By Rosalyn Graham
When members of the Shelburne Business and Professional Association (SBPA) held their June meeting last week at the Welcome Center at Shelburne Farms, the discussion centered about the benefits of membership. In other words, for someone considering joining the local business association: “What’s in it for me?”
SBPA President Tod Whitaker had quite a list of benefits that SBPA hopes will attract more local businesses to invest the $50 annual membership fee to join.
One exciting new benefit, directly related to the annual fee, is the new strategic partnership with our neighbor, Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (LCRCC), a partnership which includes deducting the $50 SBPA annual membership fee from the membership fee for LCRCC – a nice benefit for companies that would like to be members of both local business organizations.
The LCRCC partnership offers other advantages to SBPA members: access to LCRCC monthly socials like the one held last Thursday at Shelburne Farms, and a chance to meet other local business people, learn about business services and possible deals, and be engaged in the regional fabric of the economy, from manufacturing to social service to tourism. There are also discounts for advertising in the regional tourism publication “Experience Burlington,” and access to many workshops and special programs offered to LCRCC members.
There are more new and valuable benefits for members of SBPA and anyone with a business (large or small, storefront or home front) in Shelburne should visit SBPAVT.org to find a membership application form.
SBPA is underwriting the cost of advertising in several widely distributed publications dedicated to attracting visitors to Shelburne such as Experience Burlington, Vermont Life, and Destination Vermont.
SBPA has produced a handsome new rack card encouraging visitors to come to Shelburne and listing tourist and retail and hospitality businesses. The rack card will be in many regional welcome centers as well as at local businesses.
The SBPA website is a strong medium for reaching out to potential visitors to Shelburne, and to potential new businesses and new residents. President Tod Whitaker told the membership meeting that he had recently talked to a new local business person who had come to Shelburne to start her business after learning about the town on the SBPA website.
Members of SBPA are welcome to set up an information table at the annual Shelburne Day event on the Parade Ground, an expanded version of the extremely successful Farmers Market managed by SBPA. Shelburne Day will be on Aug. 17 this year, part of the Shelburne 250th Anniversary Celebration.
SBPA provides a network for local businesses to meet, share, and support one another, strengthening the fabric of the community. As Erin Adams said at the June membership meeting, “We are expanding our PT 360 business with a new physical therapy clinic in the Shelburne Green complex and we know that word of mouth is very important to us as a new business in town. Joining SBPA is a good way to learn about businesses in town.”