Many options exist for online networking Bonney Lake Chamber Lora Butterfield

I haven’t quite been able to bring myself to do it yet. Everyone’s doing it. My kids do it, I have friends that are doing it, businesses are doing it, even my husband has done it. I’m sure it’s not that difficult. I know I could figure it out . . . but do I want to? There are so many options for online networking these days, maybe I haven’t done it because I just can’t decide which one to join. Maybe I’m just worried it will suck up more of my time. Time that I can never seem to find enough of anyway. Or perhaps, it’s just that I’m still holding on to the belief that nothing is as effective as a face to face.

Nothing is quite as reassuring as a handshake or being able to look someone in the eye when you tell them about your business. When economic times are tough, one of the most effective ways to market your business is through the one on one connections you will make. It’s always easier doing business with someone you trust and there is no better way to build trust than through strengthening your one on one relationships.

The Chamber offers plenty of opportunities to make that face to face or eye to eye connection. Whether it is at our monthly luncheon, business after hours or ribbon cuttings, let the Chamber be the vehicle that connects you with other businesses in our community and stretch your marketing dollar in the process.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies – Every time a new business opens, it is an event worth celebrating. This is a good chance for new businesses or businesses who have recently relocated or remodeled to jump start their business by introducing themselves to the community. Ribbon Cuttings are always free to attend and an ideal way to learn about the business and show your support of our local economy.

Membership Luncheons – Our regular monthly membership meetings update members on Chamber events and services. Each meeting features guest speakers who update members on important issues facing businesses and the community. New this month, will be a more structured networking time during the first 30 minutes of the meeting. Luncheons are always held on the third Thursday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Windermere building in Bonney Lake.

Business After Hours – For those who can’t get away from the store or the office for our luncheon event, we offer a free after hours networking opportunity. This is also an opportunity for one business to host the event, giving others the opportunity to learn all about what services they offer. Business After Hours is always offered the second Thursday of the Month from 5:30-7 p.m, held at a different member’s location each month. This month’s event will be at Dani-Mak Desserts and Gifts in Bonney Lake.

Finally, there are also occasional events that bring together the public sector and the business sector, such as the Awards Banquet the Chamber that took place last week. It was our first Awards Banquet in many years and was a great opportunity for Bonney Lake citizens to mix with members of the Bonney Lake business community and learn how they can come together for the common good of the community. Thank you to everyone who attended, participated and sponsored the event. I would also like to congratulate the winners of our top awards. Izzy Anaya, owner of A&S Auto Repair as Chamber Volunteer of the Year, Tom Watson, manager of Office Depot for Business of the Year and Stewart Bowen, director of the Bonney Lake Food Bank as Citizen of the Year. Congratulations on recognition well deserved!

Lora Butterfield is the Executive Director of the Bonney Lake Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at (253) 222-5945 or lora@bonneylake.com. The Chamber’s website is www.bonneylake.com.