HAINES CITY – It’s official.
The Northeast Polk Chamber of Commerce is the new moniker for what was formerly known as the Haines City Area Chamber of Commerce. On March 21, the new logo was unveiled and the finalization of the change announced during the Chamber’s monthly breakfast.
According to Chamber officials, the change was made in an effort to include the significant number of new businesses along U.S. 27, traveling north from Haines City into Davenport.
“The corridor is growing like crazy. Labeling the Chamber as Haines City’s put us into a box,” said Lana Stripling, the Chamber’s Executive Director. “Changing the name and including those businesses gives everyone more of an opportunity to work together and network.”
And, according to Karen Tiner, immediate past president and current treasurer, — as well as the co-owner of Ameriprise Financial — with the growth, the city limit lines have become a blur.
“Because of all of the annexation that is going on, there’s really no borderline between Haines City and Davenport,” Tiner said. “This name change will take away the borders even more.”
Tiner said that part of the goal is to make new businesses feel welcome and like they belong too. Currently, the Northeast Polk Chamber has approximately 330 members with new businesses joining frequently.
“March was our biggest month for new-member enrollment. I really have to think that the number of (additions) was due to the name change,” Tiner said.
Stripling said that the cities of Haines City and Davenport have a good working relationship. She said that Davenport has always been a member of the Chamber and that, with this change, they have committed to continue to partner with them. The social media sites — including the website — have been updated to reflect the change.
“Most everything else stays the same,” Stripling said, adding that the office will remain at its current location and the telephone number the same.
For the past 10 years or so, the Chamber has worked at finding the right name for itself. Originally named the Haines City Chamber of Commerce, the name changed in 2009 to Northeast Polk-Haines City Chamber of Commerce.
Then, in 2015, it was changed to the Haines City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Officials believe they have it right this time around.
For more information about all the Northeast Polk Chamber has to offer, visit them at 35610 U.S. 27 in Haines City, as well as by phone at (863) 422-3751 or the website at www.northeastpolkchamber com.