A sold-out crowd at the Chamber’s 105th Annual Meeting listened to Ben Hobbs, Special Assistant to the president for Domestic Policy, discussed his journey to the White House and how programs he works with can help the Alliance Community. One of Ben’s programs, the Opportunity Zones is already in use for downtown Alliance and we will hopefully have a success story to report for downtown in the near future.

Barb Armitage was this year’s Athena Award winner. Barb was very instrumental in founding the Alliance Community Pantry and is very involved with many other organizations in Alliance. Congratulations Barb on a very deserved recognition.

This year’s Athena/ Woman of the Year Scholarship winner was Katie Goodwin. Katie is a senior at Alliance High School and plans to continue her education at Kent State and major in nursing. Congratulations Katie!!!

A huge thank you to all our sponsors! The Platinum Sponsors were Alliance Ventures, Aultman Alliance Community Hospital, Burgess Group Insurance and Financial Services, Consumers National Bank and Copeland Oaks Retirement Community. Gold Sponsors were AA Hammersmith Insurance and the Eastern Stark County Safety Council. Silver Sponsors were Arthur J. Gallagher & Company and Tanner Real Estate. There is no way we could put on this type of an event without the support of our sponsors! THANK YOU!!!



If you have renewed your membership for 2020, thank you! If you have not renewed your membership let me remind you of the many benefits of membership in the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce:

  • Opportunity to participate in a group Worker’s Compensation plan.
  • Free listing in our local Community Guide.
  • Save money on your Worker’s Comp by participating in the Eastern Stark County Safety Council.
  • Your website linked with the Chamber website.
  • Numerous networking opportunities such as Business After Hours, Breakfast Before Business, Tip Clubs.
  • You have a stake in the Alliance area business community and the Chamber works to protect and advance all business in the community.
  • The Chamber is a good way to let your voice to be heard within the community.
  • The Chamber supplies business referrals to Chamber members when inquiries are received requesting information on products or services.
  • The Chamber keeps abreast of legislative affairs, which affect your business, city, county, state and nation.
  • The Chamber is a great source of new business leads. Meeting people through Chamber functions is a great opportunity to promote business in the Alliance area.
  • The Chamber promotes members’ support of each other by buying from each other.

The simple truth is that you will only get something out of your Chamber membership if you are willing to put into it. We have a great division and committee structure designed to facilitate networking, education, lobbying and business promotion. Sorry to say there is no free lunch. To get the most from your membership you must get involved.

We need and appreciate your membership. The Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce cannot carry out its broad program of work to protect and advance business without volunteers and adequate financial support.


WOW!! December was a busy but fun month. The Eastern Stark County Safety Council presented gifts to all the attendees at their December meeting. The Wednesday morning Tip Club held their annual Christmas Party at the Chamber office. Kathy Kramer from the Alliance Community Pantry was there to give an update on the Pantry. Tip Club members donated 58 jars of peanut butter and $115 to the pantry.

The Annual Chamber Christmas Party was held at the Glamorgan Castle with Amy Rose, Hilcrest Market catering. A very large crowd enjoyed the evening with entertainment from several trumpet players from the Alliance High School Band.

This year’s Christmas in the Park was bigger than ever! A huge thank you goes to Andrea Lee and Kim Cox and their committee for all their work in putting together this year’s Christmas in the Park. Besides Santa, we had an ice sculptor demonstration, cookies from Mount Union, cookie decorating led by Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity, homemade birdfeeders led the Huston Brumbaugh Nature Center, train rides around the lake, music by Pure Fire Entertainment and the Carnation Queen and Court.  We also partnered again this year with ECEA. They provide books for Santa to give to each of the children. Thank you to everyone that made this event a huge success.

As we begin 2020, I would like to thank the Board members, Divisions heads and committee chairs for all their hard work in 2019. A special thank you to Jeff First and Gloria Magrath who both retire from the Board and will be recognized at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting in February. It is because of their hard work that you have such an active Chamber of Commerce.  Also, a huge thank you to Rick Baxter for serving as Chairman of the Board, your leadership was greatly appreciated.




Each year I use the December Re-Marks column to promote shopping locally because I feel it is vital to the survival of our local retailers. Please support our local retailers.

Many people don’t understand the benefits of shopping locally. Here are just a few:

Why Shop Locally?

  • Keep Dollars in the Local Economy– When shopping locally, you are simultaneously creating jobs, funding more city services through property taxes, investing in neighborhood improvements and promoting community involvement.
  • Entrepreneurship- Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity and serves as a key means for families to move up the economic ladder while providing you with the products and services you desire close to home.
  • Competition- A marketplace of thousands of businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long term.
  • Jobs and Wages- Local businesses create the multitude of jobs that you, your neighbors and friends depend on to sustain their quality of life.
  • Protect Local Character and Prosperity- Alliance is unlike any other city in the world. By choosing to shop locally you help maintain Alliance’s personality and distinctive flavor.
  • Reduce Impacts to the Environment- Shopping locally helps to reduce carbon emissions, gasoline costs, etc.
  • Support those who Support Alliance- Local businesses are the largest contributors to local non-profit organizations, schools, hospitals, etc. Most of the programs and activities we have for our children, seniors, disadvantaged, etc would not be possible without the generous support of time and thousands of dollars donated each year by local businesses and their employees.

Your local merchant provides these extras because he or she is your friend and neighbor and you see them every day in your community.

All they ask in return is a chance for your business.

In closing I would like to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year.