If you don’t have a business in the Corry area, you might not know much about the Corry Area Chamber of Commerce.
Those with businesses in the area not only know about the CACC, they also know how much the organization does not just for Corry, but the surrounding area.
“We’re here to support local businesses and give them the tools to succeed,” said Chris Hornick, executive director of the CACC. “Corry is the second largest city in Erie County. We live and work in a great town, and we want everyone to thrive and succeed.”
As she solicits involvement in the Chamber, folks often ask Hornick what the CACC can do for their business.
“They want to know why they should join and how it will benefit them,” Hornick said.
The CACC website contains a “top ten” list of reasons to belong to the Chamber of Commerce. Reasons include everything from being listed in the annual directory that is distributed to each household in Corry, to receiving 25 percent off all Mercyhurst college courses at any Mercyhurst campus, including the Corry campus.
Hornick works hard to update the local area in regards to upcoming events through social media and email blasts. She posts information about church carnivals or vacation Bible schools, new classes at the YMCA or special business events on the Chamber’s Facebook page.
“We publicize businesses in various ways, and promote our members in the very best ways to help them thrive,” Hornick said.
“We understand that people can’t always get everything they want from Corry businesses, but when they take the time to try local, they often find what they’re looking for and buy local,” Hornick explained.
“If we can keep the money in our hometown, it makes the town stronger and keeps businesses flourishing,” Hornick added. “Staying local also saves people from having to spend gas and time to drive long distances to go shopping.”
The Chamber also takes charge of local events such as CorryFest, the CAHS alumni dinner, the Professional Women’s Luncheon, Taste of the Town and A Very Merry Corry Christmas.
As executive director, Hornick has her hands in all of the events.
“I receive a lot of support from our president, Peter Albright, the vice president, Nicole Crawford, and the treasurer, Terri Lindstrom, and the whole board,” Hornick said. “Our goal is to continue to grow the CACC and impact the Corry area.”
The Chamber isn’t just for businesses. Currently, there are about 180 businesses, churches, charitable and service organizations in the Chamber membership.
“Corry and Columbus are very involved, but we are an ‘area’ Chamber of Commerce, so we are reaching out all around the area,” Hornick explained.
Recently, the Findley Lake Chamber of Commerce joined the Corry Area Chamber of Commerce, and vice versa.
“I’m excited about that because it means more publicity for the businesses and events of both areas,” Hornick said. “But we’d also love to welcome Union City, Clymer, Spartansburg and others into our network. We can’t have blinders on and think we are the only town with businesses.”
There is never a dull moment in the CACC office, located on the second floor of the Smith Higher Education Center at 221 N. Center St. This week, Hornick finishes preparations for the Black and White Affair, the annual meeting and awards dinner to be held on Saturday evening. After a quick business meeting, awards will be given to the Business, Young Professional, Student Volunteer and Citizen of the Year.
“The annual meeting is always fun and relaxed. Last year was the first time we went with the ‘black and white’ theme, and it was well-received,” Hornick said.
As soon as the dinner event is over, Hornick will work on the next event, the Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast.
“And the same busy schedule will continue through the year,” Hornick said with a laugh. “All events start and end with this office.”
“The businesses and organizations in town are what keep us going through their membership, volunteering, and donations to events. We help them and they help us, and we both provide benefit to the community,” Hornick added. “We are also grateful to The Corry Journal. A lot of what we do, we couldn’t do without their help.”
To get involved or become a member with the Corry Area Chamber of Commerce, call 665-9925, or visit corrychamber.com.