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State of the Hays chamber of commerce

I often get asked: "What can the chamber do for me?"

At the October membership Lunch, typically known as our State of the Chamber program, I shared my explanation with those members in attendance. Upon further reflection, I wondered if I wasn't preaching to the choir, so to speak, and thus decided to share with the entire community as well.

In order to have an active, growing area in which to live, we must have an organization like the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. Your chamber is a powerful team -- of hundreds of members, volunteers and staff working together to constantly promote and sell our community to prospective residents, returning customers and business ventures.

We are the place people turn to when they suddenly find out their spouse has been transferred to Hays. We answer the letters and phone calls. We send new families brochures on our city, school system, recreational facilities, and anything else they might request.

We are the place concerned folks call when they need to know who sells a particular item.

And the chamber only refers those local businesses who are chamber members.

We get those calls to check out the merchant who has not taken care of a problem properly. The chamber passes along that information to the business so proactive measures can be taken.

When a new industry wants to locate in our area, or one of our present firms needs to expand, we are the place they can turn to for help. In turn, we often collaborate with other resources to provide solutions, such as the other partners located in the Welcome Center.

The Hays Area Chamber of Commerce does all the little detail tasks that must be done if we are to be a city in motion. In short, we answer thousands of questions about our community from tourists, prospective residents, new businesses and existing chamber members. We maintain an office devoted to commercial, civic and retail development. We coordinate the talents of local business people in addressing the basic issues of our member business' promotion, development and employment. Plus, we pursue opportunities to make our area a better place to live and make a living.

A chamber is as strong as the level of participation of the businesses and its members. The Hays Area Chamber of Commerce is fortunate to have such an impressive level of support from our area businesses -- a 40-percent penetration rate is a powerful statement of how the chamber plays an important role in our business community.

In 2013, we hope to increase these numbers, which in turn, provides an even more powerful connecting resource.

We are your Hays Area Chamber of Commerce.

Please stop by our office at the Welcome Center and find out how we can help your business succeed.

Tammy Wellbrock is executive director of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. discoverhays.com