The Lacey South Sound Chamber has experienced unprecedented membership growth in the last year defying national trends. A vital component of the local business community for over 50 years, the Lacey South Sound Chamber has experienced a recent reinvigoration and anticipates that membership will nearly double by the end of 2015. This increase could result in over 500 member businesses forming together as a powerful force for Lacey’s business initiatives.
Stephanie Hemphill, Executive Director explains, “We have a great relationship with the City of Lacey. This unique partnership has created a very business friendly city. Collaboratively, we have developed a culture where our business owners, city council members, and citizens are working together to sustain a vibrant and prosperous Lacey. That is really what we stand for in the chamber-business growth and economic prosperity.”
The Lacey South Sound Chamber and the City of Lacey have recognized the benefits of partnering as a way to host events for the community and give back. One of the most noteworthy event has been the Summer’s End at Lacey Car Show in which the Lacey South Sound Chamber serves as a Trophy Sponsor. All the money raised through trophy sponsorship goes toward purchasing defibrillators for the medic and fire stations in the surrounding area.
Because of the long standing supportive relationship between the Lacey South Sound Chamber and the City of Lacey, it seemed reasonable for the city to turn to the business community about four years ago when the 45 year tradition of the July 3 fireworks show was in jeopardy of ending due to lack of financial backing. The Lacey business community led the charge to help raise money to save the celebration.
Not only was the Lacey South Sound Chamber business community able to assist in the rescue of the fireworks but now they have transformed it into two full weeks of community events and activities from June 27-July 11 to celebrate all things Lacey. Sponsored by the Lacey South Sound Chamber and the City of Lacey, the newly formed Lacey Days will commence with a jazz festival and include Lacey In Tune, South Sound BBQ Festival and many more attractions. Hemphill tributes former Lacey South Sound Chamber Board Member Al Eckroth as being instrumental in the formation of Lacey Days.
Hemphill reveals that the Lacey Chamber is the place for people and businesses who truly enjoy their community. The core of the Lacey Chamber is about businesses supporting other local businesses and giving back to the community. “I hear daily how members live up to our motto of ‘Think Chamber First.’ Our members always support each other. When a chamber member conducts business or needs a service they will always look to a fellow chamber member first. This is what keeps our business community thriving and growing. Businesses who are not in the Lacey Chamber are beginning to recognize the momentum of chamber businesses supporting one another. This is at the heart of our growth trend.”
The Lacey Chamber fosters a strong sense of business community, supports emerging leaders, and advocates on behalf of its small businesses. While digital communications and social media have changed the way in which many businesses and organizations operate, the relevancy and importance of the chamber remains critical. Connections and networking continue to be essential.
Members like Michael Steadman are the pillars to the Lacey South Sound Chamber. As a Lacey City Councilman and Lacey South Sound Chamber Board Member, Steadman shares, “I eat, breath and live locally as well as buy local. I believe the backbone of our nation is small to medium size businesses. They can provide the services that government does not. These businesses are more apt to experience success as members of the Chamber which gives them a huge advantage. I try to lead by example and show that it really does work when we partner with commerce to create a stronger community.”