If there’s one thing the staff here at the Napa Chamber of Commerce (NCC) can be proud of, it’s the very business-like atmosphere we’ve managed to create for our members with our programs/events.

One that promotes “exchanging business versus business cards” has resulted in great opportunities and has become a solid investment of time for attendees and collaborating partners wanting to take full advantage.

We can’t over-emphasize enough, when speaking with current — and potential — NCC members, the importance of making the investment of time in order to get premium value from being a part of the Chamber family.

A few minutes here and there over the course of the year can make a huge difference in boosting business and visibility in the local community.

Whether it be a 45- to 60-second elevator speech promoting your business or events or a member becoming a collaborating partner and co-branding sponsor, it’s a unique marketing opportunity derived from the hard work and focus of the Chamber staff.

For those who haven’t had a chance to attend a Chamber function in the past few years, I encourage you to go to napachamber.com to check the calendar and register to do so.

All NCC events have a limited number of available slots that sell out fairly quickly, so we always encourage you to sign-up if you find a program/event that may be of interest to you or your business. Here’s a recap of a few of the more popular events hosted by the Chamber:

Business After Hours

Formerly known as a Chamber Mixer, this bi-monthly gathering lasts just 90 minutes and averages anywhere from 85 to 125 attendees — depending on agreed upon venue capacity.

We’re proud to say that members are making the most from true business connections being made here, and we invite you to join us to do the same. We recently hosted the first-ever Business After Hours featuring members from all five county Chambers, hosting 300-plus members. This was all made possible by the following collaborating partners, sponsors and members: Napa Valley Commons, JaM Cellars, Blue Note Napa, Compline Wine Bar, Restaurant & Merchant, Oenotri and Napa Palisades Saloon.

Leads Over Lunch (Presented by Cole’s Chop House) Besides getting an amazing meal from our collaborating partner, this event does exactly what it states – provides a great database of leads generated for/by those in attendance.

In addition to an opportunity to introduce yourself/business to the sold out group of 55 current and prospective members, the Chamber provides you with the contact for every business in attendance.

We then encourage you to make follow-up an immediate priority. The potential business versus the investment of a great three-course lunch from one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Napa makes this a no-brainer.

Coffee With the CEO (Presented by ABC Bakery)

A new program that provides a more exclusive opportunity (12-15 members only) to engage and connect while personally introducing your business goals to the Napa Chamber President/CEO. Great coffee and pastries provided by 2016 NCC Small Business of the Year – ABC Bakery.

For a complete list of NCC programs and events, or to become a new member to take advantage of these great opportunities, please go to napachamber.com.

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Travis Stanley is the president and CEO of the Napa Chamber of Commerce. Call 226-7455 or visit napachamber.com.