As the Babylon Town Chamber of Commerce approaches its one-year anniversary, the organization continues working to expand its membership ranks while also helping small business navigate the challenging economy.
The group, which officially started last year on June 21, began with the focus of bringing a local business group to the hamlet of West Babylon. But those involved at the start saw a greater need across the township.
“We have 15 areas that make up the Town but have only four chambers of commerce,” said Walter Wenzel, the chamber’s president.
Babylon Village, Lindenhurst, Copiague and Amityville are the only communities that have chambers.
“When we launched, we reached out to the chambers and asked them to meet with us and share ideas,” he said. “We don’t want to replace the chambers but do want to serve as an umbrella organization.”
While the chamber is covering businesses in multiple communities, Wenzel feels that no matter where a small business is located, they share common challenges and needs.
“All local businesses are focused on getting people into their stores,” he said. We also want to help those looking to start a business with the basics and let them know what they need to do to grow their business.”
In addition, Wenzel is also hoping that being a town-wide organization could lead to the start of events similar to the Dickens Festival held each year in Port Jefferson.
“We want to have events that promote tourism, help our businesses and bring our communities together,” he said.
Currently, the Babylon Town Chamber of Commerce has 36 members and is looking for more.
“We have a very active group of people, but it’s a small group,” he said. “We have received a lot of interest and we’re going to be out canvassing looking for new members.”
Local businesses interested in joining the Babylon Town Chamber of Commerce may e-mail Walter Wenzel.