“The chamber allows us to connect with businesses around us directly. Our organization helps women who live in the shadows of Brevard County, so it’s important to be visible for them. Having other local businesses who are members of the chamber connect with us and support us as donors, partners, and sponsors is critical to our survival.” — Ann-Marie Britt
This case study features Ann-Marie Britt, Director of Development at New Life Mission. Founded by Stacia Glavas, New Life Mission (formerly Brevard Rescue Mission) equips homeless mothers with skills and knowledge to transform their families in a Christ-centered
environment. Since opening its doors in 2009, over 135 homeless families have found the help they needed through this organization.
Tell me about yourself and your business.
Britt: I am the Director of Development at New Life Mission, a not-for-profit organization. Through education, accountability, and goal advancement, our program empowers families to become self-sufficient and break the cycle of homelessness.
Can you share a brief overview of your relationship with the chamber?
Britt: From what I can tell from our history, New Life Mission has been a member of the chamber for at least six or seven years. In 2020, however, Transformed Shop also became a member. Transformed Shop is the social enterprise of New Life Mission, where our women create handmade sewn items out of various materials to sell. That was super exciting because we’re not just visible through the chamber as a not-for-profit, but also as a business. We’ve been able to connect with a lot of other local chamber members to put our products in their stores.
How did you find out about the chamber?
Britt: Everyone knows to look at joining their local chamber, especially after starting a new business or organization. I’m sure in the beginning, we reached out to the chamber to join after finding them online or through an event they did with another local organization. I know we’ve personally had the chamber at all of our grand openings. Most recently, they were at our ribbon cutting for the Transform Shop. Like us, I’m sure many other organizations see an increase in publicity when the chamber attends their events.
What facet of the chamber is most appealing to your business?
Britt: The chamber allows us to connect with businesses around us directly. Our organization helps women who live in the shadows of Brevard County, so it’s important to be visible for them. Having other local businesses who are members of the chamber connect with us and support us as donors, partners, and sponsors is critical to our survival.
Can you share any measurable benefits your business has achieved since joining the chamber?
Britt: I believe all of our donors are members of the chamber as well. So that’s huge. The Transformed Shop is also doing a retail market launch, and we’re partnering with a lot of local businesses through the chamber in hopes that they see our products and become part of our retail market program with wholesale pricing. Additionally, the chamber helped direct people to us during the Christmas season who wanted to donate to an organization. A chamber member ended up paying for all of our moms and their families’ Christmas meals. Overall, the relationships formed with local businesses through the chamber are the most measurable benefit of joining.
In what ways does the chamber make you feel more connected to the community?
Britt: Not only do other organizations celebrate us through the chamber, but we also get to support them. We get to hear about new businesses, partner with them, and connect, which is really fun. While we are one hundred percent donor-supported, our ministry also stays afloat through our volunteers that come from our chamber relationships. Those volunteers pour themselves into mentoring the women and their families in our program as well as support our Transformed Shop.
Why would you recommend other businesses to join the chamber?
Britt: I would recommend being part of the Melbourne Chamber for visibility, not just with the outside community but also with other members. I get a lot of insight regarding the town’s happenings through the chamber. I always call them if I have questions, and they never fail to direct me to someone to partner with. It’s just a great networking opportunity and place for businesses to share information.