The Nazareth Chamber of Commerce was formed over 80 years ago and built its foundation around the traditions that Nazareth has come to love. This past October, the Nazareth Chamber of Commerce decided to partner with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the whole team is excited for what the future holds.
Through the partnership, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce will keep Nazareth traditions alive, while enhancing them and providing new opportunities for businesses and community members alike.
“The Nazareth Chamber of Commerce was either going to lose it’s 80-year legacy or we were going to work out a very favorable partnership with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, which is what we did. They accepted many crucial points to make this partnership work and everyone is enthused and excited. It’s going to be the best thing that could have ever happened for the community and our business members through the exponential value that is being offered,” comments Bill Skinner, owner of Paramount Business Development and chair of the Nazareth Chamber of Commerce.
“We are going to continue the annual events and traditions that Nazareth loves, but some of these events are going to be partnered with pre-existing events that were already in place. For instance, Trunk or Treat will fall on the same day as the Fall Festival. We don’t want to over saturate the market with events, but we do want to make them bigger and better and by combining certain events we can achieve that goal. This allows us to spotlight the event and provides a greater value to the community and businesses throughout as well,” says Jessica O’Donnell, EVP Affiliated Chambers.
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce has many different counsels, including the Small Business Counsel, which offers educational classes, business development seminars and networking opportunities to grow your business throughout the year. All the classes, seminars and networking opportunities they offer are scheduled throughout the Lehigh Valley, making them very easy to attend. The cost is low, but the benefits in being a member and taking advantage of all they offer is high.
“One of the benefits of being a part of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce is that they have many counsels that give business owners the opportunity to take their business to the next level. The GLVCC offers many networking events, which is great exposure for your business, access to business development and educational classes and many seminars throughout the year in leadership and other constructive educational sessions. It’s very affordable for businesses to join and what I like about the offerings is that they are all local. Businesses can attend development and educational sessions that are a short car ride away where they don’t have to endure the burden of paying for travel to other seminars offered throughout our country,” comments Michael Woodland, co-owner of Dan’s Camera City and Fast Signs of Easton and co-chair to the Nazareth chamber.
“As a Chamber of Commerce, it is very important to try to stress that there is great value within this partnership. We are looking for full engagement from Nazareth businesses and if they give 100 percent, they will get 100 percent of the benefits being offered. You have to go to networking events, take the classes and attend the seminars because they are provided to help businesses grow,” says Skinner.
In August 2012, the Nazareth Business Counsel formed as a part of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce to help the community of Nazareth and the businesses throughout. The GLVCC wanted to have a presence in all the downtowns and Main Streets in the Lehigh Valley, so the NBC was formed. Through this partnership the NBC will dissolve, and the focus will be on the partnership of the chambers eliminating confusion and competition.
“With two chambers, many businesses couldn’t justify paying two membership dues. Now with the partnership, we won’t have that issue and there will be no more competing events, which allows more of our small businesses the opportunity to get involved,” says Woodland.
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce serves the region of the Greater Lehigh Valley, but they fully understand that each municipality has its own uniqueness and concerns, hopes and dreams. The chamber realizes that this is not a “one size fits all” situation and strives to provide help to their partners and the communities they serve meeting their individual needs. They offer regional branding through events and promotions as well as business growth opportunities. “Our goal is to continue the positive momentum we’ve seen through our partnership efforts as we work to enhance the events in our communities making them more of an attraction,” says O’Donnell.
The Chamber’s mission is to improve the economy and quality of life in the Lehigh Valley area. They have close to 5,000 members who employ over 200,000 people throughout the Lehigh Valley.
The GLVCC is the largest chamber in Pennsylvania and New Jersey with over 30 affiliated chambers that ranks sixth in the nation. Volunteers matter, and the GLVCC has over 1,500 of them helping to develop and achieve their partners’ respective and collective goals.
“I have seen the results of other communities who have partnered with the GLVCC and I know this partnership is going to positively impact Nazareth,” says Skinner.
“We are a Chamber of Commerce, but we are really a chamber of communities and we want to attract people from all over to see what the community of Nazareth has to offer. There is no divide here, it is a unity and that’s what makes this a great thing for everyone,” comments O’Donnell on the partnership of the Nazareth Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Lehigh Valley of Commerce.
From the wisdom of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”