It’s a new era for Dublin tourism.
The Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have merged their offices, allowing for one stop shopping for Dublinites and visitors alike. The organizations’ new home will be located at 111 Patrick Street.
The Chamber, previously located across Patrick Street, will be better able to serve local businesses. Karen Wright, executive director of the chamber, occupies the front part of the newly remodeled office and is excited about joining with the EDC.
“I hope that this merging of the offices will give me a chance to get out to see chamber members more,” Wright said.
The Chamber of Commerce assists with many things including providing insurance carriers for small businesses, helping with promotional or special events, promoting the town and making references when visitors call.
Wright has held her position with the chamber for a year and a half and feels that one of the biggest impacts the chamber has had on the community is their Dublin Dollars promotion.
“This is one of the most outstanding local promotions that we have conducted. We have about 45 businesses participating, and in May alone, we have redeemed over $1,000 from this promotion,” Wright said.
Sandy Reed has been the executive director of the EDC for eight years and couldn’t be happier with the move that brought her from East Blackjack Street all the way to the forefront of Dublin.
“I’ve been just giddy about this. It’s like I’ve married a millionaire and moved into a mansion,” said Reed.
She said the EDC is a taxpayer supported entity that collects a half cent sales tax, then funnels the money back into the community through grants and advertising. The EDC works to find space for new businesses to enter the community and provides incentives for new businesses and homeowners. The EDC also works with a marketing budget to bring a higher profile to Dublin.
“The merger of these two offices is just natural and practical. This arrangement will work out a lot better,” Reed said.
The move, an idea by Robert Burns of Embarq, has had local business owners picking out paint colors, local students helping haul boxes and people donating needed items. Access Voice and Data, Inc. donated a phone system to the office and Dublin National Bank donated some furniture for the building, lending evidence to what Wright has called a “community effort.”
The first meeting for the Chamber of Commerce has already taken place in its new home and was a great success.
“We had so much more room, plenty to accommodate all of the attendees,” Wright said.
Previously, meetings were held at the council chambers in City Hall, due to the lack of space in the old office suite.