Thursday, February 27, 2014

East Penn Chamber of Commerce - Letter from the President

Guest blog from Kevin Baker of Sitka Enterprises, Inc.

Businesses that need a solid winter must have really enjoyed 2014 so far! For others of us bad weather can be a cause for a slowdown in activity. If that’s been your experience thus far, stick with it, things should improve. Economic fundamentals continue strong, minor corrections in the markets but confidence remains positive and growing and prospects for businesses in the Lehigh Valley are generally more positive than they have been for many years.

In 2013 the East Penn Chamber took a position on two major initiatives. The first is the new hockey arena and its NIZ financing, and the second was the lease contract for the management of the Allentown water and sewage system. Both these items had the potential to positively or negatively affect the cost of doing business in East Penn.

So we enjoyed an informative joint program with our Western Lehigh Chamber partners in February. Aurel Arndt, CEO of Lehigh County Authority spoke at our February 19 lunch at Brookside Country Club. Aurel reviewed the LCA’s progress 6 months into its management of Allentown’s water and sewage system. He also spoke about the wider benefits to the area that ‘flow’ from this new arrangement. East Penn Chamber is proud to have taken a position in support of LCA’s bid for the lease agreement and pleased that so far it is going in the right direction for residents of the East Penn area and Allentown.

Collaboration between the East Penn Chamber and the Emmaus Main Street program is increasing and in celebration we saw the February Snowblast on 7th and 8th which was a huge success, perfectly timed between winter storms and including arts shows, ice sculpting and winter food plus and drink plus of course the famous ice bar; a longtime favorite for parents.

We like to highlight some of the MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS in our articles, for example did you know you can get a free excel spreadsheet listing of chamber members just by asking your chamber representative? It’s at least a $400 value and a lot more if it helps you make a sale! You also get your own listing in the Membership Directory, for free and new members get listed in the New Member Spotlight each month in this Connections magazine.

We are looking forward to the rest of the region’s 2014 programs and we already have exciting programs established in-line with our mission of “greater engagement” amongst the East Penn Chamber membership. Please look out for these events on our website and Facebook page, we want to deliver increasing value to our members and we want you to come out and start working with us.

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