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Riverview Chamber given larger space as it continues to grow

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image Debbie Kirkland and Sandy Rounds help Tanya Doran, Riverview Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, center, put away boxes of paperwork and files. Photo Penny Fletcher

The Riverview Chamber of Commerce wasn’t looking for larger space. Executive Director Tanya Doran said it was a great gift and cost them nothing.

By PENNY FLETCHER

RIVERVIEW - The Riverview Chamber of Commerce wasn’t looking for larger space. Executive Director Tanya Doran said it was a great gift and cost them nothing.

The owner of Boardwalk and Park Place, two business parks on Gibsonton Drive in Riverview, Dr. Bryan Thatcher, called the chamber when a space across from where it was previously located became available.

It offered an extra private office, a longer hall, and larger kitchen facilities.

“At first I wasn’t sure moving would be worth it for an extra 200 square feet,” said Doran. “But when I looked at the layout, I realized it would enable us to take one of the front desks out of the lobby so that could just be a reception area. That way it would be more conducive to businesses to converse with chamber staff in private.”    
So volunteers moved furniture, file cabinets, computers, shelves and other belongings over the weekend into a new office (still in the Boardwalk plaza) with the mailing and physical address of 10012 Water Works Lane, Riverview, FL 33578.

Just east of Interstate 75 and west of U.S. 301 on the south side, the 800-square-foot office has also some upgraded features thanks to helpful volunteers.

“Chamber President Ed Booth and a host of volunteers brought in their families to lift and carry things so movers would not be necessary,” Doran said.

Specialties were utilized, like Joe Eletto switching the handle on the refrigerator so it would open correctly in its new space and CTG Commercial Technical Group loaning the chamber a computer screen that continuously delivers a slide show of advertising of all the chamber’s businesses to put on the front desk in the lobby.

“It’s a whole new look,” said Doran. “And the longer hallway gives us a good place to display all our awards and old photographs.” (A large collection of South County landmarks in black-and-white line one whole side of the hall wall.)

Thatcher, a retired medical doctor, said his father set a good example for him when he was a child in Ohio. “He always taught me to support my community,” Thatcher said in a telephone interview Oct. 10.”

As it turned out, the difference between 600-square-feet and 800 makes a big difference, Doran said.

The chamber is growing fast, having taken in 224 new members so far this year, making a total of 551. (Membership was at 400 when last year ended but some people went out of business so the numbers don’t show proper addition.)

While there are varying rates for businesses, homeowners associations get a free membership and individual residents may join for $55 a year.

“We do that because we want to keep in close contact with residents of the community,” Doran said.

Since there is strength in numbers, if an HOA has a problem that is best approached by a government entity- perhaps a County Commissioner- being a part of a chamber brings in a myriad of people who may be able to help.

“At this time we only have 15 individual resident members,” Doran said. “I certainly would like to encourage residents to join and take part.”

She said many people do not know they can join the chamber if they are not in business and that it helps keep individual residents “in the know.” It also gives them a chance to meet people who have various services they may need at some time in the future.

“I would like to see the number of individuals join and take advantage of all the benefits, events and seminars we have,” Doran said.

Most of the monies earned at chamber events go to things that bring helpful knowledge to businesses, she added.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the Riverview Chamber of Commerce may visit www.riverviewchamber.com/pages/Home/.
 
  

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