A few months after opening Hato Viejo last year, Dan and I decided to become members of the Upper Valley Business Alliance. We didn’t have a solid reason at the time- we really weren’t even aware of the benefits of such an alliance, but I knew the value of community- everything is just a little easier when you have allies.
What I have found was that getting involved with the UVBA got us involved in our community in the best way- we were putting names and faces together with the business of our area and making connections.
Tracy and Tammi stopped by my booth at the Farmers Market not long after we signed up, to officially welcome us. What I saw immediately were two people actually interested in offering help. They wanted me to know that there were people who could answer the questions of a stressed-out new business owner, all I had to do was ask.
I don’t know how we would have gotten through the last year without their help. Whether by email or phone, or- as I’ve been known to do- stop by in person, there was always help to be found. Someone who would stop what they were doing, and take the time to explain something to me, or offer encouragement. It was so great to have this amazing resource within our reach.
Last month, the Upper Valley Business Alliance established the first Upper Valley Leadership Awards, which celebrated the best of Upper Valley businesses and organizations who have demonstrated leadership in their community practices. I was so proud to be a part of this important event. On May 17th, nine Upper Valley businesses and organizations were recognized for their contributions to our community at Dowd’s Country Inn in Lyme, NH.
The truth is though, the alliance itself is a pretty major contribution to our community. To have the promise of help at your fingertips- especially when it comes in the form of advice from someone who has already achieved success- is an enormous relief. If you own a business in the Upper Valley, and aren’t yet a member, I highly recommend reaching out and considering membership. It doesn’t matter how or small your business might be- there is help to be had.