It seems hard to believe November has passed and Christmas will soon be here, and then we welcome in 2018. As we approach the end of 2017, I would like to reflect on some of the accomplishments that have taken place at the chamber during the year. The following is a partial list I hope you find informative and gives you an idea of the many areas the chamber is involved.
• The chamber continued to promote the use of Creston Bucks, which were spent only at Creston Chamber Businesses
• The Chamber assisted and helped promote the various celebrations in Creston – 10,000 Crestonians Fourth of July, 40th Annual Creston/Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days, Lighted Christmas Parade and “No Place Like Creston for the Holidays”
• We continued to mail out information packets on Creston and Union County as well as providing the packets to area businesses to assist with their recruitment efforts. The chamber planned and promoted the Moonlite Madness promotion, Citywide Garage Sale, Crazy Summer Sales Days and Sales Tax Holiday Promotion and Holiday 2017 Giveaway Promotion.
• The chamber continued to collaborate, work with and promote partnerships with various organizations, governmental bodies and groups in Creston and the area to maintain and improve Creston’s quality of life and economics – a partial list would include the following: Creston/Union County tourism, city of Creston, Union County Development Association, Union County, IowaWORKS, the Union County Visitors Center, Creston Community Schools, Creston High School FFA and FBLA, SWCC, Union County Conservation, Green Valley State Park, Creston Park and Recreation Board, Union County Historical Village, Western Iowa Tourism Region, Central Iowa Tourism Region, Southern Iowa Tourism and Iowa Tourism Department, Creston Volunteer Firefighters Easter event, Creston:Arts Council, No Place Like Creston for the Holidays, High Lakes Leadership Initiative, Regional Entrepreneurship Project, Crestland Betterment Foundation, Friends of the Library and Creston Animal Rescue Effort (CARE).
• Continued to work and assist in retail and commercial recruitment and expansion to strengthen and expand the economic base of Creston
• Continued to focus on and assist current businesses, while at the same time seeking new business opportunities
• Continued to assist industry members
• Continued to market Creston to the area, state and beyond as a business and regional hub
• Continued to work with and support the South Central Iowa Small Business Development Center and IowaWORKS, Creston office
• Maintained the chamber website, chamber Facebook page and Twitter account to promote Creston and Union County through social media
• Continued The Paint Creston program with 41 homes having received paint over eight years
• Continued the Gold Star honor for businesses who maintain their property and the Hi-Five honor for great customer service
• Continued to provide business referrals, relocation packets, student requests and prospect packets and newcomer packets
• Continued to hold Legislative Coffees and remain in contact with elected representatives
• For the 10th straight year, the chamber co-sponsored the veterans appreciation breakfasts
As I said earlier, this is only a partial list of the Creston Chamber accomplishments and activities and I understand there is always room for improvement, but I think we need to be proud of what the Creston Chamber of Commerce has accomplished in 2017 as we look forward to 2018.
Creston Bucks makes holiday shopping easier:
I would also like to pass along an idea to make your holiday shopping a little easier, and less time consuming – purchase Creston Bucks at the chamber office. They are similar to a gift certificate, except they can be spent at more than 235 chamber businesses.
Anyone can come into the Creston Chamber of Commerce office to buy Creston Bucks. Creston Bucks can be purchased in increments of $5, $10 and $20, and there is no fee for this service. Creston Bucks will be treated as cash with the exception that no change will be given back. Therefore, Creston Bucks users will not be able to cash their bucks without buying merchandise from businesses in Creston.
Creston Bucks can also be personalized such as, “Compliments of XYZ Company” or “Merry Christmas Todd from Joe and Rhonda.” If you would like your Creston Bucks personalized, we would appreciate knowing a day in advance in order to give us time to produce the custom-made Creston Bucks.
Remember, when you purchase Creston Bucks you are keeping the money right here in Creston. Creston Bucks are a great way for everyone to support Creston.
Hi-Five Honorees for December:
The following individuals and business received the Hi-Five Honor in December – Janet and Ryan Hayes of Windrow Restaurant and Sports Bar, Dusty Kile of Akin Building Center and the staff at Supertel Inn and Conference Center. Congratulations.
The Hi-Five for service allows us to recognize those who make shopping and doing business in Creston a rewarding and positive experience.
Gold Star Business honored:
The Chamber honored Adams Street Espresso, 213 W. Adams St., as the December Gold Star Business. They were nominated by a fellow Crestonian because of the appearance both inside and out of their building and property. Congratulations.
Please call the Chamber to honor a business or individual with a Hi-Five or to acknowledge a business property with the Gold Star.
Holiday Giveaway 2017:
Just a reminder that many Creston businesses and industries are participating in the very popular Creston Holiday Giveaway which started the Friday after Thanksgiving, and runs through the close of business on Dec. 13. The more shopping you do, the more tickets you will receive. The drawing for the seven winning tickets will be held on Dec. 14. Two winners will receive $500 in Creston Bucks and five winners will win $100 in Creston Bucks. The winners must claim their prizes by 4 p.m. Jan. 5. If any prizes remain unclaimed, another drawing will be held Jan. 5. If these new prizes are not claimed by Jan. 19, all remaining proceeds will be held over until the next Holiday Giveaway. Good luck to everyone who participates.
Please remember to check the chamber website at www.crestoniowachamber.com and the calendar of events. Join us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date. There is so much going on in Creston during the holidays.
Last, but certainly not least, we at the chamber office would like to extend our wishes to all of you for a safe and happy holiday season and thank everyone for their support during 2017.
We are looking forward to working with you in 2018 as we continue to strive to make Creston a “great place to visit, work and call home.”