GALION — The Galion-Crestline Area Chamber of Commerce is looking back at 2018 at one of its best years to date.
“We added 43 new members in 2018, which is our best growth ever. Much more than our average in previous years,” said Chamber President Joe Kleinknecht. “Our current membership total of 327.”
The Chamber also saw 16 ribbon cuttings over the course of 2018 between newly opened or remodeled businesses.
“All of our events in 2018 were better attended than in previous years,” Kleinknecht noted.
Looking ahead to 2019, the hope is to continue the momentum both in Galion and Crestline businesses.
“For the first time, we included our Crestline members in November’s Small Business Saturday. And that received a positive response in their community,” Kleinknecht said
“Something I’m most proud of is the ways we are able to help our members financially,” said Kleinknecht. “Members saved over $700,000 collectively through our affinity programs which include an electric and natural gas program with Alternative Energy Source, Worker’s Compensation discounts through Care Works Consultants Inc., as well as our Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield Chamber Healthcare program.”
The monthly “Chamber Chats” held at The Candi Bar will mark its third anniversary in March. These meetings are always well attended by between 15-25 members sitting down each month to network and support each other.
Chamber Member Engagement Director Miranda Jones is beginning to plan for the 2019 edition of Third Friday in Galion which will kick off in May.
“We are looking to expand within the current space we are using,” Jones said. “We don’t want to take up more room uptown, but find a way to use our current space as effectively as possible and grow the event in 2019.”
Jones also said that they are looking to find new sponsors and donations to help with plans for event also.
When asked if Kleinknecht had any plans for events or activity growth in 2019, his answer was simple.
“Our calendar is full right now,” he said. “We just want to see our member retention continue while adding new members as businesses continue to find a home in our area. Hopefully our momentum from 2018 carries over for more success in the new year!”