Sharing our values

By: Margaret Dillard – Chamber President

Margaret Dillard The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce exists to promote a healthy business climate through leadership, communication and education for its members in the greater Fairmont area.

Recently, I’ve taken several “deep dives” into what our mission means and how to best serve local business. The good news is that dozens of business people and local leaders have interest and invest to help us achieve our goals.

There are some obvious things that surface during the process: We love that business people choose to become members because “it’s the right thing to do” however, that is not enough. We want to deliver value.

Two specific needs are expressed by prospective members. There are those businesses who look for services that offset their investment and there are those who need assurance that the chamber provides programs, and services that “strengthen the fabric of our community.” Others are individuals throughout our community that invest in membership because they choose to support programs and services that they believe are vital to the local economic outlook.

For those businesses who are seeking immediate support.
• Many call us when they are seeking reputable business for products and services. We refer our member businesses first.
• In our lobby we display business cards of members for those who look to us to guide them to reputable businesses.
• We present the opportunity for members to publish announcements in our newsletter distributed monthly in the Fairmont Sentinel.
• Upon request, Social Media & Marketing Coordinator, Benjamin Landsteiner will spend some time with you reviewing your online presence. He will make recommendations about how you can position your website and social media to be more effective and more searchable.
• Members receive discounts on chamber seminars, events and advertising opportunities.
• Meet other local business leaders at our monthly business education meeting (Bureau 14), Agri-business meeting and other events.
• Attend Social Media Breakfast, held the 4th Tuesday of each month through May. (Schedule may be changed around holidays.)
• Chamber staff is able to connect members to resources for starting and growing their business. (Business plans, coaching, funding, etc,)

For those whose priorities focus on how our efforts integrate with community enhancement, economic development and workforce recruitment and retainment, this chamber really shines!

Annually, Office Manager, Kandi Menne coordinates 35 volunteers who enter 57 classrooms to instruct approximately 1100 local youth about entrepreneurship and commerce utilizing the Junior Achievement curriculum.

Each April, more than 80 local businesses, organizations and educational institutions present local career opportunities to 650 sophomores from 12 high schools in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Every other year, Leadership Martin County takes two dozen or so business people through a one-day per month journey from September through May that offers an in depth look at local leadership, government and businesses.

The Fairmont Area Life Campaign attempts to recruit and retain talent through online campaigns and supporting programs and services.

Keep in mind that these are just some highlights of the many programs and services that we have here at your chamber. Staff are friendly, knowledgeable and ready to meet your needs and we can’t do it without your membership. Whether you represent a business or organization or are a citizen who believes that what we do is important, I invite you to invest today! These dollars stay in our community and fund local projects.

As always, I am eager to talk with anyone who might be interested in the Fairmont Area Chamber and anything that helps our area to prosper.