A decade ago, students from a local university conducted a study to determine how Millstadt could achieve healthy growth.
One of the steps the students found the village needed to take was to have a chamber of commerce.
So, business leaders formed that organization in 2009 with about 30 charter members.
Within two years, there were more than 70 members.
“When you look at Millstadt, with that small-town vibe, everybody knows they should do things the old way,” Millstadt chamber president Ashley Reeder said. “They know being part of a group like the chamber is just what you’re supposed to do. So when they first sent out letters, there was a really big response back.”
The organization now has over 100 members that participate in various events and help foster economic prosperity in the village.
Those events include business after hours, which involves member businesses hosting the group and providing food.
The hosting business can simply allow individuals to socialize or provide a tour or presentation.
“It gives our businesses a chance to showcase their own business,” Reeder, a financial representative at Country Financial, noted.
For its 10th anniversary, the chamber hosted its own business after hours on June 19 at the village’s new splash pad.
The Millstadt chamber also has quarterly meetings that include a speaker to help educate members.
As with other chambers in the area, the Millstadt one also helps in the community by offering scholarships, sponsoring events and the like.
Reeder said the chamber has also achieved its purpose of helping local businesses, primarily by providing them with more exposure.
“We know we’re here to help support each other, and I think that’s what a small town is all about,” she explained. “So it solidifies not only supporting each other personally but now we’re supporting each other in our businesses.”
To learn more about the Millstadt Chamber of Commerce, visit millstadtchamber.org or the chamber’s Facebook page.