“Driving Change, Inspiring Growth”

Advancing the local economy is a major objective at the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce. Our vision is for Amesbury to be a vibrant and economically stable community that is thriving in every way.  To help achieve this, we regularly work on a variety of initiatives with local, regional and state officials on behalf of our members.

We welcome communication from our members regarding all such efforts so that we can fully consider all viewpoints before making recommendations to our elected officials. Please call (978) 388-3178 or email kassandra@amesburychamber.com

Current initiatives include:

Heritage Park/Lower Millyard

As part of the Amesbury Carriage Alliance (a joint venture between the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce and Amesbury Carriage Museum), the Chamber has long supported revitalization of the Lower Millyard in an effort to create a regional waterfront hub of history, commerce, information, recreation and opportunity.  At every step in its progress, the Chamber has rallied community interest, gathered feedback and delivered recommendations to further the cause and influence government support.

This multi-faceted project really kicked into high gear in 2014 following the City’s receipt of multiple grants to address environmental matters, realign Water Street, build Heritage Park, construct a boat launch, and extend the Powow Riverwalk rail trail. Once complete, the Lower Millyard will also be easily accessible from the Costello Transportation Center and Senior Center at 68 Elm Street.

Among the many prospects for the Lower Millyard, is the Amesbury Carriage Alliance’s plan to convert the former Biddle & Smart carriage manufacturing building at 29 Water Street into a multi-use cultural facility that will house the Amesbury Carriage Museum, Amesbury Chamber of Commerce, a new Visitors Center, and potentially event area and artist lofts — the latter two spaces helping to pay for the building’s upkeep. To make it all happen, the Amesbury Carriage Alliance is creating a feasibility study and business plan thanks to generous donations from individual and corporate supporters and a matching grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, assisted by State Representative Mike Costello.

This 40-60 acres of prime commercial land, sits at the confluence of Interstates 95 and 495 and Route 110, Amesbury. The Amesbury Chamber of Commerce has remained active in all planning stages thus far, and fully supports the July 2014 zoning change by the Amesbury City Council to adopt a new Commercial Fashion Center Overlay District (CFCOD) in the space.

We are excited about the potential for a world-class fashion center with focus on high-end boutique businesses and believe shoppers will appreciate the fact that clothing under $175 is not taxed in Massachusetts.

Golden Triangle Fashion District

Beautification Of Amesbury

Every year, to help kick off Amesbury Days, the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce hosts a family-friendly Block Party as a fundraising event for our charitable foundation to cover the costs of the lovely hanging flower baskets and kissing balls that are seasonally found in the downtown area.

While some Block Party entertainment is free to guests, other items are priced equivalent to $1-$4. Since practically everything sold is donated by a local restaurant or sponsored by an area business, all proceeds benefit the beautification of Amesbury.

Our charitable foundation also offers the opportunity to sponsor lampposts throughout town. Anyone interested in having a bronze plaque in their name on a local lamppost is welcome to contact the Chamber to discuss the specifics. Please call (978) 388-3178 or email kassandra@amesburychamber.com

In 2013, the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce was proud to contribute to the City’s effort in being formally designated a Green Community by the state Department of Energy Resources. We gladly contributed ideas on how to satisfy the five major criteria of

  • Zoning for renewable energy generating, R&D or manufacturing facilities;
  • Adopt an expedited permit process for those facilities;
  • Develop a plan to reduce energy use by 20 percent within five years;
  • Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles; and
  • Adopt the state’s Stretch Code.

With the designation, the City received a $173,775 grant to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and becomes eligible for up to $10 million in future grants. We continue to offer recommendations to the Mayor’s office and City Council to pursue innovative renewable energy projects that will create jobs and support Amesbury’s commitment to sustainability.

Green Communities Program

River Cities Initiative

As part of our continuing effort to both build awareness of Amesbury’s many assets and boost the local economy, the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce was pleased to support production of the brochure: The River Cities; Discover the Mighty Merrimack.

The River Cities initiative is led by Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives and Haverhill Representative Brian Dempsey to increase tourism along the Merrimack River, from Haverhill to the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean. After they secured state funding from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism to produce the brochure, we arranged a boat ride up the river to share information about Amesbury’s beautiful waterfront parks, well-appointed marinas and rich maritime history with the North of Boston tourism group tasked with collecting the brochure content. Download a copy of the brochure here: http://northofboston.org/itineraries/therivercities/.

This is just the first step of many that Senator O’Connor Ives and local Chambers have planned to increase tourism along the Merrimack River. As more funding is secured and more plans can become a reality, we will keep you informed of our progress.

The Amesbury Chamber of Commerce was pleased to contribute to the foundational guidelines of this incentive program that is designed to foster full-time job creation and stimulate business growth by offering State and local tax incentives in exchange for commitments for job creation, retention and private investments.

In May 2014, the Amesbury City Council approved Mayor Ken Gray’s Tax Increment Financing Package at the urging of the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce and other local leaders who submitted letters of support. As business owners express interest in pursing these incentives, we will work closely with officials to maximize Amesbury’s benefits.

TIF Incentive

Wayfinding Initiative

In an effort to guide travelers from the busy Route 110 to the major gateways leading to our downtown area, the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce has been working closely with Mayor Ken Gray, Community & Economic Development Director Bill Scott and a group of loyal volunteers who make up the Wayfinding Committee to gain funding to make it happen.

In early 2014, together we applied for and received a $10,000 grant from the Massachusetts’ Department of Housing and Community Development that paid for a first round of wayfinding concepts, including the one pictured here, by a state-selected designer.

In summer of 2014, these designs were reviewed, feedback was collected from the community,  and recommendations were made to the City for next steps. Both the committee and Chamber board agreed with the overall community that design revisions were necessary to best communicate Amesbury’s brand.

Since the initial grant was not nearly enough to complete the design process or produce actual signs, we were grateful to Senator O’Connor Ives when she secured $300K in grant money to the initiative. With this and the community’s feedback in hand, the Chamber worked with the Wayfinding Committee to take next steps, including getting new designs.

From mid 2014 through early 2015, the Wayfinding Committee worked closely with the City and designer to produce several new concepts, eventually agreeing to one in May 2015.

The first of the signs are for major gateways to the City. Later, smaller signs will be erected to direct residents and visitors alike to local points of interest.

Working closely with federal, state, and local government, the business community, and local citizens, the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce has supported the following initiatives, which are now complete or substantially complete:

  • Relocation of the DPW from the Lower Millyard to South Hunt Rd.
  • Completion of the Costello Transportation Center
  • Improvements to the regional transportation system, including the Hines and Whittier Bridge replacement projects
  • Elm St. improvements with the support of Massworks
  • Appropriate uses of Woodsom Farm.

Legacy Initiatives

We welcome communication from our members regarding all such efforts so that we can fully consider all viewpoints before making recommendations to our elected officials. Please call (978) 388-3178 or email kassandra@amesburychamber.com