CROWN POINT - The construction of a new Lake Champlain Bridge is expected to bring hundreds of workers to Crown Point, making it an economic opportunity for local merchants.
To prepare, the community may form its own chamber of commerce.
"Crown Point needs its own identity," said Bethany Kosmider, town supervisor. "We are in the eyes of the nation with our bridge project and we need to become opportunists. Crown Point will be on the map."
A group of Crown Point residents met June 9 to discuss the formation of a local chamber. It agreed to meet again June 23 at 3 p.m. at the town hall.
"It's just a proposal; we're exploring the idea," said Nancy Ockrin, who is chair of the exploratory committee.
Currently Crown Point businesses can join the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce. The Ti chamber has 160 members, 15 from Crown Point.
Ockrin, who operates the Stoney Lonesome Bed & Breakfast in Crown Point, said the initial meeting generated a lot of ideas.
"I think the consensus of that meeting was that we need a web presence and not be in the shadow of the Ti chamber," Ockrin said. "We don't have the numbers Ti has, but maybe we can form a low-key chamber that will allow us non-profit status to pursue some of these ideas.
"I'm a member of the Ti chamber and think they do a fabulous job. This is just another angle for us to pursue," Ockrin said.
The town is not formally involved in the formation of a chamber, Kosmider said, but elected officials plan to support local businesses any way possible, Kosmider said.
"People are eager to get going," Kosmider said. "It looks like it's probably going to happen."
Barb Brassard, executive director of the Ti chamber, said her group will assist Crown Point merchants in any way possible.
"The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce applauds Crown Point businesses for recognizing the value of group promotion and taking the initiative to organize," she said.
"As an area chamber of commerce serving an extended region including Crown Point, Hague, Putnam and surrounding areas, we have an excellent relationship working with other chambers and community partners," Brassard added. "There is strength in numbers when we work regionally and the Ticonderoga Area Chamber has an 85 year track record."
Crown Point had its own chamber of commerce in 1956 and 1957.
A chamber of commerce is a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of member businesses and their communities.