Representatives of the business community in Lewis County have embarked on an ambitious plan to pool their resources and enhance their services.
The Lewis County Chamber of Commerce has worked over the past year with Naturally Lewis, the county’s economic development agency, to solicit input from members of the public on their plan to merge. After receiving feedback from stakeholders, these two groups are implementing a new membership program for the restructured nonprofit group.
The Member Investor Network will offer several levels of membership to businesses, organizations and residents seeking to join what will be called Naturally Lewis. Each option will include various benefits.
“The Engage membership, at an annual cost of $130, provides information and ways to be more connected,” according to a story published Jan. 9 by the Watertown Daily Times. “The Evolve membership, $300 annually, offers support services to assist with growth. The Impact membership, $1,000 annually, aids organizations seeking to invest and influence growth in the community.”
In addition to these options, community members may become involved through the Belong contribution. Residents donate whatever amount they want to assist Naturally Lewis fulfill its goals.
This pending partnership is the result of the collaboration between these two entities. With tighter budgets and more limited resources, there are times when it makes sense for agencies to consolidate. Kristen Aucter, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, summed up the importance of proceeding with this plan.
“We’ve been talking to the community, and there is such a need for a collaborative effort to provide for the growing business scene in Lewis County,” Aucter said in a news release issued Jan. 9 by Naturally Lewis. “This partnership through the Member Investor Network is the first step of a really incredible shift to streamline efforts and provide more support to businesses in Lewis County.”
Brittany Davis, executive director of Naturally Lewis, concurred.
“As part of our future partnership, the new Member Investor Network is not just about businesses getting perks for being members. It’s about developing businesses and, in turn, investing in economic and community development for the future of Lewis County,” Davis said in the news release.
Representatives of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce and Naturally Lewis will continue working together to roll out their plan. They have put a lot of thought into their proposal, and we applaud them for moving forward. They will continue to provide their distinct services while sharing resources whenever possible to benefit their members.
“The Lewis County Chamber of Commerce was established in 1945 recognizing the needs of its businesses and community. The Chamber of Commerce has always been a tool for communication and collaboration — a mechanism for cooperative success. In a changing world, it’s understood that this tool must evolve to continue satisfying the needs of our businesses,” according to the news release. “In the coming year, the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce will begin working towards a formal partnership with Naturally Lewis. Through prior collaborations and member feedback, the Chamber of Commerce understands that a partnership with Naturally Lewis is an opportunity to continue and further its impact on the community and provide new opportunities and benefits for its valued member businesses.”
This is a smart approach by both agencies to continue providing the best services possible to their clients. We encourage organizations in Lewis County to consider joining the new group and help business thrive in our communities.
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