The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and our family of businesses and organizations continue to bring power to our members and their thousands of employees.  This power and confidence in our economic future start new businesses, grow our economy, and advocate for an improved quality of life in Delaware County.

 

But the real power is how members plug into the Chamber. As we start 2024, we have 350 members, including 44 new investors and an 89% renewal rate, representing nearly 6,000 employees! Over 1,300 people attended our 35 events. With nearly 22,000 newsletters opened, a social media reach of over 30,000, and 81 radio and television programs produced, the Chamber is effectively delivering our message of business unity and community prosperity.

 

The Chamber continues to lead initiatives to build more resilient communities. 

  • Understanding that transportation is often a barrier to sustainable employment, we partnered  with human service agencies, healthcare, transportation providers, government agencies, transportation consultants and others to recommend public transportation options in the county. 
  • We also manage the business operations of WIOX Community Radio, supporting the efforts of nearly 80 community volunteers who serve as program hosts and back-office staff to keep this important source of information and entertainment broadcasting. 
  • Our nine-month Leaderful Delaware Emerging Leaders program prepares the next generation of civic leaders to drive community change. 
  • To support more welcoming employment opportunities, we published Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging as well as Fair Chance Hiring toolkits that cut through the hyperbole and deliver practical information for business owners.
  • Working with Delaware Opportunities and over 30 businesses, government agencies, and organizations, our annual Toys for Tots campaign collected and distributed gifts to over 600 Delaware County children.
  • Our high school student mentoring program engaged over 60 students with nearly mentors, delivering real-world knowledge or local career opportunities.

 

As we look forward to 2024, our priorities for action are centered on three key areas–ADVOCATE, CONNECT, and GROW.

 

Effective advocacy is founded on accurate and substantiated information. The Chamber remains a locus for facts and primary resources on issues important to business owners. Toward that end, we will continue to engage elected and other public officials at all levels of government to ensure that input from business owners is included in public policy discussions. Also, as a trusted source of reliable information, we will continue to provide resources and contacts to members seeking assistance with municipal officials.

 

Connecting members to resources needed to expand, business recognition and promotion, and high-engagement networking opportunities are all ways we bring measurable value to Chamber members. We offer many valuable benefits that may be extended to member employees, aiding in staff retention, including a new healthcare program. Our Chamber Academy delivers essential business training in an on-demand video format. 

 

We leverage the knowledge of members, regional government, education, business, and non-profit stakeholders to address critical county needs with an eye toward improving our quality of life and supporting business growth. In addition to continuing our efforts in exploring public transportation options and molding the next generation of civic leaders, the Chamber will actively connect employers with schools and students. We view our participation in the National Civics Bee and our DelCo Does MORE young professional engagement initiative as workforce development efforts with an eye toward reducing our current population loss. 

 

Admittedly, this is an ambitious agenda.  However, especially over the past two-plus years, our business community has stepped up to meet unexpected challenges.  From workforce shortage to supply chain issues to inflation to economic downturns, change increased at an unprecedented rate.  We all faced these challenges in big and small ways.  The key factor, though, is that we often did it together.

 

It has become increasingly clear to me how much we need one another.  How much we need networks and advocates. How #StongerTogether is so much more than a tagline.  It is the relationships, shared visions, and trust among individuals, teams, and organizations that holds us together.

 

You can choose to be the glue that sustains our communities.  Joining the Chamber in its mission is a great first step.