Harper Woods joins Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce

By: April Lehmbeck | Advertiser Times | Published March 12, 2013

HARPER WOODS — City officials have been talking about ways to give the city’s business community opportunities to band together, and they’ve chosen to team up with the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce, as a start.

After City Manager Randolph Skotarczyk and Mayor Ken Poynter met with a representative of the chamber for more information and to gauge the chamber’s interest, Skotarczyk and Poynter brought forward a request for the city to join the chamber during the Feb. 20 council meeting.

The council voted unanimously in favor of joining the business association. The cost was $500 to join as the city, but the city hopes that this will open the door for businesses in the city to sign on, as well.

“They’re growing as a chamber,” Skotarczyk told the council. “It’s a small price to pay to be a member of the chamber.

“They have a good organization,” he said. “They seem to be doing a lot of good work.”

Poynter agreed.

“I think that would be money well-spent, based on the conversation that we had,” he said. “I think we’re off to a good start by doing that.”

Skotarczyk said he felt the meeting with the chamber representative, mayor and city manager was productive and informative. They asked how they could get Harper Woods businesses involved in the chamber and were told that the city getting involved would be the best move toward making that happen.

However, Skotarczyk did make sure to ask the representative to talk to the chamber board to see if they would be interested in Harper Woods signing on to their group.

“We didn’t want to be a member of an organization that didn’t want us,” he said.

Skotarczyk heard word back that “the board would be very happy to have us to become a member,” he said. 

The Chamber needed a primary member and an alternate assigned to represent the city. Council chose Poynter and Skotarczyk.

“As much as possible, I would like to see both of you in attendance there,” Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl Costantino said.

She said some of the businesses have expressed interest in forming a group in which they could work together.

Skotarczyk said this could be a way to start doing that, and he plans to get the word out about the chamber. He said, after some businesses join, they might be able to establish a Harper Woods committee of businesses from the city.

“It will be a start, giving our business people a voice,” he said. “If I have to, I’ll go door to door … and encourage them.

“Getting the message out of the good things that Harper Woods has to offer is important,” Skotarczyk said.