Now that state COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, area agencies/organizations are starting to look ahead and plan for 2021.
Kim Bloom, executive director of the Greater Clearfield Chamber of Commerce, said they are still being cautious about setting up events.
“It’s not time yet (to plan anything).”
Bloom went on to explain “we can’t really spend money on marketing, then not have events.”
At this point, they are hoping to have their chamber banquet and Halloween Wine Walk, both in October. Discussions and plans on setting these up will be held this summer.
Otherwise, Bloom reported that the chamber is “doing well” with its membership numbers being normal, which is something she wasn’t expecting.
“I was totally wrong,” she said, but “absolutely thrilled” that all of the chamber’s business members are still involved.
Jodi August, executive director of the Greater DuBois Chamber of Commerce, is already working on several events and explained “we were very active during the pandemic.”
2020 was “challenging” but by the end, she said, they were still managing smaller events that adhered to the regulations of the time.
The members were respectful of their limitations and “appreciative to have a place to go.”
“They were just excited to be out and networking.”
How did they do this?
When they hosted a seminar with a national speaker, instead of filling the room, they did the same presentation twice with only 25 participants in each session, she said.
These meetings also had options to participate via ZOOM.
In 2020 they did a book watch party, the annual business bash, celebrated the chamber’s 75th anniversary, had a roundtable type meeting with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, had ribbon-cuttings for eight new businesses and added 32 new members, bringing its total to 440 members.
Currently she is planning six education luncheons starting in April with prominent guest speakers.
A Business Connections Luncheon is scheduled for April 29 at the DuBois Country Club. They have over 50 reservations for the event, which can have a total of 97 participants.
The speakers are Senator Cris Dush and State Rep. Mike Armanini. Anyone interested in attending this $25 (includes lunch) event can call 8-14371-5010 or e-mail email@example.com.
The DuBois Chamber/DuBois Jaycee Annual Golf Tournament, at Silver Woods Golf Course, Treasure Lake, will be held May 28.
In July they will have a celebrate business event at Lakeview Lodge to recognize Stoltz Family Dealerships, winner of their Greater DuBois Chamber Community Cup Award and Merle Norman Boutique as the Small Business of the Year.
One of their biggest efforts in 2021 is a new podcast, “Let’s Talk Business”, set up with Connect FM.
Beginning in March, the eight- to 10-minute shows are done every other week and feature interviews with local business members. The next one is April 9 at 8:35 a.m.
If you miss it, links to the shows are listed on the chamber’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
They are also working on setting up a library achieve of the shows on their Web site.
The podcast is popular with business owners and right now is booked until November, she said.
2020 was an unusual year, yet August is proud of the work they have done.
“We are an active medium membership chamber with a small staff.”
August commented that the biggest misconception about community chambers is that they are a government agency that receives money from state and local groups.
In reality, they actually operate solely on their membership fees and during COVID they were not even eligible for any help from the various stimulus packages.
“Without our members, we don’t exist,” August noted.
She is hopeful they will continue to grow and expects 2021 to be a “better year for sure.”