Mixing up their regular noon luncheon meeting schedule the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce has held several after work mixers that have proven to be very popular according Soldotna Chamber board president, Wells Fargo business banker Steve Manley. “The main topic of conversation here tonight is the coming summer economy. This is different than our normal luncheon and gives people an opportunity to relax in a less structured format and enjoy some free flowing dialog and get hear ideas from people they might not get a chance to talk to during a noon meeting when everyone has to get back to work,” said Manley. With the broad base of businesses represented at the Duck Inn mixer topics of conservation ranged from waste collection to the summer salmon run to tourism and what is showing at the Orca Theatre. “The travel industry looks like it is poised for a record year for visitors which is bright spot for the economy and there are other bright spots too, they may not get the headlines the way the budget shortfall and low price of oil does but there are lots of good things out there and overall we are looking for a very good summer economy. While there may be some areas that will see downturns, we are a diversified economy and I am confident that our area will weather any downturns and the upside will balance and outpace the downside,” he said.
The purpose of the Chamber according to Manley is the small business entrepreneur, the service industries to the major corporations and providing them with information and skills to maximize their businesses, “Coming up we have our Chamber benefit breakfast where we will outline all of the benefits that come with membership and there are many of them. Our staff is well trained and know those benefits well so they can explain to our members how they can deliver value to their business, which is important in this day and age when things are changing so rapidly that the business person take advantage of every service that can maximize value to their business and return on every dollar they invest,” said Manley. Another focus of the Chamber is their website that receives thousands of hits from folks interested in visiting or moving to Alaska, “We have a re-location guide providing information of all kinds to anyone looking to either visit or do business in Soldotna as well as our outreach on social media. We appreciate the Duck Inn hosting us tonight Scott and Leah Rosin are great examples of the small business family that is always there to give back to the community which is a key to a successful business large or small they are great Chamber members,” said Manley.