By PATTI KIDWELL
Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce President
The year 2015 has many exciting things in store for the city of Chicago as well as Hyde Park. The economy is showing some signs of life, the stock markets are on the rise and I hear and see more optimism from our local business owners. I even see more activity from individuals who want to start up their own business as a means of economic empowerment.
As I take over the helm of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, I am grateful to the previous board for its efforts to keep our business community an area of growth and stability.
The Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce is poised for greater things in the coming year. Alongside our experienced and insightful board members, we welcomed many new board members who brought in new ideas and inputs to the Chamber. Together, I see a boost in energy that I am sure will be contagious and spread to the rest of Hyde Park and Kenwood.
We celebrate our 75th anniversary this year. As a business owner in Hyde Park for almost 20 years, I have the pleasure of witnessing the changes in our neighborhood. Many of my peers would agree that it has been dramatic change for the better, thanks to the efforts of dedicated stakeholders in Hyde Park.
Our new tagline is “Business grows here … get in, branch out!” It speaks to our mission of servicing our members through education and information, advocacy and exposure. We are here to help business owners take root and grow their business. Our new logo also reflects the concept of growth and the strength of working in numbers.
For our existing members, 2015 stickers and a marketing package including our 2015 Hyde Park directory, map and marketing strategy is on its way.
We embark on a mission to make Hyde Park a destination — not just a tourist destination, even though we have many offerings to folks who want to visit our unique entities — but a destination for those all over Chicago who wish to shop, eat and enjoy our live entertainment venues. The influx of people from outside the neighborhood will benefit businesses and residents alike.
Join us at our regularly scheduled events, our First Thursday Networking Sessions in the evenings and our Third Wednesday Business Briefings, held at lunchtime. You’ll find locations and times for these events on our website. We actively work with organizations like the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) to create events which help stimulate interchange that encourages economic growth.
Other programs and activities are in the works to make 2015 an exciting year. We have a monthly column in the Hyde Park Herald, where we explore topics of interest and value to you as a business owner. Suggestions on topics and other interests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who wonder if they should join the chamber, I encourage you to stop by our new office located at 1715 E. 55th St. and visit with the Chamber’s executive director, Wallace E. Goode Jr., who has been guiding the chamber’s activities over the last three years. You can also visit our website at hydeparkchamberchicago.org for more information about the Chamber.
We encourage your involvement, your feedback and most importantly your dedication to Hyde Park and the surrounding communities. Together we can make Hyde Park an even better place to live, work and play!