Business association announces plan to become the Mill Creek Chamber of Commerce

New name will open more possibilities to reach community, partner with city
By Dan Aznoff | Sep 20, 2018
Courtesy of: Mill Creek Business Association Officers of what will be the Mill Creek Chamber of Commerce used their booth at the Mill Creek Festival this summer to announce plans to change their name from the Mill Creek Business Association. Pictured (l-r) are: Michael LaMarche, Forum Dental Group (red shirt), Frank Simmons, Senior Care Consultants (white shorts), Heidi Butz, Heidi's Place Custom Framing, Jess Thomas, Crossroad Sign and Kevin Gibony, Family First Insurance Allstate.

 

There is so much more to the business community in Mill Creek than just the storefronts in Town Center.

The announcement that the Mill Creek Business Association plans to become the Mill Creek Chamber of Commerce in 2019 will give members the opportunity to work more closely with schools and non-profit organizations to improve the quality of life in the city, according to the vice president of the current organization.

“A lot of what we do will continue,” Heidi Butz told The Beacon last week. “Our goal is to become a resource to the community and not just an advocate for business owners who contribute to the economic vitality of the city.”

The name change, Butz said, will establish the Chamber of Commerce as the initial contact point for prospective business owners who might consider locating in the city. In addition, she hopes the new chamber will become part of the introduction process for residents who are new to the neighborhoods.

Butz is the vice president of the Mill Creek Business Association and owner of Heidi’s Place Custom Framing south of 180th on the Bothell-Everett Highway. The president of the business owners group is Kevin Giboney, owner of the Family First Allstate Insurance Agency on Evergreen Way in Everett.

“Becoming a chamber is a reflection of what the business association has become over the years,” Giboney said. “We will always support small business owners through networking and social events. But we want to do more for the city and the residents of our community.”

Association members, Butz said, take special pride in the group’s annual Backpacks for Kids Drive. The program provides school supplies to students from families that cannot afford the basic items needed to succeed in the classroom.

Butz emphasized the association already works to fulfill the needs of high school students in the community, which included five $2,000 college scholarships awarded to seniors graduating from high schools in Mill Creek last spring. She thinks the organization will be able to do even more as a chamber.

The business association already sponsors the annual Mill Creek Festival. Butz said the group could do even more as the Chamber of Commerce. The group scheduled a golf tournament for later this year to raise funds for activities like band and sports for students who would be left out without assistance from the business owners.

“We will continue to work with local food banks and host our series of informational seminars through the Sno-Isle Libraries,” Butz said. “We will also host workshops to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses as well as provide resources to help boost the local economy.

“However, as the chamber, we hope to be able to send Welcome Packages to new residents with brochures and special offers from local businesses.”

The association currently has 75 members. Butz expects that number to jump when the name change becomes official.

The president and vice president both agreed that the chamber would continue to stay out of politics and avoid endorsements on both the local level and issues of national importance.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a powerful lobby for business interests in Washington, D.C.,” Giboney said. “We have more than enough to do on a local basis to help our members and work in the community.”

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