end-November 2010
COMMUNITY &
CHAMBER NEWS

Art of Action
While Honest Abe might not show up at the Chamber Mixer on December 9 at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace, there will be plenty of good food, cold drinks, networking opportunities, and new and old friends.

CHAMBER MIXER

The Chamber is hosting our next Mixer! Join us on December 9 from
5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace.

 

Appetizers ~ Munchies
Beer ~ Wine ~ Soft Drinks


Due to liquor license and liability concerns, there will be a suggested donation of $2.00 per beer / glass of wine.

CHAMBER DUES
Thanks to everyone who has sent in their 2011 dues so far. We are humbled at your confidence in our organization. If you have not already done so, please send off the check -- a great investment in your community.
WORKSHOP OPPORTUNITY
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30 at 6:30 pm
at  the Brandon Seniors Citizen's Center

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER

WordPress is open source (that means it is free) content management software for websites. It allows website owners to update and change their websites without any special software on their computer or knowledge of coding. You log in via a web browser when you want to update your website. WordPress is an industry-standard for websites and blogs of all sizes and types. The Chamber's website was switched over to WordPress earlier this year and it has been easy to use while maintaining a clean, crisp look.


The workshop we have scheduled will be provided at no charge to Chamber members. The fee is $10 to non-Chamber members. The workshop is being provided gratis by Jackson Whelan of Pittsford. Jackson designs, builds and maintains websites for a variety of clients all over the country. Partnering with many small design shops and independents to help expand their offerings, and working directly with many individuals and organizations. He specializes in WordPressdevelopment, and has been working with the platform since 2005. Here is information on the workshop Jackson has put together for Brandon Chamber members:

WordPress: The Basics
What is it? What does it do? Why would you want it for your website? Learn about free WordPress.com sites -vs- custom WordPress.org sites. See first-hand how editing and uploading to a WordPress powered website works. Examples of more advanced WordPress implementations such as shopping carts, directories, membership sites and more. How to get started. A question and answer period will follow.


EXCITING NEWS ABOUT
ART IN THE SNOW   


The Brandon Chamber and the Brandon Artists Guild have recently met and have decided to  revitalize / revamp / rejuvenate Art in the Snow. There are exciting opportunities ahead. The event will be held only one weekend, February 25 - 27, 2011.

The weekend will be focused on education. This means workshops, classes, lessons, etc. There are perfect opportunities for partnerships so start thinking about what you can offer. More information, an invitation, ideas, and a registration form, are available here.
Contact the Chamber for more details.
PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS AT NOT CHARGE, continued
More networking opportunities learned at the October workshop sponsored by the Chamber featuring Rachel Carter PR. The Chamber will provide a few links in each of our upcoming newsletters.

The more that businesses in the area promote themselves, the better for everyone else. It would be great to create a critical mass in on-line directories and let web surfers know that Brandon is a thriving place. These are all free but read the fine print. With a little bit of your time, you can get yourself listed quite easily:

http://yellowpages.superpages.com
Free site to add or edit your business based on phone number. BE CAREFUL to read the fine print and only have your free listing without enhancements or you will be billed. If you are billed, call and tell them you only want the free listing and you s
hould not have to pay. [Go to Add a Business at the bottom]

www.vermontphonebooks.com
If you lie in the areas of Vermont it serves, make sure you are listed. You may need to call.

www.vermontweb.com
Free Vermont business directory to list your business. You will need to link back to them. They give instructions.

http://www.mainstreetvermont.com/Contactform.htm
Free listing page for MainStreetVermont.com. No need to put a reciprocal link.

www.vermontbusinessregistry.com
This is the State of Vermont directory. Make sure you are registered here. It does not happen automatically when you register your business name with the Secretary of State.

www.switchboard.com
Free business listing for another online yellow pages. Links to many directory sites.

