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
Greetings of the Thankful Season!
It’s hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us. It feels like we were just recently enjoying one of the wonderful events at Twin City Days… when in fact it was nearly two months ago. As November ushers in all of the hustle and bustle of planning, shopping and entertaining there are a few things we can all pause and give thanks for.
First and foremost, we must give thanks for our veterans both on Veteran’s Day November 11th, and every day throughout the year. Our freedom is something we should always be grateful for—with our thanks to the fine men and women who have served throughout history.
We can certainly be thankful for our first responders—those brave men and women who serve with our police, fire, EMT, and healthcare providers. Words cannot express how indebted the community is to you.
On Election Day, we can be thankful for many of the elected officials who have worked and helped preserve our best interests. I know you’ll agree that the Twin City area has many in government from local, to county, State and Federal that have done and continue to do a lot of good for our community.
We should be thankful for a business community that in large part supports our chamber and through their contributions enables us to sponsor exciting events like the 2021 Christmas Parade scheduled for – Monday, November 29th. It does make a difference having the business district lit up for the season!
This holiday season, please remember to support our members by shopping and dining locally in the Twin City Area as much as possible. Thank you! A complete listing of chamber members is available at https://twincitychamber.com/directory.
In closing, on behalf of the Twin City Area Chamber, I would like to wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving and I am hopeful you all have a lot to be thankful for this year.
SPOOKTACULAR is SPECTACULAR! – Exceeds Expectations!
The weather was ‘scary good’ as ghosts, goblins & ghouls appeared in full force for the Chamber’s first year of sponsoring the ‘Trick or Treat Spooktacular’. The event took place on Main Street on Saturday, October 30th, from 9:30 AM to 12 PM (Noon).
“We had over 200 children and their families!,” said a planning committee member from the Twin City Area Chamber of Commerce. “Businesses handed out candy and everyone in costume went to the moon and back with outstanding creativity for the costume contest. It was difficult to judge as there were so many excellent costumes. The attention to detail and creative was outstanding. It was a great community event!”
Families were invited to “Join us (if you dare!) on Main Street for trick or treating, meet walking inflatable characters, enjoy scary Halloween Music… and even participate in the Costume Contest! Costume contest participants were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rdprizes in each category. Judging was in front of Cobblestone Art & Frame Gallery.
Congratulations to This Year’s Spooktacular Costume Contest Winners!
Ages 0 to 3:
1st place - Reed-age 3 dressed as ‘Sam from the Trick or Treat Movie’. Dad’s name James.
2nd place - Bennett - age 2 dressed as ‘Snoopy House’. Stephanie, Jesse and Dad.
3rd place - Bennett - age 2 dressed as ‘John Deer Farmer’. Anna and Spencer- Mom and Dad.
Ages 4 to 6:
1st place - Cash -age 4 dressed as ‘Prince’. Mom is Katie.
2nd place - Owen -age 5 dressed as ‘The Joker’. Mom and Dad are Char and David.
3rd place - Aleah -age 6 dressed as ‘Barbie (in a box)’. Mom is Heather.
Age 8 to 10:
1st place - Khloe -age 8 dressed as ‘Carnival Girl’. Cody is Mom.
2nd place - David -age 10 dressed as ‘Dr Plague’. Charlie is Dad.
3rd place - Kobi -age 7 dressed as ‘Dead Ballerina’. Mom is Kilbrya.
1st place - Khloe, Jordan, Cody, and Everly dressed as ‘Circus Family’.
2nd place - Audrey, Patrick, Hattie, Debi, Ashley, and Duane dressed as ‘Agent Marie Hill and her Avengers’.
3rd place – Nathan, Christina, Danica, and Rylee dressed as ‘Pirate Family’.
CHAMBER SPOTLIGHT – Staci Templeton, AAMS® CRPC® –
Accountant. Attorney. Financial Advisor.
Three Critical Professionals to Have on Your Business Team
Accountant… Attorney... Financial Advisor? Yes! While the stock market, economy and even the world can have much uncertainty, and may trigger a lot of questions, the importance of preparing for today and tomorrow hasn't changed. In this article, Chamber member, Staci Templeton, AAMS® CRPC®, with Edward Jones Investments, shares the features & benefits of having a financial advisor on your team.
Q: Overview of your office and services your offer?
My Edward Jones branch office is in Herculaneum, Missouri and my Branch Office Administrator, Jess Schilling rounds out my team. I provide financial solutions for individuals, families and businesses that have goals such as saving for retirement, education, or establishing a retirement plan for their employees.
