SEASIDE - New Seaside Chamber of Commerce members got a quick lesson in chamber benefits Friday.

"Chamber 101" introduced new members to networking and advertising opportunities. All are designed to help promote members' businesses and foster community business awareness.

"We are a business advocacy voice to local, state, regional, and sometimes, even federal government," said Executive Director Ken Meiser. "You don't see that every day, but the Chamber is out there, fighting for you."

One of the newest benefits is a bulk mailing service. The Chamber has a bulk mail permit and members may use the permit to send 200 or more pieces of mail to customers and clients. The permit lowers the postage rate to approximately 25 cents per piece of mail, instead of the normal 37-cent first-class rate. There is also a 2-cent-per-piece fee to help pay for the permit and administration costs. Members also have access to the Chamber's mailing list which includes phone and fax numbers and e-mail addresses.

"This is probably one of the most under-used benefits we have," said Executive Assistant and Event Director Julie Stallsworth. "It's a great way to get out information about your business and promotions and it saves money."

"Chamber After Hours" is another benefit that helps promote business and awareness. The event is held at a host business and brings Chamber members together to familiarize them with the business and other members. It is usually held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays in the second or third week of the month, Stallsworth said.

Other benefits include links from the Chamber's Web site, business referrals from the Chamber office, grand opening events, a monthly newsletter and special advertising opportunities in national tourist magazines and brochures.

Donna Glendinning is a business consultant who recently moved from Florida to Gearhart. She works primarily with small business owners, helping them to establish a business structure and a personal schedule. She joined the Chamber because it will help her market her new business.

"It will also help me learn about my new city and area," she said. "I will get to meet new people with similar interests."

Annual membership dues start at $50 per year. For more information about the Seaside Chamber of Commerce, call 738-6391.


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