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Area business chambers join forces to promote benefits

By Kevin Kelley

Westshore

How’d you like to win an iPad or a 55-inch television?

You can if you’re a member of one of four area chambers of commerce.

The Fairview Park, North Coast (covering Avon, Avon Lake, Sheffield and Sheffield Lake), North Olmsted and West Shore (covering Westlake and Bay Village) chambers have joined forces in a promotional program called the Power of More.

Launched in 2010, the goal of the program is to draw new members and help existing members develop new business contacts with members of the other chambers.

“By joining one (chamber), you have access to the other three,” said John Sobolewski, executive director of each participating chamber. “It’s all about adding value and benefits for our members.”

Business chambers have changes over the years, Sobolewski said, as the geographical range where members conduct their business has expanded.

The various chambers have held monthly luncheons and “Business After Hours” networking events for years. But now certain events are being designated “Power of More” events that will draw attendance from all four chambers. At such events, members fill out an entry form for a variety of prizes that will be awarded in June at a date and location to be announced. The more events a member attends, the more free chances he or she has of winning.

The “Business After Hours” events are free to members and their guests and usually include complementary appetizers, beverages and, often, a cash bar. One of the biggest takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. tonight at Westside Jaguar Land-Rover, 9600 Brookpark Road in Cleveland. More than 400 are expected to attend, Sobolewski said. Additional Power of More events are scheduled at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 at Dave and Buster’s, 25735 First Street in Westlake, and at 5 p.m. March 27 at GK’s Custom Polishing, 1215 Lear Industrial Parkway in Avon.

In addition to an iPad and 55-inch TV, the big prize is a three-year lease of a Kia Soul, sponsored by the Montross Auto Group. Gift certificates and tickets to sporting events will also be awarded. AT&T, First Federal of Lakewood Bank and the Cleveland Clinic are the other sponsors of the Power of More campaign.

While the prizes are nice, the real benefit for members is the opportunity to build relationships with other business owners from the other chambers, said Robert Kess, president of the West Shore Chamber.

Networking is beneficial, even if one’s business is not in need of any services at the moment, Kess said.

“That’s how I found my accountant,” said Kess, who owns Pizza By Robert, a Westlake restaurant. “That’s how I found a benefits package for my employees.”

Kess said a lot of people he met at the North Olmsted Chamber’s Christmas party have become customers at his restaurant in recent weeks.

Due to the Power of More program, each of the four participating chambers has seen membership grow by 7 percent, said Sobolewski, a marketing representative for the Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s not too late to join any of the chambers,” Kess said.

T.J. Worsencroft, president of the North Coast Chamber, said the Power of More program has been beneficial for his members.

“The Power of More bridges Lorain County businesses with many western Cuyahoga County businesses,” Worsencroft said. “On average, nearly a hundred businesses participate in our networking events.”

Sobolewski said he expects the chambers will repeat the promotion, likely with the participation of additional area chambers, once the prizes are awarded in June.

For more information about the Power of More program and the participating chambers, visit each chamber website:

 

Fairview Park Chamber of Commerce:

http://fairviewparkchamber.org/

North Coast Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.northcoastchamber.com/

North Olmsted Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.nolmstedchamber.org/

West Shore Chamber of Commerce:

http://www.westshorechamber.org/

 

 

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