Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Starting up a small-business chamber

Chaos. That's how John Wren, a long-time small-business advocate in metro Denver, describes his recent attempts to start a new group, a Small Business Chamber of Commerce. It could eventually go statewide.

Wren obtained the registered name for the Small Business Chamber of Commerce recently, and wanted to add the new group to the collection of entities he uses to help small business owners talk out their problems and processes. So far, those groups include regular sessions of the Idea Cafe, when speakers share their startup experiences, and Franklin Circles, named after Ben, which gather active entrepreneurs together.

So he started a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=145283622175466&ref=ts, and put a meeting notice in the Denver Post that quickly gathered more than 700 prospective chamber members, and called down the Facebook security gods in the process to slow down his explosive recruitment.

Wren called it "Facebook crankiness," but his formation of the chamber goes on, and the quick response he has received suggests the hunger in Colorado for some kind of effective small-business leadership. 

There's no telling how it will all work out for Wren. He is hyper-active promoting his meetings on Facebook, Twitter, in the newspaper, and any other venue he can reach; but he told me he has "some people" working on taming the Internet glut he has going currently. That might also hone the mission of the new chamber as well as the services it might be able to offer small businesses.

He said the ultimate goal of the chamber is to lower Colorado's unemployment rate through small-buisness hiring. If you want to join the crowd, go to the URL shown above and sign up.

If you want to go to a meeting, attend the gathering at Panera Bread, East 13th Avenue and Grant Street, near downtown, at 2 p.m. Friday.

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