The Upper Queen Anne Merchants Association and the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce have merged to form a singular place of support for the Queen Anne business community.
The two groups have been talking about combining forces earlier this year. The agreement was made about a month ago to suspend UQAMA as a separate organization.
"This is a move in the right direction for the business community," said Lauren Adler former UQAMA president. "Last year we felt the pinch of the recession. But we are a resilient bunch."
Mary Chapman, director of marketing for the QA Chamber, is very pleased with UQAMA's decision. She explained that because the two groups had the same goals of providing a place of support and strength for Queen Anne merchants, the merger just made sense. Adler agreed.
"There are a lot of benefits of being involved in a group with that kind of standing," Adler said. "Most merchants are practical, you just want what's best for the business.'"
After discussions between the two groups, the UQAMA could see the obvious benefits of joining the QA Chamber. Two positions on the chamber board have been opened for two UQAMA leaders, including one for Adler and Wink Cupcakes owner Deanne Ederer Emmons.
UQAMA began as an informal gathering of interested store owners from Upper Queen Anne, who were looking to strengthen their businesses through a knowledgeable community.
Every year UQAMA puts on big holiday events on Upper Queen Anne, trick-or-treating and Holiday Magic, which brings extra attention and revenue to the businesses. However, it is fairly expensive and time consuming for the merchants, who take the time and money out of their own pockets. Last year the holiday events were scaled back because there weren't enough volunteers, nor finances to get the work done. The chamber will continue Holiday Magic this year.
Although there is a fee to be a part of the chamber, the chamber has reduced it for 2010. UQAMA will unplug its Web site and pour its content into the chamber's. The QA Chamber is currently developing a new map of the business district of Queen Anne together with the Queen Anne News. The map will list all QA Chamber members in addition to having ad space open to any business or organization. It will not show all businesses on upper Queen Anne.
The QA Chamber recently won a grant from the Office of Economic Development to upgrade its Web site and create a new QA Tourism Web site. "It's like getting your own PR agency for the community," Adler said of working with the chamber.
"It creates a seamless bond between UQAMA and those of us on other parts of the hill," said Dave Peterson current president of the Queen Anne Chamber.
The Upper merchants still have the option of less organized monthly meetings if they are not able to make it to the monthly luncheons the chamber holds. Now there is no duplication of effort, and no confusion of who to go to or which group to join.
"We Try very hard to create a strong environment for our businesses to thrive," Adler said.[[In-content Ad]]