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Towson Chamber of Commerce needs your suggestions, support in 2013 [Letter]

Each year your Towson Chamber spends over $100,000 to provide events and services in our community. Our executive committee and board of directors will be meeting in the near future to plan for 2013. Please read the following and give us your much-appreciated feedback.

As we enter into the new year, it is a time to reflect on the past and prepare ourselves for the future. The Towson Chamber's first priority is to support our business community. We do that in a variety of ways.

We host over 60 outdoor events each year. These events bring thousands of people into the core of Towson more than 35 weeks out of the year. They include major community gatherings such as the Farmers Market, Gardens Day, Towsontown Spring Festival and Friday Night Concerts. Not to mention that this December's monthlong WinterFest had almost double the attendance of last year.

Last year the chamber lost a $54,000 beautification grant that was used for hanging flower baskets and tree wells maintenance. Through manual support from the county, help from Radebaugh Florist and financial contributions from chamber members, we were able to continue this program. Five days a week, we have a person picking up trash throughout the business core. Three times a month, we get a group of about eight to 10 helpers for a day that work on extra cleanup projects in Towson. We spent over $3,500 installing paintings in vacant store fronts so people would not be walking past big vacant spaces.

We have also made it a point to respond and be receptive to member feedback. In the past, members have stressed that networking opportunities are a priority to them, and during 2012 we hosted over 20 events. We also hope that you and your business are participating in our Member to Member Benefits Program that is communicated in detail through our monthly newsletters.

This year's Taste of Towson was a huge success. We had over 25 restaurants with more than 250 people attending. We were able to raise $6,000 with 100 percent of the proceeds going back into projects for the community.

Lately, we have been meeting with leaders from Baltimore County government to work on streetscape improvements as well as adding additional police officers.

None of our goals can be accomplished alone. We are very thankful for the support from Baltimore County government, Towson University leaders and the local residential community working alongside of us to make Towson a better place to live, work and play. We are also thankful for the developers that see Towson as a great place to invest.

In 2013, we plan to continue these valuable programs. However, we would like to hear from you if you think there are other projects that we can do to improve Towson's environment.

We thank you for all your support and may 2013 be a happy, healthy and prosperous year for you and your loved ones.

Nancy Hafford, executive director

Towson Chamber of Commerce

Towson

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