Chamber 101 Outlines Abundant Benefits of UBCC Membership

Professional development. Political clout. Credibility.  A bigger voice. Meeting new prospects. Networking with a variety of professionals across different industries. Passionate advocates for business that are on your side.

These are a few of the benefits of becoming a member of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, as about a dozen members discovered during a Chamber 101 session held at the downtown Quakertown office of UBCC.

Chamber 101 participants discovered what may be missing from their side of the equation.

Involvement and engagement are what bring an organization like the chamber, and the business members vital to its mission together.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a Chamber to galvanize the local business community.

Some other Chamber member benefits:

*Online training through Coggno – a web-based professional development provider, which gives 10 free courses of your choice, a branded training platform for your company and a custom URL for staff to use to log in for their training use.

*An instant connection to the chambers’ roughly 600 plus members throughout Upper Bucks County.

*Participation in Chamber sponsored events, and a chance to be part of the movement through committee and volunteer involvement.

*Manufacturing support through networking and professional organizations.

*Free Certificates of Origin

*Online and print advertising, which not only gets the word out about business goods and services, but supports the chamber’s daily operations.

A bigger voice means your message is heard louder and more often.

Chamber functions like business card exchanges and mixers as well as annual events such as the upcoming Small Business Conference & EXPO on March 15 at Bucks County Community College, Perkasie Campus, offer opportunities for volunteers, sponsorship and to meet other business community members.

“It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you,” said Tara King, UBCC, Executive Director.

 

 

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UBCC Year in Review

Abundance. Mild weather. A growing economy and positive outlook.

As we wrap up 2015 there’s a lot to remember, and a lot for which to be thankful.

Making connections, providing resources and offering business leaders an opportunity to find one another, were 2015 hallmarks of the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce mission.

From the annual Small Business Conference & Expo at Bucks County Community College, Perkasie Campus in March to developing relationships and better business outcomes, UBCC is an active community member.

Regular business card networking opportunities provide a relaxed way for members to come together. Look for additional, new happy hours in 2016.

The annual June golf classic was another chance to meet and enjoy some relaxed time on the greens. This year’s Upper Bucks Foodie event in October, drew record numbers to the Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge dealership for an outstanding sold-out evening of great food and drink samplings, raffle baskets, and community bon ami.

Take advantage of online webinars and educational opportunities, free online training and staff development – it’s all available through the chamber.

We’re strengthening business relationships.

Throughout the year we’ve blogged and profiled area business leaders and entrepreneurs from food and home services industries, tech companies, manufacturers, a public school district and the area’s technical career school, among others.

Consistently, we hear and see demonstrated the small town charm associated with Quakertown, Perkasie, Sellersville and beyond. And recently, acceptance in the Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia program validated what generations living in Quakertown have known all along: The heart of Upper Bucks is a great place to call home.

Upper Bucks leaders, business owners and operators are savvy forward thinkers braced to face the challenges of living in a 21st Century world and economy.

For the first time the newest chamber business directory, Focused, was built from the ground up by chamber members.

Focused will premiere in January. In addition to the print copy of the directory, an online edition promises to be more engaging and interactive than ever before. Online, Focused will be easy to use and provides a launching pad for finding member businesses, and much more. It’s jam packed with information about the wealth of resources that make up our region, and offers our tips and picks for how to spend a day, a vacation, or to settle and live a lifetime.

As we look to better serve existing members and welcome new members, a photo contest for the next chamber directory could showcase your work. We’ll share more on how to submit photos in the New Year.

Among our New Year’s resolutions are continued growth of our membership and networking communities. In 2016, our goal is to grow membership to 1,000 from our current 600 – that’s an ambitious membership increase of roughly 40 percent.

You can help us reach the new member goal. Invite a business colleague, new business start-up or entrepreneurial friend to the next networking event.  Tell your non-chamber business contacts about the resources available to them, once they join the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce.

Don’t be shy. Take advantage of the benefits chamber membership, and a valued place in this diverse community, affords you.

UBCC Member Spotlight – Vince Randazzo, Dominick’s Pizza

This month, we shine the Member Spotlight on Dominicks’s Pizzeria owner and long-time Quakertown native, Vince Randazzo.

At Dominick’s Pizzeria, don’t be surprised if they know your name. “I have a lot of repeat customers who come in for the same meals on a set day. You get to know people that way. It’s kind of like ‘Cheers,’” said Vince Randazzo, second generation owner/operator of Dominick’s.

A Quakertown native, Randazzo continues steering Dominick’s, as he prepares to re-invigorate the former Karlton Theater building, while running additional businesses in nearby Bethlehem. Randazzo’s father purchased the business from a man named Dominick in 1969. Randazzo said his family kept the name, a nod to the former business owner and what would become an enduring community staple. “The most important thing about doing business in the community is building lasting and meaningful relations with those who live around you,” Randazzo explained. Randazzo, 38, along with sister Maryann Randazzo, operates the restaurant located at 327 West Broad St., in Quakertown’s downtown.

