“Appreciation is a wonderful thing! It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well!” — Voltaire
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Last month I talked about changes, some of which have already arrived, and others soon to follow — changes that we all have a hand in, and a responsibility toward. This month, I’d like to look at the civic responsibilities we all have in addition to voting. Now is a time our community needs us more than ever — between the current social upheaval, the lack of employees and managing business with fewer customers, our community still needs us as much as we need them.
Election season seems to be a really good time to reflect on our individual community and how our businesses serve that community. While we may be calculating our ROI and financials for the upcoming year, we should also be looking at ways that businesses can have a positive impact on our community.
Making substantial contributions to the health and safety of the places where we do business is almost always good for business — communities are stronger, safer and feel cared for, giving them a vested interest in supporting your business. This can lead to valuable word of mouth marketing, greater interest from quality employment candidates, and increased exposure in the media, among other things.
Doing good creates ripples of good in the community, so fill that donation request for a silent auction that’s been sitting in your inbox, help a local team out with their uniform fundraiser, or make a donation of goods to a food bank, veterans organization or soup kitchen. Acts can be big or small, but just like voting, these acts can have consequences for both your business and personal life.
Another important way to keep communities strong is to support our local small businesses. Let’s help keep the doors open for the restaurants that are projected to close within the next six months and keep the lights on at all our retail, manufacturers, services and neighborhood businesses. One easy way to shop local is to check out our website with our membership directory.
Shop online, in store, get it delivered or pick up curbside — just make sure to shop local!
As I have mentioned about shopping local, November seems to signify the start of holiday shopping. Whether it is grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner or on the hunt starting to shop for the perfect Christmas gifts, please consider Hayden Chamber member businesses for your go-to shopping.
Saturday, Nov. 27 was Small Business Saturday, and it was started about 11 years ago by American Express, to help small brick and mortar and online businesses survive. Everyone spends money around this time so spend where you know your money will make a difference.
Finally, looping back around to something I am thankful for this time of year are our veterans, who have served our country selflessly to protect us from harm and keep us safe. Many of us celebrate Veterans Day, a national holiday, by taking the day off work. I am excited to announce that one of our members from the Manuel Schneidmiller American Legion Post No. 154-Rathdrum, was selected as the city of Hayden's Distinguished Veteran of the Year for 2021. Helen Kinder accepted her award at the Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at McIntire Park next to Hayden City Hall. Please join us in congratulating her, as she is not only a volunteer with the Hayden Chamber, but she is also my (Andrea's) mom!
I also want to thank our Networking Breakfast Guest Speaker last month, Linda Cook from the Union Gospel Mission, as she spoke to a crowd of more than 65 people. We were happy to have most of our board members present for a quick picture.
Jan Jesberger from Jan Jesberger Insurance presented a fun little vintage gift to First Interstate Bank called Mr. Day & Night Teller!
It was so much fun to participate with the city of Hayden in its annual Trunk n Treat! Our Disney theme trunk was a big hit with the kids!
Don’t forget that Dec. 3-4 is the Hayden Chamber’s 1st Outdoor European Christmas Market. Come stroll through the park with warming fires, twinkling lights, carolers, Father Christmas and the Vendor Village and Boutique Shops. There will be hot cider and cocoa with desserts and pastries and food with a European flair! You won’t want to miss this event!
I want to thank all of you for your membership and participation in our Hayden Chamber of Commerce events.
Hope you all have had a very wonderful November!
“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” — John F. Kennedy
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Andrea Fulks is the president/CEO for the Hayden Chamber of Commerce.