Staff photo by Emmy Errante
The Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce held a meet and greet on Monday, Jan. 28, at South Beach Grill.
During a period of revitalization, board members from the Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce invited area business owners interested in joining to come to an after work meet and greet at South Beach Grill on Monday, Jan. 28.
Within 30 minutes, about 40 community members including former chamber members and interested parties, gathered in the restaurant to socialize with one another.
Attendees filled out surveys to help with the mission of the chamber and to see what businesses were looking for, along with how the organization can enhance.
The survey asked, “What do you hope to get from the Wrightsville Beach Chamber? What issues would you like the Chamber to address? What do you see as the challenges facing current and future businesses on Wrightsville Beach? What would restrict you or others from being a member of the Wrightsville Beach Chamber?”
In addition to the traditional luncheons, the chamber is looking to host regular after hours events for members. The list of chamber goals for 2013 also includes building a robust and diverse membership and developing an impressive website.
Chamber board member Maureen Donovan, who is one of three new board members slated to serve a three-year term, said almost everybody in South Beach Grill would be considered a new member with the organization undergoing its revitalization.
“We we’re hoping for about this many people,” Donovan said. “I think this is a positive sign.”
Beth Perry and Annette Miller of Bryant Real Estate said their company was involved with the chamber in the past and was looking into the local branch of 12 employees becoming a member again.
“It’s just a good way to network,” Perry said. “... It helps everybody.”
The more active the chamber is, the more the organization can promote Wrightsville Beach overall, she said.
Positive words about the chamber like Perry’s could be heard across the room.
Jeff DeGroote, owner of South End Surf Shop, was one of the newer business owners in the room, but said the chamber helps unify local businesses.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for the businesses,” DeGroote said.
Jason Colclough, owner of Carolina Paddle Co., and Chris Tryon, co-owner of Hook, Line and Paddle, said Jason St. Clair, sales and marketing director of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, invited the two to the meet and greet.
“I think it’s just really promoting the area,” Tryon said. “Wrightsville is really kind of a hidden jewel in the wintertime. … You can really beat the tourist-based motor boat traffic.”