http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/09/05/marketing-commerce


Danville Express

Perspective - September 5, 2008

Marketing commerce

Alamo Chamber of Commerce: You hear the name, you know what it means. The branding and marketing of any business, product or nonprofit organization is important. That's why it was a good move for the Alamo Merchants and Professional Association, or AMPA, to change its name to the Chamber of Commerce.

AMPA was founded in 1992 with the mission to promote businesses in Alamo. The organization, currently with 99 members, has monthly mixers for members to network, publishes a Business Directory and holds Business Expos. All of these activities will continue under the new banner, Alamo Chamber of Commerce.

Perhaps AMPA's most visible activity has been sponsoring the Tree Lighting for the past five years in Andrew P. Young Park on Danville Boulevard. This event is becoming increasingly successful, a true community event that launches the holiday season for Alamo families. But although residents may know it is sponsored by the Alamo business association, do they know the name AMPA? The club also supports scholarships to seniors at the high schools that serve Alamo residents - Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley.

Only six months ago the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce began to put the emphasis on the word "area" to encourage membership from businesses in Alamo, Blackhawk and San Ramon. Reportedly its officers were surprised by the recent name change in Alamo.

But the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to serve the greater area, and businesses in Alamo can continue to be members of both the Danville Area and the Alamo chambers of commerce, as is the Danville Weekly. Many businesses in San Ramon also see a benefit to belonging to both its chamber and the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The difference with the name change from AMPA is that when residents see a poster which states an event is sponsored by the Alamo Chamber of Commerce, they will know what it means. Just as they recognize that Alamo Rotary is the local branch of the worldwide service organization, they will now recognize the Alamo business association.

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