Official voting for the Best of Champaign County will be October 1st-31st, after all nominations have been submitted. Voters are asked to donate $1 per vote to the Chamber of Commerce, so that it can continue to carry out its mission to connect Champaign County by promoting members and inspiring collaboration by offering resources and opportunities to enhance our community. Nominations and ballots will be accepted online, by mail, email or in person at the Chamber of Commerce located at 127 W. Court St. in Urbana.
Chamber Director, Sara Neer, explains, “With so many events being cancelled and postponed this year due to Covid the Chamber and Board of Directors thought long and hard about a fundraiser that we could carry out virtually to replace our in person events that we rely on for revenue to keep the Chamber in business. The Best of Champaign County contest does a few things: promotes local businesses, educates and involves the community, and assists the Chamber in raising funds by implementing a ‘donate to vote’ feature.”
In a normal year the Chamber hosts monthly lunch & learns, business after hours networking events, first friday coffee hours, Safety Council meetings, Leadership Champaign County, along with other larger events. “We want to do all we can to continue providing valuable resources to our members and the community throughout this trying time and we hope that Champaign County will support our newest fundraiser”, says Chamber Board President, Tom Coles, “Small businesses add to the uniqueness of our county and we want to involve the community in recognizing and celebrating all that makes Champaign County a great place to live, work and play.”
But they didn't stop there. We Spend Local launched an an online store dedicated to showing your love for local. Each month they feature a "We Give Local" design dedicated to that month's podcast interview. 50% of the proceeds from the sale of those shirts will be donated back to that organization or business or a cause of their choosing. The first design was dedicated to Urbana Fire Department and Chief Ortlieb requested the donation be designated to Box 13 to ensure the funds be shared throughout Champaign County.
Tune in now to hear the newest podcast at https://www.wespendlocal.com/podcast.html featuring Jamie Houseman, President of Mercy Health Urbana Hospital and support Mercy Health's Guardian Angel Fund here: https://wespendlocal.itemorder.com/sale. This fund was developed for children who are clients of the Mercy Health Pediatrics, who have unmet needs due to lack of family finances. It especially targets “working families” and offers the services such as filling Prescription needs and over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, eyeglasses, dental emergencies and further medical evaluation by a physician or medical specialist. Funds have also been used to purchase winter coats and gloves, car seats, etc for families with need.
A canceled fair or festival does not just represent a loss for summer entertainment. It also represents lost income for charitable organizations, rental companies, food distributors, and cancelled rooms for hotels, B&Bs and Inns.
With this in mind, it is more important now than ever for the residents of Champaign County to make a conscious effort to shop and support local businesses first. Before driving out of town to go shopping or ordering an item online, ask yourself, “Is there a local merchant who sells that item?” Many times the answer is yes, and if you are not sure, the Chamber of Commerce is here to assist by referring members and local businesses.
The people of Champaign County are proud, loyal and hardworking. Living in a close-knit community has many benefits. Everyone is your neighbor here. Let's rally to support our small businesses and their employees. Let’s help our neighbors.
The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce stands ready to assist its members and the community. The Chamber office is open Monday-Friday 8 AM - 4 PM and is reachable by phone, 937-653-5764. Furthermore, a membership and community guide is available at champaignohio.com.