The Chamber Helps Make This a Successful Holiday Season – Easily & Efficiently

The chamber is gearing up to help the local business community this holiday season and encourage local spending, giving and involvement. Watch your mail for details on the entire slate of “Shift Your Shopping” events and programs. There are also a select number of sponsorship opportunities that will put your business or organization front and center at all events and on all signage, marketing materials and more. Contact the chamber offices for more details.

Small Business Saturday: Saturday, November 25th – we’ll have “stations” around the county with fresh coffee and doughnuts along with coupons and shopping bags to help you kick off your holiday shopping on a positive note.
Shift Your Shopping Receipt Contest – kicks off November 1st. Log your local spending and win cash and prizes.
Steubenville Christmas Parade – Ambassador Club members will be promoting local spending and spreading holiday cheer at this favorite holiday event.
Scrolling Gift Idea List – be thinking of three items you’d like to include from your business. This list will scroll on the chamber’s website from November through Christmas day.
Holiday Open House – Thursday, December 7th at the chamber offices. Stop by for great food and drink, music and a few surprises.
Give Back Guide – find out how you, your employees and your family can give back this holiday season and help local families in need.

A Great Night Celebrating Our Members, Volunteers & The Local Business Community

Nearly 300 guests came out on Wednesday evening to attend the 109th Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner, at St. Florian Hall. This year’s theme is “A Salute To Manufacturing” gave a much-deserved nod to the local manufacturers who live and work in Jefferson County. The featured speaker, Mr. Rob Brundrett, Director of Public Policy Services for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, provided insight and information about Ohio’s strong manufacturing base, its history and its future.

This important annual event would not be possible without the support of member sponsors, most of whom have been on board for many years.

Annual Award Winners

Winners in 5 categories were honored Wednesday evening at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner. Pictured from left is: Therese Nelson, Young Professional of the Year from Nelson Fine Art & Gifts, Nicole Adamski, Ambassador of the Year, from The Inn At Franciscan Square, Jay Cruz, from The Inn At Franciscan Square winner of New or Emerging Business of the Year, Mike Zinno, from the Jefferson County Board of Departmental Disabilities, honored as Business/Organization of the Year and Steubenville Mayor, Domenick Mucci, recipient of the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Announcing the Featured Speaker at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner: OMA Director of Public Policy Services

Ohio has a long and diverse business history, and its many miles of shoreline, numerous ports, abundant water supplies, and more recently, inexpensive energy sources, make it one of the most enduring states in the nation for manufacturing. Jefferson County alone is home to many manufacturing businesses, ranging from small, independently owned facilities to large corporations with a multitude of products being produced and shipped across the country and around the world each year.

The theme for the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce’s 109th Annual Awards Dinner & Meeting on Wednesday, October 18th is “A Salute To Manufacturing” and will give a much-deserved nod to the local manufacturers who live and work here. The featured speaker will be Mr. Rob Brundrett, Director of Public Policy Services for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA).

Mr. Brundrett coordinates OMA’s day-to- day lobbying efforts at the statehouse and before the executive branch. He works extensively with manufacturing leaders on a variety of issues, including workers’ compensation, environment, healthcare, workforce, and taxes. He also manages important legal and ethics compliance functions for OMA. Prior to being named Director of Public Policy Services, Mr. Brundrett worked as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Auditor of State, Dave Yost.

The 2017 Gold level sponsors include Apollo Pro Cleaning & Restoration , WTOV9 , Franciscan University of Steubenville , Grae-Con Construction , Muxie Distributing Company , Eastern Gateway Community College , Trinity Health System and The Ridgefield Group.

Silver sponsors for 2017 are Colonial Heights/UMH Properties , Ambulance Service, Inc ., Checker Transportation and Jefferson Security Services. The annual dinner meeting is held each year to bring local business people together to celebrate the year’s successes, honor volunteers, and present awards in five categories (please see section below).

Tickets are $60 per person and include dinner, the presentation, and an after-dinner drink and dessert bar. Tables of eight may be reserved.  St. Florian Hall in Wintersville is the location for this year’s meeting with cocktails beginning at 6 and dinner and presentations at 7. Nomination submissions and ticket purchases may be processed through the Chamber website. For more information, please call the Chamber offices at 740-282-6226.

