Chamber events set for members, community

By Katie Demeria

The Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will host multiple events this month to provide resources to their members, while encouraging others in the community to join, as well.

President Niki Foster said the chamber has worked to develop programs that they think will be most useful to local businesses.

“Anytime you can offer things that will be beneficial to the business community is exciting for us,” Foster said.

But, she added, the chamber also hopes to engage the local community in general through their programs.

This month’s most notable event is the Entrepreneur’s Cafe, taking place on Oct. 21. This is the cafe’s second year, but the first time it will be held as a standalone event rather than being tied to another program.

“It’s open to the public and we are encouraging as many people to attend as possible,” Foster said.

Community members in the audience will be voting for the winner. Five participants are scheduled to make five minute presentations this year, followed by five minute question and answer periods.

At the end, the audience will choose the winner of a business growth prize package, which includes advertising assistance and other resources, along with the prize money, which will consist of the $10 entry fees individuals pay to attend the event.

“It’s a way for people to show their support behind a budding entrepreneur in the community,” Foster said. “We don’t always know who is up and coming in the area, and what sort of businesses are trying to get their start here, so this is a great way to get that information out to the public.”

Last year’s winner, Kristie Sours of Bear Foot Auctions, has done very well, according to Foster.

“She is doing an amazing amount of work, so it’s been rewarding to watch that and know we may have had a little to do with it,” Foster said.

Those who are not chamber members are also encouraged to attend the other chamber events this year, Foster said.

“We call them prospective members, because if they attend then the more likely they are to become chamber members,” she said.

A brown bag lunch is held every third Wednesday of the month. The topics are decided at the beginning of the year, after members describe what information they would like from the chamber.

“We get a feel for what it is they’re looking to hear about, or what it is they might be struggling with,” Foster said.

This month’s topic is about preparing for holiday chaos, and next month’s will be looking forward to 2015 and what a new year means for businesses. The cost for nonmembers is $15, while it is free for members.

An October seminar series is also planned for this month, which will detail how businesses can take advantage of social media platforms to grow their businesses. They will be held each Tuesday and cost $50 for chamber members and $75 for nonmembers.

To find out more about the events, go to the chamber’s website at http://www.frontroyalchamber.com.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com