The Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Rises to the Challenge
The Zionsville Chamber of Commerce board, staff and members have been working hard throughout the last few months to garner support for its members and fellow Zionsville businesses: retail, restaurant and service industries alike. With out-of-the-box ideas such as “A Night on the Bricks” coupled with the generosity of community members that helped boost the chamber’s electronic gift card program during the lockdown, the chamber and its members have worked feverishly to keep its members’ lights on throughout the town.
For those who don’t already know how much the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce and its members contribute to our community, in addition to the incredible programs that are offered to its business members, it is responsible for organizing Brick Street Market, Street Dance and the town’s beloved Christmas in the Village for the entire community to enjoy. Many of these events have become long-standing traditions for local residents.
The Chamber’s Champion—Allyson Gutwein
The Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Allyson Gutwein and her staff have been praised by members of the chamber board of directors and merchants alike for her ingenuity and continued optimism in what could be labeled as some of the most trying times in the town’s history—especially in its business community.
Erica Carpenter, owner of Fivethirty Home and chamber vice president, exclaimed, “Allyson, the chamber staff and Emily [Styron] really need to be commended for how quickly they developed a plan, executed and marketed it [A Night on the Bricks]. Allyson really brought awareness to so many people during the [COVID-19] closure by going around and doing interviews with [members] so we could share what we’re doing while we were closed. One of the reasons why I joined the chamber was to be part of this business community, and I feel now, more than ever, that we have a real sense of community, and it gives me great pleasure to help foster that and see it thrive in what has obviously been one of the most challenging times we’ve ever experienced. ”
Zionsville Chamber of Commerce President Kate Swanson added, “I think it’s a credit to Allyson and our chamber staff in how they brought awareness to the community. Allyson has a great way of always stating things optimistically, and she enlarges the picture so that you can see what is happening throughout our community. I think that is a real benefit to the community. I also want to credit our [business] members because many chambers are not experiencing the growth and success that our chamber is.”
Swanson continued, “Now, more than ever, our businesses realize that by banning together, they have a stronger voice and that advocating together, as a community, benefits everyone.”
Preparing for the Unknown
While none of us know what the next several months have in store for our community, Gutwein and her staff have already been planning and preparing for what may come, without the aid of a crystal ball.
“You have to make decisions with 10% of the information that you want, and you have to get comfortable being in that space,” Gutwein expressed. “We may be in rough waters now, but what’s coming downstream? Are we focusing on where we are now or are we focusing on what’s downstream because downstream may be even rougher. So, we are doing things to help prepare our businesses for what’s downstream, even if we don’t know what that is.”
Join Your Fellow Residents and Support Local on Thursday Nights
A Night on the Bricks will be held every Thursday evening from 5–9 p.m. now through July 30. This event encourages residents to dine on Main Street—while practicing social distancing protocols—while shopping and dining at local businesses.
Tables will be preset on Main Street, but attendees need to bring their own chairs. Food and beverages from home are highly discouraged. A Night on the Bricks is sponsored by CENTURY 21 Scheetz-Laura Heigl.
For more details about A Night on the Bricks, other upcoming events or chamber memberships, visit zionsvillechamber.org.