TROY — The Troy Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Chamber event held Jan.19, provided a lot of information about the organization’s efforts in 2022 and what is ahead for 2023.
Executive Director Kathi Roetter gave the presentation to guests, which included the main points of how the chamber has been a catalyst for business growth, a convener of business and community leaders and a champion for Troy.
As a catalyst for business growth, Roetter pointed out, the chamber offers multiple options for small business in Troy to save money. A few of the programs mentioned by Roetter include: health insurance, workers compensation discounts, energy discount programs and a certificate of origin program. Lastly, the chamber also offers members use of its board room for businesses to hold meetings and get a slight change in scenery.
The chamber also acts as an advocate for local small businesses, she said, which is the reason chambers were originally formed. In 2022, the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce signed onto multiple bills to benefit the small businesses of Troy. The chamber signed on to the Ohio License Reciprocity Bill, the National Tele-Medicine legislation and Independent Contractor legislation. The chamber also hosted business roundtable discussions to hear concerns and complications from local businesses about obstacles they have faced while doing business in Troy. As a result of the chamber’s roundtable discussions, a “How to do Business Guide” is in the works to help small business owners navigate some of the more intricate rules to doing business in Troy.
One of the most noticeable events done by the chamber are ribbon cuttings done by the chamber’s Ambassador Team. The Ambassador Team consists of 25 chamber members who volunteer to welcome new businesses and celebrate with the old businesses in Troy. Ribbon cuttings are done for new business openings, relocations or businesses celebrating milestones. The Ambassador Team did 40 ribbon cuttings in 2022 and have a goal to complete 50 in 2023.
The chamber is constantly promoting Troy and its businesses to the surrounding region. According to Roetter it is important that the Troy Chamber of Commerce informs non-locals and visitors of the numerous local shops, boutiques, restaurants, trails and parks in Troy. The chamber promotes through paid social media advertisements, which chamber members can pay for business-specific advertisements to be on the chamber’s social media.
The chamber also highlights Troy’s workforce and employment opportunities with YouTube videos that each focus on different careers in Troy. Using YouTube to promote the different careers available in Troy helped the chamber maintain the Career Education partnership with Troy City Schools while also giving the chamber a way to reach the community to inform them about the new businesses and industries.
Looking to the future, the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce is looking to expand its leadership programs by creating a two day intensive leadership training program to increase participation and to restart the leadership alumni program. The leadership alumni program would help the alumni continue their leadership experience and education.
The year 2023 will also see some organizational realignment in Troy. Many people and businesses find the multiple chamber agencies to be confusing. One of the biggest changes in the new year will be the dissolution of the Troy Strawberry Festival as a standalone organization. The festival is not going away. According to Roetter, it did not make sense for the festival to be its own standalone non-profit organization. The Troy Strawberry Festival is now an event under the Chamber of Commerce and the festival board is now going to be a steering committee under the chamber.