June GCACC Update from Caitlin & Ken
May was a BIG month for the Chamber and our greater Cape Ann community. We held five social / networking events, beginning with our Spring Tourism Mixer in early May at the Vista in Gloucester. This included a Ribbon Cutting for their new tent which looks amazing. From there it was onto a fantastic gathering with stunning views and more than 100 members at the Emerson Inn in Rockport. We held two fun Next Gen / Young Professional events with two newer members, Lanes Coven Theatre Co. and Appleton Farms. And of course our virtual monthly Coffee and Connections which is always impactful and fun. In addition, we had perfect weather for our 33rd Annual Education Fundraiser at Bass Rock Golf, with a record 124 golfers. We were back to Shotgun start format and a delicious awards celebration dinner afterwards. This signature event supports our education priority through our Business Education Collaborative, funding our six high school college scholarships, Cape Ann Career & College Fair, DECA, Internship and Mentor support, classroom training, and more. In May we also held the first of what is likely to become an annual Wellfest Event at the Cape Ann YMCA, with 40 health and wellness organizations of all types participating.
Two more HUGE milestones in May. First, our 2022 / 23 publications were delivered, and they are beautiful! They include Ipswich for the first time this year, literally tying Ipswich into what will become increasingly known as Greater Cape Ann. We print more than 250,000 total pieces consisting of the Greater Cape Ann Guide & Directory, Greater Cape Ann Map and Rockport Map; and we deliver around Cape Ann, the greater North Shore, into Boston and beyond. These publications will also be available on our multiple websites shortly for our locals and visitors around the world. Please stop by the Chamber to pick-up as many as you would like, or give us a call, we are happy to deliver. Secondly, we completed a new member initiative, and are pleased to welcome more than 100 new businesses to our Chamber family. With our new members, we are back to pre-pandemic levels with over 1,000 members now filling the ranks for our Chamber, as the largest on the North Shore (by more than 2x), and the fifth largest in the Commonwealth – this gives us incredible leverage to advocate for and promote your business, as well as supporting our incredible greater Cape Ann community.
We are running full steam ahead with our pre-pandemic programming and kicking-off June with one of our most important pieces of work that is core to our mission – celebrating Small Business. Our Small Business Week is now extended over two weeks, to include Ipswich. This is so important to put a spotlight on our unsung small business leaders. Every year since 1981 the Chamber has set aside the first week of June as Cape Ann Small Business Week to honor the achievements of Cape Ann’s small business entrepreneurs and their employees, and their contributions to the economic vitality and community life of Cape Ann. During this year’s 42nd celebration, June 6 – 17, greater Cape Ann’s Small Business Persons of the Year will first be saluted individually at evening receptions in their respective communities, and then they will be honored as a group at the Awards Luncheon, which will take place at The Castle Manor Inn on Friday, June 17, from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. For further information and to register for the luncheon, please click ….insert link…
And yes, we are well-along in planning our full summer events programming including our signature community events: Gloucester Block Parties, Waterfront Festival and Festival by the Sea in Manchester and now a 100th Anniversary Celebration in the form of Blackburn Brew Fest at Stage Fort Park.
Our major fundraiser – Love Cape Ann Annual Auction – is moving to September (the 29th) – save-the-date.
On other fronts, our Cape Ann Community Foundation has just closed the 2022 grant application cycle – we will be announcing the winners information shortly. The grants are funded with proceeds from the Cape Ann License Plate, easily available online at the official Registry of Motor Vehicles site. Please contact us if you would like to learn more, as the registry is not yet allowing purchase online due to the pandemic.
Greater 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 and are making great things happen.