From one small business to another
The Storehouse is Covington’s Food Bank. Founded in 1999 to meet the needs of a newly established city, we’ve grown organically over the last 22 years mostly through word of mouth. It wasn’t until three years ago that we made the decision to join the Chamber, though there was some hesitancy at first. Back then, $300 seemed like a large investment, especially when funding was so tight.
In joining the Chamber three years ago, we’ve seen nothing but exponential growth. At our very first luncheon, we made business connections that would turn into lasting friendships and partnerships. Businesses that aligned with our mission wanted to help us further it. The Chamber provided those networking opportunities, allowing us to meet people and business owners we wouldn’t normally have the chance to stop and chat with.
The Chamber also supported us by providing access to business resources, doing the research, and providing information on grants, government and legislative updates. COVID was tough for everyone, and this last year we’ve seen the need for food triple. The Chamber helped us find additional funding through grants, that we were then able to use to purchase additional food. Chamber members reached out in support, facilitating food drives and fundraisers.
The Storehouse has grown so much in the last three years, in part, because of the Chamber. The Chamber is a tool that will fight for you, invest in you, and help foster and strengthen business connections. It’s something worth being a part of, and from one small business to another, here are just a few tips on how to get the most out of your membership.
Engage, Engage, Engage
You can get the most out of your membership simply by engaging. This means attending Chamber events, the luncheons, the happy hours. Networking is a great way to meet people, other business owners, and form partnerships. Many volunteers of The Storehouse discovered us at a Fall Festival. In attending the luncheons, businesses have learned more about us and have reached out to ask how to get involved.
Join a Committee
The Chamber offers many different committees and opportunities to get involved. Want to make a difference in the business community? Apply to join the board of directors. Interested in education and investing in students? Join the education committee. Have a bubbly personality and want to form deeper connections with businesses? Become an ambassador. If you have time to invest, joining a committee is another way to get involved and build relationships.
The Chamber has a broad reach, and that exposure is priceless. Advertising could be investing a small amount in marketing in the annual business directory, sponsoring a luncheon or happy hour, or it could be as simple as a Facebook post. We’ve been able to reach more of the community simply through having the Chamber share our events on Facebook.
As a small business, every dollar counts towards growing your business and engaging the community. The Chamber is an essential resource and by following the above tips, you can get the most out of your membership.
~ Cass Laney, The Storehouse and Covington Chamber Board Chair