Question: What does your Chamber of Commerce do?
Answer: A lot more than you may be aware of.
Here are some of the activities and services the Chamber provides for Sweet Home:
- Business After-Hours Events
These popular monthly events are hosted by various chamber members and bring local business people together for a social time and networking opportunities. Participants get a chance to “plug” their business, win prizes and learn about chamber and community activities.
- Quarterly Business Seminars
Speakers with expertise in various aspects of business are invited to talk with local proprietors about issues and educational topics that can contribute to economic success. These events also provide an excellent opportunity to sample local restaurant fare and have most recently been held as breakfasts.
- Coordination with Outside Resources
Over the years the chamber has built relationships with outside resources such as LBCC, which offers a wealth of services such as business plan assistance and training and other business education, and the Community Services Consortium, which offers employee placement and training programs. Chamber officials are also working to create more local partnerships with the school district, SHARE and SHEDG.
- Co-op Advertising
The chamber offers design assistance and technical expertise to help members develop higher quality and more frequent advertising.
- CEIP Upgrades
The chamber is working in concert with the Sweet Home Active Revitalization Effort (SHARE) to improve Sweet Home’s downtown appearance by providing funds to businesses seeking to improve their exteriors and signage. Chamber membership provides extra dollars to CEIP participants.
- Visitors Center
The chamber operates the Visitor Center, which is a hub for information about local restaurants, recreation and all sorts of business services, road conditions, social services, local and regional events (such as Crawfordsville Bridge Day). The chamber provides relocation packets for those who are considering moving to the area and welcome packets for recent arrivals. It also provides telephone books and contact information for utilities, insurance agents, auto repair, restaurants and social services, as well as information about opportunities for prospective volunteers.
- Other Tourism Activities
The chamber promotes the Sweet Home community by participating in meetings that promote tourism (Geotourism, Scenic Byways, Travel Oregon 101) and which help Sweet Home partner with organizations such as Travel Oregon and National Geographic. The Visitor Center, operated by the chamber, distributes a variety of publications to tourists and maintains local event listings in publications such as Travel Oregon’s “Oregon Events” magazine.
- Event Planning and Coordination
Over the years the chamber has become the home of many events for the general community in addition to the business events mentioned above. These include the Sportsman’s Holiday, the Sweet Home Christmas Week events and the Chamber Awards Banquet.