One thing just about everyone agrees on, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce throws some pretty awesome events. We have a fantastic Fourth of July, a fabulous Fall Foliage Festival – plus all the other events we do like Music in the Park, Screen on the Green, Father Daughter Dance, etc.
We do it for three little words – quality of life. We want the residents of Canadian, including her business owners, to enjoy their lives here. We want people to WANT to come to Canadian. We want her to continue to have an excellent reputation in the panhandle and throughout the state of Texas.
But there has been a shift in our thinking for the past few months. The question that has been drumming in our brains is, “What else can we do for our Chamber members?”
Timeout for a little Chamber 101…
There are two different types of Chambers of Commerce – there are event driven chambers and member driven chambers. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been an event driven chamber for a long time. That meant that our focus was on creating and managing events to draw people into Canadian and to enhance the quality of life for residents. We do the things that everyone thinks just happen. But we want to do more!
We’ve seen the struggle. We’ve seen our Chamber members fighting to stay here and we’ve even seen businesses leave. It has frustrated us and challenged us. We all know that one thing these businesses really want/need is money. Unfortunately, the laws governing Chambers and our bank balance don’t allow us to just drop stacks of money on our members. As much as we want to!
We keep asking ourselves, what can we do to help that doesn’t involve wads of cash? Our events are important and we don’t want to lose them, but we want to offer more services for our members. So we’re becoming a hybrid – a service AND events Chamber. We put our thinking caps on and wrote our mission statement – Building a positive business environment while enhancing our community’s quality of life. Then we got creative…
Here’s some of our ideas – we are going to be offering classes to our Chamber members at no cost to them! We just scheduled a social media marketing class for this September and we are doing a survey to find out what other kinds of classes you want to see. (The survey link will be at the end of this blog and we will also be emailing it to all our Chamber members.)
We will also be starting up a Lunch and Learn program so that our members have the opportunity to network and learn from each other! We will be asking local business owners and others to speak. Right now, we have scheduled these for every other month on the first Wednesday of that month. If we find they are helpful and people are responding, we will consider doing them monthly. They will be from 12:00-1:00 pm at the Hemphill County Library, starting on May 2. We know your time is valuable, so it is our goal to make sure these start and stop on time. We’ve got questions in the survey about what you want to hear at Lunch and Learn, too.
And finally, one of the things we are most excited about – we will be featuring individual Chamber member businesses in this blog – Chamber Spotlights! There are so many businesses out there and we want to know more about you and spread your information far and wide!
These are only a few of the ideas and changes we’ve been bouncing around, but we want more! We want YOUR ideas!
Jonilyn Hanes from The Flower Shop suggested we feature “finds” from different retail stores around town. We loved that idea so we will start featuring #fabfindsincanadiantx on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
If you have any other ideas, we want to hear them! Please know that the Chamber of Commerce is here for YOU – for your business. We want to help you grow! I found a quote at the beginning of this year and it has been my mantra as I’ve taken over as Director of Marketing for the Chamber – We rise by lifting others. Canadian only succeeds if her businesses succeed.
Call us! Email us! Come see us! If you have questions about the Chamber, ASK us! We can only address your concerns and questions and ideas if we hear about them from you. Here’s the survey I was talking about. Click here for survey! If you’re a Chamber member, if you have ever considered being a Chamber member, or if you just have ideas for us, fill it out. We want to hear them! Let’s work together as a team!
a blog by Kat Decker, Director of Marketing