"As a newcomer to Norwalk, I have found the Chamber to be the best place to meet people. As a City department head, I value the Chamber colleagues I have found in the private sector, as well as members in the non-profit world who share the same customer base as the library. I do my job for the City better because of my involvement with the Chamber—and have fun doing it!"
Norwalk Public Library
Networking & Programming
Personal contact is often the edge that makes a business person successful. The Chamber offers many opportunities for business people to network with each other and community leaders.
Business After Hours and Networking Breakfast
These popular early-evening and early-morning events offer members the opportunity to develop new business contacts and keep in touch with the business community in a relaxed and informal environment. these events also afford members the opportunity to learn about a local business, as these events are hosted nearly each month by a different business, providing for varied settings and locations of interest. These events are augmented by business expos and other networking offerings.
Small Business Awards Luncheon
The Small Business Council is a committee within the Chamber that seeks to address the needs and concerns of small business. One of the main purposes of the Council is to oversee the annual Small Business Awards Luncheon, which recognizes and honors area small businesses and organizations for their innovation, growth, and contribution to the community, as well as features a notable guest speaker.
Economic Outlook Luncheon and Regional Roundtable
Every year the Chamber hosts the region’s Economic Outlook Luncheon, at which noted business leaders and financial experts present economic trends, forecasts, and expected developments for the coming year on a local, state and national basis. The Chamber also hosts a Regional Roundtable Luncheon in which selected government and civic leaders in the region report on the progress and challenges in their respective communities, and the region as a whole, in regards to economic development, community development and new initiatives.
Near the close of the Chamber’s fiscal year in March, the Chamber holds its Annual Dinner. This special occasion not only marks the end of the Chamber year, but also provides the opportunity to formally announce and welcome a new slate of Officers for the Chamber Board of Directors. This elegant evening event and large business social brings together the business community of southwestern Connecticut to enjoy a renowned speaker, great food and refreshments, and genial company, as well as affording a review of the accomplishments and challenges of the past year, and a preview of goals and objectives for the year ahead.
One of the highlights of the year for many members is the annual Golf Classic. This all-day event features a picnic-style buffet lunch, a full round of golf, a cocktail reception, and finishes with a buffet dinner and enjoyable program, including the presentation of achievement awards and premium raffle prizes.
Norwalk Leadership Institute
The Norwalk Leadership Institute is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles and community involvement by providing them with the necessary knowledge, skills and encouragement to succeed, thereby providing motivated and informed individuals prepared to assume leadership positions in business, local organizations, government, and the community at large. This is accomplished through informative presentations and workshops, and also by undertaking a hands-on project to address real challenges and issues in the community. The ten-week program seeks to instruct and educate participants concerning current and future opportunities and challenges within the community, and building communication skills, problem solving techniques, and forging beneficial partnerships.
Small Business Development Academy
One way in which the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce reaches out to the community at large is through its Small Business Development Academy, a highly informative series of courses on the topic of starting and growing a business. The program is a seven session series of courses that examines the basics of starting and maintaining a small business. The topics include creating a business plan, obtaining financing, bookkeeping, information technology, legal aspects, customer service, marketing and more. Enrollees are also exposed to innumerable resources of information pertaining to business development and entrepreneurship. The course is free of charge and open to all.
Established in 1994, through the joint efforts of the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce and Norwalk Public Schools, the Norwalk School-To-Career Program is committed to providing career awareness and career exploration opportunities for Norwalk high school students. Through school-based learning, worksite experience and connecting activities, students are able to learn about varied career fields, and are provided insight as to what it takes to succeed in today’s business world. This is achieved through workplace positions/internships, mentoring, job shadowing experiences, career fairs/days, classroom presentations, and other programs.
Pride in Norwalk Awards
The Pride In Norwalk (PIN) Awards is an event the Chamber holds once every several years, recognizing and applauding the efforts and accomplishments of those who have aesthetically enhanced the City of Norwalk through architecture, renovation, historic preservation, landscaping and other beautification projects.