2022 Fall Membership Meeting at Elfenwood Farm

Au Sable River Valley Business Association Fall General Membership Meeting in 2022

The first interest meeting to form a local Chamber of Commerce was in February of 2020 at the JEMS theater in Jay.  Over the years business in the Jay townships have felt underrepresented in the regions Commerce organizations.  Adam Coolidge and Christopher Straight hosted the event to gauge the level of interest in developing a local business group and determine what the goals might be.

Remarkably, through the COVID years the interest was strong enough that the Au Sable River Valley Business Association was formed.  A charter was drawn up and the first board consisted of 5 members with three of those members holding office positions:

President: Gabrielle Petitto Neidlinger
Treasurer: Adam Coolidge 2020, Jamie Cecilia 2021, Christine Motter 2022
Secretary: Sue Young 2021, Katherine Giovacco 2022

 

ARVBA Mission Statement:

The Au Sable River Valley Business Association is organized to achieve these objectives: Fostering business and community growth and development through economic programs designed to strengthen and expand the income potential of all businesses in the trade area; promoting programs of a civic, social, and cultural nature that are designed to increase the functional and aesthetic values of the community.

Early on it was determined that marketing and business development were key areas of interest.  In the summer of 2021 a survey was taken with the following results:

Increasing visibility through regional events                          80% of respondents
Networking opportunities                                                            70% of respondents
Connecting with business resources                                         50% of respondents

Accomplishments:

Business Showcases:   Member businesses volunteer to host a monthly meeting and showcase their business for a 20 to 30 minute presentation and then hold an ARVBA meeting would take place after.   Eight showcases have currently occurred.  These have proven to be very successful networking events.

Website and membership materials developmentSmart Site Designs built a website for ARVBA: ausablerivervalley.com as well as developing a Social Media presence.

Along with this, Marisol also made a logo, brochure and membership welcome package, in addition to a newsletter.

Value added resources: Webinars and informational presentations

A series of three Webinars on Social Media Marketing by Charles Tigliarino of Growtrends

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Facebook Business Manager
  • Facebook and Instagram Ads

Health Insurance Webinar presented by Mark from Burnham Benefit Advisors

Jay Ward did a presentation on transitions to an employee owned business

Real Estate Today: A Conversation with Our Local Experts on March 8th, 2022
Real Estate Panelists: Adam Coolidge (B.A. Straight), Lana Gokey (Tri-Lake Realty),  Kira Witherwax (RE/MAX North Country) and Mike Straight (B.A. Straight).

Local Tourism trends: A conversation with ROOST on August 4th, 2022. A presention on local economic trends in our area hosted by ARVBA.


501c6 Not for Profit status
: Member Jamie Cecilia completed and filed the form.  ARVBA is now eligible to apply for grants.   We had a fundraiser at Jay Day 2021 and raised enough money to apply for 501c6 status and on January 31, 2022 ARVBA was officially recognized as a non-profit.

Events in 2021:

Jay Day in August.  A display and raffle to raise funds for ARVBA as well as generate new members.

 Events in 2022:

  • 4th of July set up a display next to the Rotary with presentation and member materials
  • Ironman Village at the Lake Placid Horseshow grounds. Set up a display two days before the race with the Town of Jay to promote the Jay townships and businesses.
  • Jay Day on August 20th. Had a display with raffle to raise funds for ARVBA and generate new members.

Building Relationships/Outreach:

  •  Worked  with Iron Man organizers and provided input on a video about our community and a race course map with local information, which was shared with all Iron Man participants, as well as a document highlighting The Town of Jay.
  • Developed good working relationship with ROOST and the Whiteface Visitors Bureau; allowing ARVBA to input on information for the new Visitors Guide and the opportunity to sell adverts.
  • Roost reached out and invited ARVBA members to sit on committees, and three of our ARVBA members currently sit on the Iron Man Task Force committee as Town of Jay representatives.

Membership:

Currently ARVBA has 40 members and growing, with six different levels of membership available.

  1. Membership Levels
  2. Community Membership – $25
  3. Non-for-Profit Organization – $50
  4. Self-Employed – $50 (ex. Laborer, Real Estate Agent, no storefront)
  5. Small Business – $75 (Less than 5 employees
  6. Medium Sized Business – $150 (6-25 employees)
  7. Large Business – $250 (over 26 employees)

At our last member meeting it was noted that we are ahead of schedule with our 2 and 3 year goal plans.  We now have members that reach all along the East branch of the Au Sable River Valley which includes Upper Jay, Jay, Au Sable Forks, Black Brook and most recently Keene and Keeseville, in addition to members from Wilmington.

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