8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Chamber of Commerce Membership

There are many reasons to join your local Chamber of Commerce. Some of the obvious ones are networking opportunities, community involvement, political advocacy, and the trust that Chamber affiliation builds with your customers. Of course, there are many more benefits you receive from becoming a Chamber member, but many people don’t fully enjoy them. They wrongly assume that by simply paying their annual membership dues lots of new business and friends will automatically show up. Without understanding how to make their Chamber experience work for them they give up on the Chamber in frustration.

If all you do is pay your membership fee you will get a welcome letter and a nice sticker to put on your front door. However, if you invest in building trusting, professional relationships with others through the Chamber the rewards in leads, sales, and friendships are potentially game changing for your business. Here are several ways to get more out of the Chamber by investing in other members.

  1. Sign up for their newsletters or updates.
    A great way to learn more about your peers at the Chamber and how you can support their business is to sign up for their company newsletter, directory, or weekly email.
  2. Support them online.
    Support other Chamber members through any of the social media outlets they use and tell your network about them as well. Have you experienced their service or product first hand? Show your support by writing positive product reviews online. 
  3. Submit their news to other groups you are part of.
    Be sure to share your Chamber peers’ news with other groups you may be part of. Think about professional, LinkedIn, or civic groups for example. 
  4. Invite them to be part of your seminars.
    Invite fellow Chamber members to come speak at your company functions or the business seminars you are hosting. They will appreciate the opportunity to showcase their area of expertise and you will enhance your event with guest speakers. 
  5. Share or trade skills and expertise.
    We are all experts at something. What is your “something”? Share that something with someone else at the Chamber. If you are good at writing ad copy and someone else is good at printing sales flyers then offer to share skills. You will probably help each attract more business this way. 
  6. Introduce them to your friends.
    Be the first person to approach new Chamber members when they arrive. Be friendly and introduce them to others in the group. Your gesture will be remembered and appreciated forever. 
  7. Bring them to other functions.
    Perhaps you are member of other organizations in addition to the Chamber. Invite one or two of your Chamber peers to attend other functions with you as your guest. Introduce them to your other associates. This will increase their circle of connections and you will look like a master networker. 
  8. Use their business first.
    Support your fellow Chamber members by giving them preference when you shop. For example, if you need replacement windows for your home and one of the window companies is a Chamber member, give that company your business. Even if they cost a little more, the goodwill your business generates can be invaluable.

A Message From Pacific Power

Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities, which is why we’re always looking for new ways to help your business thrive.

Extra love on your energy bill

We’re committed to keeping your energy costs as low as possible. That’s our pledge. Beginning last month, a decrease in your energy bill was applied as we pass on savings from federal tax changes approved by the Oregon Public Utility Commission. Oregon commercial and industrial customers saw reductions ranging from 3 to 4 percent depending on how much power you use.

The power to boost your bottom line

With wattsmart upgrades, like using LED lighting and efficient heating and cooling equipment, you can trim operating costs and save on your energy bill. Pacific Power teams up with Energy Trust of Oregon to help you improve your business by offering cash incentives and expertise for energy efficiency improvements. To get started, visit bewattsmart.com.

We’re here for you

Your trust and loyalty drives us to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to power your business. If you have questions, reach out to our Business Solutions team at 1-866-870-3419.

Performance Evaluations Done Right

Performance reviews usually leave the employee feeling one of two ways: completely exhilarated or completely defeated. These feelings have little to do with monetary gain, but rather revolve primarily around the regularity of the feedback provided and the conversation that occurs during the review.

When managers share feedback with their team on a regular basis (i.e. weekly, monthly, quarterly, or more often as needed) they tend to have a consistently engaged team. Their staff knows where they stand at all times and are more readily able to make any corrections as needed. Frequent feedback ensures that when issues arise, they are not allowed to develop into a decrease in productivity or a depression in morale. It also reduces the element of surprise in the formal review and can be used to enhance the specificity of how the employee’s performance has increased or decreased in the short-term and long-term. This makes organizing and delivering an accurate performance review much easier and time effective for the management involved.

