Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

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Workplace diversity can help employees learn new ideas, connect personally and gain new perspectives.

Diverse and dynamic communities are key to regions adapting to new economic and demographic realities. Diversity is essential to growth and prosperity of business. More diverse companies, can win top talent and improve their employee satisfaction, and decision making, which leads to a cycle of growth.

In fact, a recent study by executive search firm Egon Zehnder International, shows that the main driver behind diversity and inclusion programs is access to talent. 63% percent of senior executives from around the world believe that these programs will help them become more competitive by being able to access top talent.

Further, research shows that companies with more diverse work forces perform better financially.  In a 2015 report, Diversity Matters, McKinsey examined data sets for 366 public companies across a range of industries in Canada, Latin America, England, and the United States. The findings showed that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians; companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.

These numbers underline the case that more diverse companies are achieving better performance. For example, workplace diversity can help employees learn new ideas, connect personally and gain new perspectives from their colleagues.

While diversity and inclusion makes good business sense, it is not an easy process. Business leaders must have a critical role in creating inclusive work environments.

The Greater New Haven Chamber is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion within the Chamber. This includes adopting inclusion principles, strategies and tactics into the culture and work of the entire association. Further, the Greater New Haven Chamber is reviewing its educational content, and governance processes to keep relevant within the community.

The Greater New Haven region is becoming increasingly diverse. Per research conducted by DataHaven.org, in 2014, 35% of Greater New Haven residents identified as racial or ethnic minorities compared to 21% in 1990. Over this period, the minority population increased by 73,200 individuals, up 80%. Meanwhile, the size of the self-identified white population decreased by 44,500 people (down 13%). Racial and ethnic diversity is highest among the youngest Greater New Haven residents, a trend suggesting that the diversity of the region’s population will continue to increase in the future.

Nationally, the number of businesses owned by immigrants is also growing. In a detailed study of businesses in 11 states, immigrant entrepreneurship rose from a 17% share to a 27% share, while immigrants-owned businesses represented 30% of all businesses receiving venture capital funding. (Chamber Executive: Winter 2017).

With an increasingly diverse workforce, The Greater New Haven Chamber recognizes the importance of establishing work-based inclusion programs. These programs provide opportunities for businesses to enter new markets, improve their products and services, and achieve better performance.

It is imperative for the Chamber to adopt diversity within its organization to better serve Greater New Haven’s vibrant and multicultural community.  Therefore, this September, the Greater New Haven Chamber is launching a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. The goal is to integrate diversity and inclusion into all areas of business of the Chamber to ensure a welcoming and inclusive culture.

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7 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Small Business

Grow your small business with LinkedIn by using these seven proven tactics.

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There are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States, but only half of them will make it past five years. To ensure your small business is in the successful half, we encourage you to capitalize on the various ways LinkedIn can evolve your business.

With LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you can generate leads, produce sales, and hire top professionals to fuel your growth. Here are seven ways to grow your business using LinkedIn:

  1. Create a LinkedIn Company Page

We’ve found that LinkedIn members are 50% more likely to buy once they’ve engaged with your business on LinkedIn. But they can’t connect with you if you don’t have a LinkedIn Company Page. According to Forbes, only 57% of companies have pages. The remaining 43% are missing out on a free opportunity to generate leads, talent, and, ultimately, revenue.

If you don’t already have one, create a LinkedIn Company Page. Personal profiles don’t have the same marketing, advertising, and recruiting features as Company Pages, making them less effective at promoting your business. As you create your page, think about the kind of impression you want to create among potential customers and employees. This will help you select the right photos and messages to use on your page.

For a step-by-step guide on how to create an above and beyond Company Page, view our LinkedIn Company Page Best Practices.

  1. Promote Your Company Page

Once you have a Company Page, announce it to your clients, employees, and personal network. This will help you gain your first followers, who in turn will help to promote your Company Page on the content you post to it.

Promoting your page on other platforms or via email is also a great way to grow your audience. Here are some simple ways to get the word out:

  • Announce the launch of the Company Page on your personal LinkedIn profile
  • Encourage employees to follow the Company Page by making it a part of your onboarding process—Social Media Today reports that content shared by employees receives eight times the engagement as brand shared content
  • Link to your Company Page in the footer of your marketing emails or newsletters
  • Embed a Company Follow button onto your website so visitors can easily follow your LinkedIn Company Page
  1. Share Content Regularly

The more you post, the more people you can potentially reach and convert. Best-in-class LinkedIn Company Pages are consistently updated to ensure that visitors have plenty of new content to consume and share.

To get started, try posting at least once per week. It’s not uncommon for companies to post three or more times per day. Post whenever you have something worth saying. Posting consistently shows Company Page visitors that your company is active on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn’s Company Page analytics to see your top performing updates, your best times to post, and which members of your audience are the most engaged. With this information, it’s easy to make data-driven decisions to optimize your Company Page content.

