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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Chamber focuses on small businesses

  • Being a small business owner, Brett Miller said joining the local Chamber of Commerce kind of made him feel like the small fish in a big pond.
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  • Being a small business owner, Brett Miller said joining the local Chamber of Commerce kind of made him feel like the small fish in a big pond.
    After all, the Chamber's membership includes banks and contractors. Miller is a local insurance agent.
    And while Miller says he's still a small fish, the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce has given him the voice of a big fish. He serves as the chairman of the Chamber's Board of Directors.
    The Chamber has started to place more focus on reaching out to small businesses. Miller said he and others are fueling the formation of a small business development committee.
    Miller said he'd like the committee to serve in an advisory role for the Chamber. He also would like for it to help in providing resources.
    As an agent affiliated with American Family Insurance, Miller said he can access a lot of resources through the large insurance company. Independent small businesses don't have these resources.
    "But the Chamber can be that for them," Miller said.
    He said small businesses drive big businesses. He said small businesses, for example, purchase buildings and invest in larger companies.
    The Chamber recently hosted a small business marketing workshop. Jennifer Daly, the Chamber's president, said there was positive response to the event.
    "So we want to keep the ball rolling," she said.
    The Chamber has organized a three-part small business strategic planning series in partnership with Will Katz, director of the University of Kansas Small Business Development Center.
    "He's got so much great information," Miller said.
    The first session is scheduled for 8 a.m. Thursday at June's Northland, 612 Pottawatomie St. The main topic for this session is assessing the market.
    The second session, scheduled for Sept. 26, will focus on projections and budgets. The final session, scheduled for Oct. 3, will focus on management analysis. The events are free for members of the Chamber and $10 per person per session for non-members. Reservations are required.

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