An Open Letter from GHC
Before COVID-19 took hold, the Greater Haverhill Chamber (GHC) was planning a special event to introduce its new brand. That party, slated for early April, was nixed. In the weeks that followed, we kept waiting for the right moment to roll out our new identity, complete with redesigned website and logo. That moment never materialized. The needs of the community were unprecedented and there was no time to celebrate.
Instead of rescheduling our launch party, we chose to introduce the new logo and website in a low-key manner, believing that now isn’t the time for pomp. But we do want to share with you what’s behind our new branding and why we decided to rebrand the Chamber. It’s about more than new colors and a logo.
The GHC began the process about 18 months ago. Our larger purpose was to rethink what a Chamber is and what role we have in the community. The Chamber emerged with a clearer sense of who we are and how we can help Haverhill become a stronger economic driver for the people and businesses in our region.
If we can reduce several months of discussion and a nine-page strategic plan to a sentence, it’s this:
Inclusive economic development is key to city growth in the 21st century.
What does that mean? It means that the Haverhill Chamber seeks to bring people — all people — together. From Ward Hill to Mount Washington. Downtown urban to farm country. Suburbs to riverfront. By connecting the different neighborhoods of Haverhill, we have an opportunity to see strengths and opportunities that we don’t see in ourselves today. A better understanding of our many parts will also help us tell the story of today’s Haverhill. We haven’t done this enough, which is part of the reason Haverhill is not well-distinguished beyond the Merrimack Valley.
This is critical if we’re going to improve outsiders’ understanding of our city.
In a way, the pandemic has created an opportunity for cities like Haverhill. Employers and employees are rethinking the cost and congestion that goes with working in big cities like Boston. Satellite markets like Haverhill have a chance to attract new businesses and talent.
Here’s the hook: Employers look for a number of things when deciding where to locate. Most cite their ability to attract the right talent as the number one priority. That’s why it’s so important that we present ourselves as a place with strong values, with empathy for all people. A place that cares for those in need. These are the qualities that future-forward companies look for when deciding if a community suits their needs. It’s counter-intuitive, but the cost of living is not as important as community values and the quality of life a city offers. That’s why it’s important that we bring all people and resources closer together.
Our new brand is built around these ideals. Our new logo — an “H” doubling as a bridge with water running underneath — is a nod to Haverhill past and present. It demonstrates a connection with the city in all its complexity, history and possibilities.
Our goal in the coming weeks and months is to seize this moment and market Haverhill to the Boston technology and life-science markets, which continue to see opportunities for growth during this economic downturn.
A diverse population, a beautiful downtown, a strong manufacturing base — Haverhill has all that it needs to be able to hit above its weight. We just need to bring everyone together. If we can do that, others will notice.
Dougan, Kate, Melissa, and Hillary
The Haverhill Chamber Team
To learn more, check visit HaverhillChamber.com.