The Depoe Bay Chamber board has approved to merge with the Lincoln City Chamber to become one chamber serving north Lincoln County. When Mellissa Sumner, Depoe Bay Chamber Director, started she contacted local businesses about their needs and how the chamber could help. She received feedback that many felt the chamber was only there to do events and wanted to know what the chamber was doing to actually help businesses. Sumner knew that business advocacy is a chambers number one job. "The heart of Depoe Bay, Sumner stated, is ingrained in these businesses that are generations old."
She started holding workshops and programs and found that attendance was mixed between Depoe Bay and Lincoln City. "There was no reason to have two separate entities when by combining you can have the funding to expand programs and give back to both communities. There will now be more support through education, grants, business advocacy programs, networking and more. Sumner added that additional benefits for members of both chambers will include expanded marketing opportunities, continued targeted marketing, increased networking events and dedicated full time chamber staff monthly luncheons and grand opening ribbon cutting ceremonies.
Sumner is currently working with the city of Depoe Bay on the installation of informational kiosks in Depoe Bay that will have the Depoe Bay Business Directory, maps and visitor information and promotional posters for events. Sumner added "The focus of ;the North Lincoln County Chamber will be to support teh original 20-miriacle miles and beyond with a focus on businesses, community members and visitors from Otis to Otter Rock." The Depoe Bay Chamber office will remain open until the end of June and there will be at least two informational kiosks up by that time. Sumner added that the Depoe Bay events will continue including the Fleet of Flowers event coming up in May.