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Weather permitting, this will be another important week for representatives from the Columbus Area Chamber to spend in Lincoln.

These two days hosted by the Nebraska Chamber are the traditional kick-off to Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Month. Gov. Ricketts is scheduled to sign the official proclamation tomorrow at the “Chamber of Commerce Month Luncheon” in Lincoln. We appreciate the Governor’s support of our profession and his recognition of the importance of the local Chambers of Commerce in our state!

Tomorrow will be the annual meeting, legislative caucus, and annual banquet for the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry. These events will give our local Chamber valuable insight into topics of interest to business being considered in Lincoln this year.

This session will bring a lot of debate on all things related to taxation in our state. Those issues impact business, of course, but also impact how attractive Nebraska is to families we’re trying to recruit. On both sides of that coin, it’s easy to see why the Columbus Area Chamber would want to be part of the debate. Our Legislative Committee has already begun meeting and will stay plugged in through events like tomorrow’s. That connection with the State Chamber allows us to bring back good information to local members.

Also this week, Chamber staff will attend the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce Executives annual meeting, another important opportunity to connect and learn for us as Chamber staff. These are transformational times for the Chamber industry, just as it is for most of our members, so it’s just critically important for us to stay connected to those changes so we’re keeping this organization ahead of the curve.

Speaking of Chamber of Commerce Month, that’s also our traditional time for the annual Membership Drive in our Chamber. The Committee has secured great incentives to encourage memberships this month. A marketing package has been offered by our local media partners at Alpha Media-Columbus and The Columbus Telegram. Thanks to these organizations for their support of the Chamber!

Board Chair-Elect Chad Dyhrkopp leads the campaign and has set a target of 850 Chamber members by the end of the month. Current members are asked to share prospects and help us open the doors to those businesses…and if you have considered Chamber membership but you’re not “in the game” quite yet, this is the time! Contact Sandie Fischer in the Chamber office for details on becoming a part of the community development team in the Columbus Area Chamber.

K.C. Belitz is the outgoing president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commere.

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