Chamber ups its voice for business in the new year

TULALIP – The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce spent the past year fine-tuning its chops to be the voice for a more-connected business community.

This year, that voice is going to get louder.

“Let us help promote you, engage you and add positive exposure to your business” in the new year, Chamber President and CEO Jesica Stickles told members at her state of the chamber address Jan. 27 at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

Stickles shared statistics to reinforce the work that staff and volunteers perform to keep the chamber and Visitors Information Center going, described the chamber organizational structure and a look ahead.

Chamber membership is at 192 members – some in Marysville, with other franchises and much larger, diversified concerns.

Stickles said chamber benefits and membership reach 14,000 individuals tied to the companies, which are mostly retail, nonprofit and financial.

The chamber website is experiencing 15,000 visits per month, the Facebook page is up to 412 likes, and a bi-monthly e-newsletter is reaching 1,200 readers.

Visitor Center volunteers contributed 2,500 hours to helping travelers and businesspeople get to know their way around the region, with those hours equal to $64,000 in time.

Volunteers counted 4,000 people accessing the center last year and 2,000 calls requesting information

Chamber governance counts on a 24-member board and ex-officios from the Navy, city, Tulalip Tribes, school district and others to ensure it is up to speed on community initiatives and issues.

The chamber divvies up much of its activities through four committees: an events committee that plans the three annual events, including a carnival, brew and cider fest and holiday gala fundraiser; a membership committee; governmental affairs committee that deals with business-related legislative issues and candidate forums; and the emissaries committee, a group that oversees B2B networking, breakfast meetings, mega-mixers, ribbon cuttings and outreach that will expand this year with visits to chamber businesses with plans to snap photos and gather video media.

Stickles also referenced the chamber’s business directory published by Sound Publishing, owners of The Marysville Globe-The Arlington Times. The chamber prints and distributes 10,000 copies, including insertion in relocation packets.

The chamber took an active role in last year’s Small Business Saturday event, a shop local campaign wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Stickles said it started small, with seven businesses holding in-store celebration, but they’re committed to growing it.

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