New Chamber makes debut

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by personnel from MainStreetChamber.

On May 10, Tuesday night, the MainStreetChamber in Marion County launched its first MainStreetChamber Marion event to the businesses in Marion County and surrounding areas.

The lobby of the Holiday Inn Conference Center off Rt. 200 near the I-75 was flooded with business owners waiting for the doors to open.  Many came as early as 4:00 pm waiting with anticipation to find out more about this new Chamber that has come to our area.

Figures show that all those in attendance at the Holiday Inn were around 300. 

There was a mini-expo of more than 25 tables of businesses displaying their goods and services.  Joe Martone from WOCA Radio 96.7 was the master of ceremonies.  Action Jackson played music to entertain everyone throughout the event and handled the door prizes.  Business owners donating prizes were given a time to promote their table.  There were so many door prizes and because of time restraints many are being held over for their next event.  Amanda from RoseDay Photography moved around the crowds of attendees taking pictures that will be available for viewing in the near future. 

In the next phase of the event, Saralyn Collins, a business consultant and owner of Magnetic Business Builders from Orlando, Florida shared with the business owners how to improve their skills of networking.  Ron DeRosa, the president of the Florida Chapters of the MainStreetChamber shared a little information about a new VIP card that will be available to the public in this area.  Donna Miller, a director of the MainStreetChamber covered two questions that many in Marion County have been asking. 

1. Are we like the Chamber of Commerce?

2. How can we do all this for FREE?

Donna Miller, a director of the MainStreetChamber Marion shared how the MainStreetChamber in just 10 months young has been sweeping across the United States and it is anticipated that every major city in the country will have a MainStreetChamber within two years.  The national membership is now over 10,000 in 13 states with over 50 Chapters.  Florida's first MainStreetChamber was formed six months ago in the Daytona area.  Since then there have been seven chapters formed with a membership of over 2,000.  The Marion County MainStreetChamber has applied for a non-profit organization status and in the two months of being in existence will have a membership over over 200 after their event and growing.

The final speaker was Ivette Fermaint, Director of the MainStreetChamber Marion, who once again thank all those that attended and to thank those that helped host and sponsor the event.

Free food provided by Sky Asian Fusion Restaurant and the Holiday Inn was served throughout the event.  Many door prizes were given out and business owners left with some "golden nuggets" on how to improve their image with networking.

The purpose of the MainStreetChamber is to help businesses and their representatives network with each other to increase sales.  There will be other events and classes to help companies improve their business on many levels.  Many programs will be available on a regular basis along with business expos, sponsoring programs, and much more.   Programs and events that will be available by going to their website at www.MainstreetChamberMarion.org.


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