PROSPECT — The town’s newest business organization has hit the ground running.
On March 21 the group held its second meeting and chose an interim board of directors as well as a new name — the Prospect Business Association.
The board is comprised of Matt Buonaiuto as president, Rob Edwards as vice president of marketing technology, Dave Jones as vice president of membership, Joe Corona as treasurer and Tammy Liscomb as secretary.
Buonaiuto said the interim board will in place until June 30. A permanent board is expected to be voted on during the association’s June meeting, he said.
An initial meeting of business owners in town was organized by Mayor Robert Chatfield in February. The town’s business community was previously served for 50 years by the Prospect Chamber of Commerce, which disbanded in the fall of 2008. At the time, the chamber had 130 members.
“The Prospect Business Association has been five years in the making,” Buonaiuto said. “The business community and the people of Prospect have needed a business association for many years, and now we have it. We invite any business to join us and hope that all of the people in Prospect use us to support local business.”
Buonaiuto said the association will work to help businesses network with other businesses and to serve the Prospect community. Eventually the association plans to create its own website. The website will include a directory of its members, their contact information and a short description of their business.
About 80 business owners attended the first meeting last month. The second meeting saw the return of approximately 60 business owners, Buonaiuto said.
“There are a lot of people with a lot of energy,” Buonaiuto said.
Prior to the first meeting, the Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce reached out to Chatfield and expressed interest in bringing the association into the chamber.
However, Buonaiuto said, the association has decided not to join the chamber.
“We’re going to keep the two organizations separate,” Buonaiuto said. “We’ll get together at some point to see how we can help each other, but we’re not going to be joining the chamber. We will work in concert with them.”
He added several of the businesses in town are already members of the chamber.
Chamber President Lynn Ward said the chamber will work with the association even if it’s not a part of the organization.
“I would be very glad to sit down with them and talk about ways to help promote business in Prospect together,” Ward said.
Buonaiuto said the association has not set the date for its next meeting. While the association is creating its website interested business owners can also find the group on Facebook for updates.