NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the Jan. 8, 2021 Bloomington Herald-Times.
The Success School is the philanthropic arm of the Chamber of Commerce, working in partnership with MCCSC and RBBSC to produce graduates ready for work, career and success. For 30 years, Chamber member volunteers have led career panels, elementary career fairs, job skills seminars, financial literacy classes, job shadowing, STEM and Life Science Fairs, and Reality Stores ®, exposing K-12 students to excellent career opportunities in Monroe County.
Guided by the Success School Advisory Council, the programs focus on five keys: Career Exploration, Job Skills, Financial Readiness, Soft Skills and Entrepreneurship. Each program is developed to align with Indiana curriculum standards and designed to support work already occurring in the classroom.
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Legislative Preview next Friday, January 15th from 12:00pm to 1:30pm.
Every January the Chamber kicks off the year in advocacy with the Legislative Preview event,
during which the Legislative Agenda for the year is presented and local legislators are invited to share with Chamber members what to expect from the upcoming session.
The following legislators represent parts of Bloomington/Monroe County and have been invited to attend:
The program will begin promptly at 12:00pm via Zoom.
This event is open to the public, but registration is required. Members may register to attend for $10 (or $20 with a lunch gift card) while non-members may register to attend for $35 (or $45 with a lunch gift card). Attendees who register for one of the lunch options will have a $10 Azzip Pizza gift card available for pick up at the Chamber office located at 421 W 6th Street. To register, click here.
The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Encourages Shopping Local this Holiday Season with 2020 Gift Guide
Bloomington, IN – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has created its first ever holiday gift guide to remind community members to shop local this holiday season and give them over 100 ideas to get started.
The 2020 Gift Guide is available online at www.chamberbloomington.org/gift-guide. With 15 categories from bringing home a bit of Bloomington to unique finds for that person who is not so easy to shop for, this guide has something in it for everyone on your list. Most importantly, the 100+ businesses that are mentioned are all local to the Bloomington community.
Why does shopping local matter? According to the research firm Civic Economics, for every $100 spent at a local merchant, $68 is reinvested locally through wages, taxes, supplies and other services.
“I’ll be shopping local this holiday season, and I encourage you to do the same! It’s important that we continue to support our local business community through the end of 2020 and into the new year,” said Erin Predmore, President & CEO of the Chamber, “You may be familiar with our motto ‘Better Business. Better Community.’ We believe that shopping local, especially during the holiday season, is one of the best ways to promote better local business and ultimately create a better community for all.”
Remember to shop local this holiday season and also shop small this upcoming weekend for Small Business Saturday, November 28th.
Bloomington, IN – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce will host Congressman Trey Hollingsworth, the U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 9th congressional district, for a virtual presentation and Q&A session.
The 2020 Federal Focus Event will be held on Wednesday, December 9th via Zoom. The event will be from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. and will include remarks from the Congressman, a discussion with attendees, and a moderated question and answer session.
The Chamber’s Federal Focus event was created to allow dialogue and information sharing between the local business community and elected officials at the federal level. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from the Congressman on topics that impact the nation’s business climate, upcoming and recent legislative priorities, and updates from Congress.
This event is open to the public, but registration is required. Members may register to attend for $10 while non-members may register to attend for $30. To register, visit www.chamberbloomington.org.
NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the Nov. 13, 2020 Bloomington Herald-Times.
During the Longest Year Ever, the holidays are nearly upon us.
Your gift-giving this year takes on an even more meaningful role, as many local businesses are struggling from the pandemic’s impact. And while the sentiment of “Buy Local” is important year-round, it’s even more so during the holiday season. Retailers in particular make the bulk of their profits during the fourth quarter and rely on robust sales now to stay in business the rest of the year.
Consumer optimism is rising, which is a good sign. According to the October U.S. Consumer Sentiment Index, Americans are growing more optimistic about the economy than at any point since the pandemic began, but their optimism is still below levels reported at the start of 2020.
There is cautious optimism locally, too. But that’s tempered with the early exodus of Indiana University students, as classes end before Thanksgiving and won’t start up again in person until February.
So as you plan your holiday gift-giving this year, please consider spending your gift dollars locally.
NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the Oct. 9, 2020 Bloomington Herald-Times.
This year, the presidential election is sucking all the oxygen out of the room as we head toward Nov. 3. It’s certainly a crucial race, and not just for the business community.
But here’s the thing: While presidential candidates receive much-deserved attention and scrutiny, many of the down-ballot races go virtually unnoticed. How many times in the past have you filled out your ballot and wondered: “Who the heck are these people?”
The candidates we elect for local and state offices have a direct impact on our daily lives. They make decisions that impact businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions and individuals. They decide how our tax dollars are spent. They make policies and regulations that affect how your business can operate and whether you can thrive. They hire and oversee our school superintendents. They determine how laws are applied. And most of them do this in relative anonymity.
PRESS RELEASE: The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Celebrates 105th Annual Meeting Virtually
Bloomington, IN – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce held its 105th Annual Meeting and Community Awards this afternoon. Instead of the usual friendly confines of the Monroe Convention Center, this year the Chamber took the proceedings to Zoom® with a new approach.
“We’ve all heard this time and time again over the last 6 months, but this has been an unprecedented year for many reasons,” said Erin Predmore, President & CEO of the Chamber. “Here at the Chamber, we are glad that we have been able to be a resource for our members through this time, and we are so grateful to still have opportunities like our annual meeting to connect with you, even if only virtually.
PRESS RELEASE: The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Opposes Current Local Income Tax Proposal
Bloomington, IN – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is urging the Bloomington Common Council to vote against Mayor John Hamilton’s proposal to increase the local income tax (LIT) by 0.25%.
“A lack of public process makes this tax proposal impossible to support,” said Erin Predmore, the Chamber’s President & CEO. “Adding to the community’s tax burden is an important decision and should be guided by a clear community consensus. That work hasn’t happened.”
In an online survey of Chamber members taken this week, 73% of respondents opposed the current proposal and an additional 18% opposed it at this time. Only 9% supported the proposal.
NOTE: This "It's Your Business" column by Chamber CEO Erin Predmore was published in the Aug. 14, 2020 Bloomington Herald-Times.
Earlier this summer, we unveiled an important historical marker for our community as a whole, for the business community, and most importantly, for the Black business community.
In the 1960s, a business called The Black Market operated in the spot where Peoples Park is located now. Owned and run by IU grad student Rollo Turner, it was a Bloomington store celebrating Black culture, with African art, clothing, and music. It was a welcoming place for Black IU students and community members to gather.
On December 26, 1968, in a violent reaction to the civil rights movement, the Black Market was firebombed. What was one moment a thriving, locally owned business and center for Black culture became in the next moment a burning symbol of hatred and racism. The store was destroyed in the fire.
PRESS RELEASE: The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce to Commemorate Peoples Park with Historical Marker
Bloomington, IN – The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the installation of a historical marker at Peoples Park in Bloomington to mark the location of the Black Market, a Black-owned business that was firebombed in 1968. The installation will take place on Friday, July 31st at 10:00am at Peoples Park located at 501 E Kirkwood Ave (the corner of Kirkwood Ave and Dunn St).
This ends a process that officially began in the summer of 2019 with an application to the Indiana Historical Bureau. The Chamber had originally planned to have this event and marker installation in May, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans were rescheduled for this month. The Chamber will be livestreaming the installation of the marker on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chamberbloom.
This blog contains press releases and other news updates from the Chamber.