Welcome to the Lake Sunapee Region!
For more than two centuries, visitors have chosen New Hampshire’s Lake Sunapee Region as their ideal year-round vacation destination. Located in the western part of New Hampshire, this area offers a relaxed lifestyle and boasts a wide variety of activities for all ages. Stroll through the charming New England villages with their lovely inns, fine restaurants and unique shops. Take advantage of a full calendar of activities and cultural events.
For the outdoor lover, this region features a wide array of things to do including boating, kayaking, biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, hunting, alpine and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice boating.
We invite you to explore The Lake Sunapee Region, where you will find it easy to live…laugh, and…love.
End of 2020 Letter to Membership
To all our member friends & colleagues of the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber,
From the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber board of directors and myself we hope you had the most wonderful Holiday with your families. In a time of stress and uncertainty it was wonderful to take a breath and slow down with those we love most.
What a year we have all had. 2020 certainly had more in store for us than we ever could have thought this time last year. It has been such a humbling experience watching each of you pivot and adjust to adhere to new and ever-changing guidelines while still reaching your customers. We will say this time and time again – YOU are the backbone of our region; of our local economy and the reason our communities have stayed so vibrant this past year and the reason they will into the new year.
For the Chamber this was an equally challenging year – being a 501c6 nonprofit organization we did not qualify for any assistance through federal or state relief funds. Knowing the year would be tough financially for all our members as well we cut expenses and limited spending to be sure we could still be here for you in the new year. Our annual membership dues and limited fundraising events make up the majority of our budget and keep us in operation to meet all our members and communities in the Lake Sunapee Region.
Knowing many businesses have been struggling this past year (and the fight isn’t over yet) we wanted to ensure that Chamber membership would still be an option to each business to keep resources and opportunities readily available. When sending out our invoices we have asked for anyone who has been tremendously impacted by this past year to reach out to us. We can create a payment plan that will work for you. We are working on creating an automatic option through our chamber management software where you can have the choice to automatically charge for membership dues annually, bi-annually, quarterly, or monthly – hopefully one less thing to worry about. Based on our tier structure most memberships break down to less than $19 per month and between our social shares, newsletters, virtual and in-person events and opportunities for members – that is well worth the investment. Not only does your Chamber membership cover numerous promotional benefits for your business but it also helps the chamber advocate for our region through many different economic development projects.
As we look to the New Year and all the possibilities that await us – I am excited for all that we can continue to do together. One of the most rewarding parts of this position for me here at the Chamber is being able to provide needed resources and connections to our small businesses ensuring they have all they need to continue to reach our communities.
As I create goals for the New Year with our board of directors – our focus is on what you will need to stay connected and engaged with each other and our community in a new world. A blend of virtual and in-person events, professional development and marketing all created with connectivity and innovation in mind to keep you successful and moving forward.
Thank you for your support of the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber and of myself in this role. Your feedback has helped encourage, motivate and inspire me to continue to stay positive and creative in this position. Being the voice of our Lake Sunapee Region businesses is a task I do not take lightly. There is always another project, conversation, connection, resource, opportunity to share or create for our members. I am honored each and every day to be working for and with each of you…
As they say – the rearview mirror is smaller than the windshield for a reason. Always keep the past in mind but never let it cloud the possibility and excitement of what the future holds. Together we can truly do more for each other and for our region. We know that the Lake Sunapee Region is beautiful in all the ways – let’s continue to work together to share that message with the world.
Have a wonderful and inspiring New Year,
Your Lake Sunapee Region Chamber Director
Some of your Lake Sunapee Region Chamber's accomplishments from 2020…
- Our January 2020 Annual Meeting was a success – Community Awards given out including three new categories and over 40 nominations.
- Over 30 Regional Newsletters sent out to over 1800 subscribers – not including the over 40 member - only email correspondences sent this year.
- Partnered with the state to promote New Hampshire Small Business Day down in Concord – a one day workshop in February covering numerous hot button topics for our local small businesses.
- Provided five in-person networking opportunities despite the challenging year and over ten opportunities for virtual networking throughout the year.
- Published over 15,000 copies of our 2020 – 2021 Regional Information Guide which reaches every corner of New Hampshire and beyond.
- When we were knee deep in the shutdown – our office wasn’t open to the public but we were here to keep our businesses connected with resources and answer the hundreds of phone calls and emails coming our way.
- We partnered with the SBDC on a Resiliency Survey in June to help them plan their new Resiliency Academy taking place in the new year – look for more information coming on this opportunity.
