GLVCC - Ride for Regionalism

the greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce in eastern Pennsylvania is one of the top ten in the nation they're showing other chambers why regionalism works we sort of are the poster child for regionalizing I mean we brought together 17 different chambers of commerce it was the fastest growing in the nation the second largest chamber in the state of Pennsylvania we get our communities together to partner and honestly that really supports business's success how fun would it be to start in the Lehigh Valley get a group of riders together and ride to Carbon County we do this ride for regionalism like a lot of things we do half for the fun of it getting our members who have bikes to ride and join together it's an awareness that takes us from the Lehigh Valley to our communities what struck me is unusual was how segregated the lehigh valley walls we have four cities we have nine regions we have close to 6,000 members we allowed the local chambers to still participate being independent but also enjoy the benefits of being a regional chamber I hope to accomplish an awareness for a main street Lehigh Valley program to bring our communities together and show that we support communities across the valley and beyond you the chamber believes in good business and especially small business in the Lehigh Valley we're here to support businesses and this is a great awareness we feel like when all these communities start working together and businesses can do business from your own ass to Nazareth from phillipsburg to slatington it's a better universe the more partners that we have the more we can offer from a chambers perspective everybody is working together collectively I think everybody appreciates what the opportunities and the advantages are for business in the area through the power of partnerships we're excited to really keep our communities and our businesses strong it's really important that we work together there are a number of legislators obviously that represented Lehigh Valley there's no question that they are working together now as a contingent we like to do really cool things different things at the chamber in five of three or four events every day of the everyday of the week to focus on different regions again different missions this really brings us together and it showcases everything that we do we're really promoting our main street Lehigh Valley program where we put money back on the streets we try to do anything and everything we can for our members and for the communities that partner with us we owe them a lot I think if you come together as a team it's obvious that the end results are always better and quicker and to mutual benefit of everybody that participates give us a call and say hey we want to do an event we liked what we saw we want to do something community wise raise awareness and we'll be happy to help why wouldn't I want to community this vibrant and progressing and continuously improving it's for the big the small it's for everybody joining us in the studio is Frank fat giano executive vice president of the greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce great to have you here Frank it's great to be here thanks Frank you know this chamber is one of the fastest growing chambers how do you explain that kind of growth and success so quickly well with a lot of help from our friends that's how that's how it happens a lot of it happens organically we we certainly always strive to grow our membership within our footprint but other chambers have come to us wanting to join to be part of this bigger thing that we call the greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and its really working out well for everybody why does that regionalism concept work so well in an area like the Lehigh Valley well the Lehigh Valley consists of Allentown Bethlehem Easton phillipsburg Carbon County Lehigh County Northampton County and Warren County in New Jersey and it's an economy where we all work together and all need each other and that's why it works here and it can certainly work anywhere you know the expansion is so exciting everybody's talking about it but how to grassroot projects like this help it to expand the ride for regionalism is something we've done before it it's for creating awareness for our Lehigh Valley and and what a short trip it is from Nazareth Carbon County showing people that you can go from sort of one end to the other of the region that you cover and it really isn't that far I think sometimes people think go so far to go up to you can get anywhere on our anywhere in our footprint in half an hour and that's what that's one of the great things about it and that's what and commerce travels the same routes that the ride does so these businesses in lehigh county do business in carbon and in Northampton and across the river and Warren and vice versa the chamber not only does these kinds of events but you offer so much for your members and I think it's a really exciting chamber to be a part of what other kinds of things do you offer to your members and businesses that will help them in their business every day well certainly the number one thing and we've discussed this before is the networking and it's a little bit of an overused term and it's not completely understood by everybody but it's about building relationships so you get out we did some 800 events last year okay big small and in between and you get out and you meet people and you take an interest in them and then when something comes up and they need your service they surely will think of you or somebody you've recommend it and that's how business gets done that's an incredible number of events but don't of course the big question is you know why is it so important for businesses and individuals to get involved with the chamber again to raise your profile to build your own brand and to build relationships with others who are who are doing the same thing and that's that's what the chamber is all about I think it's important to note that not only do you provide networking and connections for businesses but there's a lot of fundraising a lot of charities that benefit from events within the chamber tell me a little bit about that there's a lot of things recently we started a non-profit council that includes the nonprofit corporations as well as the for-profit partners of there's a nonprofit is not a bit this model it's simply a tax code and these these operations need to run themselves like businesses I think that's what the chamber can bring fried what are the Chamber's goals by expanding and could other chambers replicate this as well that's a good question that's two questions so surely our growth has allowed us to do a couple things we start a foundation on every main street and we give out money every year for things that would make a business district more attractive secondly we have this great big voice in Harrisburg and Washington due to our size and it is for everybody in the valley that has come on board with us so when the governor wants to speak to a group of business people in the Lehigh Valley we get the call now and then across the country this is certainly a replicated will model in in areas where chambers have overlapping membership especially it's a great service to those members to come together so if you're doing similar things and you and it makes sense to do them together another great reason to merge there's so much exciting stuff happening the chamber we always appreciate you stopping by to let us know about it you know if you want more information on the greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce or a Chamber of Commerce in your area go to the peak TV com and coming up next a race that will test more than your stamina it's called tough mudder for a reason more after the break stay with us the peak is a production of a sr media

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