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Chamber of Commerce Today

The Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce building, at 105 E Main St, in Hamilton, is open Monday through Friday year-round and every day in the summer.

The question I think every business owner has to ask themselves when they pay to be a member of an organization is what exactly those dollars spent are purchasing for them.

How is that hard earned money being used to promote them through the organization they are supporting. Sometimes that is easy to answer as it is when one is a member of the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Your neighbor joined the chamber and they are definitely getting their money's worth. For example, the chamber is currently putting together its directory for the 2019 year. We mention this because we want to make sure that the information that we have for each of our members is correct. So take a look at last year’s directory and make sure that none of your information needs to be changed.

Remember, this directory will be in hundreds of businesses throughout the valley and in front of thousands of potential customers. A print ad in the Bitterrooot Valley Chamber Membership Directory or in the Tourism and Relocation Guide are also a possibility for those who are interested. We also want to encourage our members to get their event listed on the calendar of events on the website, the chamber has your business covered but only if you let us know what your special events are. The chamber is always looking for member-related news to share with the community through our website, advertising networks and social media.

Why else is the business next door a chamber member? In a word, networking. It’s not just about networking so they can gain customers — it’s about the friendships and associations they gain as a part of this engaging group.

We had a Business After Hour event at Cowboy Troy’s in Victor in September and here in Hamilton at Clear Water Systems in October. Our next one is planned for Trapper Creek Outfitters in Victor on Nov. 15, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Spending a couple hours at the lodge promises to be memorable but what’s more is the interactions with the others who will be attending. As time goes by one finds themselves developing meaningful and lasting relationships on a personal and business level at these events. You never know when those relationships will come into play for helping your business succeed or just being a source of personal enjoyment.

Your fellow merchants are also looking forward to several events the chamber puts on throughout the year for their enjoyment, celebration, and net-working with other businesses. The Annual Chamber Awards Banquet is one such event and it is scheduled for Feb. 2. This year’s theme is a slight departure from our usual black and white event to a Hawaiian Luau. Members, find your summer shirts and get ready for a fun filled evening where the company is always superb and the food is delicious.

Lastly we would like to acknowledge a few of our newer members this last quarter. Those businesses that we have been writing about that are benefiting from their chamber memberships. So welcome Artisans on Second, Trapper Creek Outfitters, Montana Cross Home Inspections, Caras Property Management, Reel Flavors Food Truck and Catering, Caring Transitions of Western Montana, Bitterroot Trout Farm, Barta Systems Growler Coozies, AFLAC (in Stevi.), Bitterroot Bouncers, Bitterroot Casa Inc., B&B Cabinetry Design Co., Wilson’s Custom Draperies Inc., Comfort Solutions Inc., Tracy Walczak Real Estate Agent, Lora Lin Esthetics LLC, and Bitterroot Fly Company. We look forward to getting to know you.

As you can see there are several reasons why your neighbor joined the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce. They know that participation is the key to receiving the greatest benefits of their chamber membership. They have been attending the chamber events, talking to other members, even taking advantage of advertising opportunities and they have truly been experience the benefits for their business.