WELCOME TO YOUR FIRST-EVER TWIN CITY AREA CHAMBER E-NEWSLETER!
Welcome to our first issue! We are very excited to launch this newsletter which will inform and inspire you on a monthly basis with all things business in the Twin City Area!
As you know, your Chamber made a commitment to ‘going digital’ to bring you the latest news quickly and in a timely manner. This initiative started with the new website and a social media facelift. The team also implemented a unique digital approach to Twin City Days this year that featured an online, mobile-friendly schedule of events. Event-goers loved the easy access via their mobile phones, tablets and laptops! And now, the Chamber e-NEWsletter!
I have taken the liberty of signing you up for this newsletter as you are already a Chamber member. In this first issue you’ll find a recap of Twin City Days, Business Tips, and our Chamber Spotlight features the Festus Tourism Commission. The Quick Links buttons will speed you to information about member benefits, subscribing and sharing the newsletter, and contacting your Chamber.
Welcome and enjoy your first e-NEWSletter!
TWIN CITY DAYS 2021 RECAP –
Picture Perfect Event Yields Plenty of ‘Kodak Moments’!
Picture-perfect weather set the stage for thousands of guests to enjoy nearly 40 event opportunities including games, food, music, and so much more! Did you have a favorite?
On behalf of the Twin City Area Chamber of Commerce thank you to our Community, Volunteers and Sponsors for making Twin City Days 2021 a success! Backed by picture-perfect weather, thousands of guests enjoyed nearly 40 event opportunities including games, food, music, and so much more! There were favorites that have been around since the beginning of this hallmark event… as well as new, family-focused options to explore.
After a year of our community not being able to attend public gatherings, Twin City Days served as a welcomed ‘breath of fresh air’ for all to enjoy. Everyone was ready for some good wholesome fun… and the community came out to support the events. Click here for pictures.
In addition to the Twin City Area community, we are proud to again salute our fabulous volunteers and sponsors who made this a memorable event for all!
Thank you for all you do!
CHAMBER SPOTLIGHT – FESTUS TOURISM COMMISSION –
Festus Tourism Commission Supports and Promotes Area Business and Community!
Tourism is a powerful asset that benefits both businesses and members of the community. It can help boost the revenue of the economy, create thousands of jobs, develop the area’s infrastructure, and plant a sense of cultural exchange between visitors and citizens.
The Festus Tourism Commission is no exception to making a positive impact—focused wholly on supporting and promoting area businesses and enhancing the quality of life for the community. Greg Camp, Administrator for the City of Festus, kindly shared his thoughts with us recently about the features and benefits of the Festus Tourism Commission.
Overview of the Festus Tourism Commission
The Festus Tourism Commission (FTC) was established based on an overnight tax at our local hotels to help promote and support tourism for Festus. The Commission provides funding for events like Twin City Days but we also use it to promote Festus and of course coming to visit Festus.The Commission is made up of 5 volunteer members - of the (5) members, one (1) member will be a representative of the hotel and motel industry; two (2) members shall be active in the tourism industry; and two (2) members will be members of local general business interests in the City or County. They are responsible for the disbursement of revenue generated by the 5% Tourism Tax approved by Festus voters in 2012. www.cityoffestus.org/287/Tourism-Commission.
Q: WHO IS IT FOR?
A: While the tax was created specifically for Festus, at the end of the day because tourism is supported by the revenue from the room tax at the local hotels it does have a positive impact on surrounding areas too. For example, we recently had an event at the I-55 Raceway in Pevely—one of their biggest events of the year. The Tourism Commission supported advertising for that event. While attendees come to enjoy the event at the raceway, they also stayed, dined and shopped within our extended community during that weekend.
Q: WHEN and HOW ARE FUNDS DISBURSED?
A: The commission meets twice a year in August and December. Prior to these meetings applicants can go to the City of Festus website and complete a Tourism Funding Application. All of the applications are then presented to the Commission. Those who are requesting funding are invited to make their presentations to the Commission. The Commission will then follow up with a public meeting that includes discussion, review and award funding. The process is repeated in December. The Commission works 6 to 8 months in advance of proposed events or promotions. The process is open, transparent and the process is easy. We attract a wide range of applicants. For example, a coach from a local school district produced a ‘coaches’ symposium’ for participants from across the country that came in and spoke to the local student athletes.
Q: EXAMPLES of HOW THE COMMISSION HELPS IMPROVE the SETTING for BUSINESS/THE COMMUNITY?
A: A good example is Main & Mill Brewing Company located on Main Street who recently had their 6th Annual ‘Street Fest’ celebration. Two blocks of Main Street were host to live music on two stages, beer that M&MBC showcase and sell throughout the year, and delicious food. Other businesses on Main Street enjoyed awareness and business opportunities throughout the day. For this event, Tourism provided funding for advertising in leading ‘out of market’ periodicals such as 573, GO! and Feast magazines, promotion, the cost of the bands, stages and equipment. Tourism covered the cost of the band that came and played on Saturday night out at Larry G. Crites Memorial Park during Twin City Days. These are two current examples of initiatives that Tourism performed to help support impactful events.
Q: HAVE YOU SEEN RESULTS from THE ADVERTISING?
A: The advertising has definitely enhanced general awareness of the venues and things to do in Festus. One of the ways that we achieve measurables is by working with our media partner who owns one of the local radio stations. They have a ‘geo-fencing program’ that we’ve used at other communities’ events to help promote our events. If there is something similar to an upcoming event in Festus that is taking place in Cape, Perryville or Soulard, we’ll geofence those events so that individuals with a smart device can receive our content and messaging. This gives us something measurable because we receive a report on the number of clicks that we achieve from that particular event.
