With 24 years of experience to build upon, the Shelburne Business and Professional Association is reaching out to build its membership, provide programs that will benefit both the retail and tourism-oriented businesses of Shelburne as well as the vital service businesses that are so key to the quality of life here, and encouraged by several collaborations during 2019 become more engaged with the elected and appointed leadership of the town.

“A first step towards this exciting and challenging agenda is to strengthen both the membership and the leadership structure of SBPA,” says newly named President Rosalyn Graham. “A capable and eager board, some with many years of experience with Association and some newly recruited, is committed to building the structure and accepting the responsibilities of ensuring that the organization is moving forward towards its goals.”

Members of the board are Boston Neary, Samantha Jackman, Tom Mahar, Gail Albert, Jennifer Barrett, David Palmer and David Jonah with Sophie Conway as manager of the Shelburne Farmers Market and Christine Patrin as CFO.

An exciting step in the right direction is the return of a regular Business Buzz column in the Shelburne News and we thank the paper for this vital link to our community. And our first regular column will introduce these key folks to the community.

Some history

Since it was founded in 1996, the Shelburne Business and Professional Association has been committed to supporting our community and businesses by welcoming tourists; encouraging potential businesses; building mutually beneficial networks for the existing professional, commercial and service businesses in the town; and putting our combined energy and expertise to work for the benefit of the community.

An ongoing activity of the Association has been working in partnership with regional and state tourism organizations to implement promotional campaigns to raise awareness among visitors to the state, telling the world that Shelburne has much to offer to residents and businesses: great access to transportation, a tradition of healthy living, excellent educational resources, a dynamic economy that includes Burlington and Chittenden County, and the quality of life that the rest of the world recognizes and admires.

One of the most visible contributions the Association has made to the Shelburne economy, is organizing the Shelburne Farmers Market with the dual objectives of providing a bounty of locally grown and produced agricultural products, prepared foods and handicrafts for the local community while also attracting shoppers from surrounding towns, and many tourists, all benefiting the local economy. Every Saturday from mid-May to October, the vendors line up on the Parade Ground on Church Street, and Tod Whitaker, who was the manager of the market from its inauguration in 2006 until the end of the 2019 market when he handed over the role to a new manager, Sophie Conway, has seen it grow from 23 vendors to 44 vendors. He says that local retailers have welcomed the Farmers Market as it brings more shoppers into town on Saturdays.

In September, Catherine Collette, an owner of Burlington Bedrooms, spoke up at a well-attended forum organized by town officials to discuss economic development in Shelburne. She said, “This is a good start. I’d like to see more forums to bring in more voices, more businesses.”

Now Collette is one of the newest members of the Shelburne Business and Professional Association, where she is excited about the Association’s commitment to give local businesses a voice in Shelburne’s economic development.

The Shelburne Business and Professional Association will be organizing monthly meetings for members with speakers on timely topics that are important to Shelburne business owners and our community. We will also have round table meetings to brainstorm the subjects of interest and concern. Suggestions for topics or speakers would be welcomed and can be shared with us at info@sbpavt.com.

Submitted by the Shelburne Business and Professional Association

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