Break Your Routine!

Anyone that has driven the Evelyn Gandy Parkway to the intersection on I-59 has seen the incredible developments. Plus, we will soon be experiencing changes on East Hardy to South Main Street. Join us on Wednesday, October 9, as we hear from our Southern Transportation Commissioner about these new developments and what they will mean for Petal. The luncheon will be at the Petal Civic Center from 12;00-1:00 pm

Most importantly, joining us at a Lunch and Learn offers you a break from the routine. Professional networking events are not an everyday occurrence in most people’s lives. Typically, they represent a break from your routine, which can be powerful in its own right. By stepping away from the day-to-day, you may find the change of scenery refreshing. Plus, your exposure to different professionals and the presence of learning opportunities may spark your creativity, helping you to innovate and solve problems that previously plagued you.

The opportunity to meet with like- minded business professionals is a perk to your chamber membership. Please take advantage of it and bring an associate to learn about what is happening in our city.

 

Why join the ole Petal Chamber?

The Chamber of Commerce is a thing of the past, right?  After all, it’s older than the city! It’s been around since 1962  A thing of the past… far from it!

Although the digital age has changed the way business has been done, the fact remains the local businesses rely on its locals. Without too much digging, you’ll find plenty of arguments and exciting reasons to keep on keepin’ on!!

Here are some of the best reasons for why all business owners should join The Petal Area Chamber of Commerce today.

Look More Trustworthy

The Chamber of Commerce might be a holdover from analogue days, but much like Consumer Reports, it’s still one people trust. Plain and simple, the biggest edge Chamber of Commerce Membership gives your business is instilling consumer confidence.

Help Make Important Decisions

By serving on committees or the board of directors, you can directly influence the course of business events in Petal. This goes one step further than simply grabbing the ear of government … you can be part of the government.

Keep Up to Date on Trends

Business developments in Petal are a must-know, but many business owners find themselves sadly out of touch due to the fact that they just aren’t tied to the community closely enough. Avoid this fate by joining up and participating in our monthly Lunch & Learn.

Up Awareness of Your Business

Sometimes you don’t get new customers because people simple aren’t aware you exist. If you want to reduce the number of people represented in this group, joining the Chamber of Commerce is a good way to go, because it puts you on the map, literally. Take a look at our interactive digital map on the chamber website.

Encourage Consumers to Do Business with You

Consumers are significantly more likely to use your services once you have the Chamber of Commerce stamp of approval. We’re not talking a little bit more likely; we’re talking 50 to 60 percent more likely, according to varied numbers from Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Increase the Chances of Customers Purchasing Your Products

Not only are consumers more likely to use your services, they are a full 80 percent more likely to buy your products, according to the same report.

Get Featured

The Petal Area chamber of commerce provides relocation packet to families moving to Petal. It contains information on schools, parks and recreation, and all the usual, but these welcome packets also contain a listing our member businesses. That could be your name getting sent to every newbie in town.

Take a Startup Step

One of the biggest benefits of joining is that you don’t need to have met any requirements to do so. That means brand new businesses can get started right away, all for the low cost of membership. While there is an application process, almost everyone gets accepted if they have a real business.

.Form Relationships

Opportunities come from strange quarters. Forming relationships with the other movers and shakers in Petal can generate everything from clients to new business ventures to advertising to awesome employees.

Gain Industry Leadership Status

Big dogs join the Chamber of Commerce; it’s simply a fact. If you want to be seen as a leader, this is a step to take.

Integrate Yourself into the Community

When the residents of Petal know you to be part of its heart, they’ll want to engage with you even more.

Save on Marketing

Especially if you’re a small startup, your marketing budget is likely limited. The amount of free publicity you get through a Chamber membership just makes financial sense.

Get the Powerful on Your Side

The established figures in Petal can’t help you out if they don’t know who you are. Chamber membership is a quick, easy and enjoyable way to remedy that.

Cultivate Referrals

Referrals are the lifeblood of most service-based businesses, and you can never have too many.

