Chamber unveils series of business workshops

The Cordova Visitors Center, where the Chamber of Commerce operates. (Jan. 13, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Cordova Chamber of Commerce’s Business Empowerment Series is set to launch next week, seeking to better equip Cordova business leaders, and spur economic growth.

The new suite of networking and educational events begins with the Business After Hours Mixer beginning 5:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24 at the Reluctant Fisherman Bar and Restaurant.

“We’re aiming to inspire business confidence and collaboration,” said Cordova Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cathy Renfeldt. “This first event in the series will be loosely structured and fun, offering a casual but professional atmosphere for local businesspeople to meet, find common ground and support each other.”

The Chamber also plans to use the evening to gain feedback on topics to be considered for future events in the series, including: a Women in Leadership Panel; Business Speed Dating; and entrepreneurial trainings such as Success on Social Media, Minimizing your IT costs, Cybersecurity Basics, USFS Special Use Permitting, and Establishing Business Credit. This first event in the series will be free and open to everyone, with door prizes, including a pair of Hoover Girls hand-crafted earrings. All future events in the series will be free to Chamber members, with a small fee for non-members.

A series like this has been an aim of the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee since its first initiative in April 2018, the Cordova Economic Summit. The group was formed in 2017 with the goal of bringing businesses together to leverage local capacity and grow economic opportunity in Cordova.

“We’re going for a fun, empowering environment where Cordova businesspeople can learn and grow together,” Renfeldt said.


Like the Economic Summit, Renfeldt also hopes these events will be an opportunity for local business owners to meet face-to-face and learn about each other’s offerings and to encourage cooperation and service-sharing so more money can be kept circulating within the community.

The Cordova Chamber of Commerce is governed by a 16-member board of directors and is comprised of around 150 members. In addition to operating the Cordova Visitors Center, the Chamber’s work is divided into four program areas: quality of life enhancement, economic development, destination marketing and leadership development.