Tag Archives: The Chamber

President Jeb Conrad Talks I-69 Summit Success

Your Chamber was proud to be the lead organizer for the I-69 Regional Summit…Driving Opportunity here in Bloomington on October 20-21. The Summit brought together more than 350 representatives from various sectors including business, government, higher education, defense, economic development, tourism, agriculture, trade and logistics to examine ways to enable collaboration and leverage the new and existing I-69 corridor from a statewide perspective.

The Chamber conceived the Summit for a series of reasons, but most importantly to have a forum for strategic discussions with respect to the impact and opportunities this new major infrastructure project will have on the business environment locally, regionally, statewide and nationally.

Highlights included a panel luncheon with Congressmen Todd Rokita, Larry Bucshon and Todd Young, who are all members of the I-69 Congressional Caucus, moderated by Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business. Keynote speakers Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Becky Skillman, President and CEO of Radius Indiana, shared their vision and perspective.  Attendees participated in breakouts and panel discussions on topics including trade/logistics, land use planning, understanding P3s, site selection and economic development. Other highlights included a tour of the Section 4 project and an evening reception at the IU Memorial Stadium.

The Summit provided a forum for interested parties and experts to come together, learn of the progress of I-69 in each of the corridor states, understand the global influence of its future and a chance to make new contacts. I was amazed at the significance this interstate will have for enabling trade and logistics from Mexico to Canada, and opening new avenues for connecting our region to the world. It is easy to see the local challenges and opportunities as the road pushes through, but a realistic view from 35,000 feet is necessary to be well prepared and take advantage of the opportunities the infrastructure brings to our region.

The State of Indiana also sees I-69 as the most impactful project for the tourism industry. Having interstate access to the State’s unique assets that attract visitors, is expected to generate new ways to capture travelers’ dollars in Indiana, expose a broader audience to these assets, and attract new business opportunities in this industry sector.

Locally, I-69 will bring safe and efficient connectivity for our businesses, employees and customers between Evansville and Indianapolis, not to mention Crane Naval Base. This will open new doors for employers to operate more effectively in the region, expand their employee base and capture additional business and residential investment.

The Summit was an excellent way for our Chamber to showcase our local businesses, connect them to other key contacts and open the door to see what Bloomington, Monroe County and the region have to offer.

It was a huge task for us to take on, but with the support of a great Committee, key partners like the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Hoosier Voices for I-69, and our sponsors, this event puts us on the map on a broader scale as we move forward. A public thank you to all those who made this event possible and we look forward to hosting again in 2015, our Chamber’s 100th Anniversary!

If you are interested in more information from the Summit, you can access such at www.I69Summit.com or our Chamber website.




Promoting a Healthier Workplace

Whether you are running your own business, or working for it, you may think the last thing you need to consider is health and wellness at work. However, studies have shown that stress can take a toll not only on physical and emotional health, but productivity and performance in the workplace.

Establishing a healthier work environment from the top down will increase the health and efficiency of your employees.  Workplace wellness programs encourage a healthier lifestyle that can enhance time utilization and decision making of workers.  The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce formed the Healthy Business Bloomington Initiative to help businesses promote wellness in the workplace. Businesses which implement workplace wellness programs might save when it comes to medical care costs, safety problems, and rates of absenteeism.  Even if you are not in the position to employ a comprehensive wellness plan, there are many small steps your business can take to increase the health of your workers.

1. Implement healthier eating choices. Offer your employees healthy meal and snack options that help fuel their performance while satisfying their nutritional need.  Consider replacing sodas with water, milk, or tea.  If possible, stock the break room with fruits, vegetables, and other healthy options.

2. Promote exercise. Encourage 2 minute stretch breaks every hour. Organizing regular stretch breaks provides a mental break from the work routine, which results in stress reduction.  Endorse exercising by partnering with a local gym to offer a discount for your employees. An active body is linked to an active mind, so regular exercise will increase your workers clarity and concentration.

3. Emphasize health education. Break time seminars are key opportunities for helping employees learn about healthy habits. Recruit speakers to lead session on healthy meals, stress management skills, and keeping active.  Keep sessions enjoyable but educational.

4. Be attentive of mental health. Unmanaged stress can lead to job dissatisfaction and absence from work for related health conditions. Consider offering an employee assistance program for employees who have excess stress, financial problems, or depression.  Also persuade employee to take simple steps on their own to reduce stress.

5. Make health apart of the work culture. Add healthy facts to company email and communication. Or even simpler, post healthy tips in the break room.  Building a healthy environment will result in more healthy and happy employees.

If, after trying a few ideas and trial runs, a wellness program seems right for your business, consider the Healthy Business Bloomington Initiative to help your business promote a healthier work environment.

 Please visit www.ChamberBloomington.org for more information.

Adapted from “8 ways to Promote Wellness in the Workplace” by Lauren Lastowka

Utilizing The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Website

Next week I will enter my fifth month of working for The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. In my short time we have made great strides improving the look, content and capability of our website. However, all that progress means nothing if our visitors and users don’t know what we have to offer. Whether you’re a Chamber member, resident of Bloomington, or visitor from out of town, The Chamber website can help you with many of your needs.

  • Business Directory- The Chamber sends out a print business directory once a year, but for a real-time directory, our website is the place to go. When you visit our site you can click one of the various links on the front page to take you to the directory, or search it directly with the Google Site Search located in the upper right hand corner. If you decide to go to the directory page you can search by organization name, category, or choose from a list of all of the categories.
  • Coupons- The Chamber website features an excellent coupon section. There is both a public and members only section featuring coupons that can be used for discount on great products such as a visit to Beams Health and Wellness Spa or Zumba classes at BloomZum Dance Studio. You can download the coupons by following this link, or visiting the Chamber Website and clicking coupons on the right side. For Chamber Members, you can also post coupons to your business. All you have to do is go into the members only section and click add coupon, or call or e-mail us here at the chamber with the information and we can post it for you.
  • Job/Internship Board- Another seldom used, but excellent resource is our job/internship board. Under the employment tab on The Chamber website, businesses can post open positions which anyone can see.  Just like the coupon section, businesses can either post the jobs themselves through the members only section, or they can contact us at The Chamber to do it for them. Many individuals looking for jobs view The Chamber’s site, and unlike other job posting services, ours is free.
  • Members Only Section- The final section I will detail is the Members Only section. As I explained earlier, this is a member’s portal to post coupons or jobs/internships. There are a lot of other capabilities through this section as well. You can sign up for events, update your profile information, and look at your referral report. A referral report is one of the most valuable tools for a Chamber member. It detail how many people have seen your companies listing in the directory, how many times it’s been clicked, and how many people have mapped the location. This is a great tool to use to make sure your maximizing your membership investment.

For more information, or help using any of The Chamber’s online features please e-mail me at drose@chamberbloomington.org. We’d also love for people to start using the comment section below, so if you have any ideas to improve our site and its functionality please post.

10 Things You May Not Know About The Chamber

As I approach my ten year anniversary with The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, I find myself reflecting on the last decade of my professional life and the many experiences I’ve had working for a Chamber of Commerce. Heather Robinson One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, is that once you’ve seen one chamber you’ve seen just one chamber.  Chambers are some of the oldest organizations in the world and are connected by the name “Chamber of Commerce”, and are typically an association of business people.  That’s about where the similarities end.  Chambers are a uniquely diverse group of independent, membership organizations that serve their communities in a variety of ways.   I have also learned that such diversity can lead to confusion about what chambers do.   I have often heard the phrase “I’m not sure if you can help me, but I thought to call the chamber first.” Continue reading