Chamber Connection

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Businesses that join the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce reap big returns on their investment, with access to networking and leadership opportunities, annual events, community building, and plenty of venues for business development and advertising.

“All of our efforts and initiatives are directed toward making Clarkston and the surrounding communities a great place to live and work,” said Marie Clifford, Interim Executive Director for the CACOC. “It’s a big family devoted to economic development and enhancing the quality of life and all very inclusive.”

The Chamber serves nearly 600 members.

“Our members, volunteers, ambassadors and board members are the ones who get things done,” Clifford said. “We rely on them and they come through 100 percent every day. We appreciate them greatly.”

With a bright focus on community building, the Chamber Choice Awards Night celebrates member accomplishments.

“It’s a popular, annual event, one that spun out of our annual meeting,” Clifford said. “We highlight and acknowledge Chamber members who have gone above and beyond in the community or in their roles as members. We honor small business of the year, volunteer of the year, young professional of the year, and more. Honorees receive plaques and recognition.”

Another fun-filled, and highly anticipated event, is the delectable and scrumptious Taste of Clarkston.

“It’s the Chamber’s signature event,” Clifford said. “We close down Main Street and line both sides of the road with local restaurants offering their top menu items. It’s an opportunity to sample offerings from many of great restaurants, enjoy live music, beer tents, and kid-friendly activities, all in one place. It’s amazing to see how much the community, sponsors and our area restaurants support this well-loved annual event.”

Members have advertising and sponsorship opportunities at many events, along with ample opportunities for networking and growing their businesses. The Chamber offers two monthly networking events both held at varying business locations throughout the year, it connects professionals with like-minded business owners.

Keeping businesses abreast of important trends, the Chamber offers a wide slate of opportunities promoting best business practices and education. Luncheon mixers features informative speakers each month, all while gathering together to learn about trends, legislation, and issues affecting business. It’s also a showcase of prime resources the Chamber provides to all members and a forum that provides access to notable guest speakers.

“We like to do things out of the box just a bit, so we can reach a wide variety of people,” Clifford said. “At Bowman Auto Center, we recently featured U.S. Sen. Gary Peters as guest speaker, who spoke about promoting innovation in the American auto industry, particularly the future of autonomous or self-driving vehicles and how they will revolutionize the future of mobility. More than 80 guests attended.”

Developing future business leaders and the next generation of rising stars, the Chamber is proud to offer a Young Professionals Network.

“We like to say that young business is a state of mind,” Clifford said. “We offer this networking group at no additional charge for those who join. It’s an exclusive perk of being a Chamber member.”

For all businesses there are ample opportunities for advertising, showcasing new products or improvements to a business, along with ribbon cuttings.

“Ribbon cuttings are fun, lively, and the perfect opportunity to introduce a new business to the community,” she said.

Building a better community, the Chamber is proud to sponsor and support My Habit Clarkson, a grassroots movement of Clarkston and Davisburg-area residents and businesses who volunteer their time and talent in support of community-based service projects.

“We’re making it the best place to live,” Clifford said. “It’s our mission.” n