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President's Message

2022 Annual Report

Taking your business to new heights

Our Chamber has continuously worked towards elevating our business community for over 120 years. We focus on ensuring every business has all the proper tools, checks, and fuel to assist with launching their business.  

We continually build off our three pillars of connections, support, and influence and we are excited to constantly be evolving with our business community and elevating the work we do. This was the year we took new ideas, thoughts, and changes with our business community, to a new level. 

Coming out of restrictions and finding our way to a new normal was a blessing in disguise. Our Chamber saw this as an opportunity to grow and explore new opportunities. This was prevalent within the business community as well as our own organization.  

With events back in person, starting with the State of the City in February, we were able to reconnect, meet new people, learn new things and explore different opportunities. The tradeshow, typically one of our largest events of the year, had to be scaled down and pushed into April. However, this provided us the opportunity to rebrand the show, change the layout, and create a different experience to entice those to come explore all our amazing vendors in person again. We also began to host a multitude of what we call micro-events. Events that allowed people to learn, connect, and influence one another, but in a smaller, more personal setting. This year was not only the year to return to in-person events, but it also was a year to re-envision these events and set a new standard to exceed. 

With this in mind, we have decided to take a step back and see how we can make the organization even better. This includes our focus on community events. We wanted to be more involved in various community efforts, including new events, marketing campaigns, and even a couple of parades. We helped coordinate and organize Midnight Madness for 2021, which evolved into the development of the Downtown Collective. The organization of the collective group of stakeholders started when a few member businesses reached out for help with some of the coordination for Midnight Madness. Setting this framework has allowed us to connect with the downtown to help ensure that events that are organized are promoted in a coordinated fashion. It also allowed us to further work with our downtown through an action planning session which resulted in the creation of a dedicated website landing page, a communication channel, a downtown social event, a safety event and collaboration with Art in Motion. The Downtown Collective, is a great learning opportunity for the potential advancement of the practices outside of downtown and how we can further our work in other community-focused projects 

We spent the last year restructuring, refocusing, and listening. We hosted new events, redesigned our tradeshow, advanced our community partnerships, altered our communications, and continued our advocacy efforts. This past year and moving forward into the next we are focusing on the specifics of what we can do, looking at the priorities of our members and elevating those priorities with purpose and drive to make an impact.  

That desire to reconnect and make an impact was how we started this year, as we all took time to connect with our businesses again. The team, including the board, staff, and committee members, took to the streets and went door to door. We connected with business owners to put a face to the name, as well as listen to businesses. We gathered insight on issues within the business community and furthered how we can make membership better for our members. We appreciate our members’ investment and commitment to our organization. We know that any information that we gather is highly valuable to further our organization as well as assist our businesses as we move forward.  

We look forward to showcasing our priorities in the upcoming year and sharing many new concepts and ideas which will lead us to create the best version of the Chamber as we move forward 

We want to ensure that every member is on board and ready for take-off into our new year, taking our business community to new heights and creating our future vision together – the sky is certainly not the limit, as we work to go above and beyond your expectation. We are excited and passionate to see where the next flight takes us. 

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