In addition to posting often, here are a few more stats to help you boost engagement:

  • Posts with links receive up to 45% more engagement
  • Images see an incredible 98% increase in engagement
  • Posts that have relevant “best-of” lists get almost 40% more amplification

When a post gets good engagement, consider promoting it to a wider audience with LinkedIn Sponsored Content. Take the Sponsored Content Tour and discover how Sponsored Content amplifies your best content.

  1. Showcase Thought Leadership

Seventy nine percent of buyers say thought leadership is critical for determining which companies they want to learn more about. To get started with thought leadership content, try to provide a unique perspective on your industry, product, or organization. Sharing your opinion on the future of your industry or creating a definitive guide on your product are just two ways to demonstrate your expertise and position your company as a credible partner.

For more ideas and advice on expanding your brand’s authority, download our Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Thought Leadership to learn more.

  1. Target Sales Prospects

 LinkedIn has over 500 million users to date. That may seem like a lot to sort through, but LinkedIn also provides you with tools to identify and target your ideal audience.

LinkedIn members are more likely than other social media users to keep their profiles up-to-date, making it easier for you to find the right people. Use LinkedIn profile data to search for LinkedIn members based on geographic location, education, experience, and even connections. Once you’ve found prospects using the search feature, visit their profiles. Their endorsements or recent profile views might surface additional qualified prospects, too.

For more ways to reach your ideal audience, learn how to advertise on LinkedIn.

  1. Build an All-Star Team

LinkedIn has helped 75% of job switchers make informed career decisions, making LinkedIn a top recruiting network. What are candidates looking for when making those decisions? Our research shows that 66% of candidates want to see company culture over everything else. To take advantage of this preference, consider enhancing your Company Page with a LinkedIn Career Page.

Career Pages allow you to target audiences with a personalized look into your company, culture, and jobs. They give you dedicated Life and Jobs Tabs on your Company Page that attract and engage relevant professionals.

In addition to creating Career Pages, encourage employees to share job postings and “day in the life” content as well. This gives visitors a genuine idea of what it’s like to work for you and adds to your authenticity. If you have a few employees who lead the pack in sharing content, consider linking them to your Company Page’s Life Tab. Their shared articles and recent updates will automatically populate, providing visitors with up-to-date information. Watch our video here on how to use the Life Tab to attract the right talent for your company.

  1. Hire Freelancers

You’ve probably had an employee who took on a task outside of their domain. You might have even done it yourself a few times. While the effort is commendable, learning on the fly can also be detrimental.

Fortunately, finding the right talent for the task at hand isn’t as tricky as it once was, even if you can’t afford the salary of a full time employee.

LinkedIn ProFinder enables you to post your projects, receive free proposals, and hire trustworthy professionals all in one place. ProFinder will even pair you with local professionals to ensure you have the best freelance experience possible. With 172 professional services available on ProFinder, it’s easy to find the perfect professional for any task.

LinkedIn vets all  the professionals on the platform to ensure they are qualified and leverages your network to find freelancers your connections have used, so you’re never in the dark about who you’re hiring.

By using freelancers, you’ll get access to outside perspectives & broad experience of professionals of all kinds, from creating websites and designing logos to managing your books or crafting your marketing strategy. Plus, with none of the management overhead of a full-time employee, you can focus solely on the job at hand.

CBIA and New England Knowledge Corridor Business Survey for 2017

Dear Friend,

Please take a few moments to participate in the CBIA and New England Knowledge Corridor Business Survey for 2017.

They are surveying Connecticut and Massachusetts’ business leaders about their company’s outlook, as well as methods for recruiting and retaining the next generation workforce and fixing the region’s most pressing transportation issues.

This survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. All answers are completely confidential and reported only in aggregate.

The survey results will be released later this fall at the interstate Knowledge Corridor’s annual “State of the Region” Conference to be held at Union Station in Springfield.

Follow this link to the survey:
Take the survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
https://cbia.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cMk6fv0xWOR00XX

Leadership Center of Greater New Haven Launches New Partnership

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For  those who have not yet heard the news — the Chamber is excited to share that we are partnering up with Gateway Community College to produce the Leadership Center of Greater New Haven programming- for both Leadership Greater New Haven and Executive Orientation. The Leadership Center is presented by the Regional Water Authority.

Why is this big news? Because Gateway is on top of their game. Not only is Gateway the largest of Connecticut’s state community colleges, they continue to look at innovative ways to add educational value to their students. Last month, they broke the news that WNPR 90.5 FM, part  of Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, will soon be broadcasting from Gateway Community College, allowing students to intern at their studio.

