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Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce plans for new year

In 2014, the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to make its footprint in the business community with a renewed focus on the individual member and the needs of the local business community.

Our mission is to carefully look at the communities we serve, to pinpoint the most challenging areas of need and the obstacles local businesses face, then be proactive with programs, services and ideas.

One area of business that needs added attention is R & R – restaurants and retail, where the struggle factor can be great and the success rate could be better.

We are initiating a heightened effort to advertise, promote and spotlight our R & R members.

Another area of focus, the growing number of professionals who now work from home – for them, “Your network is your net worth.” This saying, taken from a popular marketing book, highlights the importance of developing and nurturing your connections to succeed in business. 

With hundreds of networking events and more than 800 Chamber members, BACC is in a unique position to help you improve your network and net worth.

BACC also is dedicated to giving more to its members.

This January, BACC will launch a series of new free programs for Chamber members that offer professional development skills and good business building blocks, networking and relationship-nurturing opportunities.

We are kicking off a new Brown Bag Series, a free lunchtime program for members.  Our first focus is on leadership training that will coach you through your 2014 vision and goals and how to achieve them.

Throughout the year, we will offer these free programs with topics that help members develop the skills necessary to succeed. The series also will become a vehicle for showcasing the talents and strengths of our individual Chamber members.   

Another focus for 2014 includes improving our website as a go-to place for the Barrington area destination. For 45 years, BACC has been a destination for local consumers to get information and referrals. Our website gets more than 3 million hits a year, and we field hundreds of calls asking for business information.  It’s our opportunity to promote our member businesses.

We also are working on a Small Business Tool Kit. Lack of skill and experience can greatly hinder the chances to succeed as a business owner. Our new small-business tool kit will offer how-to tips, checklists and tried and true techniques from Chamber members who have mastered their skills and used them to build their business. 

Additionally, we have developed new membership packages that bundle the opportunity for growth and exposure while offering the greatest value for your investment. These membership advantage packages give you the highest level of marketing, advertising and involvement at the greatest cost savings

Overall, our goal in 2014 goal is to bring the next level of value and service to our membership – cementing BACC as your partner in prosperity!

• Suzanne Corr is the president of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce.

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