Get the Skinny on the Competition

The good news AND bad news of joining the Petal Chamber of Commerce is that you’ll be right in there with your competition. Sure, this may at times be uncomfortable or even downright unpleasant, but it isn’t a bad thing. Close proximity to your competition gives you an edge, because you can see how they do what they do.

Enjoy Low-Cost Continuing Education

Many small businesses, especially new startups, can’t afford the cost of attending a well-known conference or hiring training professionals … or even paying for online courses. Luckily, the Petal Chamber frequently hosts trainings on a wide variety of business topics, giving you a low-cost alternative.

Edge Out the Competition

Belong to the Chamber of Commerce can give you the leg up you need to outperform the competition, especially considering the increased trust you earn from consumers, and therefore their increased willingness to work with you.

Increase Your SEO

There are, of course, also digital benefits to a membership. When you join the Chamber of Commerce, your business gets linked not only from the Chamber’s page, but from the pages of many participating members, who will list you for events you’re hosting or sponsoring. The result is a lot of links back to your site, which tells Google you’re important.

Next time you’re wondering whether the good ol’ Chamber is worth it, stop yourself in your tracks and just get that membership. Then make the most of it, meeting and greeting, participating in events and doing everything you can to get your business venture out into the world. You might be surprised at the results this “antiquated” business strategy is still capable of generating. To your success!

 

A trip to the Farmers Market provides a great way to spend time together as a family. It’s easy to enjoy each others company when you’re doing something healthy. With little kids you can play fun games like finding food that’s different colors or shapes. With older kids try a scavenger hunt and offer a family prize if the goal is hit.

It may take a little work (and a bribe or two) but the market can be a fun family outing. Who knows, you may end up creating one of those fond memories that your kids can carry and pass on to their kids. How great would that be!

The growing number of farmers markets in the United States gives us hope. They serve not only as a way for people to purchase local food but also as a chance for them to connect with others within their communities. Buying local promotes a sense of pride in your home town.

Farmers markets allow you to teach your kids that they can make a difference by voting with their dollars. When you shop at a large grocery store chain, a fraction of your dollars stay local. Supporting local farmers keeps the money in your community where it can be reinvested for the good of the town.

Contribute to our community by joining us at the Petal Farmers Market.

 

STAR SPANGLED CELEBRATION ON THE RIVER

We are in the final stages of planning for the “Star Spangled Celebration on the River by Coca-Cola.” This seeds of this project started in July of 2017 during a discussion with Andrea Saffle, director of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association. Andrea and I (Valerie) were considering events that we could sponsor together to promote our cities and our organizations in a mutually beneficial way. “FIREWORKS!” Everyone loves fireworks! And so it began.

This event has taken on a life of its own. Thanks to our generous sponsors, Coca-Cola, The First, City of Petal, City of Hattiesburg and Forrest County Board of Supervisors we were able to launch the event and reach out to additional sponsors. On Tuesday, July 3 from 5:00-10:00 pm there will be live music, food vendors, kid’s inflatables, and more at the Petal River Park and Hattiesburg’s Chain Park, culminating in a grand fireworks display at 9:00.

Here are some practical suggestions to make your evening more enjoyable. There will be secure parking on the Petal side of the river at the old fairgrounds location for $5.00 (cash only) per vehicle. This will be the closest location to the event for parking. It may fill up quickly. It would be great if area churches would use their small buses to transport groups from the church parking lot to the park.

It will be HOT. There’s no way around it. Dress appropriately and don’t forget the sunscreen. The Petal River Park is on the river in the Deep South… there will be mosquitoes! Bring repellant if you want to ward off the nasty critters. Ice chests are allowed, however, it may be difficult to carry them from parking locations. We will have lots of food and beverage vendors in the park to handle your hunger and thirst! Small tents are acceptable but they will need to be taken down prior to the fireworks in order to allow great viewing for all guests. Lawn chairs and blankets are allowed and encouraged.