NEW CIGNA INSURANCE RATES ANNOUNCED
The 2011 renewal rates for CIGNA Insurance available through the chamber have been posted to the VACE INSURANCE website. As expected, there is an increase on premiums.  Some of the factors resulting in a premium increase include:

  • There have been an increased number of claims. Over 90% of premiums were paid out in claims this past year. This is an unsustainable level without increase.
  • Rates are driven by projected costs out 12-18 months. The current 11% health trend (projected increase in medical costs)  in Vermont impacts rates pretty quickly.
  • In addition to continuing increases in utilization and cost of services, a great deal of uncertainty has been injected into the system at both the state and national levels. Uncertainty = risk = higher prices. CIGNA is not unique in this regard.
     
  • Unfortunately, our premiums are not out of line based on the cost of services consumed.
  • We understand that other major insurers in the state have rate increases the same as CIGNA's.
  • Services and the cost of those services coupled with the mandates in VT and at the Federal level result in increased premiums.

We know it is not a good answer and no one is happy about it. Perhaps a higher deductible would be an option for you. Contact your insurance agent to review all your options.

BRANDON'S MEMORY TREE
Brandon's majestic Memory Tree was lit this past Sunday and gives us all a moment to remember as we walk and drive by on a regular basis. The annual lighting of the tree ushers in the holiday season. The planted Blue Spruce has been growing and thriving each year and is a beautiful reminder year-round of our loved ones. The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce thanks everyone who contributed to the Memory Tree, which helps keep our town lit during our shortest days. Names will be printed in an upcoming Reporter newspaper. Also thanks to Charlene Bryant for her tallying of the Memory Tree names. Thanks to the OVUHS Chorale under the direction of Pat Roberts, the Brandon Festival Singers under the acting directorship of Terry Zimmer, and Rev. Bob Bove of the Brandon Baptist Church for being a part of the Memory Tree Lighting. Happy Holidays from the Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce
DIRTY WORKS MAPPING VISITORS
Trip Willis at Dirty Works has been mapping his customers. Wow! People have traveled from far and wide to have their laundry cleaned!  Visitors from all across the U.S. and a number of foreign countries, including Greece, Switzerland, Germany, and Australia, used the facilities this summer and fall. The pushpins on the map show all the different points in Florida represented.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES FROM OUR MEMBERS:

TRAINING TO EXCEL: Food Safety and Protection Training Course and Services. Food Safety Courses and Waitstaff Workshop. ServSafe« Manager Certification Examination: Best for interested professionals, proprietors, chefs and managers. Mark you calendar next classes Dec 28 and January 18 in Brandon. Food Safety and Protection Essentials: Ideal for part and full time food service industry associates. Food Safety Best Practices for Households: Great for home chefs, bakers, seniors, students and homemakers. Waitstaff Dining Service Workshops and/or Refresher: Workshop now forming for January 2011. Services: Pre-Board of Health Inspection "Fresh Eyes Walkthrough" improve your score. Catering and Special Events Planner/ Liaison for individuals. Consultant for food services. Contact: Norm Milot, 31 Franklin Street. Info at www.trainingtoexcel.com. Email info@trainingtoexcel.com. Or call 802.247.0098


 

DECEMBER COOKING CLASSES ON MONDAYS WITH CAF╔ & GOURMET PROVENCE CHEFS: Learn from executive chefs! Space is limited ~ Call 247-9997 for reservations:

Monday, December 6th ~ Get Ready for your Holiday Cooking 

Monday, December 13th ~ More Ideas for your Holiday Cooking
Monday, December 20th ~ Canapes and Hors d'Oeuvres for the Holidays!


 

DECEMBER 2 - BRIGGS CARRIAGE BOOKSTORE - WILLEM LANGE will be reading from his Christmas classic, Favor Johnson: A Christmas Story.  247-0050. 7:00 pm.