While it is important to share learning opportunities, celebrating successes is even more important. It is often easy to focus on the negative because this is what is most overt. However, only focusing on the negative can do more harm than good in regards to employee confidence, engagement, and morale. Accentuating the positive creates an environment of encouragement. Team members will not only feel better about their work, but will accept any constructive criticism as opportunities to be better at what they already do well. That happiness can become infectious with co-workers providing praise to each other, which will result in an increase in collaboration, team work, creativity, and overall morale in the office.

Not all negative feedback is bad; just ensure your feedback is constructive and direct. When face with a learning opportunity, focus on situations where you can coach a team member. Help the employee learn how to use the talents they already possess to master aspects of their job that do not come easily to them.

When it is time to perform a more formal performance review, follow these four steps to optimize the experience for both you and your staff.

  1. Request self-audits: Ask team members to complete a brief self-audit. This will give you, the manager, information on how the employee perceives their own performance. It will also allow the employee to prepare for the evaluation. A self-audit should not be a replacement for any managerial preparations for a proper review. It should be one step in that process.
  2. Personalize the review: Some people respond well to a more blunt approach, while others need a more tactful approach or need examples. Great managers understand the variety of personalities represented on their teams and know how to tailor their messages appropriately.
  3. Set goals: Employees are more engaged when they understand the desired end result of their efforts. Part of the preparation process should include distinct, measurable goals that have a defined timeline.
  4. Allow for feedback: performance evaluations are a great time to understand how you can better support your staff. Make sure the team member has time to provide feedback to you. This simple dialogue can help clear up any misunderstandings and increase trust between you and your team.

When managers provide feedback on a regular basis, teams feel that they are in the loop. This breeds collaboration, increased levels of productivity and engagement. While negative feedback is needed at times, this should not be the only time you share feedback with your team. Positive messages will reap huge rewards and create a happier work environment for all.

Yolanda Zuger

2018 was a big year in real estate and a big year for me! Hi… I’m Yolanda Zuger and I love our area!

My family and I have lived in Polk County since 1966. I currently live on the farm that I grew up on, along with my husband Craig and a variety of critters. I have made the Central Willamette Valley the base of my business since 1998 because of my familiarity with the area and the beauty of this part of the region.

I moved my Real Estate License to Keller Williams in the spring of 2018 as part of the Capital City Branch in Salem with my own office as the Cornerstone Team in Dallas. I have seen a 60% increase in sales dollars to my business that I account to Keller Williams technology, my Transaction Manager Amy Bertolini and Marketing Manager Chelsea Metcalfe-Teal, along with and most importantly, all of my clients that return to do business with me or recommend me to family and friends.

With that in mind, do you know anyone who might be buying or selling their home and need assistance from someone honest, trusted and experienced? Or does your business provide a service or product that homeowners and/or future homeowners need to know about? Please connect with me! We want to know and support other local businesses as the citizens of our community change.

Because I love our area, we have launched “Go with Yo” events for something fun & informative to do. We had a blast in December at The Boondocks for a Wreath Making Party and are excited to host a Women’s Self Defense Class on March 13th. Please like our Facebook page to stay tuned on our events, current listings and more!

www.yolandazuger.com

Is the Chamber a Government Entity?

A Chamber of Commerce, or a Board of Trade, is a form of business network. The Chamber of Commerce is a local organization of businesses whose goal is to further the interests of businesses. Business owners in towns and cities form these local societies to advocate on behalf of the business community. Local businesses are members, and they elect a board of directors, or executive council to set policy for the chamber. The board or council then hires a President, CEO, or Executive Director, plus staffing of an appropriate size to run the organization.

A Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary association of business firms belonging to different trades and industries. They serve as spokesmen and representatives of the business community. They differ from city to city, and region to region.

In many areas Chambers of Commerce are a source of private sector information. The information is usually gathered by surveying Chamber members. This can be used by official governmental departments as a guide to the performance of the economy in the Chambers area.

As a non-governmental institution, a Chamber of Commerce has no direct role in the writing and passage of laws and regulations that affect businesses. It may however, lobby in an attempt to get laws passed that are favorable to businesses.

