Welcome to the first bi-monthly news column of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. This first article outlines the specific reasons of the SLRCC existence and why we are not just a “Social Club” of the Windham local business community.

Through the years, this Chamber has grown within many communities to now include a base of seven towns – Gray, Windham, Casco, Standish, Sebago, Raymond and Naples, as well as members from surrounding communities who join the Chamber for various reasons including client database in the Region, marketing programs for publication in the newsletter, Business & Pleasure Guide and Chamber Information Booths.

Why join the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce? More than 350 businesses are experiencing the benefits of Chamber membership. The Chamber programs are designed to increase productivity, efficiency, and business volume for member businesses. The following are just some of the benefits that members receive from the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce:

•Networking: Regular meetings and monthly Business Breaks offer networking opportunities.

•Referrals: On a daily basis consumer inquiries are referred to businesses from the Chamber Office. The Business & Pleasure Guide, our membership directory, is then mailed to the consumer. In addition, Chamber members often refer other Chamber members when asked for a reference.

•Marketing Opportunities: High visibility advertising is available in the Business & Pleasure Guide, monthly newsletter, event sponsorship, and Web site.

•Programs/Education: Programs and training are offered to members with such topics as legislative updates, healthcare, customer service, etc.

•Community Betterment: The Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce addresses emerging community issues to enhance the quality of life as well as the business climate throughout the Sebago Lakes Region.

•Credibility: You will receive a member identification decal to display at your business so other businesses know you are among the firms supporting your community through our Chamber.

•Member Discounts: Participate in our member discount program and receive discounts and/or offer discounts to your customers.

•Economic Growth: Utilize programs designed to help members prosper, grow, and remain competitive.

•Business & Pleasure Guide: The Chamber’s membership directory mailed to all inquiring consumers and available at tourism centers throughout the state.

The SLRCC will be having the first Annual Legislative Breakfast on Tuesday, May 10, 7-9 a.m. at Charlie Beiggs in Windham. This seminar is open to businesses and local residents. If you would like to attend please contact the Chamber office (892-8265) for a reservation. Tickets are $10 for Chamber members, and $15 for non-members.