by Desa Cammack, Oakdale Chamber Events Coordinator
The Chamber’s mission is to “unite the business community by enhancing business, economic growth and tourism; while retaining the high quality of life in Oakdale.” Events like the Chocolate Festival, Taste of Oakdale and Pours in Stores bring an economic value to the community in different ways. Chocolate Festival leads to hotel stays by many of the 200+ vendors and visitors spending money in our restaurants, gas stations and hopefully our retail establishments. All that money produces tax revenue that the City uses for school, public safety and so much more. Taste of Oakdale is designed to boost those in the food and beverage industry; while Pours in Stores is designed to showcase Downtown as an entertainment district. All of these events create awareness with patrons on what Oakdale businesses have to offer and hopefully result in more business in the future.
Chamber events also create a sense of community. Chamber mixers, ribbon cuttings, leadership programs and our awards dinner offer a spotlight on the citizens and businesses doing good things in our town. Our membership stays connected and is part of developing our local economy and future by participating in a variety of Chamber programs. A strong business community means a strong overall community.
People do not do business with a sign on the outside of a building but with real people. When someone needs something for business or personal use, they turn to those people they developed a personal relationship with. Mixers and the Golf Classic are a great chance to meet others in the business community. It’s an opportunity to learn more about each other and create a sense of community through networking. The Ag Luncheon brings many from the same industry together to share ideas, learn from one another and work towards a common goal..
Another reason the Chamber hosts event is also to generate revue. The Chamber is a non-profit organization that is based on membership. We aren’t affiliated with any governmental agency and the operating costs all come through membership dues and fundraising activity. The proceeds are used for staff salaries, as well as a variety of programs, including a scholarship fund and the Leadership Oakdale program. The Chamber is so much more than our events. We strive to support the business community through advocacy, education and networking. By enhancing the quality of life in Oakdale the Chamber increases the chance of relocating employees and employers to the region. Our events add economic value to the community and enhance the quality life.