The Sandusky County Chamber moves to a larger home and assumes a new role

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FREMONT — The Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce has entered a new era of impact in the county. When the Chamber moved to a new building on Napoleon Street last September, the larger space provided the opportunity to offer new programs and services to its members.

“We had grown so much, and it was time for a change,” said the Chamber’s Executive Director, Rachel Wynkoop. “We needed something bigger, and we also needed a new identity.”

The new building was accompanied by new core values, which are expressed in the Chamber’s slogan “Success with the Chamber”. SLIDE stands for Success, Leadership, Integrity, Diversity and Commitment. The Chamber was rebranded with the new slogan last year and this year will focus on a new strategic plan.

New services for Chamber members include free use of a 60-person conference room equipped with Zoom meeting technology and a green screen wall. Green screen use is free, and the video editing services of Tyler Kneeskern, Marketing and Events Coordinator, are available for a small fee.

The chamber can create three-minute Business Spotlight videos or 60-second TikTok-style videos for members, also for a fee.

“We posted the videos all over social media. The 60 second reels are fun. They offer a lot of information in a short time,” said Wynkoop. “Our pride and joy is our video production. We are the leader in budget video production in Northwest Ohio.”

Local shopping campaign uses QR codes

For the past two years, members have benefited from the chamber’s QR code-focused “Shopping Close to Home for the Holidays” campaign. During the holiday shopping season, local businesses promoted special offers through the campaign, attracting thousands of visitors to their ads.

“For example, Root’s Poultry had about 500 QR code scans and our Root’s Facebook post had 18,000 impressions,” Wynkoop said.

To maintain its momentum, the Chamber has partnered with consultants from the YGM Total Resource Campaign for access to the Chamber’s existing elements and future potential. The Company will review the Chamber’s events and services to identify areas that can be improved or expanded. Although they will eventually make recommendations, they were already impressed that the Chamber is developing unique services and programs with a small budget and a team of three consisting of Wynkoop, Kneeskern and Operations Coordinator Lindsey Griffin.

“They looked at our QR campaign and told us we’re up to date. They will use us as a model for other chambers,” Wynkoop said.

Chamber introduces energy saving program

This year, the chamber added another member benefit, an energy saving program that directly affects members’ employees. Members who enroll in the program receive potential energy cost savings for their businesses as well as for their employees’ homes.

Rachel Wynkoop, executive director of the Sandusky County Chamber, stands in front of the chamber's new green screen wall, where staff create videos for the chamber and for members.  Members can use the green screen for free and have access to HR editing services for a small fee.

“This is a unique benefit that members can offer their employees,” said Wynkoop. “Here in the chamber, we saved $440 a year on natural gas.”

Beginning in April, the chamber will host town hall meetings in Clyde, Fremont and Woodville that will connect local business owners with city, county and state officials.

“This is a business owner-only event,” Wynkoop said. “We’re doing this because getting real face-to-face time is so important and beneficial for business owners.”

The Run with Scissors event is scheduled for April 7th

The Chamber celebrates its new building during Running with Scissors on April 7th. The event is a combined ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Chamber, the Sandusky County Economic Development Corporation and the Sandusky County Visitors Bureau. The event will include an open house at the chamber, and Jimmy G’s food truck will be on site.

The Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce welcomes new members. Membership costs start at $275 per year for a company with one to four employees. Membership brings many benefits, including greater exposure and professional connections.

The Sandusky County Chamber of Commerce is located at 1245 Napoleon Rd. in Fremont. Visit scchamber.org for more information.

Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected]

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