 

DECEMBER 9 - BRIGGS CARRIAGE BOOKSTORE - ANDREA CHESMAN - Ripton, VT food writer and cookbook author presents her latest book, Recipes From the Root Cellar: 270 Fresh Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables. 247-0050. 7:00 pm

 

DECEMBER 10 - BALL & CHAIN CAFE - JUSTIN PERDUE -  Don't miss the return performance of this talented trio featuring Justin Perdue on jazz guitar, Jeremy Harlos on bass and Travis Shores on drums. 247-0050. 7:00 pm

 

DECEMBER 11 - BALL & CHAIN CAFE - SIMPLY ACOUSTIC - Mike and Tom Boise entertain with a musical sound they call "simply acoustic." 247-0050. 7:00 pm.

 

DECEMBER 12 & 19 - DECORATE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE WORKSHOP AT THE INSIDE SCOOP  -  Participants use selections from The Inside Scoop's extensive candy choices to create their own masterpieces to bring home! Three sessions each day: 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 pm. Call 247-6600 or email: <janet@brandon.org> to register!

MOONLIGHT
MADNESS

THURSDAY, DEC. 2

Moonlight Madness Part 1 will take place on Thursday, Dec. 2 from 4 - 9 pm.

Shops and restaurants will be offering bargains, sales, specials, drawings, refreshments and a shopping experience which can't be found at the mall!

Shop local!

Click here: www.brandon.org
for details and special offerings.

Part 2 is Wednesday, December 15.


NEXT CHAMBER MEETING:
NEW BOARD MEMBER ELECTIONS
BY-LAWS: ARTICLE III
Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce members are hereby noticed for action at the next Chamber meeting, November 29, 2010 at 6:30 pm at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace, 4 Grove St., Brandon VT 05733. There will be Elections of Board of Directors: Each business membership is entitled to one vote. In the case of membership being held in the name of a business, association, etc., one person shall be delegated to represent the business and to cast its vote.
UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

DECEMBER 5: BRANDON FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY
HOLIDAY BENEFIT AUCTION
- Join the Friends of the
Brandon Free Public Library for their annual holiday auction. Over 50 local patrons and artists donate holiday wreaths, decor, artwork and treasures for the event. Music, refreshments, & door prizes. Preview at 3 pm. Auction at 3:30 pm. $1.00 donation requested. 247-8230.

 

DECEMBER 11:
from 9 am - 3 pm 
BRANDON FARMER'S MARKET ANNUAL HOLIDAY FAIR
will be held this year at the Neshobe School Gym. Lots more vendors! Look for maple syrup, honey, baked goods, hand knit items in wool, mohair, and alpaca, goatmilk soap, canned goods, wooden toys, wooden clothes racks, dried flowers, aprons, jams and jellies, jewelry, holiday decor and more. Lunch available with proceeds going to Neshobe School. Contact Wendy at 273-2655 or <
cijka4@localnet.com> for more info


 

DECEMBER 12: BRANDON FESTIVAL SINGERS - This annual tradition features the music of Gene Childers. Brandon Congregational Church at 3 pm. The season feels extra special after experiencing this performance! Free will offering.

HEALTH INSURANCE

CIGNA and
DELTA DENTAL

A popular Chamber membership benefit  is access to group health  / dental insurance at group rates. Contact Holden Financial Services at 775-2503 or 388-4992 or your own insurance agent. You can read more about plan options for both health and dental insurance here.

FairPoint Communications
Free Wireless Internet DSL is being provided at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace, Brandon Museum, and Visitor Center by FairPoint Communications.

LOAF & LADLE SUPPER

A dozen homemade soup varieties. Try several breads, salad bar, pound cake with strawberries; beverages. Sat., Dec. 4 from 5 - 7 p.m. at the Brandon Congregational Church Hall. Adults: $9.00; Youth: $4.00; under 5: guests

DUNMORE DIP
ICE OUT
The Dunmore Dip ICE OUT sponsored by the Lake Dunmore / Fern Lake Association is now accepting entries to guess the DATE and TIME when "Lord Dunmore" stops the clock! 50% of the proceeds goes to the winner and 50% goes to benefit the Milfoil Control Program. Click on the link for more information about the contest and to print a form.
CONTACT INFO
Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce

PO Box 267
Brandon VT 05733

802-247-6401

info@brandon.org
www.brandon.org