Q: What is unique about working with you?
I have lived in Festus for nearly 23 years and I’ve been in this industry for over 16 years. The combination of my experience, skillset and my connection to my clients and the community allows me to provide perspective and serve as a sounding board for a myriad of situations. No two people have the same needs or experiences when it comes to money, and providing personal experience to everyone who sits at the table with me is the most important part of what I do.
Q: Whom do you serve?
I work with everyone! Business owners and individuals have different needs, but they also have some in common. When I decided to hang my own shingle as a financial advisor, I knew that I wanted to be able to serve both groups and help them navigate their financial path. In addition to that I wanted to be at the center point of things as well and work with the other professionals in their world such as their accountants and attorneys.
Whether you are an individual or a business owner, worthwhile goals such as planning for and reaching retirement, managing financial windfalls, executing the sale of property, or, going through difficult times such as divorce or death—each can be complex. All these situations bring their own set of questions, and while I don't provide tax or legal advice, I can help my clients navigate the course and move forward.
Q: What are some ways you ‘partner’ with area businesses to help serve their financial planning needs?
Businesses go through changes along the way. What was once an owner only proposition can develop into a multi-employee situation that requires additional planning and insight. Employers are tasked with attracting and retaining qualified employees who share their vision for the company.
So benefits for both the employer and the employee play a big role in the situation. And there can be incentives for the employer to offer as well as for the employee to accept and determining what the package will look like requires careful attention and involvement from other professionals such as an accountant and an attorney. It’s definitely not one-size-fits-all. It’s very specific to that individual business. We serve as a true partner with these individuals.
Q: What are some of the challenges that smaller businesses are currently facing?
Trying to find and keep quality employees. There is a lot of competition. Also trying to plan effectively for yourself while growing a business.
Q: What are examples of options that can help?
While the needs of no two businesses are alike, a representation of the products and services that we offer could include Simple, SEP or traditional and Roth IRAs, 401k plans, for example.
Q: When should a business owner consider working with a financial advisor?
The simplest answer is immediately! Everything that happens in my office begins with a conversation. You talk. I listen. And then we develop a strategy together. Regardless if an owner is ready to start investing now or in the future, planning for that event should happen early.
Most business owners have some kind of business plan that guides them through short and long-term goals and shouldn’t putting some of that profit to work be part of their strategy? If you wait to invest until the timing is perfect, you may never take that step. However if you have a partner to show you the impact of that investment as well as keeping a timeline of how or when it’s possible, aren't you more likly to see it as a possibility or even a necessity?
Having a financial advisor working with you is a great way to round out your team of professionals. Get the advice that you need and to help ensure that you are checking those boxes and have thought about goal(s) and a strategy for achieving them.
Q: How can businesses educate themselves regarding what options they may have?
It starts with a conversation. Give me a call and let’s talk about it. Consultations don’t come with a cost. But not having a conversation could ultimately have a very high cost.
Q: What are a few considerations business owners should look for when choosing a financial advisor?
Regardless if you are an individual or a business owner, when you are looking for a financial advisor, you want to look for someone you feel comfortable with and who has the knowledge, experience, and genuine interest in your specific situation.
In addition, someone who is committed to developing a long-term relationship and learning about what is most important to you, your family, your business, and understands that it is important to tailor that strategy to those specific needs and concerns.
Q: What is the process to assess the needs of a business owner and their company?
It starts with a face-to-face meeting with the business owner. We have a thorough interview—in person, virtually or over the phone—and perform an inventory. Once we’ve gathered some information we’ll identify and narrow down some key goals and explore options to help work toward achieving those goals. There is no fee for a consultation. No expense is incurred until we decide to work together.
Q: What is your ultimate goal for every client?
I want to build a long-term relationship that helps people reach their goals. Retirement, education, home purchases, providing a legacy, preparing for the unexpected, surviving divorce or moving on after a loss, to name a few. I want each life I touch to be better for it. This profession provides me the opportunity to a part of both amazing times and difficult times. But knowing that we have done our best for those entrusting us with their ‘todays’ and ‘tomorrows’ is humbling… and I don’t take that responsibility lightly.
Q: Why should a small business work with a financial advisor?
I partner with my clients. We are on the same side of the table and effective planning requires input and work from both sides. I have a wealth of planning tools, investment options and opportunities to help individuals, families and businesses set and work toward reaching their goals.
Q: What are the benefits to businesses in the community by working with a financial advisor?
