Northern Vermont chambers of commerce merge

July 11, 2021 GMT

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — The long-running Heart of Vermont Chamber of Commerce serving eight towns in northern Vermont has officially merged with the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.

The Heart of Vermont chamber had been in existence for at least 40 years and served Cabot, Craftsbury, Greensboro, Hardwick, Stannard, Walden, Wolcott and Woodbury, the Caledonian Record reported.

“If it weren’t for COVID, I think they would have gone long into the future,” Darcie McCann, executive director of the NEK Chamber, said on Thursday. “This was a successful chamber with very strong leadership under Maria (Roosevelt) … it has a strong reputation that is greatly respected in the state.”

Members had received a letter and ballot from Roosevelt, the director, in mid-March saying that new volunteers were needed to fill all four board positions or the chamber would have to stop operating. Not enough volunteers stepped up, which Roosevelt and McCann attribute to the pandemic.

“Folks are really concentrated on getting their businesses going again and getting their feet back under them. In doing that, you don’t have a lot of time for other things,” Roosevelt said.

The NEK Chamber serves Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties.