Why Should I Host or Attend a Ribbon Cutting?

Why Should I Host or Attend a Ribbon Cutting?

by Robin Southern, Membership Director

As a new member or existing member of the Chamber of Commerce you might ask, “Why would I want to host or attend a ribbon cutting”?

Traditionally the cutting of a ribbon symbolizes a fresh start, as a new business or new member to the Chamber of Commerce; this is a wonderful way to present yourself and your business to the community.  However, ribbon cuttings are not just for new members, existing members can host a ribbon cutting to celebrate a new location, additional location, a new service, a significant milestone/anniversary or the launch of a new product.

The Chamber will invite the membership at large as well as the local media, board and ambassadors. The Chamber encourages you to use this opportunity to launch your own PR campaign.  Invite your customers, business partners, financiers, contractors, employees, friends and family to be with you to celebrate this momentous occasion.  Offering refreshments or having a mascot at your event is another great way to enhance your event and encourage attendance.

Because a ribbon cutting marks a very significant moment in your business’ history, it makes for a great photo opportunity.  The Chamber brings the photographer, ribbon and scissors, a photo of your ribbon cutting will be placed in the local newspapers, on the Chamber website and all of the Chamber’s social media outlets.   You will be given an opportunity to speak to those in attendance about your business and services prior to cutting the ribbon. 

Attending is another great opportunity provided by Ribbon Cuttings.  Come and say “congratulations” to the business owner, it means a lot to them and provides you with a networking opportunity.  Business is still done face to face, the host business might very well benefit from the services you offer, bring your business cards and make a new business connection.  In addition, you will be among the first to experience the newest attractions and additions to the community.

A Ribbon Cutting is a “feel good” event.  It is a celebration of a person realizing their dream, investing in our community and chances are they are hiring our friends and neighbors.  It feels good to be there at the start of a journey!

To find a list of upcoming ribbon cuttings visit the Rolla Chamber of Commerce event calendar, www.rollachamber.org/events/calendar

Businesses Beware – Scammers are Everywhere

Businesses Beware – Scammers are Everywhere

by Stevie Kearse, RACC Executive Director

Each day, business owners are working hard for the money.  You focus on your products, customer service, ways to gain more customers and so much more.  While you are focusing on growing your business, someone is out there focusing on taking your money!  It is sad but true. 

So far this year, the Rolla Chamber has been contacted by about 9 different companies that were scamming local businesses.  When we learn of these potential scammers, we do everything we can to protect the business community.

  • We contact the company directly to get the information.
  • We also set them straight when they start lying about working with the school, a Chamber, or whoever else they say they are benefiting.
  • We investigate the business on the Better Business Bureau website. Most of them do not have a good ranking.  They also typically have a lot of complaints filed.
  • We even Google the businesses to see what we can find on the internet about them.
  • We send an alert out to the business community letting them know what we have found out and who to beware of.

For us to help you know of potential scams we need for you to let us know when you have been contacted by these businesses.  Get as much contact information as you can and then call our office immediately.  We will take it from there and warn the rest of the business community.

Here is a link to an article from the Better Business Bureau, giving a few tips on how to avoid scams.  Take a moment to read and remember to do your research before you give someone your money.   Whenever you are in doubt, please contact the Chamber office. 


Rolla Area Real Estate Report 2018

by Dilek Acar, Acar Real Estate Inc.

The 2018 real estate market was a successful season for many sellers and buyers.  I have always told my clients that the best time for listing and selling your home in the Rolla area is February through July.  The key to selling your home as quickly as possible in today’s market is to price it correctly, according to current market conditions in the area.  This would be a good time to contact your local real estate agent and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis. There are also several strategies that sellers can use to make their home more attractive to potential buyers.  Maintaining and enhancing your home’s exterior, decluttering, and a thorough cleaning can help make a good first impression.  In addition, I would also advise having a home inspection performed prior to listing your home on the market to help avoid any unseen complications that could slow or hinder a future sale.  These tips can lead to shorter days on the market and a greater chance of a successful closing. 

