If you have not learned after two years, I do enjoy making a "play on words" in my articles. So no, the Chamber is not declining, or in a free fall, but instead is ever expanding like my waist line. Fall is an exciting time here at the Chamber, full of colorful activities and events, with many opportunities to collect business connections and new customers. This is your time to take advantage of the opportunities, attend an event or two, and expand your marketing with the Chamber.
In September, our community expands with 5,000 new residents, who attend St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges. The Chamber has been fortunate to be on campus to welcome new freshman students and their parents. In addition, we had over 20 Chamber members participate in two coupon pages that targeted students and visitors and were handed out to all of St. Olaf's 2,800 students in a "Welcome to Northfield" package.
For the second year in a row, we will partner with the Northfield Historical Society and have a tent during "The Defeat of Jesse James Days" where we will promote Small Business Saturday and Winter Walk. The Convention & Visitor's Bureau and the Chamber work hand-in-hand to encourage our visitors to come back throughout the year to eat, shop and stay. Stop by and wander thru our Winter Wonderland. Watch the movie trailer for "Love Always Santa", a Hallmark movie filmed here in Northfield. We plan on having a premier viewing party this fall, watch for an announcement soon!
Fall is when we continue our membership luncheons, starting with the State of the Schools in September, Manufacturing Week Celebration in October and soon to be announced topics for November & December. We continue to offer successful networking events, our Morning Business Brews, Business After Hours and Ribbon Cuttings.
New this year is our Fall Gala, on Friday, October 28th at the Grand Event Center. This augural event, "Beyond Bourbon Street Spirts & Spirits Ball" is an import fundraiser for the Chamber, and will be the premier social event in Northfield. The event will include dinner, silent and live auction, wall of wine, dancing, and gaming entertainment. Reserve your seat, or better yet, a table for you and your friends or co-workers to be part of this fantastic event. If you can't make the event, consider donating a silent or live auction item.
This fall, those pesky election yard signs start to pop up and will be in full bloom. The Chamber will be involved by host candidate forums for mayor, city council, school board and state candidate races. Come meet the candidates and find out their answers to issues that are important to you. In addition, we will continue our attendance at council meetings, advocating for the business community. Come help set the legislative priorities of the Chamber in 2017.
Finally, there are as many tools the Northfield Area Chamber provides its members as there are leaves that I have to rake up in my back yard. Members are encouraged to leave business cards and brochures on the racks at the Chamber office. Take advantage of the weekly e-burst or monthly newsletter sponsorships, participate in the New Resident Welcome Kit, take advantage of the Enhanced Listing on the Chamber website, posting hot deals or help wanted ads, take an ad out in the 2017 Membership Directory and Official Area Guide, sponsor a Chamber luncheon, or host a Morning Business Brew or After Hours. And don't forget to bring a co-worker and come to an event.
Turn a new leaf this fall and get involved!