Column: Chamber helps businesses succeed

By NANCY ECKERLE and NANCY WILSON

As many companies continue to struggle through this difficult economy, owners and employees are asking themselves how they can help their businesses. Joining the Jasper Chamber of Commerce could be the answer.

By joining the chamber, you make connections to possible clients, new business relationships and your town.

If a member makes a request of the Jasper chamber, there are outlets and resources to connect the member with to find an answer.

That is the one greatest benefit of a local chamber of commerce.  The Jasper chamber is local and knows the businesses and the community.

The chamber website — www.jasperin.org — is a great resource for those moving here as well as those living here. Each member has a separate page on this website. Members can describe their own business in a paragraph or 60 words.

The Jasper chamber partners with other organizations (Memorial Hospital, WorkOne,VUJC, Rotary Club, Jaycees, Small Business Development Center, Dubois Strong, outside speakers, etc.) to provide programs and projects on a variety of topics. The goal of these programs is to update members on “hot topics” and give those members an opportunity to meet one another. Networking is key to communicating and the chamber encourages members to host and attend a Time Out From Business, a business after-hours event.

You can take advantage of the opportunity to meet with your state elected officials two or three times per year when the chamber hosts a legislative breakfast, a public forum.

The Jasper chamber not only connects businesses to other businesses, it connects its members to valuable community resources and information that is essential to maintaining a business. It’s a one-stop shop for business success. If you utilize the chamber’s assets, the chamber, the business and the community succeed. You can be part of this active chamber of commerce — always in tune with its members and always seeking ways to improve the business climate of this area. The chamber has ties to the Small Business Development Center, Indiana WorkOne, the Better Business Bureau and many other agencies throughout Indiana.

The Jasper chamber recommends our members to everyone. The chamber partners with other organizations for successful programs on a variety of topics. We provide opportunities for networking and connecting with other businesses. By becoming an active member in the chamber, you stay in tune with other members and find ways to improve the business climate of the area. Just by being a member of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce — whether or not you choose to be an active member — you are able to keep informed of what is happening in your community, and being aware is so very important.

Each spring the chamber sponsors the Home Expo. At this two-day event, businesses have booth space and they promote their goods and services to about 1,000 residents who attend and visit each booth. Chamber members receive a discount on their booth fee.

At least annually, the chamber sponsors a seminar on how to start a business. These sessions outline the various aspects of running a business, detailing information on legal, accounting, financial and marketing services. Currently a series on business startup information is offered on the third Saturday of each month for entrepreneurs and current business owners. The Jasper chamber coordinates ribbon-cutting events for new businesses.

It is always exciting to assist a new business in opening its doors and getting its new venture open to the public.

The chamber board and ambassadors are an extension to our members. Each group comprises business people who want to be actively involved in the chamber. The ambassadors have been visiting the members individually and this connection has made the membership even stronger.

The Jasper chamber also is involved with these groups, organizations or projects: Jasper Strassenfest, Redevelop Old Jasper Action Coalition, Greater Downtown Jasper Business Association, Patoka 2000, duck race, health screenings, year in review, Jasper Action Team, Riverwalk Concerts, Christmas decorating contest, O’Tannenbaum Days, Old Jasper Day and more.

The Jasper chamber is the first place many people come when they arrive in Jasper. The services provided include information, directions, maps, relocation packets, workshops, small-business planning, tourist information, census and other statistical data, rental information, brochures and various other lists and information.

Being a member of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce — it’s just the right thing to do!

Nancy Eckerle is the executive director of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce. Nancy Wilson is president of the chamber board.




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