Committees & Community Action

The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce exists to stimulate and promote the vitality of St. Johnsbury by focusing on the commercial, cultural, and community assets of our downtown.

The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce is both a Designated Downtown organization, part of the National Main Street Program, and a business network. We’re efficient and effective because we combine the interests of our residents, merchants, and professionals with the structure of a Designated Downtown organization to accomplish community-wide goals. We make it easier for businesses to thrive, give residents reasons to love where they live, and greet guests with the help they need to discover what’s great about St. J.

We are based in St. Johnsbury’s historic Welcome Center. Our trained ambassadors make sure that visitors receive a warm and informed message about where to stay, eat, shop, and play. We’re continually working behind-the-scenes to build stronger connections between St. Johnsbury’s Town Offices, Select Board, and our business community.

A director staffs the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce. Most of the work of the Chamber is carried out by a dedicated team of volunteers who believe and invest in our community

Here are a few highlights of what we do:
- work with our Town Officials and Select Board members on economic and community priorities
- maintain our community Facebook page and website (discoverstjohnsbury.com)
- promote St. Johnsbury as a destination for visitors and businesses
- host networking sessions to connect local businesses with resources
- provide access to incentives for investments in our downtown
- organize events throughout the year that draw people to St. Johnsbury

Our success means a more vibrant community, and we welcome your participation! Join a committee or come to a meeting to learn how your skills and expertise can build safe and vibrant neighborhoods. Call us to find out more about contributing your time and energy to make your community stronger, healthier, and more beautiful.

We’re involved because we believe in St. J and want to make it a terrific place to live, an excellent choice for your business, and a destination for visitors throughout the year. Volunteers staff the Welcome Center, plan events, and provide essential services that make our community thrive. Come to a meeting to learn how your skills and expertise can build safe and vibrant neighborhoods, a thriving retail district, and outstanding attractions.

Here’s what you need to know to get involved:

St. Johnsbury is one of 24 Designated Downtowns in the State of Vermont. The St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce is the organization that serves as liaison with the State Agency of Commerce and Community Development to make these benefits available. Downtown programs provide tax incentives and support for revitalization.We use the National Main Street structure to work on community priorities. You can join any of these public committees to make a difference:

Economic Restructuring
The Economic Restructuring Committee works with the Town of Saint Johnsbury to facilitate economic initiatives in order to retain, promote, and attract Downtown business investment. We identify new market opportunities for the traditional commercial district, finding new uses for historic commercial buildings and stimulating investment.

Design
The Design Committee objectives are getting Main Street into top physical shape and creating a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials.

St. Johnsbury Image/Marketing
Using print, digital, and broadcast media, this committee focuses on presenting St. Johnsbury’s resources and opportunities to draw more people to our community and increase investment. Community events are organized through this committee by volunteer groups who celebrate St. Johnsbury’s unique traditions with a full-year calendar. (Meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday, 8 – 9AM – all are welcome)St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors identifies priorities, sets goals, and manages the Chamber’s resources. Board officers include President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Board members are nominated and approved on an ongoing basis; you can join the Chamber’s Board of Directors by getting involved with a committee or volunteering at the Welcome Center.“Discover St. Johnsbury” is our marketing message. It calls attention to the extraordinary happenings, shops, and people of downtown and greater St. Johnsbury.

COMMITTEES

Image/Marketing Committee
This committee is a combination of the Chamber’s Marketing committee and the St. Johnsbury Image Task Force that was formed through the 2015 Vermont Council on Rural Development Community Discussion. The goals and priorities of this committee are defined by the VCRD Community Discussion report. The committee’s mandate is to create a positive image that will rekindle community pride and improve consumer and investor confidence in our commercial district.

2017 – 2019 priorities

- Annual Report to the Community – What has been accomplished? Consolidate available data – (point of sale info, web analytics, employment info, construction, new businesses, number of visitors, $ benefits returned to Town and businesses as a result of DT Tax credits & grants) measurements
- Positive Articles to be written and provided to Caledonian-Record
- Coordinate Walking Tour with AARP
- Evaluation of Events – Staff/volunteer time involved, cost, return, benefit
- Downtown Map & E-Map– Design, printing, cost
- Remain active in Regional Marketing program w/o Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism – Northern Forest Center Grant (USDA 2016)

Economic Development Committee
The goal is to build a commercial district that responds to the needs of today’s consumers by retaining and expanding successful businesses to provide a balanced commercial mix; sharpening the competitiveness and merchandising skills of business owners; attracting new businesses that the market can support; and converting unused or underused commercial space into economically productive property

2017 – 2019 priorities

- Working Lands (opportunities for small farmers and locally produced a.g.)
- Small & Micro-Enterprise Development/Technical Assistance (training, creativity)
- Business Recruitment/Marketing

Design Committee
Getting Main Street and our downtown into top physical shape and creating a safe, inviting environment for shoppers, workers, and visitors by directing attention to all of its physical elements: public and private buildings, storefronts, signs, public spaces, parking areas, street furniture, public art, landscaping, merchandising, window displays, and promotional materials.

2017 – 2019 priorities
- Determine Interest in pocket park development
- Banners on Railroad Street, Main Street, Portland Street
- Public Arts projects
- Façade improvement on downtown buildings

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