The Hyde Park Chamber Event of the Year: Annual Reception

Imagine mingling in the lobby of the Hyde Park Bank, filled with like-minded individuals engaging in meaningful conversation while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres, open bars and dessert tables.

It’s an evening of toasting to a fantastic organization, an opportunity to network with your peers, a chance to support a great cause, (business development in Hyde Park), and a forum for building long-lasting relationships.  The food. The raffles. Six themed-baskets chocked full of goodies. Words of wisdom from Chamber Board President Jonathan T. Swain, and honoring a Hyde Park pillar of leadership, State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie. Yep, that’s us and this is it – the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, 2018 Annual Reception.

The mission of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce hasn’t changed in its almost 100 years of existence and that is “…to assist local member businesses in conducting commerce in our community”.

As a resource for member businesses, the Hyde Park Chamber:

Provides information regarding the programs and services offered by various Chicago agencies;

Advocates for our members’ interests within the community and to the City of Chicago;

Offers a forum for members to meet with other local business leaders to discuss their business interests and community matters.

Our work for our members and with other community organizations has resulted in a healthy and strong business community in Hyde Park from one-person startups to national chains. In addition,

the Hyde Park Chamber hosts a number of events that help promote the Hyde Park neighborhood and its businesses – Events such as the 4th of July Parade, Industry-Specific Workshops, Grand Openings, Ribbon Cuttings, Dinner Crawls, Festivals, Summer Sunday Concerts  and monthly Chamber Check-Ins.  However, these all come at a cost.  Local businesses and non-profits are voluntary dues-paying members of Hyde Park’s Chamber.  The membership acting collectively elects a board of directors to set policy for, and guide the workings of, the Chamber. The board then hires an Executive Director, in this case, Wallace Goode, plus an appropriate number of staff to run the organization.

The 2018 Annual Reception is a fundraising celebration event held every November to help cover some of the costs of the Chamber-sponsored events, as well to help sustain a budget for next year.

So why should you be at this year’s event?  First, connections among businesses can lead to new opportunities and business expansions.  There are many collateral connections among businesses that result in mutual benefits and business growth.  Second, participating in local events gets your name out and builds camaraderie among competitors and other businesses alike.  Good inter-business relationships offer the prospect of building good customer service relationships for your clients.

Lastly, community participation bolsters the commitment of  business to the district where they reside. This is a policy designed to integrate the business and social aspects of our neighborhood into one cohesive whole. In the absence of disasters,  businesses can bond with other businesses by appearing at local events, participating in social networking  opportunities and just being present as a representative, sharing and participating in all aspects of Hyde Park’s daily life.

The Hyde Park Chamber Annual Reception is an opportunity to interact, market, explore collaborative options and otherwise share a splendid evening of food, drinks and conversation with peers and even competitors.  Building a presence in Hyde Park within and among the members of the Chamber provides an in-road to business and social connections that not only further the economic interests of  the business community, but can also bolster our overall social fabric.  The Annual Reception is Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 5:30pm at Hyde Park Bank, 1525 E. 53rd Street, Chicago. Tickets are still available via  or or at the offices of Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, 1715 E. 55th Street, Unit B. If you attend you are guaranteed a fantastic time.

JoAnn Fastoff Blackman is a long-time Hyde Parker and an award-winning author of both fiction and non-fiction books. Her various blogs have focused on environmental issues in and around Chicago. HPChamber Speak will appear periodically addressing issues impacting Hyde Park’s business community.