Chambers boost local economy
The Poplarville and Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce provide much more than just member benefits to area businesses. The chambers provide information to both individuals and businesses looking to relocate, host awards banquets for police and fire departments and boost the economy by attracting visitors to the communities by hosting events or festivals among other things.
“All of our organizations host events and/or festivals to provide recreation/socialization, culture/education and general tourism development, which also provide an economic impact on our community,” said Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce Director April Lovelace.
Poplarville Chamber President and Alderwoman Maggie Smith agreed with Lovelace and said, “The Poplarville Area Chamber of Commerce feels that there are many areas which the Chamber is integral in helping local businesses succeed and grow, thereby contributing to the economy. These include successful chamber sponsored activities, partnerships, and a diverse chamber board of directors.”
In addition to the Annual Chamber Banquet Awards which is combined with the Fireman and Policeman’s Award Banquet, the Picayune Chamber hosts The Krewe of the Pearl Mardi Gras Parade and the Krewe of the Pearl Mardi Gras Ball. The chamber also hosts an annual Merchant’s Trick or Treat which grows substantially every year in both footprint and attendance.
The Poplarville Chamber hosts an annual Easter Egg Hunt; annual “trash to treasure” sale; Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat; Christmas Parade; a Christmas tree walk provided on the downtown green by local businesses and schools with activities planned every Saturday in December and a Ping Pong Drop which has been recently revived by local merchants to provide shoppers an exciting means for discounts and cash from local merchants and chamber members.
There are many ways to measure economic impact, and growth may not always be shown through increased money.
“Economic impact is not always evident in cash flow,” said Lovelace. “However, events and festivals have year-round benefits and can create stimulus for improved retailing and service industries. Benefits of festivals in our community can be exciting, particularly when the draw is from outside of the region.”