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February 1, 2012 / Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce

Berlin & New Britain Chambers Of Commerce Announce Merger

Berlin & New Britain Chambers of Commerce Announce Merger

By KEN BYRON, kbyron@courant.comThe Hartford Courant

10:59 a.m. EST, February 1, 2012

The chambers of commerce in Berlin and New Britain have announced that they will merge, a move that officials of both groups welcomed since financial difficulties had forced the one in Berlin to cease operations.

William Millerick, president of the New Britain chamber, announced the merger on Wedneday. He said the move came after a couple of months of talks with members of the Berlin chamber and he credited them for tremendous leadership in working out the details of the new organization.

“We began discussions with Berlin leadership, and also encouraged them to speak with other Chambers to ensure they looked at all of their options. To me, what always drove the discussions was simply, what would be best for member businesses. My feeling was that a regional Chamber, that has a local flavor and gives members a greater footprint and all the services at the same price is perfect,” Millerick said in a statement announcing the merger.

The Berlin chamber has not dissolved but was forced to suspend operations in early December because of financial difficulties brought on by declining membership.

Berlin’s chamber once had more than 200 members but fell to about 150. The membership reduction hurt its finances to the point where it was set to run out of money before the annual collection of dues in March.

Berlin had a chamber of commerce for 58 years. Among its projects in recent years was helping to start a farmers market that ran for a couple of years. It also worked with the town’ s economic development commission on business development initiatives.

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