BAXTER SPRINGS, Ks. — It’s been almost a decade, but the Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce is finally back in an actual building again.
Deidra Riley, Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce Secretary, said, “Everyday is just learn something new. Get a different question about what’s going on, and so I’m just learning as I go.”
More than seven years ago the office of the Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce closed its doors.
“Several years where there just wasn’t anyone in the office, so they were mainly meeting and going offline.”
But this has changed. The chamber is now back home and has new in-person staff to help with daily business. Since she arrived on the scene, Baxter Springs-Native Deidra Riley has been hard at work to create the chamber’s new home.
“Just came in and there were boxes and boxes and boxes and just cobwebs. So we just cleaned up, we had a new computer brought in and just kinda started going.”
The chamber already has a lot going for it. It will serve as the Baxter Springs site for the Columbus News-Report.
Larry Hiatt, Columbus News-Report Publisher, said, “So far it’s worked pretty well, we are in here three hours a day and then Dee goes out and talks to the public and gets her stories done.”
At the same time reintegrating the chamber into businesses and organizations across the city.
“A community isn’t a community without a Chamber of Commerce, the business people drive it and so it needs to be here and it needs to be active, you know a lot of the things that happen that people think the city is doing, the Chamber is actually doing.”
Creating a resource for the community as it continues to help its hometown.
“I think the one on one, just having an office where people can actually come in, and sit down and talk, is going to be very good for the community,” said Riley.