Businesses Connect at South Oakland Area Regional Chamber Networking Events

Businesses Connect at South Oakland Area Regional Chamber Networking Events

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 29, 2021)

Ferndale, Hazel Park, Oak Park, MI- Can the key to business success be grabbing a beverage and a bite and hanging out with other successful entrepreneurs? That’s one component of the recently-formed South Oakland Area Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Under the leadership of Director Joy Wells, what used to be called the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce has taken on a new name so those from Oak Park, Hazel Park, Pleasant Ridge, and other nearby cities feel even more welcomed.

In November the group hosted a Chamber 101 Networking event at Kozy Bar in Hazel Park.  There members and those considering joining were able to sample some tasty Kozy tidbits while talking shops with others who know the challenges and joys of running a small business.

“​It is wonderful to meet in person,” Wells said. “We have all been looking to get back to human connectivity. While there are many realized conveniences with meeting virtually, it is certainly missing an important element of connectivity that only comes with in-person engagement and interaction.

“Now more than ever, it is important to know that we are not alone in navigating these unprecedented times. With all of the challenges facing our business communities today, networking allows for business owners to discuss their challenges as well as best practices and truly help one another. What was always viewed as an opportunity to grow a business has evolved into so much more.”

The monthly 101 events are the start of what SOAR hopes will be a growing list of opportunities for members. They’re in the midst of transitioning from a tiered dues structure based on business size, to one based on the level of services and support a business would like to use.

“When we speak of chamber benefits such as professional development and advocacy, for example, these are not one-size-fits-all benefits for our business owners and we are better aligning ourselves to reflect our new vision and commitment to our business communities,” Wells said.

She’s also excited about the new name. “​It was important to introduce a chamber brand that was reflective of all of the communities involved. We spent a great deal of time working together to assemble a brand that effectively communicates an image for these communities collectively and the new name reflects not only the cohesion of the involved communities but, also an acronym that demonstrates our commitment to both our business communities as well as the local municipalities in which we serve.”

The next SOAR Chamber 101 will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at The Corner/Detroit Axe in Ferndale.  In January the location, not yet announced, will be in Oak Park. The Corner Bar is located at 344 W. 9 Mile.

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