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Grocery Outlet Bargain Market

We are excited to inform you that Grocery Outlet Bargain Market will open the doors to its much-anticipated location in Dallas at 258 W Ellendale Ave. tomorrow, February 14th! The nation’s fastest-growing, extreme-value grocery retailer, is creating 40 new jobs in the community. You are invited to the Grand Opening ceremonies, beginning at 8:55 am Thursday morning.

Grocery Outlet has a few special activities planned; including guest speakers from our community. Grocery Outlet will also be gifting the first 200 customers in line with a Grocery Outlet gift card that will range in value from $5 to $200. Additionally, Grocery Outlet has pledged to donate what is equal to the amount their customers save during the first hour they are open, 9:15 am to 10:15 am. The donation will go to benefit Dallas’ own Kindness Club and will be presented at 11 am. Shoppers will also receive a free reusable bag, while supplies last. Last but certainly not least, starting Thursday, February 14th through Thursday, March 14th, customers may enter for a chance to win a Grand Prize of Free Groceries for one year!

Sandy and Jason Thornton, the Dallas store’s independent owner-operators, invite the community to attend the grand opening celebration on Thursday, February 14th, beginning at 8:55 am.

https://business.dallasoregon.org/events/details/grocery-outlet-grand-opening-4738

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Great Employees Come From a Great Hiring Process

Candidates and employees are an organization’s best asset. They are also the primary consumers of your product with very specific expectations on the company’s brand. These expectations and their experience with the hiring process will ultimately shape their engagement and performance if hired. It is important to treat candidates with respect during the hiring process.

Talent assessments can be very beneficial when used as part of a well-defined hiring process. They can create a performance profile that includes behavioral characteristics, skills, and personal inventories. This information can then be maintained to be used not only in the hiring process, but in evaluating your current employees for opportunities that arise through the use of performance reviews and promotion assessments.

Choosing the right assessment tool can be challenging as more sophisticated tools are developed and released. It is important that the chosen tool do the following:

  • Be easy to take and be mobile optimized.
  • Ask questions that are directly related to the position.
  • Instill the organization’s values.
  • Provide the opportunity to show proof of ability to perform the job tasks.
  • Not be so long that it results in a high candidate abandon rate.

Regardless of the assessment tool employed, make sure to follow up with all candidates. Providing feedback and letting them know where they stand in the hiring process will help maintain a positive impression on the organization and its brand, whether the candidate has a future with the company, or not.

Future employees’ performance can be determined, in part, by an effective hiring process. The use of talent assessments as one part of the hiring process will help hiring managers understand more about the candidate and how well they may fit into the organization’s culture and production expectations.

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Community Awards Banquet

Save the date for Community Awards Banquet 2019! This year marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce hosting the Annual Community Awards Banquet. This event is a time for us to come together as a community to recognize, honor, and thank those individuals and businesses that have made an impact on our community!

These are individuals that have earned their recognition through volunteerism and by dedicating their lives, and businesses to the betterment of Dallas and all of its citizens. We are honored to be able to join with other citizens in our community to recognize and thank these wonderful, and special individuals.

The Ceremony will be held Friday, February 22nd at the Majestic in downtown Dallas beginning at 6 pm for a cocktail hour, sponsored by MAK Metals. We look forward to celebrating Dallas’ generosity and collaboration with you.

This Year’s Award Winners

  • Business of the Year – Grandma’s Attic
  • Young Professional of the Year – Britneigh Hammill
  • Junior First Citizen – Aubrey Miller
  • Outstanding Organization – Kindness Club
  • First Citizen – Pete McDowell
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Jim Fairchild

Purchase your tickets today, and we are look forward to seeing you there! https://dallasoregon.org/awards/

A special thank you to our sponsors:

Award Sponsors

Cocktail Hour Sponsor

Catering Sponsor

Decorating Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Sweepstakes Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor
Willamette Valley Fiber

Table Sponsor
Chemeketa Community College
The City of Dallas
Oregon State Credit Union

Music Sponsor
Grand Hotel

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New Members

Grocery Outlet

We are excited to inform you that Grocery Outlet Bargain Market will open their doors to its much-anticipated location in Dallas on February 14th! Be sure to welcome them to our community along with several distinguished guest during the Grand Opening ceremonies, beginning at 8:55 am.