While Randazzo began working at Dominick’s as a teen – he was 15 years old – he’s been at the restaurant since his toddler years, a pattern he and wife Ashley (Yelland), are repeating with their own children. The couple’s two children, 19-month-old Guiliana and two-month-old Guiseppe, can often be found at the downtown eatery – after all there’s no place like home.

For Vince Randazzo, family and community mean everything. “My customers watched me grow up here and now they see my kids run around. They tell me they remember when that was me,” Randazzo said of his close-knit customer base. The Wooden Match and Artisan Wine & Cheese Cellar, both based in Bethlehem and Stone Tower Equities, based in Quakertown, area other businesses owned by Randazzo. He is the owner of the former Pregame Sports Bar and Grille, which he sold last year.

Having recently purchased the former Karlton Café building, home of Karlton Café restaurant, Randazzo said he plans to renovate the building, taking it back to its former glory days. The Karlton Café and adjacent Quakertown Army Navy store will remain, but the gold exchange retailer will not, according to Randazzo. After the renovation, office suites will be available on the second floor, and luxury apartments will be available on the third floor, Randazzo said. Façade improvements are set to being in spring on the 20,000- square-foot building, located on 308 and 310 Broad St. Randazzo is enthusiastic about downtown revitalization efforts, and praised Quakertown Alive! for hosting such festivals as Arts Alive! and the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

“The revitalization of downtown Quakertown is an important subject for our community. Not only can it increase foot-traffic to the downtown area and help local businesses, I think it would also create a greater sense of safety and pride,” Randazzo said. An Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce member for 16 years, Randazzo is also a member of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce for the past two years. On chamber membership, Randazzo is clear: “It’s like being on the 12-person field. You have a lot of support and a network. You learn from others. (Chamber) people are nice people, and they try to help each other out. It’s not always about making money,” Randazzo said.

Tis the season for counting blessings.

While Thanksgiving, the epitome of American festal holidays draws near, it’s a great time to count blessings – both personal and professional.

There are many ways to conduct business, but taking the time to join a professional organization, such as the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, reaps expected as well as unanticipated rewards.

Tom Merrick owner of Tom’s Help Desk based in Milford Township, said he first joined the chamber in 2005, as a way to meet other local business owners and get the word out about his brand new business venture.

“I joined the chamber because I knew that would be the best way for me to meet other business owners, to spread the word that I had a new computer repair business,” Merrick said in an email.

Merrick’s unknown start up now boasts more than 3,000 customers, and he recently opened a second location in Skippack, Montgomery County.

He credits much of his current success to the benefits of chamber membership.

Merrick’s involvement is set to ramp up, as he pays it forward by becoming chamber Board President in 2015.

“As I became more involved in committees, I realized that I could take a leadership role to help the chamber grow and be recognized by the community,” Merrick said.

“Since the chamber has helped my business to grow so much, I have always tried to give back,” Merrick said.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s autumn and you’re invited to the party.

Coppery maples, blazing oaks and abundant pumpkins mark the harvest season in Upper Bucks County.

It’s autumn and you’re invited to join the party.

The 9th annual Upper Bucks Foodie event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16, at Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge located at 501 N. West End Blvd., Quakertown.

Bob Haag, Sands general manager, said he loves entertaining and meeting people in the community.

“It’s a regular (hosting) event for us, and it’s great to see so many of the (community), come and visit us in this place we call our second home,” Haag said.

Along with legacy heritage family farms, the Foodie has become synonymous with the area’s colorful harvest season and abundant food and drink offerings.

Restaurant owners and chefs begin their day before the crack of dawn. Vineyard owners check their DeChanauc and Chambourcin grape clusters regularly with attention and care, waiting for the precise moment of harvest.

Preparation for the Foodie is no different.

Harvests can’t be rushed, and the Foodie has been months in the making to offer visitors a premier experience, complete with entertainment.

An invitation to come to the table has been made.

Sample what area purveyors have to offer. Network and meet business owners, and decision makers at the Foodie, a rich place to spend an October evening.

Come out Thursday evening, and sample the growing wine, beer and spirits-making boutique industries right here in Bucks and the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Meet Upper Bucks food industry shakers doing what they love best.

Tickets for the Foodie are on sale through the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce (buy them now and save $5) and benefit Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week and educational programming through the UBCC Foundation.

For tickets, visit the chamber offices located at 21 N. Main Street, Quakertown, or call 215-536-3211, or buy tickets online at www.ubcc.org

Like Santa’s December visit, the Foodie only comes once a year.

Don’t miss it!

If you go:
What: 9th annual Upper Bucks Foodie where over 25 area restaurants, wineries and breweries will be on hand

Where: Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge, 501 N. West End Blvd., Quakertown

When: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, with VIP tent access from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., (with VIP ticket).

Tickets cost $40 for general admission; $60 for VIP tent access, and distilled spirits sampling.

VIP Tickets just SOLD OUT!