Businesses spur relaunch of the Parkland Chamber

With new businesses opening in the city and more expected to come in once the wedge is built out, the once-dormant Parkland Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for relaunch.

“There is a tremendous amount of business people who want to do business with Parkland residents,” said Evan Wolk, chamber chairman and managing director of Wolk Financial Management. “Parkland may not have many brick-and-mortar businesses, but there are a lot of home-based businesses. We want to represent businesses in the city, be their voice.”

The chamber has been in existence for more than a decade. “It has been dormant for over a year,” said Wolk. “We feel there is a need and desire in the community for the chamber to be active again; the city and the City Commission, too, would like that to happen.”

“We are looking for new ideas and new leaders,” said Bill Lawler, chamber board member and vice president of business development and operations at Mercantil Commercebank. “With all the new businesses coming in, the city needs a chamber. The more value we are able to provide our members, the more successful we will be. We are open to the idea of organizing joint events with other chambers in the region.”

The plan is to put together a new board. “We will take baby steps and see where that takes us,” Lawler said. “The city has pledged its support. We will try to put together some events and attract new members. Parkland is a city that provides nearly everything for its people and businesses; this will be a bonus.”

“We feel this is the right time to become active again,” Wolk said. “Parkland is becoming more business friendly. Five years ago, it was almost impossible to get business permits; things are so much better now. The wedge definitely increases the need for a chamber.”

The chamber’s relaunch Happy Hour will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Hampton Inn, 5740 State Road 7, Coconut Creek. A variety of professionals from Parkland, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs and Boca Raton are expected to attend. The cost of the event is $15 in advance or $20 at the door.

Those who would like to attend the happy hour can register in advance by leaving a check payable to “The Parkland Chamber of Commerce” at Parkland City Hall. There will be a sign-up sheet at the reception desk. Checks can also be mailed to Evan Wolk, 6343 NW 72nd Place, Parkland, Fla. 33067.

“We will also be discussing the future of the chamber,” said Wolk. “We are very inclusive; you don’t need to have a business in Parkland or live in the city to be a member. We technically have over 200 members now, but we would love to have more.”

Wolk doesn’t see the Parkland Chamber ever becoming as big as some of the others in the region. “We will never be as big as Coral Springs or Boca Raton; we will be a smaller, tight-knit group. Parkland has a very unique atmosphere and our chamber will reflect that.”

For details, contact Evan Wolk at 954-937-0232 or evan@wolkfinancial.net.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/parkland/fl-cspf-chamber-0918-20140920,0,7421586.story?track=rss

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