Chamber launches discount card, relocation guide and video

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As part of its ongoing efforts to attract and retain employees in the region, the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut has launched a discount card, relocation guide and promotional video.

"It's a huge cheering initiative for the region, really meant to highlight the diversity of the area," Chamber Vice President Amanda Ljubicic said.

The initiatives are part of the chamber's Community Concierge program, which is part of Thames River Innovation Place. The card, guide and video are therefore funded through a matching grant from the entrepreneur-boosting organization CTNext.

For the discount card, someone could buy one for $25 and get 10 percent off goods or services at nearly 20 local businesses. This includes Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, Florence Griswold Museum, Pink Basil, Tanger Outlets and The Red Door Spa.

A full list of participants, along with the ability to purchase cards, can be found at

While people individually can purchase cards, Ljubicic said the intent of the chamber is to have local employers purchase cards in bulk. There are four discounts available, ranging from 20 percent off for buying more than 10 cards, to half-off for buying more than 100.

The 62-page relocation guide, which came out in July, can be downloaded for free at

The mindset of the guide, chamber President Tony Sheridan said, was: "I just arrived here; what would I want to know about?"

It serves as a guide for fun excursions like local beaches, hiking trails, wineries, breweries, performing arts centers and museums.

It also lays out more practical information, like on employment resources, military services, apartment complexes, preschool and day care centers, grocery stores, gyms, banks, insurance agencies and urgent care centers.

Sheridan said it could be useful for people coming from parts of the country with county governments, who aren't familiar with the more "fractured" system here.

Ljubicic said the relocation guides were popular at the recent U.S.-Australia defense summit, and the chamber has heard interest from state legislators, airport and train station operators, and town officials.

The chamber also released a nearly 5-minute video last week, with the intent that local employers — such as Electric Boat, Pfizer and Dominion — could send it to prospective employees as a snapshot of eastern Connecticut.

The video highlights wineries, sailing, beaches, nightlife and startups in the region, along with specific places like Main Street in Mystic, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, The Dinosaur Place, Fort Trumbull and the Garde Arts Center.

"Don't let our quaint, New England towns and picturesque historic villages fool you," the narrator says. "Eastern Connecticut is full of energy, from bustling downtowns and technology centers to nationally acclaimed institutions and world-class resorts."

Sheridan feels the video also can be helpful for people who already live here.

"We're hoping that people will take a look and feel good about where they're living and working and having fun," he said, adding of residents, "We tend to be so negative, and there's no need for it. We're living in this beautiful part of the world."


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