speak for the Chamber and hopes that organization will be responsive to the needs of the business community, and that it welcomes all input. “I see positive influences in town,” he said.

Open-ended responses also were provided on the survey, both good and bad. Those opinions ranged from people who believe the Chamber has “improved its efforts” and that “New Holstein is a good place to do business,” to those who see much room for improvement.

Constantly trying to improve the local business climate is the goal of the New Holstein Chamber and, once again, Straw said that becomes easier as more people contribute their ideas and efforts. “I think we have a good corps nucleus of people,” he said, but more are always welcome.

Straw has some big shoes to fill as he takes over for Bob Bosma of Tri-County Ready Mix. Bosma stepped down after six successful years at the helm of the

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Chamber. Straw served as vice president for most of those years. In recent years the Chamber has narrowed its focus to doing what it can to help existing businesses in the community, allowing the NHEDC to focus on acquiring new businesses. The two organizations share many of the same members and even some board members, which helps the communication process between the two. The Chamber also recently donated another $1,000 toward the NHEDC’s efforts and might give more based on the success of its fundraisers this year.

Raising funds

Its recent Raffle Night and its July golf outing are the Chamber’s biggest fundraisers. Other activities include sponsorship of Country Christmas and the popular Night on the Town, Reality Check for Middle School students, a High School scholarship, and assistance with the Super Cub fly-in at the New Holstein Municipal Airport. Straw said he would like to see expanded use of the airport.

More information about the New Holstein Area Chamber of Commerce can be found at its Web site, Web site was redesigned in the past year and Straw said the Chamber is seeing more activity there. The Chamber also is active on Facebook and Twitter as it looks to keep members and non-members alike informed about the organization.

In the year ahead, Straw said he hopes to continue the “shop local” effort, find ways to help all local businesses—including the service sector—and help promote the airport, not to mention all the ongoing activities of the organization.

“The shop local program is so important,” he said.

It is especially important to local businesses—just like the one Jim Straw owns.