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Chamber's After Hours Brings Business Community Together

There was wine, cheese and other goodies, but the first thing you noticed upon entering the crowded room was the steady volume produced by conversations around the room. Some of it was purely social, but there was also some business taking place—business after hours, that is. The respective vice president and president of the Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce, Kim Homer and Carol Goodman, strategize Wednesday evening, March 2, at the first "After Hours" event sponsored by the Chamber. Kim and her husband, Jeff, were hosts of the inaugural event held at the Grovedale Winery.

B2B, as in Business-to-Business, has been making inroads locally, thanks to the Greater Wyalusing Chamber of Commerce. Their recent "After Hours" get-together held at the Grovedale Winery's spacious Tasting Room Wednesday evening, March 2, and hosted by owners, Kim and Jeff Homer, was a smashing success. In the previous month, it was a B2B breakfast at the chamber building's Tuscarora Wayne Community Room just to get things rolling.

"We are so happy that the idea took off," said Chamber President Carol Goodman, who has already scheduled hosts for monthly "After Hours" events through October. "We are booked for quite a few months in advance."

The idea is, as the invitation explained, "to provide a platform for local business people to meet and share information." But the forum was laid back, with the only presentation, and informal at that, was an overview provided by the hosts, the Homers. Aside from representing one of the most impressive small business success stories in the Wyalusing Valley, Jeff and Kim were also representing Homer's Funeral Home.

Business cards were drawn from an ice bucket for wine-related prizes.

Betty and Bob Krause relax with hors d'oeuvres in the Grovedale Winery's Tasting Room.

April's host will be Weston Solutions located on Main Street in Wyalusing in what was formerly Westover's Floral Boutique. The Wyalusing Public Library will host the May event, and in June Sue and Bob Taber will play After Hours hosts at their business, Gibbs Garden Center, in LeRaysville. Other hosts will include Frank & Mary's Restaurant and the Cabin Country Store in July; Mark Dietz teaming with Hidden Creek Winery in August, and the Peoples State Bank and Memorial Hospital penciled in as hosts for September and October.

More than 30 businesses, ranging from Memorial Hospital and Tuscarora Wayne Group of Companies, to self-employed contractors, have taken part in the inaugural events. Also represented was the public sector, including the Wyalusing Valley Museum, the Bradford County Library System, the Wyalusing Public Library and even Wyalusing Borough Council and Wyalusing Township. The types of expertise in the same room ran the gamut from drinking water testing to day care to counseling services. There was something interesting to talk about wherever you turned.

This is an opportunity not to just talk business but to talk community and working together on various levels. People were encouraged to bring their business cards and brochures, and you might be surprised by all that is available in your business community. After Hours is both a business resource and a great way to spend an hour or so to wind down after work.

Aside from the After Hours slate with their 5 p.m. starting times, the Chamber has a number of things on its calendar through the spring and summer. Next, of course, is the annual Chamber Auction on Saturday, March 12, with the next B2B Breakfast slated for April 6.

There were plenty of people and an abundance of conversation in the Tasting Room of the Grovedale Winery last Wednesday evening. It was a combination of wine, cheese and business.

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