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Chamber aims to build community with new program

September 14, 2016

VIRGINIA – New Laurentian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jaimie Niska is hoping to strengthen community relationships and promote businesses through a new (to the area) monthly program featuring food and education.

The “Lunch & Learn” series, as it is being called, is open to the public, including both business and non-business owners, and will feature sessions throughout the course of 2016 and 2017, held at various places and lead by variety of professionals.

The first session under Niska’s watch will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board building on Highway 53 south of Eveleth.

Food will be served by Kunnari’s, and will feature a boxed lunch for those who RSVP by Sept. 23. The cost is $15 for Laurentian members and $20 for non-members.

The event will feature information about programs available through the IRRRB including the Downtown & Business Corridor Program; the Business Energy Retrofit Program; Commercial Redevelopment; Culture & Tourism; and FLUXX Grants Management Program.

According to Niska, while Lunch & Learn is fairly new for the Laurentian Chamber, it’s a program that has been successful in other places.

“Chambers of commerce throughout the region have held and continue to hold similar educational opportunities in their respective service areas,” Niska said. “It’s not a brand new idea. However it is, in a sense, a brand new series for the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce, its members and our service area. The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce is bringing it to our chamber members (and non-members) as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen our community partnerships and better promote business through educational opportunities like this.”

Niska said the first session is a partnership with the IRRRB because it was timely.

“The IRRRB currently has a variety of programs available to small businesses – like their Downtown and Business Corridor program, Business Energy Retrofit program, Commercial Redevelopment and Culture & Tourism programs — some of which have impending deadlines for funding consideration” she said. “It was a good fit as businesses start to plan for the following calendar year and a great way to kick off the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch & Learn series.”

Future sessions will feature topics such as stress management, financial planning, health and fitness, human resources (team building and employee engagement), Google Places business listings, small business websites, advanced care planning, as well as updates from the region’s industry leaders, Niska added.

“We are continuing to provide value-added opportunities like this for our chamber members and the surrounding region,” Niska said. “Right now, we have tentatively scheduled the Lunch & Learn series through July of 2017 and are in the process of filling the remaining Lunch & Learn slots for 2017.”

Those interested in attending the Lunch & Learn session at the IRRRB must RSVP by Friday, Sept. 23, by contacting the Laurentian at 218-741-2717. It can also be done by email at krissya@laurentianchamber.org.