While it is true that the Lakes Region has a higher percentage of independently owned businesses that could be described as small, many are anything but. This creates a challenge for the Belknap Independent Business Alliance (BIBA). "People often think of 'mom and pop' type stores when they think of BIBA, but so many independent businesses in this area are anything but small," states Kate Bishop Hamel, Executive Director for the organization.
To that point, one of BIBA's newest members is the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook. With well over three hundred employees during peak season, the business can hardly be described as small. Despite their level of success, RJ Harding of Gilford feels strongly about supporting the buy local organization started here nine years ago by local business owner Randy Bullerwell.
"When we started in 1996 as a small family-run business, we were unknown in the music industry and relied heavily on local business," said RJ Harding, President of Meadowbrook. Today, as they approach their twentieth anniversary, their patrons come from all over the country, often planning vacations to the Lakes Region around favorite performers at the venue. Despite its growth, Meadowbrook remains a locally-owned independent business.
"We appreciate the positive impact that strong, local businesses have on the health of our community", states Michael Seymour, Chief Operating Officer of the facility. "We use local vendors and contractors whenever possible", he adds.
BIBA is currently conducting its annual membership drive and plans are in the works to hold small round table discussions and/or a community forum to give local independent business owners the opportunity to weigh in on what they would like to see from the organization in the coming year.
"It's important to differentiate ourselves from other organizations that provide support for area businesses. We aren't a main street organization; we focus on businesses throughout the Lakes Region. We aren't strictly a small business organization either. We are all about businesses owned by members of our community, people we all know; our neighbors, our family members, our kids' coaches, scout leaders and volunteers in our local organizations", states Hamel.
For BIBA Vice President Debbie Bolduc, it's personal. Bolduc is not only a local business owner, but also a life-long local resident and graduate of Laconia High School. "This is my community, these are my people. Many area businesses are owned by my former classmates and co-workers, their parents and even some of their adult children. It means a lot to me to support them in their endeavors through my business, my purchases and my involvement with BIBA", states Bolduc.
BIBA's mission is to support, advocate and enhance locally-owned, independent businesses in the Lakes Region through education, marketing, promotion, programs, and events. BIBA is an affiliate of the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), a non-profit organization helping communities sustain their local independent businesses and keep opportunities alive for local entrepreneurs.
For more information, go to BIBA's new website at bibalocal.org/. Online membership registration and payment is now available for added convenience.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015 08:13
LACONIA — Bank of New Hampshire has been selected as a winner in New Hampshire Business Review's 2015 BOB Awards, which honor the Best of Business in New Hampshire in over 90 categories. Bank of New Hampshire was honored in the statewide readers' survey for the Best Local Bank for Small Business category.
"Bank of New Hampshire is honored to receive a BOB Award for the third year in a row in the Local Bank for Small Business category," stated Mark Primeau, President and CEO of Bank of New Hampshire. "Bank of New Hampshire takes the time to understand you, your business, your goals, your current financial situation and your anticipated financial needs. We take great pride in our commitment to this great state and are dedicated to good corporate citizenship and understand that small businesses are vital to the growth of many communities."
All of the winners will be honored at a wild west-themed event, to be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 5 at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.
"With 2,700 ballots cast for the 2015 Awards, the BOBs continue to be considered a standard of excellence in New Hampshire's business community," said Jeff Feingold, Editor of NHBR. "This year, we're celebrating with a Wild West theme – the perfect cure for cabin fever. So dig out your cowboy hats and spurs and come on out for the BOBs."
Bank of New Hampshire, founded in 1831, provides deposit, lending and wealth management products and services to families and businesses throughout New Hampshire. With 21 banking offices throughout New Hampshire and assets exceeding $1 billion, Bank of New Hampshire is the oldest and largest independent bank in the state. Bank of New Hampshire is a mutual organization, focused on the success of the bank's customers, communities and employees, rather than stockholders. For more information, call 1-800-832-0912 or visit www.BankNH.com.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015 08:08
By Karmen Gifford
Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce
Your employees are your most valuable asset. That is why hiring the right employee is vitally important to building a thriving business. Providing workforce development resources is just one of the many initiatives the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce offers in support of the many challenges today's businesses face.
Have you heard of the 200x2020 initiative? This is a partnership initiative that began almost five years ago between the Granite United Way, Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, Belknap EDC, the Huot Technical Center, Lakes Region Community College, Meredith Career Partnerships Program, NHWorks, and many school-to-work coordinators and guidance counselors from our local schools. The collaboration strives to provide local students access to vocational, technical and occupational experiences, to engage our local employers and to identify and support our region's long-term workforce development needs.
Did you know there is a local searchable database with over 90 internships and job shadows offered by local Lakes Region businesses? This online database tool is available at www.LakesRegionInterships.com and was created by the 200x2020 collaborative initiative. That's right, over 90 internships available in a variety of industries to open teach young people about the career opportunities available here in our communities.
How do you find the right employees? The Chamber can provide the tools to attract qualified candidates. The Lakes Region JOB FAIR will be held Wednesday, April 8 from noon to 4 p.m. at The Margate Resort. Local employers offering full-time, part-time, seasonal as well as internship opportunities will all be gathered in one location representing the many industries represented in our business community. Regardless of the product or service you provide, your employees are the primary key to your success.
Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015 07:24
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 March 2015 13:46