Hansen touts outreach in State of the Chamber

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — After a successful year of recruiting, the Brighton Chamber of Commerce will continue to reach out to new and existing businesses in 2014.

During the chamber’s Jan. 30 State of the Chamber Address, Director Holly Hansen said the chamber will be doing more business outreach in the coming year while providing the services that members have come to expect. 

“This year, a lot of our focus will be evaluating what we do, what we do well, what you as members love and continuing to do them as efficiently as possible,” she said. 

Hansen said the chamber will once again be using grant funding from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee in the coming year, with funding being used to increase the distribution of the chamber guide, partner with the Economic Development Corporation to develop a community brand and has hired a community concierge to be a friendly face for the community and helping visitors get the information they need. 

Adding Yvette Martinez as the part-time community concierge will give the chamber a bilingual presence, according to Hansen, which is something the chamber has lacked for a long time. She said a Hispanic diversity steering committee will be forming so the chamber can receive input on how it can be more inclusive of all the city’s residents and businesses. 

Hansen provided a recap of the chamber’s biggest moments of the past year. She said with the help of grants from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, the chamber was able to install an electronic message board outside of Historic City Hall and expand its welcome bag program as well as the Live Local, Buy Brighton program.

Treasurer Kevin Kildow said the chamber generated just over $257,000 last year, an increase of $41,600 (19 percent) over 2012.

Chairman Brian Blehm said that 84 members were added in 2013 and that the chamber’s membership is currently at 323 members. He said a new structure has been implemented that allows members to support the chamber with investments that meet their individual needs. 

“The chamber seeks to reinvest a significant portion of our member investments back into providing programs, services and outreach that directly benefit our members specifically,” he said.