February GCACC Update from Caitlin & Ken
As we rapidly race downhill from January’s COVID peak we are increasingly optimistic for a terrific 2022. Just as we saw last year, we are confident that the spring and summer seasons will see a renewed level of normalcy and with it, an economic boost from pent-up demand for getting out and enjoying all that Greater Cape Ann has to offer. As an added boost this year we expect renewed visitation from air travelers, both domestic and international.
We have moved our Annual Dinner Celebration, the highlight kick-off event of the year, to March 10. This is a BIG year for our Chamber as we turn 100 Years Young, and so appropriate with Caitlin at our helm as the leader of our Young Professionals. Also, our first major fundraiser of the year – the ever-popular Irish Sweepstakes – will be live and in-person after two years of being virtual. This will be our first major event to be held in Ipswich, at the beautiful Hellenic Center. The Irish Sweeps features the best odds in Greater Cape Ann, with only 400 tickets sold, and 12 chances to win, and a top prize of $10,000. Contact the Chamber right now to get your lucky ticket!
And more big news – we have just been notified of winning another regional grant as an extension of our 2021 Cape Ann Regional Grant, to provide services supporting and promoting ALL Greater Cape Ann businesses. This will be done through print, digital, and social media marketing, and through the increased utilization by businesses and consumers of the Cape Ann Online Business Directory, a free online platform available to all businesses – see link here: www.capeannbusinessdirectory.com.
We continue to focus on our members and assisting the community in weathering these uncertain and still highly challenging times with weekly updates on COVID financial aid programs, vaccination resources, and community information. In addition to our popular monthly Coffee & Connections Zoom event on the first Thursday morning of every month, we are gathering in-person with our monthly Business After Hours on the third Wednesday of each month. We are also engaging with our schools through our Business Education Collaborative – a monthly meeting with the schools and regional education and business leadership community. In addition, we are planning our annual Economic Outlook Breakfast for early March – on affordable housing – and Spring Cape Ann Caucus as a unique forum bringing together our state and local elected leaders to collaborate on regional issues and opportunities.
For more on our work, please see a short update from Caitlin and Ken…here: Love Cape Ann Podcast
The Chamber works year-round to promote, advocate, and provide training opportunities to fulfill our mission, which is to serve as the principal voice of business while working to enhance both the economic environment and the quality of life for the citizens of greater Cape Ann. To that end, we are always looking for ways to strengthen your business and build up our community. The Chamber offers incredible opportunity for you to make connections through monthly networking events, large community events and many working committees representing all aspects of our incredible community. We also provide many free promotional opportunities through our social media channels, websites, weekly e-newsletter and many advertising and sponsorship opportunities. USE us – we are here for you! From Business Mixers to Educational Seminars, Government Advocacy, Regional Promotion and our Business-Education Collaborative, the Chamber is working hard for you and the community every day.
In addition, our affiliated Cape Ann Community Foundation is gearing up for its 2022 grant cycle, made possible with proceeds from the Cape Ann License Plate. We are proud to say that the Foundation has awarded more than $70,000 over the past four years to many local nonprofits and our schools. And Save The Date (March 21 – 28) – the Foundation is planning its annual low number license plate auction, with over 40 plates still available – this is your opportunity to get a coveted low plate #! Additional information on the Foundation and Cape Ann Plate, is found here: http://www.lovecapeann.com/.
Cape Ann’s vibrant business community plays an important role in what makes this area a special place to live, work and play. Together we have it all.