By: Brianna Alves
Revised by: Rebecca Laliberte, Communications Manager of the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce
Photos by: Sergio Dabdoub & Brianna Alves


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On Wednesday, October 12th the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce to hold the largest business-to-business trade shows within the SouthCoast! This year’s theme for the Business Expo celebrated the 2016 Olympics. As you can see from the picture above, Up, Up, & Away, a member of the New Bedford Area Chamber helped decorate the entrance to the event with the Olympics theme.  Almost 100 companies, which include for-profits, non-profits, small businesses and large corporations, exhibited at this year’s event, showcasing all their goods and services to the public.  During the business expo, I walked around, talked with business professionals from a variety of industries, connected with people who have become friends of mine and helped with the entrance area to the expo.

 

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The 2016 Chamber membership drive was a success! The Chamber began engaging with the new members by hosting a New Member Orientation before the October edition of Business After Hour. On Thursday, October 13th, Ambassadors of the Chamber, Rick Kidder (CEO & President of the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, and Ian Abreu (Manager of Business Development & Public Policy) welcomed over 30 new members at the member orientation. I could not attend the orientation but Ian Abreu said: “It was a successful night; everyone was excited, asking questions, and exchanging those business cards.”  I helped prepare for the new member orientation by revising the presentation that was used to highlight the main aspects of Chamber membership.  Also, I made phone calls to the new members inviting them to attend.

 

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In the United States, the opioid epidemic is a serious issue that has taken many innocent lives. The New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a Good Morning SouthCoast! with a panel of professionals and experts who have worked hard to prevent and treat the opioid abuse. The panel was as follows:
– Dr. Craig Longo a local emergency physician at St. Luke’s Hospital
– Dr. Michael Rocha a cardiologist with Hawthorn Medical Associates
– Mr. Jeff Stone Director of Programs at the Massachusetts Health Council
– Ms. Valarie C. Samuels LLP who delivers lectures and presentations on managing opioid addiction  in the workplace
– A representative from the Gloucester Police Department discussing the implemented Gloucester Police Volunteer ANGEL program for addicts

I sat in, listening to the conversation and I was surprised how this does not only impact families but workplaces and schools as well. A representative from Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical Regional High School asked the panel if he should do something for the students; in terms of counseling or speaking about the issue. Peter Muise, President & CEO of First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union asked the panel how he can help his company employees who may be affected by the opioid crisis. The panel advised Mr. Muise to show his employees that the company cares and is ready to help by giving them a number of resources.

 

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Not many know this but I enjoy taking pictures. Though it’s just a hobby of mine, I find photography relaxing and good to do when I have nothing else to do. In the past, I have told my colleagues at my internship that I enjoy taking pictures, therefore, I was so excited when the Chamber asked me to take pictures for a ribbon cutting. Two Sisters, LLC is a family-owned food truck in New Bedford MA who focuses on Portuguese cuisine. They became a member of the Chamber during the membership drive and have been fully engaged since. I personally have tried their food and it is very good. You have to try it! The food truck is located on Tarklin Hill Rd, New Bedford MA. Two Sisters, LLC sometimes does move around, so check them out on Facebook for updates.

Lastly, since I am a marketing major and like to keep up with trends social media is one aspect of running a business that I am interested in. This past week Kelli Munroe who is the Tourism Coordinator for Southeastern Massachusetts Visitors Bureau and also a Chamber staff member asked me to work on social media posts. First I looked at how many “hits” the visitor’s bureau website and Facebook page receive. After that, I wanted to see what events were coming up to help attract people to the region. Since Halloween is around the corner, Ms. Munroe, wrote a blog about fun things to do during the spooky holiday weekend. I posted the blog all of the visitor’s bureau’s social media platforms and  website. One key thing I keep in mind when I post the same thing on every social media site is seeing the same thing may get boring to your audience. One way I resolve to change the comment depending on the social media site I am posting on. A Little advice from me to you!