By Sam Wildow
TROY — The Troy Area Chamber of Commerce held a State of the Chamber luncheon and presentation on Thursday, providing members with an update on the chamber and how the organization beat the statistics when it came to how other chambers fared in 2020.
“We believe that it is our role in the community to wake up every day and be focused on making Troy a better place to live, work, and play,” said Kathi Roetter, executive director of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce.
Roetter went over some national statistics that Chambers of Commerce faced across the country in 2020, saying that 76% of chambers decreased in revenue, 25% decreased in staff, and 40% stopped doing events during 2020.
“I can tell you that none of these statistics apply to our chamber,” Roetter said.
For the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, the organization returned to its roots as an advocacy group for local businesses in 2020. The chamber revived its Government Affairs committee, communicated and shared information with local businesses, participated in the Save Small Business Coalition, advocated for COVID liability protections for businesses, and more. The chamber also hosted a business roundtable with U.S. Representative Warren Davidson.
“You’re going to see more of that coming up in 2022,” Roetter said.
The chamber also partnered with other local organizations, including the city of Troy, Troy Main Street, the Troy Development Council, for the Small Business Disaster Relief Program. Round one of the program gave $109,726 to 75 businesses in 2020, and round two gave $53,500 to 52 businesses in 2021. In 2021, the Troy Foundation also partnered with them to help with this program.
“We do still have funds in the grant program at the foundation, so if we would have another tornado that happens, we have an assistance program that we can step in and help businesses,” Roetter said. “We did not have that prior to COVID.”
The chamber also invested $10,000 in its Support Local gift card program, and it invested $4,300 in small businesses directly by purchasing gift cards to give away to the community.
The chamber also embraced virtual connections with its members in 2020 and 2021, such as by holding Webinar Wednesdays on the second Wednesday of each month. The chamber also held its EmpowHER — A Day for Women event on a virtual platform in 2021.
“It’s a great day of networking,” Roetter said about EmpowHER. That event saw 175 participants in 2021.
Additionally in 2021, the chamber held 40 in-person events, 15 virtual events, 30 ribbon cuttings, and 12 Webinar Wednesdays. There were approximately 1,640 attendees at their events.
The chamber also has 467 total members and boasts a retention rate of 92% as other chambers of similar size to them are typically around a retention rate of 75%. In 2021, the chamber had 38 new members. The chamber’s number of members has also increased by 14% since 2015, and the chamber’s membership revenue has also increased by 43% since 2015.
The chamber is also growing its online presence, seeing over 24,000 visitors to its website in 2021, with some of the most viewed pages on its website being its contact page, chamber events, and restaurant listings.
In regard to social media, the chamber has approximately 4,500 likes on Facebook and 1,800 followers on Instagram. The chamber also recently joined TikTok.
Looking ahead, the chamber’s goals for 2022 include being known as a prominent advocate and resource for businesses in the northern Miami Valley region, to help Troy be known as a business-friendly and pro-business community, exploring community partnerships, and being a leader in the area of workforce.
“To do all these things, it takes a team,” Roetter said, recognizing the chamber’s board of directors and employees.
For more information on the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, visit troyohiochamber.com.