Our Opinion: Chamber invites participation

A community invitation has been extended by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Recognizing a new year may inspire people to get more involved, the chamber featured opportunities to become active in the January issue of Chamber Today, included in Monday’s News Tribune.

Involvement, for the chamber, extends beyond membership and includes submitting ideas, joining committees and task forces, and actively volunteering.

In his debut column as chamber chairman, Bob Gilbert encouraged “engagement” in the community. He highlighted new networking groups for people with shared interests, a new public affairs committee designed to influence policy and a new membership committee.

In a separate column, chamber President Randy Allen characterized members and volunteers as the organization’s “lifeblood.” He said: “From the board directors to members of our committees and task forces, many business leaders volunteer their time to carry out the chamber’s mission and work together toward a common goal.”

And Missy Bonnot, the group’s director of economic development, urged people to share their ideas through a forum on the chamber’s website, www.jeffersoncitychamber.org.

She summarized 12 submissions posted on the “Have an Idea?” forum. They include: Informing and encouraging business involvement in major community events; creating movable, open-air pavilions; and three separate ideas on riverfront access.

Submitted ideas are evaluated by an eight-member committee, which may decide to advance concepts to an economic development team. Ideas not within the scope of the chamber’s mission may be directed to other, more appropriate groups.

The chamber has issued a call to action.

It’s message is: Active participation strengthens the chamber’s mission to act on behalf of its participants.

Involvement in the community is everyone’s business.

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