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West Linn Chamber will close its office, opting for virtual space. New business model should serve members better.

The West Linn Chamber of Commerce is adopting a virtual business model and by March 31 will close its physical location in the lower level of 21420 Willamette Drive, suite B in West Linn where it has leased space since 2015.

The chamber is poised to excel with a virtual business model given the technological advances made in the last year. Furthermore, reducing capital expenses such as rent and utilities strengthens the ability to continue investment in staff, cloud technology, and hardware while improving chamber services to the community.

In addition, decreasing overhead expense allows the chamber to maintain its current membership dues which have not increased since 2007.

Continuing to hold dues at low entry fees makes the chamber accessible to small businesses and frees up an organization's budget to maximize marketing dollars on other investments.

The chamber is financially healthy and has shown significant growth over the last year. Examples include:

n Doubled membership since the fourth quarter of 2016.

n Increased employees by one part time person, bringing staff to two part time people.

n Hired a West Linn Certified Public Accounting firm.

n Implemented cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software.

n Redeveloped website with CRM integration, mobile responsiveness, backup and security features, and over all better user experience.

n Increased number of events held in local West Linn businesses and moved chamber meetings into the business community.

"By moving meetings out of the office and into the community, we bring business to members, encourage business to business networking and increase chamber visibility in community," said Chamber Membership Director Melinda Doblie.

The West Linn Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization serving approximately 90 members.

The chamber builds the business community through cross sector connectivity and facilitates a supportive business environment among members, visitors, and residents.

The chamber also advocates new investment and revitalization of the business sector and serves as the official community resource center.

The West Linn Chamber is a member of Oregon State Chamber of Commerce.

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