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Newtown Chamber Merging With Greater Danbury Chamber Of Commerce



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Effective September 1, The Chamber of Commerce of Newtown, Inc is ceasing operations as a stand-alone organization and will be merging with the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce to better serve the local member businesses. The merger spells the end to the local organization, which has served the community exclusively for decades.

According to a letter to chamber members concerning the merger, “The decision to come together was not made lightly, but in today’s environment it is important to have scale and an eye towards the future growth of our business sectors.”

“It was with that in mind that the Board of Directors of both Chambers started a dialogue over the past year that concluded with the plan to bring the Chambers together,” states the letter.

Under the leadership of PJ Prunty, the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce will “continue its long tradition of serving the Greater Danbury area and will incorporate many of the initiatives and events that were founded by the Chamber of Commerce of Newtown,” states the letter.

These include such events as Martini Madness, Golf Tournament, ribbon cuttings and local networking events. As the memberships come together, all will have the benefit of expanded programs including potential community events throughout the year.

The letter states that members “will be key to the transition,” and it is with that in mind that the current dues structure will be grandfathered for a period of 24 months. The Board of Directors will be reviewing the dues structure for all members over the next year and will communicate changes to the combined membership once finalized.

Dues notices will continue to be sent from the Newtown Chamber until August 1, at which time they will be distributed under the Greater Danbury Chamber’s letterhead with instructions for payment.

Prunty said in a separate statement that, “As we come together to reach further, our focus remains to be a one stop shop for our members businesses and provide value in the form of both small and large networking events, educational opportunities, workforce and leadership development and many more value-added benefits.

“The Greater Danbury economy continues to be the leader in many metrics and this step only strengthens our regional economy,” continued Prunty. “The Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce currently serves the greater Danbury community including the 10 towns of Bethel, Brookfield, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford, Sherman, Redding, Ridgefield and Brewster, New York. The Chamber strives to support local and regional economic development efforts, advocates for our members, encourages business investment in our region and greater regional cooperation.”

Prunty said the chamber’s program of work and legislative platform “focus on ensuring the strength and competitive edge of both our member companies and the region.”

“Through the guidance of the Chamber’s Legislative Council, our major policy initiatives this year have been at the forefront of the Chamber’s advocacy effort including transportation including actively lobbying for improvements on I-84 which include major improvements to this crucial transportation corridor such as widening and realignment of exit and entrance ramps and upgraded rail service,” said Prunty. “Through our partnership with the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, we have focused on workforce development initiatives, including encouraging initiatives to increase the availability of skilled workers through the development of a number of committees to identify priorities, on the job training programs, incumbent worker training and services for our emerging populations.”

Prunty said that in partnership with the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, the Chamber is the lead convener of the Northwest Connecticut Healthcare Sector Partnership. Convening leaders from the region’s health care industry helps to identify opportunities and actions needed to promote growth of their sector. This approach is modeled after similar efforts across the country that are achieving real results for businesses, job seekers, and regional economies.

In addition, the Chamber is a co-convener for the Northwest Connecticut Manufacturing Sector Partnership.

“Our economy is only as strong as our businesses and workforce. Working together as a region, we can strengthen and grow our community,” said Prunty.

Judith Miller, president of the Newtown Chamber of Commerce, said that “Danbury provides an exceptional long-term vision for the greater business community while also recognizing Newtown’s thriving, local business owners and consumers.”

“Coming together with GDCC will support our current mission and allow expansion for our members that want to reach into surrounding areas, as well as participate in advantageous networking and educational events,” said Miller.

A joint kickoff event is planned for 5 pm Wednesday, August 10, at MarketPlace Kitchen & Bar-Newtown, 32 Church Hill Road. Chamber members can RSVP to info@danburychamber.com by August 5.


Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

Judith Miller, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Newtown, has informed members this week that the local organization is ceasing operations as a stand-alone agency, and is merging with the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce effective September 1.
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