Serving the best interests of the economy of Delaware and Maryland’s coastline can be a difficult task, with a balance of agriculture and real estate, year-round activities and events and a seasonal schedule that demands careful attention. But, thanks to the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and Membership Director Carrie Subity, more and more businesses are finding their niche along the shore. And that success has been noted on a national level.
Later this month, Subity will represent the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce as a panel member at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Circle of Champions Training Seminar in Nashville, Tenn.
“Over the past years I’ve been at the Chamber,” said Subity, “we’ve been recognized for being in the Top 10, nationwide, in membership sales and dollar amount. It’s a great way for our area and members to gain exposure.”
Over the past four years, the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber has increased each year in membership, averaging between 115 and 130 new members each year, with a total membership count now topping 800, according to Subity.
“The role of the Chamber has changed significantly on how it’s playing a part with businesses,” she said. “People are using us more as a resource. They evolve with the network of events, through programs like our electricity co-op, which saves them money.”
Subity credits Chamber members, its ambassador committee and its staff for helping to get the Chamber where it is today.
“The reason we’ve averaged the same amount of [new] members each year,” she noted, “is because the local business community sees the value in what they’re getting from us. They’re really utilizing the membership to make it work for their business.”
In the past month, Subity has taken on the role of acting executive director of the local Chamber as well, which has kept her even busier as warm weather rolls in, bringing with it some of the most talked-about events along the Delaware shore.
“It hasn’t really hit yet,” she said of her new role. “Everyone here has really helped out and jumped right in. We’re plugging along, and we have a lot of experience.”
The Chamber even boasts a 30-person volunteer staff that has been an integral part of the annual functions.
“There’s a lot to keep an eye on,” Subity added, “but we still want to give our members 100 percent.”
Events such as next month’s 21st Annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour help keep the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber a core element throughout the community.
“The value of being a member of our Chamber has increased dramatically over the past five years,” said Subity. “We’re not just throwing a cocktail party here and there. We’re getting people together to connect, establish relationships for their business and save them money. Everyone appreciates it.”
On Saturday, April 17, participants in the bike tour can opt to pedal through 25-, 35- or 50-mile routes through the Quiet Resorts. The event has attracted about 700 participants each year, with that number also growing.
“This event has gained so much in past years,” said Subity. “Every year, we improve and add features. This year, we really reached out to cyclist community and took the feedback they gave us. We’re adding more mile markers and really helping with course. It’s a signature Chamber event, and we really want people to have a great time.”
For more information about the Chamber, membership or upcoming events, visit www.bethany-fenwick.org or call them at (302) 539-2100.