In one of first major initiatives, new St. Lawrence County Chamber executive director launches membership drive
Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 12:09 pm

CANTON -- In one of her first major initiatives, the new Executive Director of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce has initiated drive to sign up more new members.

Brooke Rouse, previously a business advisor for the New York State Small Business Development Center at SUNY Canton, began her job earlier this summer.

The month-long membership campaign urges new businesses and entrepreneurs to join the 450-plus companies and individuals who are members.

Those who join during the September campaign get a $10 discount. “We are working with and for business members to build a strong St. Lawrence County economy,” said Rouse.

She listed some of the benefits of a chamber membership:

· networking with businesses county-wide

· direct market access to more than 500 newsletter recipients

· links on the chamber website

· business development workshops and seminars

· brochure display and product selling opportunities at the Main Street, Canton office and visitor center

· member-to-member referrals, discounts and newsletter Coupon Corner

· “NNY Business” magazine subscription

· trade show opportunities.

"Our goal is to build a diverse business network. I believe that a rural economy is strengthened by face- to-face business relationships, positive word of mouth and a skilled workforce. If we work together and support each other, every business has the chance to thrive," Rouse said.

One of her goals as the new director is to look at “what businesses need, what they want and how we can partner with regional and state resources to bring greater opportunities right here."

The chamber offers several ways to join. People may visit to join online and use a new PayPal feature; or download the form and mail it to the chamber with payment. Those interested in joining can call the chamber at 386-4000 or stop by the office and visitor center at 101 Main St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on most Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Current members who recommend a business for membership will be entered into a drawing for a free annual membership, if their recommendation yields a new chamber member. Chamber memberships are on a sliding scale that starts at $130 and are based on the number of a company’s employees.

The chamber will hold an open house and “Spotlight” networking event from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at its offices and visitor center, 101 Main St., Canton.

At the most recent Spotlight event, at High Peaks Winery in Winthrop, chamber member Cornerstone Services was among the highlighted businesses.

“We’ve been members of the County Chamber for several years,” Sales and Marketing Manager Josh Card said. “The benefit of networking and getting to know other businesspeople in the area has had a direct correlation to our growth. Doing business across St. Lawrence County is the key – it’s all about the local connections.”