Benson Area Chamber of CommerceMessage from the 2013 Chamber President- Kim Hinson
I am excited about my year as President of the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce. Although not my original home, Benson has become a very special place to me since I moved here in 2005. I was immediately struck by how similar it was to Louisburg, where I grew up. The people were the same warm, friendly types that I had known as a child, and I soon realized how much I had missed the small-town atmosphere while living in cities such as Raleigh, Fort Lauderdale, and New Orleans. The Chamber had a lot to do with the welcoming atmosphere I felt, and this warmth is what led to my choice of this year’s theme: Embracing Our Community.
There are so many ways in which we can embrace our community. One of these you are already very good at – welcoming newcomers. Another of very great importance is supporting our local businesses. Studies show what when you shop with a local mom and pop store, approximately 51 cents of every dollar spent stays in the community, as opposed to only 13 cents when shopping at a big box store. I am always struck by how busy downtown Benson is, and I urge you to continue your support of these local businesses to keep downtown Benson vibrant. But our community extends beyond downtown, and is currently experiencing some welcome growth. In addition, we have Chamber members from other surrounding areas whom we should not forget. Get to know these members as well, and show them your support.
I also urge those of you who have some precious free time during the week to show your support to our Chamber staff, which works so very hard to support us. Go by the office and volunteer to spend an hour or two answering the phone, so that Loretta can get out more often to visit our members. She and Evelyn are two of the hardest-working women I know, and they need your help in keeping the office functioning. It truly is a job that requires more than two people, and your help would be more appreciated than you can imagine.
2013 is going to be great. There will be new businesses opening in town and lots of fun things to do all year. Please remember how hard your Chamber staff works to make each year memorable, and embrace them by volunteering at the office and at the various Chamber-sponsored events. Take part in the Business Expo or lend a much-needed hand during Mule Days. Consider joining one of our committees, such as the Ambassadors or Main Street. Come and network at the ribbon cuttings, member-to-member breakfasts, and business after hours events, or consider sponsoring an event for even more exposure. Remember, the best way to promote your business through the Chamber is to become involved. It is my experience that you get back so much more than you are asked to give. I am very happy to call this area my home, and I look forward to sharing that same welcoming warmth to others during 2013 as we continue to embrace our community.