The Petal side of the river will be alcohol free. The Hattiesburg side will be selling beer. If that makes a difference, choose your side accordingly.

Most importantly, for this event to grow and become an annual tradition, we need to support it! Please support the sponsors and thank them! Support the vendors so they will come back. Support the volunteers, police, firefighters, and city personnel that are critical for success. Spread the word and enjoy the fireworks!

June Farmer’s Market

The first Farmer’s Market of the year was held on April 21 with over 35 vendors selling their wares. On May 19, the market had grown to over 50 vendors on site. The June Farmer’s Market will be held on June 16, the day before Father’s Day. This will be the largest market to date with vendors still signing up and will also feature an antique car show plus live entertainment.

In fact,  Central Avenue in front of the market will be closed to traffic to provide a safer and more enjoyable experience. The car show will be held in the parking lot in front of the Petal Middle School gymnasium and the market will be directly across the street. Special entertainment for the kids, and the young at heart, will feature Unkle Hokum and band. Feel free to bring a lawn chair to enjoy the concert.

It’s exciting to see so many people in downtown Petal enjoying the market and the experience. It’s our hope that the market will continue to grow and flourish. Special thanks goes to Tabitha Burden of Grand Central Outfitters for opening her doors, literally, to help organize the market. More thanks to Charlotte Ford of Laughing Doves Farm for her expertise and help organizing. And, many thanks to the volunteers from the Petal Jaycees for their help every week. Rev. Bill Burk of Calvary Baptist Church, thank you for your help. Most importantly, thanks to the City of Petal, Mayor Marx, the Petal Aldermen, Police and Fire Departments, Recreation Dept. and Street Department for their support.

Get ready for the biggest event of the year!

It’s been too long since we have had a 4th of July fireworks celebration in Petal.  We WILL have one this year and it will be bigger and better than ever because we will be joining our friends across the river.  For the first time in recent memory, the City of Petal, the City of Hattiesburg and the Forrest County Board of Supervisors are sponsoring an event together along with presenting sponsor Coca Cola.  The Star Spangled Celebration on the River is organized by the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce and the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association with a goal to bring visitors from across the area to our cities and to offer a first class, family friendly event for all to enjoy.

It is a truly unique event offering two locations across the river from each other.  Let’s call it dueling fireworks!  In Hattiesburg the event is located at Chain Park and in Petal it will be at the Petal River Park.  Each side of the river will have live music, food vendors, beverages and each side will have a simultaneous fireworks display over the river at 9:00 pm.  One difference is that the Petal side of the river will remain alcohol free while the Hattiesburg side will have beer sales on site.

From the chamber’s point of view, this is about more than fireworks.  It’s about two cities and the county cooperating together.  It’s about promoting a great natural resource, the Leaf River.  It’s about introducing visitors to Chain Park and the Petal River Park. Both are wonderful parks that are virtually unknown and under utilized.  It’s about the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce and the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association joining forces to organize an event that is all inclusive and which benefits both cities and organizations.  Finally, it’s about pride.  Pride for our country, our state, our county, our cities and our quality of life here.

Sponsorships are available for the celebration as well as opportunities for select vendors.  Call the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce for more information.  601-583-3306.

 

 

It’s what you’ve been waiting for!

The revival of the Petal Farmer’s market is apparently what many have been waiting for.  Over 30 vendors were on hand for the first market of 2018.  It was a smashing success!  The amazing thing is that the fresh produce is still yet to come.  Cool weather this spring has delayed many crops.  But, that didn’t bother the hundreds that came to the market last week.

The Petal fire department brought the BIG firetruck for the kid’s to explore. Live rabbits and chickens brought smiles to all of the children and the variety of booths brought smiles to their parents.  Live music and food vendors rounded out a wonderful day of family friendly fun.

Plan on the market expanding every week and make it a part of your plans for the 3rd Saturday of the month.   More produce and vendors will be coming on board as the season progresses.

