A message from President and CEO Tara Barney

Holiday Gifts – Home for the Holidays

President & CEO Tara Barney

Are you about to open your browser to search out the gifts of the season? This year, one like no other, get a double bang for your buck: Gifts that will please and those that will invest 2/3 of your dollar in a local family, a local business owner and in our community. Start your shopping with your favorite local businesses online now. Small Business Saturday, November 28, was the day to START supporting small business, but it’s not a one-day event, make it your first choice this year. I have.

It’s easy to say “that’s just business,” but each of us gets to choose where and how we do business. Ironically, COVID has given us a gift: A clear sense of community, of the power of supporting each other, and it has forced us to adjust the way we shop. Let’s keep it up. This year a catered meal is a real gift, both for the recipient and the local business that prepares it. Memberships to our cultural partners – such as Wesselman Woods Nature Center, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Gardens, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, and so many others are great choices every year, but this year, they are the stress-relieving safe places to be with family that we all crave.

Our small businesses have earned your business this year. Since March, I’ve highlighted examples of the resilience, creativity and humanity our business community has demonstrated. There’s no better example than the Evansville Philharmonic, an organization that has turned its business plan upside down. When then can’t be in the Victory safely, the musicians have taken to being IN the community instead, playing in small groups everywhere around town. Anyone wants to buy me a gift, make it a donation to one of these and the many other organizations that COVID has challenged.

The Chamber and our partners are in the business of encouraging investment in our region. Occasionally, the Chamber is described as being about big business, or small business, or some other constituency and we are! We are about all of these, because we come alongside businesses large and small to encourage investment in our region. Choosing to support small business is not choosing against our big businesses. In fact, it is because we have such great big businesses anchoring our community that our local economy is so successful and so able to manage through this COVID experience. Our large businesses provide lots of paychecks, huge capital investments and a wealth of resources to our community. It is BECAUSE we are home to such a strong industrial base that we are able to also support the many smaller manufacturers, service businesses, retail and restaurants. That abundance of support provides a special quality to our Greater Evansville area.

Today, I’m asking you to personally invest in our home. Our restaurants need your patronage. Visit www.swinchamber.com to find local restaurant holiday offerings such as gift card options, carry-out and delivery. Shop here, support your neighbors, and have a joyful time being Home for the Holidays.

#lovelocal #TogetherWeThrive #MaskUpHoosiers

Tara Barney
President and CEO, Southwest Indiana Chamber
tbarney@swinchamber.com