The City of Paris celebrated the PACC Week October 14-18. This week is a time set aside to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of chambers of commerce and the communities they represent. The City of Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers issued a proclamation officially declaring the week as Chamber of Commerce Week.

PACC Executive Director Tonya Baumgartner said, “2020 will mark the 75th year that the chamber here in Paris has been in business. We have had 74 years of a strong chamber presence in the city and as we continue getting stronger it is important for the chamber to be an advocate and a voice for our community and to create a great quality of life for the city.”

Although their work is often done behind the scenes, chamber of commerce staff and volunteers are routinely involved in many areas of the community that help it thrive. In Paris these include business development, business recruitment and retention, tourism marketing, education and workforce development, community betterment, and advocacy, among others. The Paris Chamber works to support the growth of their more than 200 members, a 22 percent growth in 2018, while helping to build a prosperous and sustainable community. The chamber also held a 96 percent retention rate last year which means that members are continuing to stay on with the chamber and they are seeing the benefits that being a chamber member promotes.

“There was a really good foundation laid for me when I took this position at the chamber six years ago. I am thankful to all the people who have been involved in the chamber during those 75 years.”

The PACC will hold a membership campaign that will run through the entire month of November 2019.

“This drive will allow new members to try out all that a member of the chamber has to offer. Each new member will have two free months of membership and if they are pleased with the membership, they can renew in January.”

The PACC is made up of thirteen ambassadors and seven board members who promote economic development for Paris including festivals and events.

“One of the current goals on our list is getting signage on I-40 to promote tourist information for our area. One small thing we have to mark off our list before we can add the signage is a public drinking fountain which we are currently working on at Eiffel Tower Park.”

The chamber is also involved the Main Street Team which promotes a growing downtown community and offers Main Street Mini Grants that helps businesses improve signage or storefronts for a more aesthetic appeal.

“We want to promote opportunities for all types of businesses as a chamber member.”

The chamber is currently gearing up for the holiday season which will begin with the Paris Merchants Christmas Open House and Farm & Craft Market on November 24 where Santa will make his first appearance of the season, followed by the Trail of Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Parade on November 30. Ladies Night Out will take place on December 5 and free Carriage Rides on the Square will start on December 7.