fall calendar with opportunities to network, including Business After Hours, Business Breakfasts, and celebrations. To learn more about attending or hosting an event, visit ChamberECT.com/events or call 860-701-9113.