EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article appeared in the Oct. 16, 2017, edition of The Review.

The Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce has been working to improve its knowledge and professional relationship with the local businesses.

Dustin Burgess, chairman of the Chamber, explained in October how he is attempting to visit each of the businesses in order to learn more about them and what they do. The visits are called Leadership Visits.

"We’re trying to get a pulse for the local businesses," Burgess said. "The tours have been really eye opening for me."

Burgess, who also represents Nationwide Insurance, hopes the visits will allow the Chamber to help new businesses as they enter the community. If the Chamber knows about each business, they can tell the new owners who to look to for assistance if they ever need help or guidance.

Burgess and Mark Locke, president of the Chamber of Commerce, have been working on visiting as many businesses as possible.

The Chamber of Commerce was founded as a way to help local area businesses grow and to provide information about them to the community. It doesn’t matter what size the business is or what service they offer for them to become a member of the Chamber. They can be mom and pop shops or factories, every local business is encouraged to join the Chamber. There are currently nearly 400 businesses that hold memberships with the Chamber.

When a business takes part in the Chamber, they can receive group discounts, take part in networking opportunities and have the full support of the Chamber and the other local businesses.

Along with the visits, the employees of the Chamber have been working hard to improve the Chamber’s online presence by creating a new website, which they hope to launch soon. The new website will be easier to navigate and more user friendly. All the information people need to know will be readily available online.

"We want to be easier to do business with," Burgess said. "The staff run the day-to-day business of the Chamber quite well."