The Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated its first birthday. John Rose, pictured, is the chamber’s current president.

A (Belated) Happy 1st Birthday to Ridgefield Chamber!

Better late than never to say “Happy 1st birthday?” We think so, because there should be no “right time” to celebrate the good work of an organization that supports Ridgefield businesses.

In June, the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce officially celebrated its one-year anniversary as a member-based chamber – a transition from its status as the Ridgefield Business Association. John Rose, of Rose Real Estate in Ridgefield, is the chamber’s current president in the all-volunteer organization. Rose says the chamber came into being largely as a response to business community demand.

“With more new businesses coming to Ridgefield, the RBA was getting calls from people wanting to know if there was a chamber in town,” he says. “So, we decided it was time to put the Ridgefield Business Association to rest and start a chamber of commerce.”

Rose says that unlike the Ridgefield Main Street program, which isn’t a member organization and exists to help all downtown Ridgefield businesses succeed, the chamber’s efforts are placed squarely in the camp of member businesses.

“The Ridgefield chamber’s focus is to keep and grow member businesses downtown as well as member businesses in other areas of Ridgefield,” Rose says. “Our efforts complement theirs, and vice versa.”

To foster member success, the chamber hosts regular luncheon networking opportunities, welcomes 30-40 new Ridgefield households per month by delivering a gift bag filled with member information, and holds quarterly motivational events called Elevate. Thus far they’ve included a Portland Trail Blazer and the owner of Lava Java. The next Elevate event will be held in November this year.

When the chamber started last year, it counted 45 members; it’s doubled since then, with membership at around 100 and growing. Geography is not a defining criterion for a member business.

“About 30% of our members are businesses outside Ridgefield from communities that also have chambers,” Rose says. “Networking opportunities throughout the county is one of the many benefits of belonging to ours and other chambers.”

Annual membership in the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce ranges from $100 to $250, depending on if a member business is a non-profit, and at what marketing level the business wishes to be.

For more information or to become a chamber member, visit ridgefieldchamberofcommerce.com or contact John Rose by calling 360.903.3466 or email john@rosere.net.