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Making the Wayne chamber visible

By L.A.K. McKean
April 3, 2013

President Todd Stevens, vice president Gary Bailman and executive director Donna LaBar presented the 2013 annual update of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Report to the Wayne County Commissioners at their meeting on March 28.

Stevens opened up the presentation with positive reviews of the year 2012. They received 42 new business members, and now the total is 486 memberships. Also, the chamber was requested to attend 16 ribbon-cutting ceremonies and openings in Wayne County. The areas of the new businesses were in Hawley, Waymart and Prompton, with the most being in Honesdale. Stevens was also pleased with the results received from their website, and astounded that they have more visitors to their website from New York City, NY than they do from Scranton. Stevens said the railroad is a great commodity to the area and that people came for the train excursions and experience. The chamber is working to bring the train back.

Executive director Donna LaBar said that the chamber is useful in providing information to visitors and businesses. “People just come in for information or to use the facilities and then they begin to ask questions and explore the information we have available to them. We even help out businesses, which find our chamber very beneficial in their progress. The chamber had over 5,000 visitors last year, which does not include the meetings conducted there. This is the first place visitors come to when they arrive in Honesdale. They want to see all we have to offer.”

Organizations and businesses have also proven to be beneficial to the chamber by presenting them with business and financial advice on how to better effectuate their services. Stevens said he envisions a better future in 2013 in three areas where they will maintain their level, attract new and additional commerce to the chamber and introduce major projects into the area. He would like to focus on health care in the future, such as changes to the new health care laws, and disseminate information about them to the public.

The commissioners expressed their pleasure in being a member of the chamber and of the work it is doing in keeping up with technology and moving forward. “Our goal is to make the chamber of commerce here in Wayne County visible to everyone, so they can always know where to go for information.” said LaBar.

In other news: A letter will be submitted by Wayne County to the governor, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the legislators requesting a hearing in Wayne County for the proposed new policy regarding septic systems in areas with high quality and exceptional value waters.