Archive for Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chamber celebrates 25 years

November 19, 2009

Basehor Chamber of Commerce members will be toasting to 25 years this evening, as they celebrate a milestone for the organization.

The chamber, currently comprised of more than 80 businesses, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a dinner and social hour starting at 5:30 p.m. today, Thursday, at Community National Bank.

It is anticipated past officers, board members and chamber founders will attend for an evening of reflection on and celebration of a quarter of a century of work in Basehor.

Chamber Vice President Aladdin Ashkar said the organization had developed a new focus in recent years.

“We’re realizing that for Basehor to continue to grow, we not only have to reach out to people in Basehor but in the surrounding areas, as well,” Ashkar said. “For instance with the grocery store here, that serves people in Basehor, but it also caters to people in Tonganoxie and Bonner Springs and some areas of Kansas City. We try to attract businesses people will use.”

In addition to attracting businesses, the chamber has lately put increased effort toward taking care of its existing businesses.

“We’re doing a lot more for our businesses,” Ashkar said. “That’s important for us and for our small businesses so they can survive.”

A Chamber of Commerce is beneficial to a city like Basehor, Ashkar said, because of the opportunities it provides for networking and marketing. The main goal for any company is making money, he said, and the chamber helps that process by bringing professionals to one place and offering exposure through the Chamber of Commerce brand.

“You have to create something that brings people together, emphasizing one umbrella,” Ashkar said. “We are a not-for-profit organization, and our dues are so low, we offer networking and advertising at a reasonable cost, as well as name recognition, which is very important.”

The last 25 years have set the foundation for Basehor’s chamber to assist businesses locally and fuel growth beyond the city, Ashkar said. Basehor’s potential for expansion is tremendous, Ashkar said, and the chamber intends to stoke the fire.

“Basehor is so small, and it’s really on the cusp of something much bigger than we’ve ever seen here,” he said. “There’s so much going on at the Legends and surrounding areas, and we’re focusing on attracting some of that to Basehor and also getting the word out that Basehor’s a fantastic place to live. With its access to highways and small-town feel, it really is a great place to be.”

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