  • Average days on Market: between 2013 and 2018 the number of avg. days on market has decreased roughly 60% from an average of nearly 160 days in 2013 to 65 days in 2018 depending on the price range of your home.  
  • Residential Properties Sold: there has been a slow and steady increase in residential homes sales and sales price between 2013 and 2017, peaking to 349 homes in 2017.  
  • New Listings: In 2017, there were 507 new listings in the Rolla area, and year to date in 2018, that number has increased to 579. The number of residential properties sold has increased from 312 in 2015 to 349 in 2017. In 2018 year to date, there has been 289 properties sold in Rolla.  
  • In the last 3 years, there has been an increase of 38.3% in the number of residential properties sold in the state of MO., with an increase in median residential selling price of 12.5%. In comparison, the Rolla area has seen an increase of approximately 11% in the number of residential properties sold and an increase of approximately 8% in median residential selling price from 2015-2017.  
  • All statistics obtained from Maris Matrix system

Dilek Acar is broker/owner at Acar Real Estate, Inc.   She has been a Licensed Real Estate agent since 1998.  “I’ve built my business on the foundation of satisfied clients, a referral is the best compliment that I can receive.  My goal is to provide you with the very best personal, honest, and professional services”. 

Social Media Isn’t a Four Letter Word

Social Media Isn’t a Four Letter Word

by Angie Tutterrow, By Design Media

Social media can feel like a four-letter word to some business owners: you either don’t have a clue, or you don’t have the time to manage it properly. It can be full time position in your business and can take up way more time that you are ready to give; especially when it comes up against inventory control, payroll, and taxes. You may look at other businesses who seem to have it all figured out with their amazing pictures and their perfect content. You may feel like wanting to give up before you even try but I am here today to tell you “you can do it.”

What I want to help you with today is not to harp on the importance of social media; you already know that. What I want to give you today are a few tips and assurances that it’s all going to be ok. My first tip is to pick a platform and excel at it before you start with another. There is no reason for you to be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat, or anything else if you aren’t going to be able to manage them. Pick one platform like Facebook and then move on to the next. Not all social media platforms cater to the same audience, so it is essential that you find the platforms that are a good fit for your brand and the audience that you want to target and be consistent and active on those platforms.

Second, personalizing your branding is critical. Personalizing, in this context, means that you are forming a relationship with your client or customer; making your existing customers and prospects feel a powerful connection to your business. In today’s world, you must be prepared to interact with followers when they post a question, compliment, or — especially — a negative review. Remember the golden rule, if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.

Next, become a great storyteller; be interesting and enthusiastic, be authentic and be human. You can’t be a good storyteller if you don’t know your own story. Each of us has an origin story. Start thinking about how you can tell the story of yourself, your products or your company. What was that journey like? Think about the great stories that mean the most to you as a child. What made you connect with the hero of the story? When you are comfortable in your own skin you are able to communicate your own story, and people will respond to it! People relate to stories and to people. Customers may initially come to you because of your product, but they stay with you because of how you make them feel and how you treat them.

Finally, as I mentioned above consistency is key! If you want your customers to recognize your company, you must be consistent. Not just consistent in making sure your post regularly, but consistent in your brand. Being consistent in your brand allows you to grow in audience engagement and reach. From the tone of voice used in messages to the aesthetics of your profiles, you need to be recognizable to gain traction among your intended audience. Consumers want to buy from companies they know and trust – and a consistent brand is more often viewed as a dependable brand.


Angie Tutterrow, owner of By Design Media, has over 10 years experience in the marketing world. She has worked with many different businesses including the Bank of Sullivan, Fidelity Communications, The UPS Store, and The City of Cuba, providing services from web design, social media management, social media campaign, online advertising, business consulting and more.



(573) 612-1402



You Joined the Chamber, Now What?

You Joined the Chamber, Now What?

by Robin Southern, Membership Director

Congratulations!  You have made a very smart business decision!  So, you signed on the “dotted line”, paid your dues, Now  What?  Chamber membership brings lots of benefits, but also lots of questions.

