The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce has been recognized as a finalist in a competition among more than 200 chambers of all sizes from across the U.S. and Canada.  Entries were judged on creativity, industry impact, value to members, and replicability.

This latest recognition comes on the heels of other industry recognition, including receiving national accreditation earlier this year and being named an “Award of Excellence” winner in the Communications Excellence awards program presented by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). The Chamber was also named a finalist for the prestigious National Chamber of the Year recognition by ACCE in 2017, the first chamber of commerce in Massachusetts to have been selected as a finalist.

The 5th annual Chamber Innovation Awards Competition, sponsored by a chamber management software provider ChamberMaster, recognizes chambers of commerce for their innovative programs or projects that help to better their communities and members.

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce was recognized for their work in providing micro-loans and technical assistance. Through its economic development arm, the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, the chamber is able to provide financing of up to $150,000 for businesses that are not able to obtain traditional financing through banks or credit unions.

“Although we didn’t win this year, we were nonetheless very honored to have been selected as a finalist,” said Roy Nascimento, chamber president & CEO. “To be recognized among our peers is a great acknowledgment of the innovative and impactful work that we are doing to help advance North Central Massachusetts.

Since the Chamber’s program made the top 10, their micro-loan initiative was one of 20 featured into a book by ChamberMaster titled “The Big Book of Chamber Ideas: 10 Award Winning & Replicable Ideas for Chambers of Commerce,” which is sent to chambers internationally for inspiration and idea gathering.