Franklin County Chamber of Commerce brings business community together for “After Hours”

The business community in Franklin County using their time after hours this Wednesday evening to network and discuss the latest in their sector.

A large turnout in Bernardston, with more than 200 people attending ‘After Hours’, the monthly event hosted by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. The meet-up took place at the newly reopened Farm Table at Kringle Candle.

It was a chance for chamber members to connect, and show how businesses and the community are one. “One of the things I really love about Franklin County is that collaboration is our secret sauce,” Jessye Deane, Executive Director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce & Regional Tourism Council.

By connecting these different organizations, the Chamber helped them share best practices and leverage each other’s resources. This enabled them to create more impactful and innovative solutions to the challenges the county faces. “Small businesses and nonprofits are the heart and soul of Franklin County and so as the Chamber we really see our role in supporting non-profit and business leaders in any way we can,” Deane explained.

One of the problems small-business owners may have is finding workers. According to the National Federation of Business, 45% of all owners reported job openings they could not fill. More than half of owners have unfilled job openings, up from 23% in the past 49 years. In 92% of cases, owners reported that there weren’t enough or no qualified applicants for the jobs they were trying to fill. But by participating in this dynamic networking event, businesses could learn about effective strategies for retaining and attracting employees.

According to Deane, the event has already restored small business prosperity to levels that exceeded those before the pandemic. Adding, it’s been a big year for the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce as they bring networking opportunities to their 26 communities each month.