Q: BENEFITS of TOURISM?
A: The stability of our community’s existing businesses and the strength of those businesses is important—especially given what we have endured these last 18 months. The jobs that are associated and affiliated with those businesses that didn’t have to close that didn’t have to shut their doors, and obviously the families that are connected to those jobs and how important that is so having that strength in the community is important. Larger than that is quality of life. When you are looking at it from the individual’s or family’s point of view and saying, “Ok, this is an attractive community with a lot going on and it looks like a great place to raise a family.” From the business side the appeal for those new businesses is that they see a stable community that has a lot going on and has a lot to offer, and because of that it is a place that they want to be because they know that their employees want the stability that comes with a community where they can enjoy a good, safe place to live. An additional benefit for businesses is in the area of recruiting—they know they will have talented and well-qualified people that they are going to be able to draw from as well.
Q: FUNDS ALLOCATED by the COMMISSION?
A: As hotel stays were down in 2020 due to COVID, the amount that the commission felt comfortable with allocating was reduced. The approved amount in August of 2021 was $178,340. This will help support business and community activities that can include pickle ball tournaments, Mead on Main, Firecracker Festival, Car Cruises, Boot Camp—Zumba and exercises in the park, marketing campaigns, Blues/Funk festival, Swinging Under the Stars big band performance, and more!
Q: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT BUSINESS OWNERS AND THE COMMUNITY SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE COMMISSION?
A: BUSINESS OWNERS
Most businesses are driven by traffic or head count. With the Tourism Commission’s intent of promoting the community and events within the community, it’s trying to bring people to Festus and expose them to those things that are in Festus. At a minimum we want to expose new prospects to your business. It’s up to the business owner to get them through the door, hopefully ‘wow’ them, and deliver their product or service, but at least we can help get them to the door. I think that’s an important step in the process.
For the citizen, it’s quality of life. What Tourism is able to support are events that may not happen if the Tourism Commission was not here—or they wouldn’t happen on the same scale. There are things that happen during the year, that if you are a resident of Festus, there are things for you to do and places for you to go that don’t necessarily require you to drive to St. Louis or to Cape. But more importantly for those folks, from South St. Louis to Perryville or Farmington, there are things in Festus for you to do that your community may not be able to offer you that we are able to offer you because the Tourism Commission exists.
A: SURROUNDING AREA BUSINESSES and COMMUNITIES
Most businesses and residents of the Twin/Quad cities and southern Jefferson County probably couldn’t tell you where Festus ends and Crystal City begins. At the end of the day they really shouldn’t have to. They just know that there are business and entertainment opportunities that happen that they can embrace and take their business associate or family member to—and it’s happening in their community. Whether they are coming from Pevely, Perryville or Ste. Genevieve, there are opportunities that they can take advantage of that the Commission has made possible. It’s a short drive away.
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADD?
A: Come to Festus! Since the Tourism Commission has been active we have seen an increase in businesses coming to Festus. The business owners, staff and families are now proud to call the area home!
Greg Camp has served Festus since 2017, after serving Desloge, Missouri for nearly 20 years as an Alderman, Mayor and City Administrator. Greg is a Credentialed Manager from the International City Manager's Association (ICMA), is a member of ICMA and the Missouri City Manager's Association (MCMA), and serves on the finance and taxation advisory committee for the Missouri Municipal League (MML).
YOUR BUSINESS ADVANTAGE
Big Brands Share Counterintuitive Expert Tips for Business Growth.
According to a recent article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “During tough economic times, instead of slashing your budget consider these strategies with your business.” Executives from S’well, Jersey Mike’s, Verizon and Toshiba share insights on the seemingly questionable strategies that yielded tangible benefits for their companies and customers. ·
• S’well: Give products away for free to build good will with consumers and summon buzz.
Sarah Kauss, founder and executive chairwoman·
• Jersey Mike’s: During tough economic times, instead of slashing your budget, invest in your brand.
Hoyt Jones, president·
• Verizon: Recognize that an engaging customer experience can sometimes be delivered better virtually than in person.
Wendy Taccetta, senior vice president for nationwide and small business and channel chief·
• Toshiba Global Communications Systems: Take the ‘four Ps of marketing’ with a grain of salt.
Fredrik Carlegren, vice president of marketing.
What ‘disruptive’ business strategies did you implement successfully during the pandemic?Like to share with your colleagues at the Chamber? Send your business tactic success story to Tonda at the Chamber to include in a future publication!
Would you like to learn more about the U.S. Chamber story above? CLICK HERE.
1600 Parkway West
Festus, MO 63028
3494 Jeffco Blvd.
Arnold, MO 63010
661 Jeffco Boulevard
Arnold, MO 63010
Rodney & Mary Thompson Festus-Crystal Monument Co
Imperial, MO 63052
Vantage Credit Union
332 Festus Centre Dr.
Festus, MO 63028
Members 1st Credit Union
1200 E Gannon Drive
Festus, MO 63028
300 S. Truman Boulevard
Crystal City, MO 63019
2731 Lucas Ln.
Festus, MO 63028
311 W Main St.
Festus, MO 63028
Dittmer, MO 63023
Members 1st Credit Union
1200 E Gannon Dr
Festus, MO 63028