Grocery Outlet also have a few special activities planned including: gifting the first 200 customers in line a Grocery Outlet gift card valued at $5 to $200. Additionally, they have pledged to donate to The Kindness Club what is equivalent to what customers save the first hour the store is open, from 9:15 am to 10:15 am!

This is a wonderful addition to our community and we hope to see you there!


Focal Point Photography

Focal Point is the Willamette Valleys premier camera shop. They buy, sell, and trade new and used camera gear as well as rent camera equipment.

Dealing in both camera bodies and lenses, Focal Point Photography carries the latest and greatest in off camera flashes, hot lights, studio strobes and lighting modifiers. Their service is not complete without: guidance on purchasing the correct photo equipment to fit your personal needs, assistance with purchase of any lighting equipment or studio set up requirements, personal camera bag fitting for all of your photo equipment, and camera equipment maintenance and repair.

Call or come by and see why they are the Willamette Valley’s premier destination for photography beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.

http://www.focalpointphoto.com/


Hayden Homes

A community isn’t just a collection of homes. It’s a collection of people. That is why Hayden Homes doesn’t just consider themselves new home builders. Instead, they are a collection of people committed to building the best possible new homes for our friends, parents, children and neighbors.

This people-first mentality is evident in everything they do. They provide the highest quality work while delivering the greatest value on each and every new home that they build. Hayden Homes build wealth for their homeowners. They hire and source materials locally. Hayden Homes invests in the community, and they help others in need.

With new home communities in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Hayden Homes offer affordable new homes that fit your needs at any stage in life, backed by their commitment to quality. Come learn what makes a Hayden Home the right new home for both you and the entire Pacific Northwest.

https://www.hayden-homes.com/state/new-homes-oregon/#region-willamettevalley


Welcome to our new members! We are excited to work for you while you are at work.

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Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystems In Oregon

Monday, February 25, 2019
8:00 am – 4:00 pm

Northwest Community Credit Union
Community Room
545 E. 8th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401

REGISTER HERE (https://oeda.biz/event/entrepreneurship-innovation-ecosystems-in-oregon/)
*REGISTRATION INCLUDES CLASS MATERIALS, BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND COFFEE/BEVERAGE SERVICE.  STUDENTS WILL HAVE ONLINE ACCESS TO ALL CLASS MATERIALS FOR A PERIOD OF TIME FOLLOWING THE CLASS.

Join us for the next course in the Oregon Economic Development Certification Program to learn about essential features and tools for economic development in Oregon.

Participation in this training session also counts towards the Oregon Certified Economic Developer Program.

Course Information
Entrepreneurship and innovation are growing components of successful economies. As an Oregon Economic Development Professional, it’s important to understand the role entrepreneurs play in your community and how to build supportive ecosystems.

This interactive 8-credit training covers in depth information on the importance of entrepreneurial ecosystems, tools and resources to implement and measure ecosystems in your community, and state-wide collaboration tools.

You’ll leave this interactive training with an understanding of:

  • Overview of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Oregon (Startups, Oregon’s entrepreneurial landscape, Oregon’s advantages)
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation Basics (Startup Life Cycle, Accelerators & Incubators, Investing, Other Funding Mechanisms, Mentoring, Tech Transfer)
  • Supporting Entrepreneurs in Your Community (Creating Community Specific Programs, Ingredients for Success, Do’s and Dont’s with Entrepreneurs)
  • Putting Learning and Resources into Practices (Actionable ways to use the information provided)

Rural Scholarships Available

OEDA is pleased to offer professional development scholarships to rural communities, in partnership with Business Oregon and the Ford Family Foundation. Scholarships are approved on a rolling basis and according to availability of funds.  Individuals that meet the criteria will be notified with an approval email and coupon code. Please await code before registering. Priority is given to applicants that best meet the criteria and that will benefit most from professional development opportunities. View Rural Scholarship Application: 2018 OEDA Professional Development Rural Scholarships

 

Questions? Email Annie Gorski (AGorski@cityofsalem.net) or AJ Foscoli (aj.foscoli@dallasor.gov), our Professional Development Committee Co-Chairs.

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