People are often confused about what a chamber of commerce does.
Common misconceptions are that we are a government entity or that we are a travel agency that provides visitor information about other areas of the state or country. Neither of these are true, but like most small-town chambers, we do wear many hats.
The mission of the Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce reads: “The Centerville Area Chamber of Commerce is an action-oriented, volunteer organization of individuals and businesses working together to advance economic growth and promote and preserve the community assets and a positive business climate.”
We are a private not-for-profit organization that serves its members and the community. Businesses choose to join the Chamber by paying dues, which is our major source of income. In turn, we promote these members through our member directory, tourism brochure boxes and listings in brochures and on our website. We advertise retail events for our members and facilitate communication between members. Members are also invited to participate in Chamber events and network with other members. The Chamber is led by a 12-member board. Members serve three-year terms.
We work very closely with many partners including the City of Centerville, Appanoose County, Appanoose Economic Development, Centerville Historic Preservation, Appanoose Historical Society, Moravia Historical Society, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rathbun Lake and others.
We serve the community by sponsoring and organizing events such as Pancake Day. The Chamber Ambassadors serve as the official welcoming committee for Centerville by greeting new businesses and holding ribbon cutting ceremonies. We also serve as sort of an information and referral center for the community, directing people to right place. We coordinate the American flags, banners, holiday lights, Santa’s house and events that occur in the bandshell.
Each year, the Chamber sends out thousands of brochures and information packets to people interested in visiting or relocating to Appanoose County. Our website is extremely active, getting about 900,000 hits each year.
This is just a small portion of what we do every year. Members who are more involved realize a greater benefit. Regardless of whether your business is a Chamber member or not, we encourage you to be active and involved in the community.Centerville Chamber of Commerce, 128 N. 12th St., Centerville, 641-437-4102, www.centerville-ia.com.