AVONDALE — Neighborhood leaders are asking local business owners to take an online survey as part of their quest to launch an Avondale-specific chamber of commerce.
The survey is meant to help shape the chamber, which leaders hope to launch in the spring.
Business owners can provide opinions on membership fees, resources and more in the survey. Those who fill it out will be automatically entered to win a one-year free membership to the Avondale Chamber of Commerce. Fill out the survey here.
A group of residents, some members of the Avondale Neighborhood Association, are launching the chamber of commerce to provide more targeted support for the neighborhood’s small business community.
Chambers of commerce are designed to lift up small businesses by providing resources and tools to business owners in a given area.
Unlike other neighborhoods, Avondale doesn’t have its own chamber of commerce. Some have tried to unite Avondale’s business community over the years, but none of those efforts stuck. Other businesses are part of the Logan Square commerce group because they are located near the neighborhoods’ border.
The people behind this effort hosted a well-attended community meeting in the fall. Megan Marshall, one of the Avondale residents involved, said they have since adopted bylaws, formed committees and are in the middle of submitting paperwork to the city and the state, Marshall said.
Now, the focus is on building a membership base of business owners so they can eventually pay chamber employees.
The effort, more than a year in the making, has taken on a new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic, which has devastated small businesses, group leaders have said.
“What we’re … taking time to do is work on what the membership looks like,” Marshall said. “We want to be very sensitive that small businesses are struggling right now. We don’t want to create fees that are a barrier to entry for a majority of businesses.”
To get involved, or ask a question, reach out to the group directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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