The Leadership Greater New Haven program is a seven session program for professionals of all levels. Topics include ‘Understanding New Haven’s Assets and Opportunities,’ ‘Goal Setting,’ ‘Public Speaking,’ ‘Empathy in the Workplace,’ and ‘Arts in the Region.’ In addition to attending the monthly sessions, the class participates in a 15-hour community service project  of their choice. Participants report that they have truly made an impact in the work they have accomplished.

The Executive Orientation program is a four-session program that is designed for senior executives who are interested in exploring and understanding the relevant issues, concerns, politics and dynamics of the Greater New Haven region.

Using a combination of hands-on learning and network of facilitators, the Leadership Center of Greater New Haven gives participants an insider’s view of the issues that are shaping the region with access to the key movers and shakers in Greater New Haven.

We hope that you will share our enthusiasm! Fall enrollment for Leadership Greater New Haven and Executive Orientation is now open. To learn more, please contact Emily DeRosa at 203-782-4342 or ederosa@gnhcc.com.

 

 

Office Space Available at the Chamber

cropped-cropped-nhv-e1435003460448.jpgThe Greater New Haven Chamber has co-working opportunities available at its 900 Chapel St., 10th floor– New Haven office.

The modern building, with spectacular views of The New Haven Green offers a flexible month-to-month term, along with charm and an open floor plan. Features include full access to mailroom, copiers/printers, conference rooms, receptionist, and an eat-in kitchen area with sink, refrigerator and microwave.

Co-working spaces, comprised of many organizations sharing an office space, are one of the latest trends in working environments. According to Forbes.com, there are now more than 11,100 co-working office spaces in the U.S., with a projection of more than 26,000 spaces hosting 3.8 million people by 2020. Workers in multiple organizations rent individual office spaces, but also enjoy shared community spaces and services. This concept is popular among entrepreneurs of all ages, but especially among millennial, who are looking for lower office costs, fewer responsibilities, and opportunities for collaboration and engagement with other tenants. These shared spaces are viewed as an alternative to working from home and ideal as satellite offices for larger organizations with headquarters elsewhere.

The space comes fully furnished with 24-hour access, security, utilities, cleaning, mailroom, and receptionist. centralized location on the bus line, with street parking and covered parking at Temple Street Garage, convenient and close to I-91 & I-95. Short-term and long-term leasing opportunities are available.

To learn more, please contact Tony Rescigno at 203-782-4340 or arescigno@gnhcc.com.

Lonnie Reed Talks Budget

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Today, we were fortunate to have State Representative Lonnie Reed (D-Branford), sit down with the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs and Economic Development Committees to talk what’s happening in Hartford.  She is House Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Life Sciences Caucus and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Long Island Sound Caucus. Additionally, she serves on the Manufacturers Caucus and on the Shoreline Preservation Task Force.

Lonnie shared that she has a journalist background, focusing on finance beat. In her work, she worked with many financiers and believes that part of the solution to the state’s budget issue is to bring outside finance experts to assist with Connecticut’s structural deficits.   Lonnie described legislators as suffering from bunker brain. “Right now, we are in the bunker and we need to get move this initial hump, which is huge…We need to think bigger picture…You have to get the people who created the problem, help create the solution.”

Lonnie emphasized the need to tap into new ideas and innovation. “Just because you are working harder, doesn’t mean you are working smarter.”  She believes  in sending positive messages to the market and creating a narrative. For example, Branford, which is working to attract biotech, is pushing “Live, Work, Play on the river. “It’s about selling the ecosystem– selling the lifestyle that there’s a lot of places they can go and there’s lots of flexibility. ” It’s about giving young, smart professionals a reason to stay in Connecticut.

Lonnie stressed that legislators need to hear from businesses on key issues. She encouraged the group to contact key people and let them know what’s going on in your region. “You need to call your legislator and tell them, this is my company, this is what I do, this is the economic impact, this is how many people we employ.”

Key Legislators to Contact:

Senate Democrat President Pro Tempore Martin Looney Looney@senatedems.ct.gov
Majority Leader Bob Duff  Duff@Senatedems.ct.gov
Finance Revenue and Bonding Senate co-chair John Fonfara Fonfara@Senatedems.ct.gov
Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Len Fasano Len.Fasano@cga.ct.gov
Finance Revenue and Bonding Senate co-chair Scott Frantz  Scott.Frantz@cga.ct.gov
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz Joe.Aresimowicz@cga.ct.gov
House Majority Leader Matt Ritter Matthew.Ritter@cga.ct.gov
Finance Revenue and Bonding House co-chair Jason Rojas  Jason.Rojas@cga.ct.gov
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides  Themis.Klarides@cga.ct.gov
House Finance Revenue and Bonding Republican Ranking member Chris Davis Christopher.Davis@housegop.ct.gov

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