The Chamber was founded by Rob Greenstein and Christine Yeres in 2012 with the goal of helping local merchants grow their businesses and residents grow their community. Since the Chamber’s inception, over 170 members have joined and membership continues to grow. The Chamber is focusing on both community events designed to increase community spirit and promote merchants, as well as smaller events designed to draw residents into stores and restaurants to give them a chance to know their local merchants. The Chamber also has several local nonprofit members and helps them publicize their organizations and events.
In addition to planning events (big and small), the Chamber puts together a weekly ChamberChat to spread the word about special promotions from merchants and activities in the community. The Chamber uses on-line media outlets, social media and email blasts to inform New Castle residents about what is happening in town and stay connected with them. Chamber is working on creating a stand-alone Chamber website, as well as a mobile application.
Chamber supports the productive redevelopment of Chappaqua Crossing. As part of the zoning change approval process, the Chamber believes a market study should be commissioned (by the Town Board) to assess the effects of the grocery/shopping center at Chappaqua Crossing on the existing commercial centers in Chappaqua and Millwood. The Chamber also believes that the creation of a 3rd business district should be done in conjunction with updating New Castle’s master plan, and should involve meaningful community input (i.e. town-wide survey).
Chamber will seek to integrate all businesses that are located in Chappaqua Crossing into the New Castle business community and thereby benefit residents of New Castle.
Currently, in both Chappaqua and Millwood, the Chamber is running May Madness Sweepstakes where customers can enter to win one of 4 iPad minis by registering at participating merchants. Chamber also helps with events designed specifically for each hamlet.
In Millwood: Chamber just finished the first annual Tails to Trails, a pet fair in Millwood sponsored by Millwood Animal Hospital and Drug Mart. There was a dog trainer, pet photographer, Pets Alive animal adoptions and more. Next up is another fun new program: Movies in Millwood Park. Each Friday night in June, Drug Mart and several other local merchants are sponsoring movies at the park (next to Rocky’s Deli), with food and other vendors. It will be a classic summertime activity for families!
In Chappaqua: Chamber will celebrate its one-year anniversary on June 12 at Sherry B Dessert Studio with a dessert made just for the occasion by Sherry B and wine-tasting provided by Chappaqua Wine and Spirits.
The Chamber has also been working with the New Castle Recreation and Parks Department to help improve and expand Chappaqua’s Summer Concert Series. The Summer Concert Series will be in July at the Gazebo in Recreation Field. This year there will be three cover bands (Bruce Springsteen cover band, Neil Diamond cover band and 80’s cover band) and the Chappaqua Orchestra. ( Inside Chappaqua just featured the Bruce Springsteen cover band
Tramps Like Us who are kicking off the series.) Last year’s food vendors (Le Jardin, Gail Patrick’s) are returning and more are being added such as the Sherry B ice cream cart. Sponsors will be providing activities for kids as well. The concerts are going to be bigger than ever and we hope to draw people from outside of Chappaqua/Millwood as well!
The Chamber is continually looking at new events and promotions to run and expect to put together one or two more this summer. The Chamber will be assisting with the annual Sidewalk Sale (slated for the last weekend in July) – the sidewalks will be full of great deals from all the merchants. In the Fall, the Chamber will be organizing its second annual Fall Festival in downtown Chappaqua (date: October 26). The Festival will include activities like a pie-baking contest, doughnut eating contest, hayrides, inflatables, and food tastings by local restaurants. Local merchants will be showing their support for the community by sponsoring activities and showcasing merchandise! Two o other events the Chamber premiered last year, Taste of Chappaqua (date TBD) and the Holiday Stroll (in November or early December) and will continue to plan small-scale events at local merchants.
The Chamber encourages everyone to Shop Local and help build our local economy. To this end, the Chamber supports initiatives such as the 3/50 Project and American Express Shop Small/Small Business Saturday. The 3/50 Project is a pro-local movement which reinforces the economic benefits of shopping locally (for example, of every $100 spent locally, $68 comes back to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures – compared to $43 for every $100 spent in a national chain) and encourages people to commit to spending $50 per month at 3 local stores to help local communities flourish. As part of the Shop Local campaign, Chamber also supports the American Express Small Business Saturday is an excellent way to focus people’s attention on shopping at their local merchants and the benefit it provides to the local economy.
The Chamber continues to work with the New Castle Beautification Advisory Board – bringing new lighted snowflakes to the bridge over the holidays.
As noted previously, both the Chamber and the Farmer’s Market support each other, the Chamber is separate from the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market is a member of the Chamber and the Chamber runs a table at the Farmer’s Market every Saturday – but the Chamber did not found the Market. Chamber will also have a table at Community Day in the Fall, to introduce community members to the Chamber and publicize upcoming Chamber events.
Please feel free to contact the Chamber’s new Executive Director Solveig McShea with any questions. 617-448-0465