Small business owners in Anchorage are finding it makes sense to stick together and one way of doing that is to join a local chamber of commerce.
It’s not a new concept, in fact the main Anchorage Chamber is nearly a century old, but now some business owners are thinking the more networking, the better.
In less than a year, Shirts Up Serigraphics and Solutions has made itself at home in Spenard.
The team is known for its bold graphic designs, stitched in a sleek new industrial space, where they occasionally hold after-hours get-togethers.
All that makes them stand out in a district, which was once a place many business owners would rather avoid.
“We're cleaning it up and everyone's trying to bring a fresh image to it,” said Raymond Flores, who owns Shirts Up, a tshirt and website design company.
Shirts up is one of the newer members of the Spenard Chamber of Commerce, a coalition of business owners who think it's best to stick together and share tips on how to make it in that part of town.
“In our advertising we always say ‘across the street from Gwennie's,’ because everyone knows where Gwennie’s is, and I've noticed in their advertising they say ‘across the street from the Harley shop,’” said Barry Matteson, owner of House of Harley-Davidson, which just joined the Spenard Chamber last week.
House of Harley-Davidson is also part of the much larger Anchorage Chamber, and says the smaller group is just another way to network.
“We've got new restaurants opening up all the time, new small businesses, and it is a vibrant community,” Matteson said, “and it's growing.”
And there's yet another option for store owners. Anchorage now has a Main Street Chamber, part of a national organization, which is adding members each week. The free group is specifically for small businesses and offers classes on marketing, bookkeeping, and hiring, among other skills.
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