Chamber eyes building, teamwork

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In 2013, Executive Director Julie Sole said the Westfield Chamber of Commerce focuses on two major areas – business development and membership partnership. Those areas will remain a focal point for the chamber as it looks to expand opportunities for current and non-members.

“For business development we will bring back the economic development luncheons series,” Sole said. “Membership partnership provides more engagement for our members. We have an ambassador program that will introduce the chamber to all businesses to explain what we are doing and how interested non-members can get involved with the chamber.”

Sole said two major projects will impact business within the city in 2014 – the opening of Grand Park and the continued construction of U.S. 31.

“We want to help businesses be prepared for waves of people,” she said of Grand Park. “It’s definitely going to have an impact on businesses.”

One of the problems with construction is its impact on traffic patterns. Sole said the chamber has to get the word out on how to get around town.

“It’s going to take some time for the locals to find their way around. We’re looking at how we can assist those businesses temporary off the beaten path. It’s a temporary problem – not a lot the city can do with the U.S. 31 project,” she said. “It’s just painful right now. Once you know where you want to go you’ll find your way there.”

The Westfield Chamber will continue to partner with its neighboring organizations throughout the year.

“We’ll have a lot of collaboration with the other chambers within the county,” Sole said. “It’s an advantage to get your business out there and networking with a large number of businesses.”

Sole said the chambers will host a legislative breakfast in January through April at The Mansion at Oak Hill, 5801 E. 116th St., Carmel. In April, the county chambers will meet for the annual all-county luncheon.

“There also will be two all-county business after hours events,” Sole said.

Other chamber events taking place in 2014 include:

• The Westfield Chamber of Commerce holds its monthly luncheons on the third Thursday of the month.

• The 11th annual chamber golf outing is June 2 at Bridgewater Golf Course.

• The Lantern Awards are scheduled for Sept. 20.

• Within the chamber, Sole said the organization will hire two part-time employees in January.

• The chamber will launch a new Website in the early part of 2014.


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