SHAMOKIN - The Brush Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce would like wish you and yours a very happy and healthy new year.

The new year often signifies new beginnings, and most people will make some type of resolution or plan changes going forward.

In 2014, the chamber is eager to make its mark in the business community with an enhanced focus on individual members and the needs of the local business community. Our goal is to carefully look at the communities we serve and identify the most challenging areas of need and the obstacles local businesses face, and then be proactive with programs and services.

The Brush Valley chamber will begin by adding new chamber benefits and programs to fulfill the needs of the business community.

The chamber will strive to enhance our membership benefits to continue to strengthen our business community. With the addition of new benefits, we hope to help our businesses increase revenue and publicity.

The chamber of commerce should be the heart of any business community, and it should be the first place that a new business looks to when coming to our region. The chamber's resolution is to help new businesses start and assist already existing businesses.

The chamber will diligently work toward adding more value to being a member.

The chamber will also work toward improving our community by working with other agencies, groups and municipalities to enhance the appeal of the area. For example, the chamber will continue to work toward fighting blight and addressing other community needs and searching for improvements.

The chamber continues to look for fun and effective fundraising activities to not only help continue our efforts in the communities we serve, but to help other organizations as well.

It's a tall order, but with the momentum of the new year, new board members and overall board commitment, the chamber is looking forward to acting as the impetus for good and lasting changes throughout our area.

(Whitney Fetterman is executive director of the Brush Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce. Contact her via email at "Your Chamber" is published on the first Sunday of each month.)