By Amy Nugent, Renown Marketing Communications
I’ve been asked several times why I joined the Elko New Market Chamber of Commerce and volunteer with the organization, particularly when local client prospects for my business are generally limited. My reasons are several, and I think, justified.
First, I believe in individuals’ dream of entrepreneurship. I started my company, Renown Marketing Communications, in 2000 on literally a wing and a prayer. It was an exhilarating yet frightening experience to quit my perfectly good day job to venture into the unknowns – the unknowns of how I would be able to pay my mortgage, attract clients and even run a business. Many people supported me in the early years, and I’ve done my best to help others as they’ve taken their own leap into self-employment.
The Chamber allows me to support entrepreneurs on a broader scale. We give businesses opportunities they would otherwise not have, such as visibility to the local community through co-op advertising and social media, networking events with other business owners, and chances to hear from elected and civic representatives. The Chamber had hosted a small business series of classes through Lakeville and New Prague Community Education Departments to help entrepreneurs and hope-to-be entrepreneurs run their businesses better.
Through the Chamber, I also have an opportunity to interact with Elko New Market city officials and support local economic development initiatives. The Chamber has a strong working relationship with the City, built through our regular attendance City Council meetings to stay abreast of local issues and update the Council on Chamber activities, and partnering with the City on community-wide events such as Fire Rescue Days. The Chamber has an ex-officio representative serving on the City’s Economic Development Authority to be a business voice on that board which determines economic development priorities for Elko New Market.
The Chamber has also formed a working group with the City to spearhead focused economic development efforts. As a New Market Township resident, I would never have the opportunity to work on these initiatives if not for the Chamber. This is important to me because eventually Elko New Market will have more commercial businesses where I will spend my money. I hope our efforts will spark developments soon and result in desired businesses that will contribute to the quality of life.
The Chamber also strives to connect businesses with one another and with the community, and be an information source for the community. As a “soloprenuer” (an entrepreneur who works on my own), the Chamber helps me overcome the isolationism that sometimes comes from working home alone. Through our Facebook page (Facebook.com/ENMChamber), we share developments from City Council meetings, events in the area, business news, road construction updates, etc., that residents have come to appreciate.
If you’d like to learn more about the Elko New Market Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.enmchamber.org. You may also like to follow our Facebook page for local news.