Guilderland Chamber names interim leader

Membership drop forecasted as business owners shift to state health insurance exchanges

— “The challenge of the chamber … is really going to be to show our members, businesses and our community that we are more than just health insurance,” Gauthier said. “We are still here as a community organization, and I think that is going to be the challenge in the near future.”

Gauthier said the chamber, along with others, has offered high-deductible health insurance plans, but the ACA mandates 10 points of coverage for every plan. Many of the high-deductible plans did not offer all needed points.

Gauthier said she talked to a member on Friday, Nov. 8, that’s seeing their plan increase from $330 a month to around $900.

“We can still help them enroll in the exchanges, and there is a couple different ways they can still go through a carrier, but they will not be eligible to get a tax break,” she said.

There are many services and opportunities the chamber offers that Gauthier does not think people are aware of, such as community events, networking events, seminars, and low-cost advertising through its website and email blasts.

She said the larger events like Souped Up on Guilderland are growing in size every year, while smaller events like mixers have been remaining flat. The chamber is going to be looking at what events members would like to see more of and how to best network with fellow business owners.

“I think in the last few years with the recession … people are really kind of taking a step back and prioritizing what is really important,” she said.

The Chamber’s Board of Trustees will be forming a Planning Committee to develop a strategic plan for the organization’s future as it searches for a new president.

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