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Clarion Chamber Reports Successful 2019

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 @ 12:01 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

Tracy PhotoCLARION, Pa. – As we are getting started with this new year of 2020, the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry reflects back on all of their success from 2019.

Membership is the key ingredient to that success. At the end of 2019, there were 334 members of the Clarion Chamber with a retention rate of 93% (the average retention rate among chambers across the country is reported at between 78-86%), plus 23 new members not counted into that calculation including AFLAC, Clarion Cooperative, Clarion County A.B.A.T.E., Diva’s Den, Don Neiswonger Excavating, Dunham Consulting & Associates, Inc., Empower Beauty, Gordman’s, Hagan Business Machines, Hemporia CBD Products Superstore, Independent Publications, Infusion Night Club and Grill, Leigh Black, Graphic Designer, Mechanistic Brewing Co., Nick Corcetti Contracting, LLC, Nirvana Nails & Boutique, LLC, Northwest Hospital Foundation, Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5, Miles Brothers, LLC, Pine Springs Pottery, SB Cleaning, LLC, and The Sugar Tree Boutique.

With all this success, other chambers are asking “How do you do it?”

Communication is key.

Face to face communication shows that you care about your members and are there to help each of them see success. The Clarion Chamber staff helped with or attended six ribbon cuttings, six mixers and five community events in Clarion County last year and is hoping to see more businesses host events in 2020.

Another key to success is having an online presence.

There are members who do all of their business or a good portion of that business online. However, this is not the only consideration for having an online presence. In this late second decade and early third decade of 2000, many customers can be found on websites and social media.

Last year the Clarion Chamber had over 62,000 visits to their website, 108,000 visits to their Autumn Leaf Festival™ page of that website, and had nine people purchase merchandise online. Along with that the Clarion Chamber hosts two Facebook pages, the general Clarion Area Chamber page, and the Autumn Leaf Festival™ page, where between the two have a total of over 11,350 likes. They also have 428 subscribers to their email blast each week.

There are many reasons why businesses join their local chamber of commerce, including the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry. One of these reasons is for the opportunity for growth both professionally and individually. Throughout each year, the chamber partners with different organizations and groups to bring educational opportunities to their members.

An example of this partnership is with the Clarion Area Young Professionals Group. Starting in June of 2017, the chamber brought together this group of young professionals looking to improve themselves both personally and professionally. This continued throughout 2018 and even more so in 2019 as they started becoming more and more active in the community. Throughout the past two years, they’ve hosted educational seminars, volunteered in the community, and created networking opportunities for local business professionals.

For 2020, this group is planning a Be Strong series that will take place the first Wednesday of March, April, May, and June and will cover the topics of being strong mentally, physically, financially, and professionally. The cost is $20.00 per session, or you can attend all four sessions for the discounted price of $75.00. For more information contact the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry at 814-226-9161.

Another reason to join your local chamber is the access to resources.

Not only for you to be able to call on other members or experts for advice, but for your customers to be able to find and call on you. The Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry not only publishes a business directory each year but also provides a searchable business listing of their members on their website. Your membership also allows you first mention on inquiries. This means that if someone calls or emails the chamber with questions about a particular type of business, members are promoted first. Information will be given if asked about non-members. However, when asked for a listing of a specific type of business, they will be given a list of chamber members to call on first to help meet their needs.

Basically, to take advantage of and get the most return on your investment at any local chamber organization, you need to understand that you get out of it what you put into it.

– Actively participate.
– Volunteer for committees and events.
– Advertise in the newsletter and in the email blasts.
– Sponsor events.
– Attend mixers, ribbon cutting ceremonies, open houses, and other events to support and cheer on your fellow members.

Face-to-face interaction leads to stronger relationships. Your chamber does the leg work for you in bringing you to your fellow members and your customers to you.

So what’s coming in 2020?

Look for changes to the business directory this year along with several events coming up. There have already been two mixers scheduled, one in May and one in August. The Annual Awards Dinner is scheduled for March 7th. The 10th Cheers and Beers will be held on May 15th with the Delta Contractors and Design Annual Golf Outing on May 22nd. Also watch for information about a Women in Business Expo being planned for the Fall.

To find out more about how you can join this increasingly successful organization and learn how you can be a part of the opportunities available to your business, contact Tracy Becker, Executive Director of the Clarion Area Chamber of Business and Industry, today at 814-226-9161 or email her at tracy@clarionpa.com.


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