What The Chamber Does

We are often asked what exactly it is that the Chamber does. This is not an easy question to answer because of the diversity of our activities, as well as the wide variety of businesses and organizations that we represent. Hopefully this will help to clarify some of our roles and responsibilities and will also spell out those things that we don’t do.

  • The Chamber is the first stop for many visitors to our area. We provide assistance to individuals who are visiting, those who are thinking of relocating here, companies which would like to do business here, etc. We provide directions, brochures, and maps, recommendations on where to stay or eat, souvenir items, things to do in our area, places to purchase items, where to go for more information, names of companies that produce certain types of products, and much, much more. We often wonder where everyone went for all these things before there was a Chamber of Commerce! And of course, whenever possible, we make referrals to our member businesses.
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  • The Chamber pays the majority of the expenses for the annual Christmas lighting program with some financial assistance from the City of St. Marys. The Chamber puts on the annual fireworks display by requesting donations from local companies and individuals and through fundraising activities. All money raised for fireworks is spent on lighting displays.
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  • The Chamber is not responsible for recruiting businesses for the downtown. However, the Chamber does provide support for incoming businesses in filling vacant storefronts and works with the many economic development entities in the area to promote growth.
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  • The Chamber provides numerous opportunities for our members to advertise their products and services. These include Chamber Gift Certificates (redeemable only at current Chamber member businesses); mailing inserts (a great way to reach 300+ business people in our region); website (all members are listed alphabetically and by category on the Chamber’s website), and in our weekly email blast, The Business Bullet.
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  • The Chamber does not promote any individual company to the exclusion of others, but promotes our business community as a whole. The Chamber does provide assistance to existing and potential businesses. We are a Small Business Resource Center in cooperation with the Small Business Development Center at Clarion University. Coordination of grand opening and ground breaking ceremonies is also provided.
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  • The Chamber does not provide low-interest loans or grants to businesses or individuals. For information on these types of funding, contact the St. Marys Area Economic Development Corporation.
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  • The Chamber monitors issues pending in the federal, state, and local governments and informs our members when their input could be directly beneficial. We also sponsor periodic legislative forums so our members have the opportunity to speak to our legislators directly about their concerns. However, the Chamber is not a political entity. We do not endorse political candidates or their platforms.
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  • The Chamber provides information and assistance when requested to companies which are interested in locating here. However, the Chamber does not have any control over which companies come or do not come. The Chamber proudly supports the free enterprise system.
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  • The Chamber assists the local hospital and industries in their recruitment efforts by providing relocation information and community tours when requested.
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  • The Chamber provides numerous opportunities for networking at a variety of events such as the Annual Dinner, Golf Outing, Elk County Women’s Social, seminars, legislative meetings, and business after hours events.
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  • The Chamber is funded by membership dues, fundraising revenue, and sales of souvenir items and books. The Chamber does not receive funding from any government agency.

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