The Chamber Goes to the Movies – and You’re Invited!

Did you know that there are only 330 drive-in movie theaters left in the US? This is down from over 4,000 in the late 1950’s. And Jefferson County is home to one of them. Why not bring your families, employees or co-workers out for a nostalgic night at the Winter Drive-In in Wintersville.

You know you have lots of memories from the Winter – why not make new ones and share a bit of history at the same time? The grounds, restrooms and snack bar are updated and in great shape and the screens were recently updated to a digital format making the experience even better.
And to entice you even more, they are hosting, “Chamber Night” all weekend, from today through Sunday. Chamber members and their employees and families will be offered a discounted ticket rate. Tickets for adults are only $4.50 (a $4 savings) and children under the age of 11 will qualify for a “Buy One-Get One Free” offer at just $4.50. Chamber members can also purchase a large popcorn and two medium soft drinks for $12 (a value of $15.75). To receive your discount, click here for a printable coupon and present it at the ticketing booth.
There are also specials, beginning today, for the general public through this Sunday, August 27. Adult admission prices will be reduced by $2.50 per ticket and there will be snack bar specials on drinks, popcorn, and sandwiches. So grab your blankets and folding chairs and head to the drive-in for a late summer night out. Ticket booth and snack bar open at 8 p.m. Movies begin as darkness permits–this week approximately at 8:30 p.m. Cash only for tickets. VISA and MasterCard accepted in the snack bar. For more information, visit   www.winterdrivein.com. 

“Head Shot Happy Hour” Returns!

We’re making it easy and affordable to get a high-quality, professional photograph for all of your business needs. 

Having a high-quality, current head shot is a necessity in business. Regardless of your title or what it is you’re selling, the first impression that a prospective customer or client gets is often based on an image of you. Whether it’s by way of viewing your company website, seeing your picture in the local newspaper, picking up one of your business cards, or any other marketing medium that has your photograph on it, your picture can make or break that first impression. Many small business owners, however, make the mistake of using an old, unprofessional, or shabbily edited photo for business purposes, and they put off getting the proper one taken.
Last year, the Chamber held its first “Head Shot Happy Hour,” and it was such a success that it’s back again for a second year. Bella Lux Images will be on site on Tuesday, September 12 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Chamber offices. The price is just $50 and includes two poses as well as retouching. Legal Hair & Day Spa will also be on hand for complimentary last-minute hair and makeup touch-ups. Bookings are first-come, first-serve, so don’t delay. Call the Chamber offices at 740-282-6226 to book a time.  You may pay that day with cash or check. In addition, the Chamber will provide refreshments for you to enjoy while you wait or after your photo session is over.
And if you can’t make it on September 12, both Bella Lux and Newbrough Photo will be offering discounts on individual and staff photos throughout the entire month of September.  Click on the links above to visit their websites for more information.  Why not check this one off your “to-do” list once and for all and get a quality, professional head shot that you can use for all of your promotional and advertising needs?  Hope to see you at the second annual “Head Shot Happy Hour.”

 

Have You Considered A Mystery Shopping Program At Your Business?

As the holiday shopping season looms on the horizon, now’s the time to make sure your customer service is top notch.  The Chamber is excited to announce, “Customer First”, a mystery shopping program that is affordable, easy to implement and can provide crucial information to our local business owners and managers.

If you’re not familiar with mystery shopping services, you’re not alone. Many small businesses either have not heard of them or believe they are too expensive to utilize and not important enough to explore. In short, mystery shoppers are hired to pose as shoppers to assess your business operations. They discreetly and professionally perform a specific set of tasks such as purchasing a product or service, returning a product, registering a complaint, asking questions of sales reps, contacting your business by phone, and other related assignments.  The business owner or manager completes a short survey prior to the visits to outline what information they are interested in gathering. Afterward, the business is provided with a comprehensive, confidential summary report that outlines the results.  You may use it in a variety of ways; from rewarding employees who stand out to putting training and policies in place to remedy problem areas. Phone shops are also available to help ensure that all calls to your company are being handled politely and professionally.