Petal Farmer’s Market – It’s Back!

WOW!  Petal is excited about the return of our Farmer’s Market.  There will be a few changes to the market….for the better we hope.  Not only will the market offer fresh produce and products from locally grown fruits and vegetables, but it will also offer art, crafts, homemade soaps, food vendors, entertainment and more!  It will also be much more visible.  The new location is on Central Avenue directly across the street from the Petal Middle School gymnasium.

The market will be open on the 3rd Saturday of each month beginning on April 21 and lasting through the growing season.  On April 21, the Petal Fire Department will have a fire truck on hand for children to investigate.  Also, look for the live animals for the kids to see.  Every weekend will have unique activities for the family to enjoy.

Help us grow the market by supporting the vendors and visiting every weekend.  The market welcomes church and civic groups that would like to sell items for fundraising.  Those interested in participating as a vendor can pick up an application at Grand Central Outfitters located at 126 E. Central Avenue.  You can also call the chamber office to have a form emailed to you.  See you at the market!

Petal Chamber and Petal Jaycees Partner together

The Petal Area Chamber of Commerce and Petal Jaycees have announced a new partnership.  The Petal Jaycees will act as the official Junior Chamber and Young Professionals Network for the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce.

This partnership will help us to create a more engaged and active group of young professional in our Chamber and community.  The Petal Area chamber of Commerce recognizes the need for leadership and growth opportunities for young professionals in the Petal area. It also realizes that the Jaycee organization was founded to do just that, as the Junior Chamber (JC) it promotes the leadership skills within each member utilizing Management, Individual, Community and Membership development. Rather that duplicating the programs that the Jaycee organization has 97 years of history in accomplishing these goals, the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce would like to promote the Petal Jaycee chapter as its Young Professional program in order to develop the future leaders of Petal, as well as to support an organization that commits to the betterment of our community.

The Petal Jaycees are actively recruiting young citizens ages 18-40 with energy and insight to become a part of their organization.  

This partnership is going to be a valuable benefit to members of both organizations.  It will provide many opportunities to the up-and-coming generation of business and community leaders while providing meaningful relationships with the established network of Chamber members.  The Petal Jaycees will have access to all chamber events to promote the Jaycee organization.  In addition, the chamber will help promote the Petal Jaycee events through its website, Facebook, and newsletter.

The Petal Jaycees will make a yearlong commitment to a community project in Petal and donate at least 50 hours of service throughout the year.  It’s definitely a  WIN-WIN situation.  Interested individuals may call 601-909-8022 for more information.  You may also find them on Facebook at Petal Jaycees.

We are looking forward to working together for Petal!

It’s Time to Put Petal on the Map

Actually, it’s time for Petal to have a new city map.  The chamber office and city hall are completely out of maps and have been for quite a while.  The chamber board of directors have discussed this issue several times over the past 4 years.  It was the consensus that people don’t use printed maps anymore. We believed that instead they rely on GPS technology to get them from point A to point B.  However, that is not the case.  The chamber office has had consistent requests for a city map for the past few years.

The fact is that a map is not about how to get from one point to another.  People look at maps to get an overview of the entire area.  They want to get familiarized.

So, we are moving ahead with the publication of a new map.  But wait, this project will have some additional perks that keep up with newer technologies.  There will be an interactive iMap for mobile devices. Anyone can use the iMap to find restaurants, shopping areas, local parks and recreation areas.  Advertisers in the digital GoGuide® will be linked to their website, giving readers one-click access to your business.

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with Lunar Cow Publishing, a firm specializing in marketing, for the 2018 Petal Area Chamber of Commerce Map. We are excited about the opportunities this new map will offer to our local businesses.  The 2018 Petal Area Chamber of Commerce Map is a primary fulfillment piece for chamber inquiries and will be the first resource that many visitors, community and business members use when planning a visit or move to the Petal area.   Click on the link below for more  information and a rate chart.  Get your business on the map!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A RATE CARD!