By Justin Aufdermauer
Living in a small, rural community like Tillamook, the Chamber of Commerce – along with all our residents and business owners – faces both unique challenges and opportunities. One example is the increasing number of small businesses and entrepreneurs in our area without a traditional brick and mortar building. We have a surprising number of freelance and independent contractors that offer valuable services while operating sometimes with just one person. These businesses – much like traditional small businesses – don’t always have access to the resources that large companies do, and survive based simply on their talent, the useful services they offer, and of course networking and mutual support from other small business and business owners.
One avenue of support that has sprouted in our community under the guidance of photographer and owner of Imago Dei Photography Xiomara Guard is our local chapter of the Rising Tide Society. This professional group gets together once a month for Tuesdays Together to discuss topics picked by the national organization and to learn from industry experts. Their goal is to emphasis collaboration over competition and encourage education and community support – because a rising tide lifts all boats. The Rising Tide Society believes there is no reason why each of our independent and creative businesses can’t be successful, and that success will come in the way of relationships and collaborations.
At the Chamber, we are partnering with the Rising Tide Society to offer a networking and social gathering on July 18th at 5:30 here at the Chamber office. This evening of learning and connecting is open to all business owners and independent contractors and is a way to learn more about the Rising Tide Society as well as the other services in our community. Come learn if this group is a good fit for you, and discover ways you can partner and grow in conjunction with other small businesses. If you’re already a member of the Rising Tide Society, consider this an opportunity to network and reach out to other businesses about your services and skills to see how you can help each other flourish. And of course since this is a Chamber-hosted event, it will be casual and fun.
That same day is our monthly Mornings on Mainstreet. These morning get togethers are drop in from 8-9 for our Chamber members to stay connected with one another and with the Chamber. It gives us face time to hear from our members and learn how we can continue to serve them and our community in the best way possible. This gathering is always the third Tuesday of every month, and as we’ve continued to host this quasi-membership meeting, we’ve been encouraged to see new members appearing every month to learn what is happening in the business community. Help us spread the word that this monthly resource is here for our members and is a great way to stay involved.
The Chamber has some more networking, educational, and informative ideas coming down the pipe and we would love the business communities feedback on gaps they feel we can fill in regards to formats and topics. You can get in contact with the chamber by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or just giving us a call at 503-842-7525.