In essence, a mystery shopping program will provide objective quantitative and qualitative feedback about the experience that the shopper had at your business. From their feedback, you are able to determine if your employees are living up to the standards you’ve set for them and if they’re following company procedures and practices on a regular basis and/or when the owner or manager is not present.

Promote local shopping by making the decision to patronize your business an easy one.  Utilize the chamber’s new program to get an honest, all-encompassing view of an actual customer experience.  Click here for more information and pricing or contact the chamber offices at 740.282.6226.

Congratulations to Bully Tools!

As part of President Donald Trump’s “Made in America” week, the administration recently invited businesses from around the country to a White House showcase event on Monday, July 17, where the president surveyed the various American-made products for himself.
Chamber member Bully Tools of Steubenville was invited to represent Ohio at the event and at a Made in America Roundtable on Wednesday, July 19.
“I got a call that said they were from the White House,” Mark Gracy, owner of Bully Tools, told WTOV News9. “It came in through our receptionist. They told me that the White House was on line one, and I was thinking that this must be one of my friends pranking me.”

“Being recognized as the company to represent Ohio is a big honor for us as well,” he added. “We came in, we were small, and we’ve grown and continue to grow.”   Bully Tools is unique among American-Made companies, Gracy told WTOV, because they have a huge selection of products.
“All 200 products are 100 percent American-made. That’s a little bit unique. We’re one of the few companies that have a large, broad category. Some companies may make a product out of their line. Every single product we make is made in the USA. 100 percent labor and materials.”
To see Gracy’s participation in the White House’s Made in America Roundtable, go to this video and scroll ahead to the 12:20 mark. The chamber congratulates this local manufacturer and is proud to have them as a member.

First Friday at the Chamber

It’s the first Friday in July, and you know what that means.  It’s time once again for the Chamber’s one-and-only “non-event.”

In case you haven’t had a chance to join us yet, First Friday is a casual, post-work gathering at one of our member restaurants with specially priced appetizers, drink specials, and more. And by casual, we mean no program, no speaker, no registration, no meeting, and no real purpose other than to wind down and hang out.  Now in its 5th month, First Friday is a big hit with Chamber members who seem to really enjoy the opportunity to socialize while being off-the-clock and leaving all pretense of business at the office.

We’d like to invite you to come on over to Damon’s Grill & Sports Bar this evening from 5 to 7. Feel free to bring a friend, co-worker, or spouse. Damon’s will have some great appetizer and drink specials along with gift card giveaways and other surprises.  And there’s no charge and no need to RSVP – because, you know, it’s not really an event. See you there.

We Want Your Gift Cards!

It’s A Chamber Buy One, Get One Offer.

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce purchases many gift cards from its members throughout the year to be used as door prizes and giveaways for various promotional projects.  We are in the process of replenishing these gift cards and want to extend a special offer that’s exclusively for Chamber members.

For every $10 gift card that is donated by your business, the Chamber will purchase another $10 gift card from you as well. Please mail your gift cards to the Chamber offices at 630 Market Street, Steubenville, Ohio 43952, and we’ll reciprocate upon receipt.

And if you’re not a business that offers gift cards, consider supporting your favorite restaurant, retailer, or other business by purchasing and sending one in from them.  We’ll match those as well.

It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown?

This weekend marks six months out from Christmas. 

Yes, yes, we know. Christmas is still six months away, but for many of our member businesses, the holiday season is the major event on their fiscal calendar.  It never fails, though. The holidays always manage to sneak up on the average small business owner and often plans of organized and exciting marketing programs or special events aimed at boosting sales go by the wayside.  Many will scramble simply to get their place of business decorated and shelves stocked and employee schedules in order.

This year, the Chamber is geared up to help jumpstart your yuletide planning and keep you on track by providing tips, information and easy-to-implement strategies to help maximize sales and improve customer satisfaction. Print them, post them at your business and/or distribute them to employees.  By starting now, we can encourage local spending, promote our products and services and put local businesses in the best light possible this holiday season. Start here by downloading and printing this helpful checklist.  A great place to start.