Over the past year I’ve spent time visiting with our members, the communities we serve, other chambers in Johnson County, and the community at large. I’ve heard good and bad things about the chamber and about the business community as a whole. I know I can’t fix it all, nor does it all need to be fixed. What I can do is start with the Chamber and I’m happy to say that almost a year after I came to Gardner Edgerton changes are starting to take shape that hopefully will make an impact in community for years to come.

Today I say welcome to our new website – www.gardneredgerton.org. It’s taken longer than I had hoped and it’s not fully complete by any means, but we’re moving in the right direction. Fully responsive, our website should look good on your phone, tablet, or PC. It has a modern, clean look with all the features expected by today’s consumers. A website can, and should be, the number one online tool of any business – the chamber is no exception.

In today’s day and age, individuals from 8 to 80 (and beyond) utilize the internet for things as complex as online learning to as simple as finding a local phone number. Knowing this, it’s unbelievable that barely half of all small businesses have a website at all, when over 97% of consumers search for products and services online (Score Association, 2014). The plan for our website is to be the hub of information for the business community. Need a business phone number…it will be here. Want to find out about an upcoming community event…check the calendar. Need a business loan…we’ll provide links to lenders. Looking for a job…we’ve got postings. I think you get my point.

As with any website, it takes time to populate the site with the information that people want. Our members will soon have login capabilities to do everything from change their contact information to uploading photos of their business to posting jobs. Along the way we’ll be analyzing what people are looking at so that we can make sure to put more sought after information front and center. In the meantime I will be updating the information as quick as I can. If you’d like to get started on your piece of the Member Information Center (MIC), let me know and I’ll be happy to give you your login credentials.

As with anything we do at the Chamber, the Board of Directors and I are interested in hearing your feedback on the website (or anything else we do for that matter). Please reach out to me at [email protected] or call 856-6464.