By David Tuma
It has been a good year for the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce. Tickets sales for the July 4th Rodeo were solid. The festival attendance was way up this year. “We had the most vendors we have had in the past ten years. Live entertainment was excellent. Our vendors were very pleased,” said Mark Arrazola, Chamber President.
They asked for more floats from area businesses and civic organizations this year at the July 4th parade. There were over 150 entries this year. “CGI and SPJST had really wonderful floats. The Belton Lions Club had a float this year. We stressed the need for more floats instead of vehicles. Jeep Club entered the parade this year which was new. The Jeeps had names. There were even some entries with live music,” said Arrazola.
Leadership Belton has two projects each year. This past year they completed the Police Memorial and finished the floor at the Children’s Advocacy Center. By going with two projects the Chamber gets more people actively involved. Each class has 14 member so these projects are a lot of work for seven volunteers. The 2016 Leadership Belton class is full and there is a waiting list for 2017. The classes start each September and the projects have been a major asset to the community over the years.
Leadership Belton is one of the best ideas in the past 20-years in the Belton. It has had a major impact.
The Young Business Professionals have three events a month. One of the meetings involve a speaker, coffee in the morning then an evening social even each month. “It allows young business professionals to meet other people their age in business,” said Arrazola.
A membership appreciation meeting in May had over 80 in attendance. “It went well. What can we do to grow as a good community and interact with our business partners. We are here to answer those calls to serve. It is a constant to work with our community partners. When businesses are doing well the community does better. We are the visitor’s bureau for Belton. This draws visitors to our community. People are noticing Belton,” said Arrazola.
They are working with the Temple Chamber to create more opportunities for businesses. The third Friday each month the Chamber host the Shakers & Stirrers High Speed Networking Lunch. It is held at different locations each month. Similar to the Chamber After Hours. The difference is the event is at noon.