Often times I hear from members or potential members, “I don’t have time to participate, so I don’t see the benefit.” Here is the good news, while that may be true for gym membership, it is not the case with Chamber membership!  Even if you are never able to attend one Chamber event, the Chamber is still tirelessly advocating for you and your business. The Chamber will refer your business or the product you offer to community members and travelers, often seeking suggestions from the Chamber on businesses in town. The Chamber is constantly working to enhance the economic environment in the community.  So, you see, you really don’t have to do anything to reap the benefits of Chamber membership.  However, if you are able to participate, the return on your investment for your business will be much richer.

What are your goals for Chamber membership? Why did you join the Chamber?  The answers to these questions can help guide you on how to make the most of your membership. Whether your answer is to grow your customer base, become more visible, or be a bigger part of the community, your Chamber membership can help you. Here are some suggestions to help you get started and make the most of your Chamber membership:

Open Your New Member Packet.  Read all of the information in your packet and take advantage of the coupons and information provided.

Read your emails. This is the best way to stay in touch with what is going on with the Chamber, make a note of what interests you and mark your calendar to participate.

Follow Us on Social Media.  We share our information as well as our member’s information.

Attend an Event.  This is a great way to get to know people, don’t go there to sell, go there to be of service to them and don’t forget your business cards.

Enhance your Website Listing. Online presence is very important, take the time to enhance your website listing with us, you can add photos, videos, keywords, and details about your business. Make sure your business information is always up to date. Consumers are visiting your website,  and checking out your content long before you see them.

Post your Job Openings. Make sure to utilize the job board that is included in your online account.  Job postings will automatically post to Facebook.

Post your News Releases.  Have a press release?  Add the Chamber to your media list. Post your press releases in the News Release section included in your online account. News Releases will automatically post to Facebook.

Host an Event.  This is a great way to bring potential customers into your place of business, and showcase your business.

Sponsor an Event.  This is another great way to showcase your business. We offer many different sponsorship levels with our events to fit any budget.

Join A Committee.  This is a great way to be involved and help further the efforts of the Chamber.  Serving on a committee provides numerous networking opportunities as well as professional leadership development. Helping others is a great way to become part of something larger than your business.

Host A Ribbon Cutting.  Whether you are a new member, celebrating an anniversary milestone, adding a new location, adding a service, a Ribbon Cutting is an excellent way to draw attention and to showcase your business. Just relax, we do all the work and you reap the benefits.

No matter why you joined the Chamber, your Chamber membership is full of benefits to help you with your business goals. Getting involved is the best way to utilize your membership. Hopefully the suggestions I have outlined will assist you in making the MOST of your Chamber membership.  The possibilities are endless!

Benton Square Salon & Spa named as August Business of the Month

Elissa Jennison, Owner of Benton Square Salon & Spa, accepts the Business of the Month, August 15, 2018. Presenting the award are Tony Froehlich, Chamber Board President, and Verna Brand, Small Business Committee Member.

Benton Square Salon & Spa was name Business of the Month at the August Luncheon, August 15, 2018.  Benton Square Salon & Spa opened in 2009 in the 100 year old Benton School Building, located at East 6th Street in Rolla.  In 2015, the Salon was purchased from the original ower and in 2016 Benton Square qualified to become an Aveda salon.

The Salon & Spa occupies the top two floors of Benton Square and offers Aveda Color Services, Precision Cuts, Wig Styling, Facial & Body Waxing, Gel Manicures, Pedicures, Massage, Event Makeup, Spray Tans, Lash & Brow Tinting, Murad Facials, and Retinol Peels.  Benton Square Salon has 15 stylists; 10 are independent booth renters and 5 are employed by Benton Square as Aveda Artists.  

The Spa houses 3 massage therapists and 3 estheticians.  Employees are provided continuing education and encouraged to be active in the community.  A unique feature to the Salon & Spa is that they offer private suites for guests that have privacy needs such as due to religion or special needs.