I know the value of working with a trusted professional and the importance of having them as a part of my team is apparent. I’ve relied on teachers, doctors, coaches, etc. to help my children as they grew up. Why would my business be any different? I want the best possible results for my hard work and assembling the right professionals is a necessity not an option.
Q: Are there things for biz owners to consider toward the end of this year?
Planning is year-round when you own a business. This time of year you might be taking stock of how your business performed as well as forward-looking planning for next year. Do we need to contact an accountant? Attorney? Do we need to be looking at ways to put together some sort of investment package? Do we need to be looking to see if there is an option to start some sort of investment now or are we looking at January first so we are starting with a clean slate for the year? Planning never takes a break.
Q: What is the most important thing your fellow-Chamber members should know about you?
Helping people has been a mainstay in my life. From serving as a police officer in the 1990s to raising three amazing children, to being an active part of our community for the last 23 years, being a financial advisor is my way of continuing to be of service to others. Edward Jones is nearing 100 years in existence and the commitment to the communities in which we live and work hasn’t changed.
Q: What would you like to add?
Often times human beings shy away from things they are unfamiliar with or seek council from others who may or may not have the experience to provide information. Seeking education and insight on something new may just feel daunting, but it isn’t necessarily complicated; it just requires taking that first step. Even if we decide not to work together, if after an hour of talking and a cup of coffee, you’re leaving my office knowing more than when you walked in the door, I see that as a win.
Q: Where can business owners learn more?
1. Staci’s Individual Edward Jones Website is:
2. Another Excellent Resource is the Edward Jones’ ‘Solutions for Business Owners’ page:
Staci has called Festus her home for over 20 years and considers herself fortunate to raise three amazing children, Jake, Nick and Hannah. All three have been involved in athletics, from football and baseball, to gymnastics, cheer and pole vault. Being an active parent along the way has allowed her to support not only her children, but also her community. Serving as a financial advisor where she lives has given her a way to continue to be an asset to the place she calls home, but in a way that can affect this generation and generations to come.
YOUR BUSINESS ADVANTAGE
Finish Strong in 2021! – Year-End Tips for Your Business
The end of the year is a critical time for business owners to take stock of where things stand and identify areas for improvement. By working through this end-of-year checklist, you'll be ready to set goals that will help your business move ahead in the new year. Here are 10 key items to focus on:
At a minimum, put together a profit and loss statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow statement. Look at where your money went last year and determine whether you are on track to meet your profit goals and cash flow needs.
Merge and purge so you can hit the ground running in 2022! Update addresses, phone numbers, and the names of your key contacts. Delete or archive vendors you don't use anymore. This yearly housekeeping will help keep your lists organized and ready for orders and payments in the coming year.
Make sure you have accurate contact information for your employees and that you have properly accounted for employee benefits. Decide whether you'll give employee bonuses, and set an amount.
If you use cloud-based software, you may think you're covered. But experts caution against relying on just one backup method—even if it's a well-known cloud service. They recommend backing everything up on two digital platforms, in two locations, plus having one copy in print or on a local server or hard drive.
If you keep goods in your store or warehouse, an end-of-year inventory lets you reconcile your numbers and identify any large discrepancies that could indicate accounting issues or theft. It also shows what's selling well and what's not, helping you decide what to pursue in the year to come.
It's easy to forget about the milestones you've achieved and the obstacles you've overcome. Listing them is a great feel-good task. Once you've made your list, be sure to share it with your employees and recognize them for their contributions.
The new tax law has changed many things for small businesses—including expense reporting. This makes an accountant appointment especially important this year. Go over your financials and get advice on bonuses, distributions, and end-of-year tax strategies. Also talk about tax planning for 2019.
Making the time for an annual legal consultation can show you what you need to do to keep up with regulations, contracts, and employment laws that affect your small business. An attorney also can help you evaluate and minimize the legal risks you or your business may face.
The end of the year is a great time to think about the tasks you don't like doing or don't have the time or expertise to do well. Make plans to hire staff or outsource to consultants to take some things off your plate. Decide whether you'll need a larger workforce in the coming year and, if so, budget the money to pay for it.
Your website should not be a "create it and forget it" item. Go through your site and click on every link to make sure it works. Send yourself a note using the contact form and confirm that it's functioning. Does your website look fresh and up to date? Does it match the image you want your business to project? If not, put a website update on your list for next year.
11. BONUS TIP!
Talk with a Financial Advisor. Why? See related story in this issue. Click Here.
Accessed Legal Zoom website article 11/08/2021. ‘Finish Strong: 10 Year-End Tips for Your Small Business’.