October 25, 2014

Message from Topanga Chamber of Commerce

 

One of the great benefits of membership in the Topanga Chamber of Commerce is the enjoyable and informative networking opportunities available during both our monthly breakfast and evening mixers where you meet other local business people providing valuable services and collaborative working relationships.

The breakfast mixers are held at the Inn of the Seventh Ray on the first Wednesday morning of the month, 8 to 9:30 a.m. On the last Wednesday of the month a Chamber member has the opportunity to host an evening mixer at their place of business.

The August 27 evening mixer was lively and well attended as Ernie Demontreux of Topanga Lumber opened his yard to all members for a sumptuous barbecue, libations and mingling with the best builders in the Canyon.

The morning mixer on August 13 offered a wealth of business and community information, as well as sumptuous omelettes and quiches served by owner Lucy Yaney at bargain prices. The highlights were:

Destination: Topanga—This Chamber-sponsored marketing plan is moving forward to help stimulate business for storefront and home-based businesses by attracting residents in the Canyon and visitors from outside through a multi-phase campaign in print, online and in public display.

Valuing Our Natural Resources—In a recent article featured in the Malibu Times and Topanga Messenger, the National Park Service (NPS) reported 633,000 visitors to the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Areas (SMMNRA) spent $26 million in communities surrounding the park in 2013, supporting 332 local jobs. Visitors spent the majority of money (30.3%) on accommodations, followed by food and beverages (27.3%), admissions (10.3%) and souvenirs, gifts and other expenses (10%).

“I encourage Chamber members to think of creative ways to collaborate with other local business owners and capitalize on the findings of this report by incorporating Topanga’s greatest natural asset, Topanga State Park, for one, and the theme of nature into their business,” said Chamber President Dianne Porchia.

Topanga Guide—The soon-to-be published Topanga Guide, a glossy, multi-page brochure, is brimming with Topanga-specific information such as hiking trails, festival and Studio Tour dates, as well as a new list of “27 Things to do in Topanga,” a reflection of State Route 27 aka Topanga Canyon Boulevard. The guide features our restaurants, wellness retreats, yoga classes, art shows and local cultural activities and includes a fold-out map of Topanga State Park, our great wilderness asset located just outside the LA metropolitan area. The Topanga Guide will be distributed outside of Topanga at libraries, fairs, bookstores, cafes, newsstands and other Chambers of Commerce in addition to our 3400 Topanga residences.

Questions about your inclusion into the Guide or into the Topanga Map (to be published in the spring) should be directed to ads@topangachamber.org. Advertising is open in both publications to Chamber members only.

Topanga Messenger online Business Section—Results of Topanga’s Chamber of Commerce newly launched sponsorship of the Topanga Messenger online Business Section were also reported. Individual advertisers were alerted to the number of visitors their business profiles initiated to their websites. For the Chamber alone, in less than a month’s time, the Business section enjoyed more than 57,000 views with nearly 700 click-throughs to www.topangachamber.org. To have your Business Profile displayed along with links to your business website and experience a tremendous boost to your search engine optimization, please contact onlineads@topangachamber.org to sign up.

Business Spotlight—Another perk for members will be the opportunity to be chosen for a monthly 800-word feature “Spotlight” in the Messenger online and in print. After a vote from the membership, Holly Scoren’s Animal Clinic of Topanga was chosen for this honor.

Avant Garde Marketing Solutions—Each morning mixer enjoys a special in-depth presentation from one of our member businesses. Avant Garde Marketing Solutions was expertly presented by Patrick Meherin and partner Sheryl Tratner-Meherin. Do you understand the ins and outs of credit card processing and the enormous fees generated by banks and other service suppliers? Be sure to give Patrick a call for an assessment of your current system.

Volunteer for Arson Watch—Barbara Allen voiced an urgent plea for volunteers to support Arson Watch during the upcoming seriously dry and dangerous fire season to help avert the tragedy of catastrophic fire throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. Volunteers need only show up for 30 hours a year to assist in monitoring our Canyon. To join: (310) 455-4244.

Participate at TCC—Joseph Rosendo urged concerned business members to participate in the Topanga Community Club’s new committee to manually remove remaining Ailanthus trees on the property that have not been treated with herbicides. Those growing around and possibly into the newly paved parking lot were treated on July 15 with two more applications scheduled for December and again in the spring. (See cover story, "Outrage," in this issue.)

Topanga Folk Fest—Mitch Metzner of Anam Cara announced the upcoming Topanga Folk Fest on October 26, a fundraiser for the hospice. The Fest will be a wonderful opportunity to hear and experience good folk music and traditions and will be held on the Topanga Community Club grounds.

For more information on Topanga Chamber of Commerce membership and events: topangachamber.org.