The Avilla Chamber: Reflecting On 2020 & Planning For The Year Ahead

This past year was not what any of us had planned, and while we may feel more prepared moving ahead in 2021, there is still much that is unknown.  We understand voluntary memberships are one of the first things businesses and organizations consider pausing when times are tough and uncertain. The Avilla Chamber wants to thank you for investing in working with us this past year and for the opportunity to connect you with other like-minded business owners, resources and bringing more awareness to your products, services, and expertise to the community and region.

With businesses having to temporarily close their doors, adjust and adapt operations and hours, we have worked diligently to help provide additional resources and support to our members and the community to be able to maneuver through the changes.  Though many of our intended events and in-person gatherings did not happen as expected, the Chamber is honored to be able to have continued to have the chance to remain connected, communicate with and extend support to our members.  Although we leaned more towards the virtual and teleconference means of hosting our meetings, the importance of remaining in contact with you held fast.  We expedited as quickly as possible to our members information about financial advice and assistance, grants, COVID-19 updates and requirements, resources, and webinars on how to maintain and sustain operations, and more.

During the past twelve months, the Chamber also continued supporting and working with local organizations to help educate, entertain, and bring help, working within the community and county.  Two of the most recent outreaches were Avilla Christmas Charities and the Annual Christmas Benefit Turkey Dinner.  These two events were fruitful, in spite of such a trying and difficult year.  Generous contributions by donors and volunteers helped a total of 88 families, 72 in Avilla and 16 in LaOtto during the holidays.

In another effort to help assist our members, we added the ability to pay memberships online or by phone, and are offering more flexible payment options.  We began tailoring benefits to better fit our members’ individual needs and are working on additional resources and assets for the months ahead.  We recently have implemented Avilla Community Cards, which helps to bring awareness to not only supporting local businesses and services but to go to, shop, and use local merchants before seeking other alternatives.  We are expanding this Support Local effort by adding Avilla Gift Checks.  This year, we are also planning to move forward with the Avilla Area Guide, which is a publication that will provide important details and news that will serve as a “Welcome to Town” guide and membership directory, showcasing your contact information and why you are an expert and the go-to in your field.  This is an extension of what we currently do on our social media platforms to spotlight your business or organization to prospective customers.  Additionally, we are looking forward to our first Chamber anniversary celebration this summer.

We thank you for working with us and staying in touch throughout the past year.  We are looking forward to continuing to build our relationship with you and value the chance to help you to grow and bring awareness to your business or organization and to business all across the Noble County area through referrals, marketing, and networking.

“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Respectfully,
Kevin Kelly (R&C Fab), President – Bill Ley (Town of Avilla), Vice President – Russ Shartzer (Case Family Taxes), Treasurer