By MOLLY PRIDDY/Flathead Beacon
Roughly 80 people filled Flathead Electric Cooperative’s community room during the group’s inaugural meeting on Aug. 23. Craig Witte, owner of Perkins restaurant, told the audience that no one really needs to cross the viaduct into Kalispell to get what they need, because Evergreen has it all.
needs a chamber of commerce,’” Witte said.
TJ Wendt of State
Farm Insurance was present during that Rotary conversation, and said Evergreen
needs to promote itself as an ideal business location. There are no city taxes,
two major highways, the railroad, a fire department, a post office, schools,
Glacier Park International Airport and other amenities in the area.
"We’re the 16th largest community in Montana,” Wendt said. “The 16th largest
community with no voice, no way to affect what’s happening.”
would serve as a way for the local businesses to define their own community, he
said, acting as a “unified voice for Evergreen.”
Evergreen isn’t an
incorporated city, nor does it have a community council. A chamber of commerce
could serve as a place for businesses
and community members to come with
concerns for Flathead County, and, in return, for the county commission to come
with its issues, Wendt said.
“Nothing political,” Witte said. “You do
what’s good for business and you do what’s good for the community.”
founding members have already registered the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce with
the state Chamber of Commerce, and have hired
Bev Ferris as the executive
There are already over a dozen businesses that
have signed on as chamber members, Witte said, including Glacier Bank, West One
Bank, the Evergreen School District and Ray Thompson.
while the founding group of business owners certainly doesn’t lack enthusiasm
for the project, Witte and Wendt said they do need a financial boost to get it
off the ground floor.
Audience members were encouraged to sign up as
charter members, a $250 fee that would give them the status that they helped
start the chamber. Other perks of joining the chamber would include free links
from its website, a members’ directory, certificates that businesses can
display, and the legitimacy that being a chamber of commerce member carries,
The next steps for the chamber will be to find office space
and get its website up and running. The next meeting for chamber members will
take place at the Evergreen Fire Department’s community room on Thursday, Sept.
20 at 6 p.m.
For questions, call 406-260-6092
or email email@example.com.