The Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce claims the local economy is leading the way out of the recession and they plan to demonstrate it by hosting a membership event Nov. 16-18 from their headquarters at 418 S. Main St. in Elkhart.
Over 150 chamber member volunteers will be contacting businesses to personally attest to the benefits of membership, according to a news release. The volunteers will encourage those businesses to join the chamber team. Costumes and awards will keep the event festive.
The 1,156-member chamber hopes to increase its membership among the RV manufacturing and supply sector which to date has less than 50 members in the chamber.
“We conducted our previous membership growth event at the bottom of our community’s economic cycle. And we shocked people from around the state by growing 11%,” said Chamber President Phil Penn. “That was our message to the world that our businesses are tough.”
Penn predicted the chamber would grow another 10% to 20% from this event. He said this will also be a positive sign of our economy.
“We are still being watched, even two years after President Obama’s visit. We are seen as the bellwether of the economy,” Penn said.
The Elkhart Chamber is a membership-driven organization which operates its programs and services with a constant eye on return-on-investment. Companies that join the Cchamber benefit from instant exposure through the chamber’s website, www.elkhart.org, newsletter and other products. Training opportunities, workshops and networking events have also proven valuable to members. In addition the chamber can help improve the overall business climate through government advocacy.
“Our ability to influence and shape Elkhart’s business climate grows as our membership grows, so we look forward to welcoming many new members to our team,” Penn said.