I still can’t seem to get to every event put on the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC), but I did have a chance to attend the naming of the 2013 Honorary Mayor of Wesley Chapel — which will be Troy Stevenson, the internet sales director at Wesley Chapel Nissan — who was feted at the official Honorary Mayor party hosted by Wesley Chapel Toyota; more on the Mayor’s race below).

While having the bash to honor Stevenson at another auto dealership may sound strange, the fact is that both dealerships are very much involved with the local Chamber in the dealerships’ home town. In other words, the WCCC obviously continues to attract not only the biggest business names in Wesley Chapel — but also hundreds of local mom-and-pop businesses — to its amazing plethora of events each and every month. And, when you also consider that the monthly Chamber breakfasts at Saddlebrook Resort attract more than 100 people almost every month — and it seems to be a lot of new faces among those 100+ people every month — you get the idea that this is one active chamber with a whole lot of people who do more than just pay their dues every year.

So, why has it been such a struggle to get just a few of those very supportive members to pony up a couple of shekels to help the Chamber have its own page (or pages) in this publication?

First off, to answer my own question, it’s a couple of more shekels over and above what the Chamber members already pay to belong and attend and/or participate in at least some of its events.

And, with the economy still not up to snuff, people today still need to find more value than ever in anything upon which they spend their hard-earned money. And, Wesley Chapel Chamber members already pay hundreds of dollars a year just to belong, then pay hundreds more for tables or booths at major Chamber events. There’s additional costs to attend breakfasts and, in some cases, putting on mixers and/or ribbon-cutting parties of their own. Then, when you add in the “human” cost to people who devote so much of their own time to the Chamber, you can see that the cost of being part of such an active organization may not be “cheap,” but few things that can really help your business have really ever been free — and Chamber membership obviously works for many of them.

And now, for as little as $40 per month (on an annual agreement), Chamber members can have a small-sized ad on the WCCC’s monthly page in the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News. The page also will be posted both on our website (WCNeighborhoodNews. com) and on the Chamber’s website (WesleyChapel Chamber.com).

In addition, every Chamber member who advertises on the page will get to have a short profile of their business sometime during the one-year run of their Chamber ad! Sign on for a second year, and you’ll get a second profile within the next 12 months, also at no charge.

The other problem for us, as the most logical place the Chamber can publish a printed version of such a page — because no other local medium can touch our direct-mail circulation in zip codes 33543, 33544 and 33545 — is that the WCCC already gets so much “free” publicity in the pages of this publication without having had its own page in the paper the last several years. In other words, why spend money on something you already get for free in the same publication? For one thing, it costs less to advertise on the Chamber’s page than it does for the smallest-size ad in any other part of the Neighborhood News. We get quite a few potential advertisers who are looking for ways to advertise for less in these pages, and this is a way to do that and also support the Chamber.

Our deal with the WCCC is that we wouldn’t run the page until we had enough advertisers to cover the cost of the page for the first few months, because the Chamber also has been trying to keep itself on budget by making the WCCC’s page in this publication pay for itself. So, this will be the last such editorial I will run on the possible Chamber page. But, it would be a shame if we had to let it go.


Congrats, Troy & Kenneth!

As I said, Troy Stevenson of Wesley Chapel Nissan takes over from Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel’s John Negley as the Honorary Mayor of Wesley Chapel for 2013. Kenneth Stewart of Integrated Security Consultants is the new Deputy Mayor, taking over from Jan Roberts of Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. Congrats!

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