- Partnered with the Arts & Business Alliance through Center for the Arts & the Library Arts Center to work on a Artistic & Cultural Asset map – which will be both on paper and have a corresponding virtual element as well – look for launch information out before Summer 2021.
- We promoted and pushed the “Shop Local” mantra every where we could as often as we could – we successfully had a Summer Shop Local Receipt Reward program – giving out Local Loot gift certificates as prizes to keep the money in our communities.
- Assisted our businesses in connected with resources and applying for the PPP, EIDL, Main Street Relief Funds, Nonprofit Relief Funds or Self-Employment Relief Funds.
- Love Local Campaigns – working with one of our members – Dadoprint - we were able to make THREE rounds of our Love Local store happen bringing almost $4,000 back into the hands of our small businesses that needed it the most.
- Began participation in a Vital Communities conversation on how to come together to better market “Route 11” and our region and started planning and coordinating a regional economy summit.
- With the help of many sponsors and the Lake Sunapee Country Club we were able to hold our annual Black Fly Open in July – socially distant and varied start times but an event to look forward to nonetheless.
- Created the Dartmouth – Lake Sunapee Chamber Collaborative & Partnership to receive $275,000 through the State BEA Office and Travel & Tourism through the Federal CARES Act to assist in local economic relief and recovery.
- Gave out over $50,000 in supplies to local businesses/organizations for PPE needs, sanitation and safety equipment.
- Ashlee and Matt Cross the General Manager at WNTK – our local radio station – hosted “Day-Trip Destinations” every Friday morning for 8 weeks covering local places to shop, eat, visit and spend money for the holiday season. These are now podcasts which can be listened to on our website.
- Gave $15,500 to local businesses for adaptions to doing business successfully in a post-covid world - such as adding e-commerce to websites, learning more about social media marketing and upgrading technology to meet the needs of operating virtually.
- We were able to help facilitate and coordinate the “No Parade – Parade” in lieu of New London Hospital Days this year, we assisted the Lake Sunapee Region Young Professionals with their annual Stuff-A-Truck event and we took over the Return of the Pumpkin People annual event to help celebrate fall in our communities.
- Held a regional virtual job fair in November to connect employers with those in need of work and assisted in soft skills workshops to help unemployed or under-employed individuals obtain the skills they need to land the job they want – more of these opportunities are in the works for the new year.
- The Chamber was selected as a Neighborhood Champion for the American Express Shop Small program and on Small Business Saturday in November we gave away 50 swag bags and went virtual in our communities sharing what our retailers had going on for the start of the Holiday season.
- Still a work in progress is a regional tourism website for the entire Dartmouth – Lake Sunapee area. The campaign to share this website and all that our region offers includes radio, digital, social media ads promoting the region.
- Over $7300 in Local Loot Gift Certificate sales for the 2020 year - which means that money goes right back into the member businesses participating! Our communities understand the importance of keeping their dollars local and that clearly shows.
All of the above are your chamber membership dollars at work – you are part of these projects and initiatives - and we thank you for your continued support. I look forward to all we can do together in 2021.
Near the end of each calendar year we ask our Lake Sunapee Region community to think back on the year that we all have had ~ which businesses, organizations and individuals have stood out to you. What have they done to help keep our region vibrant and active?
Each year the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce presents five community awards at our Annual Meeting - Business of the Year, Community Member of the Year, Rookie Business of the Year, Young Professional of the Year and Non-Profit of the year.
We need YOUR help to nominate your neighbors, families and friends for these awards. YOUR voice matters in who we are able to recognize for their hard work making our beautiful area of NH the absolute best it can be! Here is our nomination form which you will also receive in our next newsletter and it will be on our website homepage!
Consider making a nomination in EACH category ~ YOU directly help determine who wins these annual awards! The deadline to submit a nomination is December 11th.
Don't forget our Local Loot Program!
Our Local Loot Gift Certificates are a great way to support our local businesses!
You can use them wherever you see the above sticker at their establishment. It's simple to participate! If you are a Chamber Member you can accept Local Loot GCs at your location like you would cash. Then connect with Ashlee at the Chamber and you get a check for the amount of the Local Loot GC! Easy!
Local Loot GCs can be purchased at the Chamber Office or over the phone by calling 603.526.6575. Cash or Checks are accepted for Local Loot and we distribute them in smaller amounts to make it easier for our members to accept them.
Stay in the know with the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber!