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Longmont Chamber shows off new look

“The state of the building did not reflect where the business community is"

The Longmont Chamber of Commerce has been part of the local business community for over 138 years. For the first time since buying the building, the Chamber renovated its space into a place that better supports Longmont’s business community.

Walking into 528 Main St. one would find the Chamber behind a wall of glass with doors surrounding it. It caused confusion for people as they tried to find the Chamber offices. After several months of renovation, the Chamber now greets its clients and members in a foray that highlights the natural light streaming from the ceiling. People now know where to go to find the Chamber’s help.

The Chamber uses and rents its conference room to its members and the public. The space was covered with mauve carpeting and was not conducive to a modern work environment. The staff at the Chamber stripped the walls, adding a wooden feature wall, added space for catered food and made it tech-ready for local businesses.

The staff offices also changed, with a few of them sponsored by local businesses. The staff area includes a new receptionist area that doubles as office storage and a workspace. A small conference room links the staff offices and features a brick wall that was discovered during the course of the project. 

The space also includes a small business office that is utilized by members for more one-on-one meetings.

The building was bought in 1987 by the Longmont Chamber’s board. Each member wrote $19,000 personal guarantees to secure the loan to buy the building, said Karen Stallard, business development director.

Since Longmont is growing, it was time for the Chamber to evolve too. So it decided to change its space to accommodate its new programming, events and support for local businesses. 

“The state of the building did not reflect where the business community is,” Stallard said. “Considering the pace of what chambers should be doing, to have the building stuck in an old way of doing things, (officials and business representatives) have a perception of the place … we just wanted it to be ‘Oh, they are going places.”

In 2020, the Chamber’s board agreed to the remodel and to fund it with loans. Since then, the Chamber has launched a capital campaign for $650,000 to pay off the loans for the remodel. So far the Chamber has raised 25% of the goal. 

“This is the largest amount of charitable giving to our organization in our 138 year history,” Stallard said.

The last time the Chamber launched a capital campaign was in 2002 when the board raised $30,000 to pay off the mortgage at 528 Main St.    

The Longmont Chamber of Commerce is hosting a grand reopening celebration on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. It invites the Longmont community to join in, view the renovations and share their stories. The event is free but registration is required.