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A spoonful of sugar

By Chris Berleth and Taryn Crayton

You know the story well. Following a debacle with the latest of several nannies, a desperate father named George put an ad in a London newspaper for a replacement. With a little magic, the help of the East Wind upon which she flies, a hysterical uncle and a jack-of-all trades most famous for his work as a chimney sweep, a certain Ms. Poppins turns the hearts of the two youngsters in her charge to their father, and turns the heart of their father, to his children. To a child, the wonder of the story may be the spoonful of sugar, the self-cleaning room, or a certain super...long word. Our perspective shifts as adults though, doesn’t it?
The ultimate beauty of Mary Poppins is not even depicted on screen. Rather, it’s the happy ending that we never witness, and the promise of years of bliss made possible by Mary’s work.

Sometimes, it’s really easy to see the impact of the Chamber. At events like the Business After Hours, leadership workshops, seminars, and more, pictures often tell the tales that match the children’s perspective, that Chamber members connect at Chamber events. Those aren’t the best stories though.

Our favorite stories, and the ones we long to tell, are the second and third degree of a Chamber connection when something happens behind the scenes between members because of a great conversation, or a first-time introduction, a referral inquiry, or a handshake between new acquaintances. These stories are indicative of a substantive impact on the community and serve as evidence that the Chamber is a community-building tool. You may have heard us say it:

“Businesses don’t join Chambers to engage with the staff. They join the Chamber to connect and do business with other members. The strongest Chambers know this, make it happen, and get out of the way.”

Done right, your Chamber is a business version of this magical facilitator. Here’s what we mean:

In 2022, Apollo Point staff met with the Chamber to discuss how to make better use of their membership. They jumped at the suggestions we offered, and got right to it, connecting with other members through referrals, Chamber events, publications, and through a little staff-led strategy. In May, they hosted an incredible Business After Hours to bring all of their new connections together, and now, they’re sharing about amazing dividends – that over the weekend of July 8th, their outdoor patio and pool area hosted new Chamber friends from the Pine Barn Inn and Neighbor Lady Vino to provide food and wine for a fundraising event for the Geisinger Auxiliary on their property.

In an email to the Chamber, Jen Larsh of Apollo Point said this:

“We wanted to send you pictures of this event that was a HUGE success, and we thought you might want to have this info to show how important it is for chamber members to promote their fellow chamber businesses so that we can all win, and grow our community.”

Four separate businesses intersected at the Chamber, and after connecting, worked together to build something beautiful, “off-screen”.

If we may say so, it sure sounds like a spoonful of sugar.

To collaborate in ways in new ways with organizations in our community, consider chatting with us about your goals and shared vision.

Looking to start collaborating with other chamber members? Check out our events page, the member news section of E-Biz Weekly, or give us a call to brainstorm. If you do, we might even tell you about a man with a wooden leg named Smith.

Did we take the analogy too far?

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