Word of Mouth Works
July 24, 2017
Every day is different at the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce. We never know who is going to call and have a question for us or who the next person is going to be through our front door. What we do know is that we can help point every person in the right direction and make them feel welcomed and a part of the community. For many people, we are seen as the connector. However, it’s the businesses that partner together and work with us that really create this community feeling of pride and support. One of the things that Chambers are heralded for is supporting area businesses and giving referrals. Although this might seem like something that is trivial and doesn’t make a big difference, we know that adding that personal touch and connecting people is exactly what most people are coming to us for.
A few days ago, a couple from Virginia stopped in on their way through town over the lunch hour and asked for a recommendation of a good place to eat. They didn’t want fast food, and they wanted something that would make them feel like they were at home. Fortunately, we have a few of those within walking distance of our office! A few minutes later, a caller from Wisconsin phoned in asking for help in planning a wedding. She was inquiring about the best places for the wedding party and their out of state guests to stay without having to leave town. We were able to tell her that we have two great B&Bs and a hotel that has been recently remodeled and renovated right here in Manchester! Not much later, another call came in from Elkader. They were looking for a business that serviced and sold appliances. It was their lucky day-we had a business open that very same day that could do both of those!
We never know who the next person that stops in will be or who the caller on the line is looking for, but with a robust Chamber of Commerce, we are able to keep those connections going. We know that the Chamber is made up of more than just the two staff and board members who help keep the Chamber going. We are made up of businesses who have the same belief-that together we are a stronger community and a better place to live, work and play!
73 Years Strong!
June 30, 2017
The Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce has been in Manchester for 73 years, yet what we find is that many people do not realize what the Chamber does. Some people simply sum it up by saying the Chamber does things that most people think just happen. For us, though, we want to be a vibrant part of the community and engaging as many people as possible! For me, if people ask what a Chamber does, I say we are the voice of our business community. We collaborate with community partners and businesses to drive economic development. We look at ways to support the workforce and build upon our community to bring more people and families in. But most importantly, we listen to our businesses. As a Chamber, we are membership based. We are not funded by taxpayers or by the City or County, but by our members. This builds a network of businesses and individuals who believe in supporting each other and the community to keep things growing and progressing. In everything we do, we look at how it will impact the businesses in our community and strive to make decisions that impact them in a positive way. Through our efforts and through working with numerous other community partners, we celebrate every victory, whether big or small, and look at ways to quantify the impact we as a community can make. According to the Retail Trade Analysis Report from the Iowa State University Department of Economics, retail sales were up 4.4% in Manchester in fiscal year 2016! Progress takes time, and it takes the commitment of business partners, organizations, the City, County, and other entities to make it happen, and we are proud to be a part of a community that believes in pushing for progress!