Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce president Lin Browning has begun meeting with local organizations and business representatives to explore ways to encourage people to shop locally.
“The piece that the chamber brings is a natural fit,” Browning said. “It’s not a chamber initiative,” she added.
While talking with those involved in the effort, Browning said it has become obvious that the entire community needs to collaborate in a partnership.
Evergreen businesses are divided into sections that would be ideally unified, she said.
Among strategies under consideration is increasing the level of customer service at Evergreen businesses and restaurants where assistance may be needed.
“Our customer service is getting a bad rap,” said Browning. “The approach would be highlighting those that are doing well.”
Another portion of the “shop local, live local” campaign under discussion is a “Did you know?” educational campaign that highlights services offered in Evergreen.
Those who attended the initial meeting included Tricia Wales of Downtown Evergreen; Dean Dalvit of the Downtown Evergreen Economic District; Kappy Kling representing Bergen Village merchants; Scott Robson, executive director of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District; and Steve Sumner of the Center for the Arts Evergreen.
Issues discussed by the group included parking, shopping convenience and ways to attract residents and visitors.
Those gathered also considered possible names for the campaign, such as Evergreen First and Empower Evergreen.
Nurturing cultural activities in Evergreen is also part of campaign plans for the coming year. Browning said she sees the community’s potential as an arts center that will draw visitors.
The recent decline in funding from the state Scientific and Cultural Facilities program is a concern, said Browning. This year saw a 40 percent cut in Jefferson County, she noted.
Another concern is the degree of spending outside the community and county, said Browning.
While discussing revenue issues, Browning pointed to the limited revenue stream the Evergreen chamber has.
Most chamber organizations receive substantial funding from municipal governments in the towns they serve. Because Evergreen is not incorporated, the chamber’s only source of revenue is through membership dues and fund-raising, Browning said.
“This definitely is a long-term project,” Browning said of the shop-local effort. “We don’t want this to be another think tank. … We are open to participation.”
The next meeting of the group is scheduled for Dec. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Center for the Arts.
Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-350-1042.
Chamber’s annual celebration dinner is Dec. 3
The Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce is holding its annual fund-raising celebration at Red Rocks Country Club on Dec. 3.
This Sparkle and Shine event will feature a formal dinner, awards and festivities, and is open to the entire community.
New to this year’s event is a commemoration of Evergreen’s 150th birthday.
“Your chamber is proud of Evergreen, and it’s time that we start celebrating,” said chamber president Lin Browning.
Awards to be presented are ones for a new business, a health and wellness service, and one honoring the business of the year. Most Uniquely Evergreen Heritage Business awards also will be given.
The fund-raising portion of the evening will come from live and silent auctions, with items donated by local businesses and organizations.
Tickets are $60 per person. Attendance is limited to the first 150 people who register. Dress is formal, with black tie optional at the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m.
Call the chamber at 303-647-3412 for reservations.