Benton Square Salon & Spa is located at 400 East 6th Street, Rolla MO.  You can reach them at (573) 426-4310.  For more information visit http://bentonsquarerolla.com/


Rolla Chamber Presents Outstanding Educator Award to Jessika Zink and Ashley Rapp

The Education Committee of the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize the efforts of Jessika Zink and Ashley Rapp as the 2018 Outstanding Educators.

This award is designed to honor an educator who exemplifies creativity, enthusiasm, commitment and development of a positive learning environment. A Positive learning environment has been proven to prepare students for success beyond the classroom.

This year, the 5th grade teaching team of Jessika Zink and Ashley Rapp received several nominations outlining their dedication to their students and commitment to the community. Each nomination reinforced their enthusiasm and efforts each day to “lift their students up”. In addition, they encourage community involvement through various projects and programs.


Please join us in congratulating the 5th grade teaching team of Jessika Zink and Ashley Rapp on this recognition.



Parents As Teachers Book Drive


On Tuesday, July 24, 2018 the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and Rolla Books & Toys presented Laura Brown, Director of Rolla Parents as Teachers, with 121  books valued at $813.27.

Books and donations were collected in May and June; with Rolla Books & Toys as a partner, selling the recommended books at a discount and collecting the books at their retail location. All monetary donations were used to purchase books from the approved book list.

Parents as Teachers in the Rolla area visits children ages 3 and under – books are presented to the children by Parent Educators that visit them in their homes.

We would like to thank everyone in the community who donated books and cash donations to support the book drive.

Red Door Gifts named as July Business of the Month

The Rolla Area of Chamber of Commerce was pleased to name Red Door Gifts as our July Business of the Month.  Red Door Gifts has been located on Pine street in downtown Rolla for 13 years. It is a fun destination for trendy jewelry, purses, home decor, baby gifts, candles, seasonal florals and decor, and more. The owner, Katy Langston Combs, joined the team 10 years ago as the Manager when her Mother, Marilynn Langston owned Red Door Gifts.  3 years ago Katy was able to purchase Red Door Gifts from her mother and also started a clothing boutique next door, More Red Door Boutique. Last fall they were able to knock a hole in the wall to connect the two stores into one fun shopping destination that now includes trendy and affordable women’s clothing and shoes in addition to everything Red Door offered.  They are excited to carry quality lines including Kendra Scott jewelry, Brighton jewelry, Vera Bradley, and Mariana jewelry, just to name a few.

Katy’s main goal is for customers to have an amazing shopping experience that includes awesome customer service and unique items that are hard to find elsewhere. Our staff strives to help customers find the perfect gift, perfect outfit, perfect home decor item for that certain spot. 

New exciting things that have happened just in the past couple of months at Red Door is the launch of their “Happy Boxes” which is a subscription box that is delivered right to the customer’s door.  Katy purchased a vintage camper to take to events and home parties as a mobile boutique.  Also in the works is Corporate Happy Boxes for you to send to your business associates, staff, board members, and more.

Red Door Gifts is located at 700 N. Pine Street in downtown Rolla.  Visit www.reddoorgiftsrolla.com for more information.  

Lee’s Famous Recipe named June Business of the Month

Lee’s Famous Recipe has been around since 1966. My family opened the Rolla Franchise location in 1991. In 1995, I moved to Rolla to take over the store. We take pride in what we do at Lee’s Famous Recipe and we are passionate about making sure our customers receive the best possible service and quality product at an affordable price. Our chicken comes in fresh twice a week and is never frozen. We hand bread everything. Our Potato Wedges are still hand sliced and hand breaded as well. We offer free delivery for Catering within a 15 mile radius of Rolla and will deliver to about anywhere for a small fee. We love to give back to our community that supports us and are active contributors to many local worthy causes. I have raised my children here and have two kids in the RHS Marching Band. We love Rolla and are very happy to live here. – Jason Fisher, Lee’s Famous Recipe, Rolla