Together, we make Vermont work.
Our 2023 achievements are defined by our five distinct points:
- Seeking economic opportunity for all
- Celebrating business ownership and entrepreneurship
- Promoting a great place to live, work, and play
- Cultivating community
- Nurturing emerging talent
A MESSAGE FROM CATHY
I believe that the more our business community seeks to grow other businesses, the better we all do. In our 11 plus years of running LaunchVT, our startup accelerator, we’ve always marveled at the willingness of our coaches and mentors to share their business knowledge and expertise with our startups. Recently, we hosted a seminar on changes to employment law where again, members of our business community shared their knowledge so that other businesses could prepare. By being a member of the Lake Champlain Chamber, you’ve already taken a concrete step to grow not only your business but our whole economy. Thank you!
Members enable us to focus on the economy, respond to what our business community needs, and take difficult positions on issues when needed. Our staff has deep expertise that benefits our businesses and our region. Retaining that expertise is important and can’t come and go as challenges arise. Our work is part steady drumbeat of progress and part urgent response. It takes your continued, consistent support to keep us going.
I hope you enjoy our 2023 Annual Report. This is the highlight reel and as such it leaves out many other projects and initiatives from the year. If you’re curious or have any questions, please reach out.
Seeking economic opportunity for all
Our 2023 advocacy has exemplified proactive engagement, impactful partnerships, and resilient institutional knowledge. As we reflect on our achievements and set our sights on the future, Lake Champlain Chamber’s role as a catalyst for positive change remains unwavering.
- Advocating in the State House: LCC’s team tracked 365 bills that affect our members and region, altered 22+ bills based on our business sector insight and testimony, and published 19 advocacy updates to keep our members, allied legislators, and other organizations informed, reaching an impressive average of 558 views per update.
- We lobbied for changes to housing policy and helped win improvements to spur the new housing creation we so desperately need. We don’t intend to let up on this high priority in 2024.
- We brought our public safety conversation to Montpelier advocating on key bills while also supporting key public safety initiatives in Burlington. Public safety will remain one of our highest priorities in the coming year.
- Our newly established Regional Affairs Committee, in collaboration with GBIC, brings together regionally-focused employers and organizations to share updates, provide feedback, and drive engagement on housing and public safety issues. Advocating for regional interests at both state and federal levels reaffirms our commitment to comprehensively representing our unique region.
- Continuing collaboration with our Congressional Delegation amplifies the voices of Vermont businesses on federal issues. Our participation in the Coalition to Protect America’s Regional Airport Access underscores our dedication to securing essential connections for our state. Regular check-ins with congressional delegation staffers and collaborative efforts with partner organizations exemplify our commitment to collective solutions that benefit Vermonters.
bills tracked that affect our members and region
bills altered based on our business sector insight and testimony
advocacy updates published to keep our members, allied legislators, and other organizations informed
Celebrating Business ownership and entrepreneurship
We have a knack for nurturing both entrepreneurs and the businesses they create. Now in its 11th year, LaunchVT celebrated the ingenuity of its latest accelerator cohort. The acceleration didn’t stop at LaunchVT. Through our seminars, business content and many opportunities to build your network, we provided businesses with the resources and connections to grow here in Vermont. Because we believe everyone should have the opportunity to make Vermont work.
We continued to celebrate our business community with our annual awards. Congratulations again to our Business of the Year, Gallagher, Flynn and Company; our Community Impact Award winners, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (organization) and Dr. Amy Carmola of the United Way of Northwest Vermont (individual); our Emerging Leader Award winner, Adam Roof, and A.Wayne Roberts Business Award winner, Little Patakha. Save the date for our 2024 Annual Celebration on April 4th and keep an eye out for our award nominations which will open this fall.
businesses accelerated by LaunchVT in 2023
in cash and services invested in businesses this year
people employed by 79 businesses accelerated since inception
Promoting a Great place to live, work, and play
We love our corner of the world, and we want to share it.
Thanks to our hotel partners, Hello Burlington continues to showcase all our region has to offer. Garnering the attention of major media outlets like Forbes, Travel + Leisure, New York Times, TimeOut, Fodors, Hemispheres Magazine, we have put Burlington on the map–and have the metrics to show it. The Hello Burlington site continues to captivate visitors, and with the launch of an even more robust site in 2023, continues to grow. Conferences and events remain a key way to introduce people to our region: 77 sales leads were sent to member properties with an estimated lead value of $7.5 million.
Last but not least, we greeted almost 500,000 people at the Vermont Information Centers we operate in Williston, Georgia and Alburgh along with the City of Burlington’s Waterfront Information Booth.
Quick reminder: Members can access no cost and low cost advertising at five LCC-operated Welcome Centers!
social media impressions
visitors greeted at our welcome centers
Cultivating Community Leadership
35 years and counting!
The Leadership Champlain Class of 2023 had the distinguished honor of being the 35th cohort to graduate from this program. They spent nine months expanding networks, building friendships, deepening their understanding of themselves as leaders, and wading through the challenges and opportunities of our Brave Little State. Appreciation goes to our Advisory Board for everything they do to make this program so wide-reaching and impactful.
Selected Service Projects organizations this year included Cathedral Square, Launch VT, Mentor Vermont, VABVI, Vermont Stage, Westbury Homeowners Association and the Town of Williston. The cohort produced an impressive body of work for each of these organizations, helping them reach important organizational goals while also applying their leadership skills to real-world situations.
Looking beyond the storied history of our flagship program, we are excited to launch a new leadership development program called Advance Champlain. Scheduled to begin in January 2024, this new program will feature smaller cohorts of established leaders, a shorter time frame and more focused on core leadership skill development. More information can be found at AdvanceChamplain.org.
years and counting developing our region’s next generation of leaders
successful service projects completed for local nonprofit organizations, over 200 completed since program’s inception
new skills-based leadership development program launched
Nurturing Emerging Talent
Whether it’s gathering our region’s young professionals for community-building, growing their professional networks or education, we believe that nurturing our emerging talent is key to growing our economy.
Our workforce development initiatives supported over 300 individuals looking to move to our region with information, resources and one-on-one counseling. Over one hundred individuals shared their resumes with us so that we could share them with our members looking to hire. Reminder- members can access our resume drive and job board for free.
Helping you retain your employees is another workforce strategy. Between offering VACE Dental and Vision insurance, employee discounts, and education we support your retention efforts.
resumes uploaded to our resume drive
young professionals gathered for networking, education, and professional development
individuals interested in relocating or who have recently relocated to Burlington were connected to employers, housing, and relocation resources
Thank you for your support
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