Nov. 18, 2020 — Florence Area Chamber of Commerce member Apex Helicopter wants to elevate the chamber by bringing up to 25 new members onboard. The pilot program is available exclusively for the first 100 new members on a first-come-first-served basis.
“This very generous contribution lowers the barrier for up to 100 new Business Partner level members to obtain a very valuable membership,” said Chamber President/CEO Bettina Hannigan. “It is a tremendous testimony to the value of membership if one member wants to essentially pay half the membership free for 100 new members so they can join and start benefitting and growing their businesses.”
A Business Partner pays $225 per year and receives an estimated $800-plus per year in direct benefits. As membership levels increase, so does the value of the membership, up to an estimated $18,000 in benefits.
“This is a huge act of support,” said Hannigan. “Apex Helicopter just demonstrated in a very striking way how much they value the Chamber and care about small businesses in our area. We are so thankful for this valuable gesture.”
According to Byron DeVries, owner of Apex Helicopters, “Apex’s goal with this contribution is twofold. First, we believe a vital local chamber of commerce is critical for a robust business environment. Second, by providing these funds, we hope that it will allow new businesses to join the Chamber and receive the benefits of a membership at a discounted cost for their first year.”
DeVries believes a thriving business economy provides jobs and a strong future of everyone in Florence. That, in turn, he says, can help grow living-wage jobs, affordable housing, and more opportunity for entry-level and middle management types of jobs.
“We know the challenges of starting and running a business in this current environment,” he added. “If 25 new businesses can gain membership to the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, they can help their business succeed, even in these challenging times. In turn, the chamber gains new members which helps strengthen the chamber.
“We hope that by supporting other local small businesses our local economy might take flight, thus improving the quality of life for everyone in Florence.”
According to Hannigan, “Our chamber is a powerful catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers and a champion for a stronger community. Those are good things for all residents, and that’s why memberships for individuals are available too. … This will help many of those who have been reluctant to join.”
DeVries agrees, saying, “We believe in the marketing the chamber accomplishes for Florence, the legislative support it provides to our business economy, the business training it provides and, during this challenging time, the support the chamber provides to businesses to help find grants and affordable loans.”
Apex Helicopters is a commercial utility helicopter operator which specializes in charter flights, aerial land and wildlife surveying and precision long-line work in support of wild land firefighting, agricultural and timber industries. Apex Helicopters moved its business to Florence more than 10 years ago and works throughout the Western United States, contracting with federal and state agencies in addition to numerous private companies.
“Without the chamber’s support our business would not have grown to where it is today,” DeVries said. “I do not believe that enough businesses understand the full value of being a chamber member. A chamber membership impacts your business far beyond the marketing it provides.”
The purpose of a chamber of commerce is to advocate for businesses with local, state and national elected officials to promote solutions for businesses; provide exclusive referrals to members from those who ask which businesses to buy from; host free seminars on business operations, security, leadership training and marketing; and connect members through networking events. Other benefits include mailing lists, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and instant credibility.
For more information on joining the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, accessing Apex Helicopter’s membership dues matching program or to volunteer, contact Hannigan at 541-997-3128 or go to florencechamber.com.