Chamber, Morning Sun to Sponsor Candidate Forums
A vital part of the upcoming election will be that of voter education. The chamber and Morning Sun take seriously our responsibility to provide area voters an avenue to become better acquainted with the views of candidates involved in a number of area races. To that end, the chamber and Morning Sun will host a series of candidate forums over the next couple of weeks. All forums will take place at the Pittsburg Law Enforcement Center and will broadcast on the City's public access channel.
The remaining forums schedule is as follows:
Thursday, October 27
5 pm - Candidates for Kansas Senate, District 13
6 pm - Candidates for Kansas House of Representatives, District 3
The forums are free to attend and written questions from the audience will be permitted. For more information, call the chamber at 231-1000. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Paint the Town Red Business Decorating Contest Winners Announced
The chamber has announced the winners of its 2016 Paint the Town Red Business Decorating Contest. Paint the Town Red is an annual celebration aimed at showcasing business and community support for Pittsburg State University.
Businesses participate in one of three categories based on number of employees. Division I is designated for businesses with more than 15 employees, Division II features those with 8-15 employees, and Division III participants have fewer than eight employees. The Community Favorite Award is determined through online voting and includes all participating businesses. Over 1,500 total votes were cast for this year’s Community Favorite Award.
“Businesses had fun with our ‘Vote Gus 2016’ theme. Gus is a candidate we can all support,” said Devin Gorman, vice president of operations for the Pittsburg Area Chamber. “Our volunteer judges never have an easy task, and we saw some remarkable creativity with this year’s decorations.”
Division I winners:.
1st place – Watco Companies
2nd place – Colton’s Steak House & Grill
3rd place – NPC International
Division II winners:
1st place – Arvest Bank
2nd place – CLASS
3rd place – Kannarr Eye Care
Division III winners:
1st place – Embellish Boutique
2nd place – The Beauty Bar
3rd place – Riggs Chiropractic
Community Favorite Award: SilverCreek Medical Reimbursement Solutions
Campus Office Decorating Award – PSU Office of Career Services
Campus Student Organization Decorating Award – Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority
For photos of the contest winners, visit our Facebook page!
Back-to-School Shopping Has a Significant Impact on Local Economy
A recent back-to-school consumer survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) delivered exciting news for local retailers. Remarkably, 95% of back-to-school shoppers surveyed said they plan to complete a portion of their shopping at physical storefronts, proving that local retailers still dominate the market for back-to-school shopping. When asked why they prefer to spend in physical stores rather than shopping online, the top reasons noted were the ability to physically see or try on merchandise, to avoid shipping costs, and the convenience of one-stop shopping.
“Back-to-school shopping is considered the second biggest spending season of the year and according to ICSC’s survey, this season is shaping up to be the strongest of recent years,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “As we’ve seen in our other surveys, the majority of consumers intend to shop primarily in stores.”
Local retailers have another reason to be excited about this year’s back-to-school shopping season. Rubicon Project’s second annual Back-to-School Consumer Pulse Survey found that 61% of all parents plan to spend more than they did last year, approximately $917 per child in K-12, and $1,300 per student for college freshmen.
“For many of our local retailers, the back-to-school shopping season is extremely important,” said Devin Gorman, vice president of operations at the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber encourages parents and students to remember the importance of shopping locally. In addition to saving both time and money, you are supporting your neighbors and your community when you shop at local businesses.”
Chamber Presents Awards at Annual Banquet
Members of the Pittsburg area business community came together at Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center for the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Annual Banquet on Thursday, May 26. The chamber recognized several outstanding businesses and individuals at the event.
Spirit of Pittsburg – Harvey Dean, Founder and CEO of Pitsco Education
Small Business of the Year – SilverCreek Medical Reimbursement Solutions
City of Pittsburg Employer of the Year – CDL Electric Company
Educator of the Year – Eric Gudde, Frontenac High School
Chamber Volunteer of the Year – Pam Henderson, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran
BEA Bill Coleman Business Partner of the Year – NPC International
BEA Jerry Lindberg Volunteer of the Year – Leah Mackey, The Joplin Globe
BEA Koeta Bryant Education Partner of the Year – Eric Gudde, Frontenac High School
(BEA = Business Education Alliance)
Finalists for the Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by BKD, LLP, were Pro X Realty, Roto-Rooter of Pittsburg, and SilverCreek Medical Reimbursement Solutions.
The finalists for the Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by Pitsco Education, were Eric Gudde from Frontenac High School, Linda Knoll from Pittsburg Middle School, and Susan Laushman from Pittsburg High School.
CITY OF PITTSBURG HOSTS OPEN HOUSE
What could Pittsburg do with a clean slate in the middle of the city? On April 12 the City of Pittsburg hosted an Open House for the Mid-City Renaissance Project, a project funded by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. There, community members shared their ideas for the redevelopment of the 386-acre area including and surrounding the Mission Clay (formerly Dickey Clay) site. Read the Morning Sun article on the event.
PITTSBURG AREA DAY ON THE HILL
A delegation of Pittsburg business and community leaders traveled to Topeka on February 17 for the chamber's Pittsburg Area Day on the Hill. The group met with Governor Sam Brownback, KDOT Secretary Mike King, Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave and others to advocate for issues crucial to the continued growth of Pittsburg's economy. A big thanks to Senator Jake LaTurner for his help in scheduling the day and to Rep. Chuck Smith and Senator Jeff King for joining the group for lunch.
CHAMBER WELCOMES 185 NEW MEMBERS DURING EVENT
Over 100 volunteers came together last week in an effort to strengthen the Pittsburg area business community and to create greater awareness of the critical role played by the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. As a result, the Chamber welcomed 185 new members (i.e. businesses, organizations, and individuals) during its three day membership event.
The event was facilitated by Your Chamber Connection, a Texas-based company that works with hundreds of chambers of commerce across the United States.
“It’s about business,” said event architect Jimmy Cusano. “A chamber of commerce is the business community. It’s a membership based organization and most people don’t like membership drives, but with this event they come together in a competitive, fun environment and tell the chamber story. When others hear about everything the chamber does, all of a sudden you have a great deal of enthusiasm and support.”
The membership event took place at Eagle Beverage in Frontenac and consisted of two volunteer shifts per day, through which volunteers received education and training on the importance of chambers of commerce from Cusano.
Devin Gorman, vice president of operations at the Pittsburg Area Chamber, says the success of the event was a result of outstanding volunteers.
“We have such an amazing community,” said Gorman. “Our volunteers are world-class and the success of this event, bringing in 185 new members, exceeds that of many communities across the nation that are five times our size or greater. These leaders are dedicated to helping strengthen and grow our community, and their results showed it.”