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EXCELSIOR — The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce has a new home as it aims to refocus its business prowess this summer.
The Chamber moved its office down the street this spring for a few reasons, according to Director of Community Outreach and Membership Jen Weiss. The Chamber’s old office was not conducive to a setting of sharing ideas and working together as a team or holding events for the community.
When the space in the building at 312 Water St. became available, Chamber Director Laura Hotvet jumped at the opportunity to move the Chamber’s offices.
“They were looking for a space for us to host more community events, have more community gatherings, we were kind of outgrowing the other space a little bit,” Weiss said.
The Chamber of Commerce’s new space was previously held by Something Safari, which is still in the building.
The Chamber of Commerce, according to Weiss, serves as an ambassador for new businesses in the area that are looking to make connections with consumers and potential partners.
“We’ve been playing this role for a while as sort of the welcome center for the community, not just for visitors or tourists but for community members alike, and so this space is giving us the opportunity to have the space reflect that need as well,” Weiss said.
Weiss said it is also a great way for potential customers to get a review of the business from a third-party source in the community, rather than an online review.
“There’s sort of validity that we’re able to provide for the community, whereas if we’re able to recommend someone it’s beyond just Yelp or Google, it’s like ‘OK we know they’re a real business, we know they have a presence in the community’ so there is some reassurance with that,” Weiss said.
The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce serves not only Excelsior but Shorewood, Greenwood, Tonka Bay and Deephaven. Weiss said she also sees businesses from outside those cities that become members to better advertise in the area.
Chamber members don’t just include businesses. Community members who want to support local businesses and stay up to date with events in the area are also among the Chamber’s more than 400 members.
The Chamber also has a huge volunteer base. In 2018, it had 414 volunteers, which added up to almost 1,400 volunteer hours.
Weiss is excited about the clean organized look of the new office and the potential for events and meetings in the new space.